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Foundation to join Abu Dhabi media zone

The Thomson Reuters Foundation is to set up journalism training in Abu Dhabi as part of a joint project to develop media in the Gulf.

Along with international media companies including the BBC, CNN and the Financial Times, it will be a partner in a media zone funded by the United Arab Emirates government.

The project, called twofour54, aims to build an Arab media economy in the region, offering a vocational training academy, production and post-production facilities, and an incubation fund for new businesses.

Monique Villa, Foundation chief executive, said: "We are one of the main partners with the BBC in the training academy, which means we are going to train a number of journalists from the region in all the things they need to learn.

"It could be as tailor-made as how you cover business, how you cover a natural catastrophe, all this for print and broadcasting as well as for photography and multimedia. It will be a great centre for training the Arab region."

She said a regional director would be appointed to oversee the scheme, which begins in January.

"Here you have a fast-growing region and a fast-growing population of journalists, but sometimes they need to be a little bit more professional, so we will try to help them with that."

The Guardian said Thomson Reuters is expected to set up a photo agency and establish a sharia law-compliant financial information portal for the region. ■