The Faculty of Mass Communication and Fine Arts (MCFA) at Al Maaref University hosted the publisher and editor of the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, Mr. Talal Salman, on Thursday, December 21, 2017. The event comes to shed light on the critical challenges that the print journalism are facing in Lebanon and Arab world in the wake of the rise of new technological digitization development that is permeating the media industry nowadays.
The meeting lasted for an hour and a half, during which the Mr. Salman revealed the secrets of the press, sharing with the students the professional history and experiences.
The arrival of Mr. Talal Salman was well received by the President of the University, Professor Ali Alaeddine and the Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Fine Arts, Dr. Ali Takach, in the presence of course instructors and students who raised the first issue of the newspaper "As-Safir" in honor of its role and history in the Lebanese print journalism.
The audience consisted of media personalities and journalists including the course instructors of the Seminar module Dr. Ali Kassir and Dr. Samar Kalakash as well as a group of course instructors and a broad audience of students from different faculties.
The meeting witnessed a vital dialogue that brought together the issues of the students' start of their professional internship and the experience of the hosted guest in the field of journalism. At large, the discussions were full of enthusiasm, motivation, mature ideas and expressive of the lessons learned from the rich experiences that the history of print journalism has had in the Lebanese media industry.
The symposium opened with verses from the Holy Quran, followed by the Lebanese national anthem, then a welcome speech by the MCFA student Karim Ramadan who presented as well a video report prepared by students who visited Mr. Talal Salman a few days before the current honoring event.
The MCFA students presented to the audience a short theatrical scene highlighting the crisis of the paper press, in a dialogue scene showing the competition between the smartphone and the websites on the one hand and the role of the press
on the other hand.
Hassan Hassan and Ms. Lubna Haidar, two students from the MCFA, discussed face to face Mr. Salman about the impact of the political situation locally and regionally on the work of the press and its diversity, and on its role in building awareness of public opinion, starting from his experience in the newspaper.
Mr. Salman had an emphasis in his discussion on the importance of listening to the various opinions and the commitment to objectivity, advising students to have their work shaped with values of high professionalism and craftsmanship. The discussion was followed by a series of questions raised by the students in light of his valuable words and advice.
Mr. Salman denied the possibility of returning the newspaper "As-Safir" even electronically, due to the high costs involved in operating such an organization.
Mr. Salman was keen to "thank all his supporters and the public who had accompanied the newspaper, in its ups and downs, over the past years."
Mr. Salman also spoke to the students about some of his memories, experiences, and stories, which were a mix of severe challenges and successes. He said that "although he used to write in the "Featured Opinion Section, the newspaper was the newspaper of everyone who seeks to convey truth and facts in line with the function of the press". Mr. Salman peacefully ended up his speech by noting that he ended his part in the "press service which lasted for forty years".
In conclusion, the President and the Dean of the Faculty of Mass Communication and Fine Arts presented a unique honorary trophy to Mr. Salman, and who in turn left his signature and everlasting words on the University "Golden Signatory" book.