Three questions for Nada El Saleh: "Talking and speaking out on behalf of others"

She is the face of a series of online educational videos on TV reporting and the basics of journalism currently being produced by the France Médias Monde (FMM) Academy in partnership with CFI.
Interview by Emmanuel de Solère Stintzy .


Nada El Saleh, 36, who is known for her big smile, calming voice and hand gestures delivered with near surgical precision to emphasise her points, visited the FMM headquarters earlier this month. Interview with an Iraqi journalist with a true passion for her work.

What impression have you had of journalism in Iraq since childhood? How does the media in your country handle security, gender and the environment, the key themes of the Innovative journalism in Iraq project?
I loved watching television programmes as a child. I wasn't thinking about becoming a presenter yet, but I knew I wanted to do a job that leaves an impression. I enjoyed creating programmes at the faculty of journalism. I felt like I'd found my calling. I could talk and speak out on behalf of others.
Security is the main topic handled by our media outlets, but we talk less about the environment from the perspective of climate change than our Western counterparts. Here in France, there are often discussions about LGBTQI+ rights and gender equality. In Iraq, we tend to talk more about violence against women and children.

As a journalist at the Iraqi Media Network (IMN, Iraqi public television), you are presenting 75 online educational videos currently being produced for students, particularly those studying at the Faculty of Media of the University of Baghdad, and fellow journalists. What has this experience taught you?
Together with my colleagues (Editor's note: 12 participants: six IMN journalists and six teachers from the Faculty) I helped to write the scripts and I was chosen as presenter. It's a big responsibility: I have to summarise and embody everything that has previously been said by my colleagues. I got myself used to the camera to ensure that I could give the impression that everything is OK, but you can still see on some videos that I am tired or a little under the weather... For example, sometimes I had a sore throat, but I still managed to speak for four hours non-stop! When in front of the camera, I put all of this aside to ensure efficiency. This experience brought me to a whole new level. I almost don't recognise myself these days: my circle has broadened, as has my way of thinking.
After watching the videos, some Iraqi students not only gain a better understanding of how to convey information clearly, they know the content of the videos by heart!
For its part, the Iraqi Media Network needs to look at how international channels work in order to develop further and be more free to address certain topics in the way that we would like to.

What do you think is in store for the future of journalism in Iraq? And for your future in this profession?
I hope that the Iraqi media will have developed further in a few years. Television has evolved, but we hope that students will start producing innovative content having received more practical training.
As for my future, whether on television or radio, I will still be a journalist! My job is my passion. I want my work to have an impact on society. I feel at home when sharing my ideas with the audience.