Photo credit: Jess Blough/AP News.
March 26, 2020.
Three stories you need to read today. Compiled and broken down for you by Reporting Morocco student journalists — every day. Brought to you from the School for International Training’s journalism program, Rabat.
Source: ABC News
Lede: Claudia Danford sat on the couch in the living room with her host mother in Rabat, Morocco last week, watching an announcement on TV that the country was effectively shutting down due to novel coronavirus concerns.
Nut Graf: Her group was only a small fraction of the more than 1,000 Americans who found themselves suddenly stranded in the popular tourist destination. But she and others quickly realized they would have to rely on their universities and their connections instead of the U.S. government to get them out, an advantage that hundreds of other Americans did not have.
Why this is newsworthy: This shows the diverse set of problems around the world that COVID-19 is causing. While sickness is a worry, money, flights and travel home are all added concerns for those who are traveling, their family members and their elected representatives.
Source: Morocco World News
Lede: A considerable international community has emerged around the British Language Academy, a language school with five different facilities in Casablanca, Fes, El-Jadida, and Berrechid.
Nut Graf: Approximately 30 volunteers have been staying in the school’s facilities in March, and all have experienced the shutdown of public places and borders differently, depending on the accessibility of their embassies or their travel plans.
Why this is newsworthy: While COVID-19 has caused racism against Asians around the world, this article shows that anti-foreigner sentiments are on the rise in Morocco for all people. The world is sharing the experience of this global pandemic but COVID-19 is still dividing countries as people affected by the virus look for somewhere to place blame.
Source: Committee to Protect Journalists
Lede: Beginning on March 17, 2020, authorities in Jordan, Oman, Morocco, and Yemen issued decrees suspending newspaper printing and distribution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to news reports and government statements.
Key Background: The suspensions cover both independent and state-owned media outlets, and were imposed to limit spreading the virus during the printing, delivery, and distribution of the papers, according to those reports.
Why this is newsworthy: The Moroccan government and its citizens have often disagreed over free speech and what should constitute free speech laws in Morocco. Especially during a pandemic, access to information is vital. Stopping the distribution of print newspapers could limit access to news for some Moroccans, allowing the actions of the government to go unchecked by the public.