Morocco World News celebrates Its Third Anniversary

Fez- The foremost English language news site in Morocco has come a long way from its humble beginnings in an apartment in Queens, New York.The founders, Moroccan brothers Samir and Adnane Bennis, launched the site in 2011 as a gateway for Moroccan-based English language news reporting. At that time, there were no local English language news outlets producing news on the country. Major Western news sources covered stories on Morocco, but there was no cohesive English news site with Moroccan journalists and editors producing stories on the Kingdom.“Our goal was to launch a news outlet with the aim of providing the reader with a balanced approach to Morocco and also allow Moroccans to freely express their views about their country in an English language website,” Samir Bennis said. MWN was developed to give readers in-depth and on-site reporting about Morocco from people with an extensive knowledge of the region and issues.Samir Bennis, a political adviser at an Arab Mission to the United Nations in New York, teamed up with his brother Adnane, then a freelance translator, to launch Morocco World News (MWN) in May 2011.“MWN strives to report the news that goes unreported in other media and provide the reader with a fresh and independent perspective on Morocco. We also offer analyses and essays about highly important issues, chief of which is the conflict of the Sahara,” Adnane Bennis, the co-founder and managing editor, stated.The news site has now expanded to include an editorial board of journalists and over ten contributors and correspondents, mainly in Morocco and the United States.The MWN team includes Moroccan-based journalists that produce stories directly from cities around Morocco, giving the website a countrywide capacity for news coverage. Young American graduates also work on the MWN team to improve the quality of reporting and help young aspiring Moroccan journalists improve their English writing skills.Ahmed Azizi, an MWN board member, acknowledged the tireless efforts of the MWN staff, writers and contributors for bringing the website to where it is today.“They have now been working hard for three years to turn what started as a very ambitious idea into an exemplary media outlet that countless people worldwide refer to daily for up-to-date information and valuable insights into a wide range of important and interesting issues,” Azizi said.Elisabeth Myers, an editor and MWN board member, has seen the news website grow rapidly from its beginning three years ago into “a respected and widely read online publication that provides a platform not only for responsible journalism, but also for timely debate on the pressing issues of our time affecting Morocco, Moroccans, and Moroccan-Americans.”MWN gives a worldwide community of readers the opportunity to read news in English about Morocco, where the news industry is heavily dominated by Arabic and French media outlets.“MWN presents a broad, objective perspective on the Middle East. By filling a gap in English-language coverage of such news, MWN significantly contributes to a better understanding of Arab and Middle East politics, culture, and life,” Myers said.The website has been self-funded since inception, leaving the founders paying out-of-pocket to keep the outlet afloat. Three years later, the website is still struggling to find funding which would accommodate paying journalists there by elevating the overall quality of the reporting.Despite a lack of monetary resources, the MWN founders said they hope to find a financial solution and hire more journalists and make the site more professional and sustainable.“The short period that MWN has been in existence is a prime example of how a few people with little resources but with a lot of sincerity, enthusiasm and determination can make a difference and contribute to enrich the media landscape in Morocco and around the world,” Azizi said.

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