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Foreign Reporting Workshop Help

Hi everybody,
I’m working on developing a Foreign Reporting Workshop for Quebec Writers Federation and was wondering if I could tap into your collective wisdom for some suggestions. The workshops usually go on for couple of hours once a week for eight weeks. I’m thinking of gearing up my workshop for people who’ve already done some journalism work (print, broadcast or photography) and would like to start doing some foreign reporting. I’m a very hands-on person and I don’t have a lot patience for theoretical blubber. So along with things like teaching how to research a foreign assignment (Í‘m constantly surprised how little some of my colleagues know about places they get parachuted into) I’m thinking about devoting some classes to subjects like "All you need to know about fixers and translators," "Getting your story out: laptops, satphones and other useful devices," "Personal safety: Peel those fruits and on virtues of Kevlar and ceramic plates," and etc.
So here’s my question for you, "What are the few things you wish you knew before you embarked on your first and subsequent foreign assignments?"
Are there any must things you would include in a foreign reporting course? Also are there any specific things that apply to photographers? 

by Levon Sevunts at 2005-10-12 10:49:34 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Montreal , Canada | Bookmark | | Report spam→

You should contact the Rory Peck Trust here in the UK


It’s one of the Worlds best sources for advice on journalist safety and media training, specifically in hostile regions of the World – which may not necessarily mean armed conflict…for example, I’d say the Pakistan earthquake area is looking pretty hostile at present, with disease risk and torrential rain.

One of the things I’d like to highlight is concerning fixers etc. I think we need to be mindful that very often, photographers and journos use fixers who don’t have the relative luxury of leaving the area when the assignment is done.

We should be aware of our ethical responsibility to them as ‘fellow travellers’ with us on the assignment, which goes beyond just paying them a decent dayrate.

So for example – if you need to be strapping on the Kevlar…make sure the fixer has a vest too. Drivers need feeding and decent rest while they’re shuttling you up and down terrible roads. And make sure you have medical stuff for everyone.

My fixer got hit by a car once in Albania…nothing too serious, I had a first aid kit so it was all OK. But the incident gave me a scare because I realised if it had been worse, I’d have been out of my depth and would have failed in my responsibility to the guy.

So I obtained hostile environment first aid training via the Rory Peck Trust.

I’m sure they would be happy to give you advice on setting up your valuable course in Canada.

by [former member] | 13 Oct 2005 03:10 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

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Levon Sevunts, Writer/Journalist/Produce Levon Sevunts
Montreal , Canada


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