Kurdish Digital Media Workshop: Day 6

Kurdish Digital Media Workshop DAY 6: December 20, 2020

Lesson 1: Redur Dijle, “Reporting for Kurdish News Agencies”

The history of news reporting started with the urge to share feelings and opinions expressed through language. Today it has evolved into a profession, with the purpose of delivering the events of the day by taking a position and reporting it through language. Redur Dijle, the editor at MA, gave us a glance into the life of a journalist working for a news agency.

Redur says that agencies gained popularity at the turn of the twentieth century. In 1835, Charles Havas opened the first news agency in France. News wrote at the time only interested diplomats and bankers. Fast forward to 2020 and nearly every person keeps up with the day’s events one way or another.

With the rise of social media, news agencies have become a more reliable means of consuming news and news stories. Redur says it became obvious for news agencies to also make their material available on online platforms.

The availability of news available online has strengthened the relationship people have with news agencies and journalists. “News agencies continue to remain relevant because they produce reliable news stories through qualified reporters and journalists,” says Redur.

According to Redur, the mark of a successful news journalist is one who is always alert and aware. This means the person is always ready to break a news story. He says reporting for news agencies requires a lot of articulation and quick-thinking in order to be able to break the story first.

Reporting, like many professions, is also technical in nature. Redur provided some of the news reporting’s technical criteria. It’s imperative that the journalist be able to write clearly, the premise of the entire job is writing. Poor writing abilities can lead readers to infer incorrect opinions and lead to confusion. 

The report itself must be clear in meaning and grammatically sound. The last thing you want to do is to spend hours researching, collecting information from sources, and writing out your report only for it to be plagued by grammatical errors. This is not only devastating for the reputation of the journalist but also the agency. The prestige of the agency falls when it produces sub-par content.

Headlines or ‘FLASH’ news has to be written with meticulous care. It acts as an advertisement to draw consumers to read, listen, or watch the news story from that particular agency. The title for this type of news story should be contained to eight words at the maximum and free of personal opinions and comments.

It’s important to remain neutral while telling a news story and including both sides of the story only strengthens the legitimacy of the writer and the words written. The objective of a news story is to report facts. If personal opinions are included it will create an unsolicited perception in the mind of the consumer on that particular issue or event.

Lastly, the decision to publish the article lays in the legitimacy of the sources used to tell the story. Without reliable and trustworthy sources, the entire story holds no value for the consumer. It’s also important to note that if the safety of a source is in question, it’s the responsibility of the journalist to keep them confidential, Redur says.

Lesson 2: Mahmut Bozarslan, “How to Live Stream on Social Media”

If you ask Mahmut Bozarslan, contributor for AFP and VOA, who would live stream video online he’ll tell you there are two reasons for someone to do so. First, companies and corporations using it as a form of marketing and advertising. Second, individuals using it as a means of self-promotion for their skills, opinions, and/or abilities.

Just like creating a Podcast, live stream video also requires a course of action and a well-defined agenda. Mahmut says to ask yourself, “why will someone watch me?” This is why it’s imperative the topic of the live stream creates enough interest for viewers to watch.

The next crucial thing to pay attention to is your appearance, your demeanor, your surroundings, and your internet connection.

Firstly, ensure that you’re properly dressed for your topic of discussion. Depending on your live stream, you may want to dress formally in business attire or be more informal with casual clothing. And whether you’re indoors or outdoors becomes a factor in your choice of clothing as well.

Then you should be aware of how you use your body language when you speak. Make sure you try to keep neutral and non-threatening body language otherwise you risk losing your viewers. Your demeanor should also take into account your tone of voice and the pace in which you speak – keep it appropriate for your guest and viewers.

Lastly, you should keep in mind your location. Make sure wherever you broadcast your live stream the background or things behind you contribute to creating interest for your viewers to watch you. And be mindful of your internet connection, says Mahmut, “the last thing you want to have is a poor connection and that’s all your viewers remember from your live stream.”

He says to help with nervous, you can keep a notepad or notebook in your hands to try and distract you from being completely aware of your vulnerability, but “never read directly from your notes because it conveys self-doubt in your chosen topic and makes it appear as if you’re not confident in your abilities.” Not only does it help with nerves, he says, it’ll also keep you on track in terms of your agenda for speaking.

If you are not prepared with the proper technical equipment then obviously there is no way you can successfully broadcast a live stream video. Things to have when you intend to live stream Mahumut says is an electronic device – this could be a laptop, smartphone, or tablet; a tripod for smaller devices so you may position them and be more mobile; a professional-grade microphone; and a reliable internet connection.

During the live stream, introduce your topic, and if you have a guest speaker make sure you give them a proper introduction as well. Once you feel confident about what you’ve said, you can turn to your speaker and have them begin their part of the interaction or you can begin asking them questions, says Mahmut.

Remember, when you ask a question you have to give the other person an appropriate amount of time to respond. However, keep in mind if they seem to be going off on a tangent or if you notice an error in what they themselves missed while speaking – you should interject to make the proper correction(s), he says.

Written by Veen Sulaivany with Contributions from Defne Mercen Hocaoglu

Edited by Murat Bayram

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