International journalist shares why he selects various workshops for EIJ17

Editor’s note: Muhammad Ittefaq has been asked to share what workshops he will be attending at the EIJ17 conference in California. SPJ is pleased he will be traveling thousands of miles to attend this annual event. His article explains why he has selected  particular workshops and what he hopes to take back home with him after the conference. – Sharon Dunten, SPJ Region 3 Assistant Regional Director

By Muhammad Ittefaq, SPJ International journalist based in Germany

It’s my immense pleasure to attend the enriched workshops at the SPJ Excellence in Journalism Conference (EIJ17) in Anaheim, California in September.

There are dozens of reasons to attend these valuable sessions during this convention. Here are the ones I have selected:

Report on TV and radio with smartphones: Record, edit, and report live!

Apps working in journalismIn this session journalists will learn how to report on smart applications on television and radio. The news production techniques are important for working in broadcasting. In this digital and global world journalists need to do everything by his/her own ability. With fast communication systems, breaking news and follow up stories, journalists and reporters must be technologically equipped to use all these technicalities for news production in media. My need of the hour will be on field reporting. Reporters don’t have much time to edit and publish news stories during the coverage on mobile devices. But with other smart applications (apps), you are able to publish stories directly onto the internet.

Boost your career, personal brand and impact using digital media

Digital footprintWe are living in the age of internet. Social media has become the alternative source of information for millions on the internet and social media users worldwide. Billions of the users are present on the internet and most likely they spend one to two hours daily on social networks. Fortunately, social media platform journalists can use and get real time feedback from their audience. Social media has become an entity and has the capacity to get the information quickly. But journalists do not only brand themselves on social media. Journalist can be trusted whenever they reveal scandals and political corruption. Social media is a platform, journalist can get real time feedback and get in touch with audience, which make them more credible about their news sources. 

Journalists must be active on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and SnapChat to engage and update their fans on these pages on different issues. We can reach billions of the users through #hashtags on Twitter and many other social networks.

Social Discovery: How to Know You’re Listening to Audiences Effectively

Who is your audienceDoes feedback matter for journalists? The answer is certainly yes. Reporters and media persons cannot improve themselves without feedback. But it can also engage more and more public to the issue. This is why I would like to attend the workshop of “Social Discovery: How to Know You’re Listening to Audiences Effectively”. To listen to the audience makes journalists credible, well known, and they can watch closely the topics trending. Through effectively listening to your audience, journalists can know their interests and what people think when highlighting an issue. Sometimes journalists ignore their feedback and audience interest and just report on routine issues. This is not the job of journalists. One must keep an eye on the interest of the audience. What are the issues they want to see and read? In this workshop, we will be able to learn to think out of the box and identify an audience and listen to them closely.

Protect your data and communications in the age of investigative journalism

Data protectionMost importantly in working in investigative journalism is the source. Journalists do not disclose their sources that may include secret information while doing an investigation on scandals and corruption of elite people of the government. In this technical advancement, my need for this hour is to be educated why journalists need to protect their information and keep secret to protect themselves as well as the sources. Chances may be high for possible electronic espionage or getting hacked from unknown hackers. Journalists’ devices including mobile phone, laptop, recorder and other electronic gadgets must be protected. The use of this sophisticated technology is mandatory to make sure journalistic integrity is protected, particularly during sensitive stories and data which they are working on.

Climate change
NASA photo

The changing climate, both literal and figurative

This session is one of the important session for climate reporting and environmental communication. Climate change is one of the most important issue of the society nowadays in a global world. The recent development in the Paris Climate Accord which is key to proceed further in this development issue. The withdrawal of Trump administration from the Accord is also terrifying and worrying for the rest of the world. The USA is one of the biggest producers of air pollution and reporting on this issue is important. Specialized environmental journalists are reporting and developing projects to report on environmental and climate change everyday.

Covering Violence Against Native Women and Children

In addition, human development issues and sustainable development reporting have less media coverage as compared to political and economic topics all over the world. To cover the human development issue is not only considerably less news value to the editors and channels but also less important for them to get audience attention towards certain political issues of the society. Thousands of people are being abused, millions are jobless and thousands don’t have shelter and food but media does not cover these important critical issues.

naive american woman and child
ncdsv photo

In the workshop of “Covering Violence against Native Women and Children,” RedCorn and Black will highlight the importance of the issue and coverage on violence against children and women. The coverage on sexual, mental, physical and psychological abuse is worthy and crucial topics to cover and report nowadays. There are a lot of resources in this regard to get rid of domestic and other violence through different help lines and resources.

Why People Don’t Trust the Media — And What We Can Do About It

Trust is a complex concept. It’s tricky to define in a few words, “what is trust?” In the information age and internet, it is hard to believe and deny the facts. Trust on the media system is well-researched and a well-established concept since the last decade. It seems that the more audiences get information through several channels the more confusing the information can be.

Turst puzzleThe debate now is how journalists and media outlets establish their trust among the mass audience globally. I believe, in this productive session we will be enlightened about all these issues which media facing today, while also getting more and more viewers and readers. The session “Why People Don’t Trust the Media — And What We Can Do About It” will emphasize and elaborate this issues specifically in this regard.

Muhammad Ittefaq
Muhammad Ittefaq

Muhammad Ittefaq is an international SPJ member based in Germany. Ittefaq is a regular contributor for SizingUpTheSouth and SPJ as he communicates about his life as an international journalist. He was educated in Pakistan and continues his journalism education in Germany.