Teaching International Journalism, Part 12 -- Musings, Behind the Scenes, Critiques and Inspiration
The above video shows a behind the scenes moment of reporting on a riot. I remember a French tv journalist was hit in the head by a rock.
One thing which led me to rethink international journalism was dealings with editors, far and distant, of which I wrote about on this blog. I hinted at this once when I wasn't sure if I had seen and filmed dead babies or not in a fire while reporting in the Congo. This is the week when I tested my limits in Ivory Coast and decided staying alive was more important to me than continuing to report.
In the above video, I am talking to editors in Washington, D.C., while trying to report in Nigeria at the same time.
Behind the Scenes
I also reflected on some of my most important assignments, such as the Central African Republic, more C.A.R, as well as encountering many guns, AIDS and death while reporting and living in the tropics, failed elections and too many sons of dictators in power, as well as answering a student's question of whether or not journalists help?
In the above video, I show some of the process of reporting as a reporter after landing on an island with a fixer, and trying to get some quotes, audio and video.
I wrote about fixers, not always from paradise, but always so important to foreign reporting.
More recently, in terms of my own "perceptions", I once felt raw following the attack on cartoonists in Paris, and how these cartoonists were for some reason portrayed as deserving to be killed.
I've also critiqued some of my recent favorite documentaries on international journalism and international topics, such as the investigative films in the Congo by Thierry Michel, Point and Shoot by Marshall Curry, which has not always received the best critiques but which I thoroughly enjoyed, Virunga, about gorillas in the Congo which might have been too polished, Where Soldiers Come From, about being embedded with young and scared U.S. soldiers, the hilarious Ambassador about posing as one in Africa to do illegal mining transactions, a riveting film about Uganda's gay community, and the amazingly thought-provoking, animated Waltz with Bashir. I also defended Vice international documentaries in general.
The above video is one I did about international photographer Pete Muller.
Inside Baseball: Writing and Reporting About Other Journalists, Writers and Academics
I've also written about inspirational journalists, writers and academics involved in international and diaspora reporting, such as Ashley Gilbertson, a war photographer, the great Senegalese documentary fiction filmmaker Ousmane Sembene, a recent book by Michael Hastings, about bringing down a general, an article by David Grann about a misguided Yankee fighter in Cuba's revolution, an anthropologist in Mali, two Americans who wrote about the Congo , and an Ethiopian diaspora writer. This is a fascinating book about the responsibilities of a war photographer I once reviewed. I also once profiled photographer Pete Muller before he became an award-winning international photographer (see above).
If you enjoyed this lesson plan, here are all the chapters in My Guide to Teaching International Freelance Journalism.
Part 1, Geographies
Part 2, A Brief History Until Today
Part 3, Before You Go
Part 4, Potential Clients
Part 5, When You First Arrive
Part 6, Surviving the Game
Part 7, Books and Films To Educate and Inspire
Part 8, Perceptions
Part 9, Ethical Considerations
Part 10, Migrations and the Other
Part 11, Going Glocal
Part 12, Musings, Behind the Scenes and Critiques
My Own Journeys
On this blog, I also traced back my own journey in international reporting.
Chapter 1 -- Wanting to Become an International Journalist
Chapter 2 -- Studies, Soccer and Internships
Chapter 3 -- Getting a First Job (with RFI in Paris)
Chapter 4 -- Getting to Indonesia
Chapter 5 -- Surviving a Revolution
Chapter 6 -- Fixers and Fixing
Chapter 7 -- Getting the Dream Job
Chapter 8 -- African Stories