The Broadcasting Board of Governor’s Office of Strategy and Development was asked to chair sessions during the recent “Public Affairs and the Media Symposium” held by AFRICOM in Garmisch, Germany…
From Brian Armstead, Development Officer, BBG Office of Strategy and Development
As part of its regular and ongoing commitment to journalism training around the world, the BBG and Voice of America took part in a conference sponsored by United States Africa Command (AFRICOM).
BBG Development Officer Brian Armstead and Voice of America Pentagon Correspondent Luis Ramirez trained dozens of military and defense reporters on topics including:
* The Relationship Between the Military and Media in Africa,
* Understanding the Military Hierarchy in Africa,
* WWWW Basics: Outlining The Story – Who, What, When and Where,
* Ethics in Conflict Zone/War Reporting,
* Reporting from Danger Zones – How to Stay Alive, and
* Sources of Information for Conflict Zone Reporters
BBG/VOA training focused on understanding the military structure in Africa, creating storyboards for reports before heading into hostile zones, ethics in conflict zone reporting, and how to get in to get a story — and get out alive. Beyond the broad topics, there were discussions on equipment, basic first aid, and how to negotiate in order to save one’s life.
With the Reporting From Danger Zones as a priority session, trainers also focused on the special risks female journalists face when reporting from hostile areas.
Resources included visuals and recommendations from the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders. Those interested should also investigate the “Electronic Media Guide to War Reporting,” published by the University of South Florida, as recommended by Jim Randle of the VOA Newsroom.
VOA’s Ramirez suggested forming a military reporter’s networking group. The group indeed formed as the African Defense and Security Journalist’s Association, with interim leadership by three journalists present at the Symposium.
The Symposium, which ran August 27-30, was attended by more tha 60 representatives from AFRICOM, including military and civilians; military officers and journalists from across Africa; and civilians from other USG Agencies, including State, Defense and BBG.