2020-12-12 Uncategorized0

 

RMD

Rozana Media Foundation has signed  a memorandum of understanding with the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) on establishing professional cooperation and publishing of joint investigative work, in addition to developing cooperative coordination in the field of training, research and networking.

 

This step came to reinforce the Foundation’s goal of supporting investigative journalism, as Rozana has participated in Syria in-Depth project funded by the Guardian Foundation and the International Media Support Corporation (IMS) over a period of three years. The Foundation is also working in partnership with the Syrian Investigative Reporting for Accountability Journalism (SIRAJ) in the production of investigative projects and podcasts.

 

Rozana was the only Syrian media outlet to participate in the Panama investigations/ papers, along with more than 100 partners and other media outlets around the world, to collect and search for leaked documents that revealed prominent corruption files involving politicians and states’ leaders, in addition to taking part in the investigations of the “Russian Laundromat” and “European weapons” along with Arab and international media institutions.

 

ARIJ is the first media network in the Arab world to pioneer investigative journalism in the Arab region following a modernist and professional approach.

 

Rozana Media Foundation started in the French capital Paris mid-July 2013, to open later in 2014 a program studio in the Turkish city of Gaziantep in 2014.

 

Since its inception, the Foundation has launched a radio station that broadcasts programs online via its website and Smartphone application, as well as FM waves in Turkey and northern Syria.

 

Rozana presents an important set of investigations and journalistic reports on its official website and social media platforms, in parallel with providing in-depth and entertaining topics both in its programs that interest and affect the Syrian society, in addition to covering aspects of life in Syria with high sense of objectivity and professionalism, away from any political or religious agendas.

 

Rozana focuses while preparing its programs on the Syrian citizens, at homeland and abroad, primarily on the social level and the changes that have occurred in the Syrians’ lives in general, whether at home or in the different countries of asylum.

 

Rozana established its training centre (RMD) in 2018, whereby it works to qualify trainers and cooperate with them to train a large number of Syrian journalists and citizen journalists.

 

The Foundation has been working recently on a “training project targeting media institutions in Yemen” focused on training four Yemeni radio stations, in order to produce humanitarian and community content that gives priority to civilians and allows them to express themselves, interact and benefit from various media platforms in improving their daily living conditions and create a better future for themselves.

 

ARIJ is the first network in the Arab region dedicated to instilling investigative journalism in Arab media in accordance with an advanced and new methodology in newsrooms.

 

ARIJ’s mission is to raise the standards of investigative journalism, as an essential component of free societies based on documenting facts and conducting in-depth investigations to search for facts from multiple sources.

 

ARIJ has been a guarantor of transparency, accountability and provided a platform for a diversity of views and perspectives over the last decade.

 

 

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2020-12-12 Uncategorized0

RMD

“Prisoners Without Medicine” is a Yemeni film about the suffering of Yemeni prisoners during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The film was chosen to compete for the Qumra Academy Award at the Yemeni Film Days Festival. It was produced with a grant from the International Center of Journalists (ICFJ) and under the sponsorship of the Rozana Media Development.

 

The director and producer of the Yemeni film,  journalist Muhammad Amin, was awarded a grant from the ICFJ, which provided financial support for media projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region).

 

The film presented an accurate depiction of the Yemeni prisoners’ health condition during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The International Journalists’ Network (IJNet) contracted with Rozana Media Development. Our colleague, Mais Qat oversaw the training and production of a set of films and stories supported by data and visual storytelling.

 

This coverage was distinguished by in-depth stories related to the coronavirus epidemic in Lebanon, Yemen and Sudan that have been published last month.

 

The film will be screened on the seventh day of the Yemeni Film Days Festival, organised by Qumra Academy in its first session.

 

The Academy was established in 2017 with the aim of boosting and developing the skills of Yemeni filmmakers.


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2020-12-01 Uncategorized0

RMD

Trainer at the Rozana Media Development Center (RMD), Journalist Mais Katt, continues to train journalists from the Middle East and North Africa with the aim of honing their skills in digital journalism.

Among the most important skills Katt provided are news verification methods, storytelling tools, digital safety for journalists, methods of public engagement and other topics that contribute to the development of journalistic work.

After the first webinar held on 12 November as part of the new training sessions launched by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) on mobile and video journalism, the centre organised a second webinar on Thursday 19 November which lasted for two hours and witnessed the participation and interaction of 370 journalists from the Middle East and North Africa.

During the workshop entitled How to build your visual story…start with the idea and do not stop after publishing, Katt touched on several points, including the different stages of forming the idea, choosing the angle (storyboard), interviews, the use of music, the publishing plan, as well as the continuation of the story events after publishing the video.

 

At the start of the training session, Katt indicated that the visual content industry has greatly developed in recent years and visual stories are reaching a greater number of audiences, which brings to the fore the importance of learning video story production skills nowadays.

 

The trainer explained that the visual story producers may use both video and pictures in their reports and that he/she can add animation and graphic elements to help the audience understand the content of the story.

 

Katt brought up some of the questions that journalists should raise during the first stage of the work and before resuming the production process, such as: “What is the story you want to tell? How is it structured? Who are the heroes of the story? Who is your target audience in general?” Where will the material be published?

 

Journalists should be as concise as possible when writing the text of the visual story, said Katt, who provided several examples of distinguished graphic stories that the participants admired and asked for links to re-watch them.

 

The journalist also stressed the importance of analyzing the idea, in case it carries a new and creative concept, and that journalists should sense if the editor would agree to working on it. She also urged the participants to present their ideas to the editor in an accurate and concise manner and use clear terminology.

 

Moving on to outlining the storyboard plan, Katt explained that drawing an outline to sort out the visualization of the video story contributes to producing organised ideas.

 

She presented a model for a work plan and explained how to use it, noting that “when journalists go to filming locations, they may encounter surprising changes in the filming plan which they must adjust to, however, these surprises will be less stressful and easy to overcome when the work is planned in advance.”

 

While talking about methods to conduct interviews, Katt recommended that journalists ask the guests open-ended questions and in different ways in order to get clear answers.

 

Similarly, Katt highlighted the importance of making use of the power of music, that is, to use appropriate music while producing the story, instead of integrating “monotonous music all through the video.”

 

Finally, when the publishing stage comes, “the publishing plan and video promotion are almost as important as content production,” said Katt, explaining the need for post-publication follow up, that is, “the stories that take place after the publication of the video.”

 

The trainer continued: “Many stories do not end after the video is broadcasted, as publishing the story may bring about changes to people’s lives,” and at the end of the session, Katt suggested that journalists should produce new stories that highlight the changes that happened because of the story after being published.

 

It is noteworthy that the training sessions were held remotely, as an extension of the training of journalists in the Middle East and North Africa within the “Social Media Platforms Solutions” program, which was launched in partnership with the Facebook Journalism Project and in cooperation with the Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum held by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the International Journalists’ Network (IJNet).


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2020-11-19 Uncategorized0

RMD

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the Facebook Journalism Project have launched a series of training webinars in Arabic on video and mobile journalism. Trainer Mais Katt from the Rozana training centre organised two workshops out of six dedicated to the programme.

 

These workshops will be held over a period of six weeks, from 12 November to December 2020. Participants in the live webinar sessions via Zoom will receive a certificate in video journalism.

 

The webinars are part of the ICFJ’s expansion of its Social Media Solutions program, which aims at helping journalists in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region) hone their skills in digital journalism, information verification methods, key storytelling tools, journalists’ digital safety, approaches to engage the public, and other topics that contribute to the development of journalistic work.

 

Journalists participating in these webinars will be able to define the basics of visual storytelling, become familiar with video-editing and mobile phone-related tools, in addition to learn more about the best ways to broadcast live videos on social media and other digital platforms.

 

List of training sessions’ dates and addresses:

 

Webinar 1: Use your mobile phone as a professional video journalist

 

On 12 November, Syrian journalist Mais Katt initiated the first two-hour webinar of the ICFJ’ new series of workshops on mobile and video journalism.

 

The session was attended by 418 participants from the Middle East and North Africa. Thus, journalists and activists asked Katt many questions and wrote comments, to which the trainer responded by providing the most pertinent tips and instructions.

 

Mais Katt, trainer and journalist at the Rozana Media Development Center (RMD), initiated the first training session entitled “Use your mobile…Use it as a professional video journalist from now on,” with delivering an introduction to video journalism, including a summary of the early beginnings of this journalistic discipline.

 

Katt tackled two main topics, namely, the forms of video content that can be produced online and via social media platforms, and key methods for producing high quality visual content.

 

Katt pointed out that “the emergence of video journalism and the increase in the use of mobile phone cameras to film news stories in recent years reflect the importance of new skills which transcend traditional methods*such as writing and interviewing” for today’s journalists.

 

She referred to the “enormous change in global media organisations,” encouraging the webinar participants to develop their skills to keep pace with this evolution and continue to produce outstanding journalistic work.

 

In this regard, journalist Katt also indicated that the behavioural change in the audience and the way of receiving information, stressing the need for journalists to be aware of these changes to adapt their work accordingly.

 

She explained that “a person who follows the news on his cell phone is different from another who reads the news in a newspaper, which necessarily affects the method of content creation.”

 

According to Katt, “70 percent of the audience do not read texts, articles and reports word for word, but scan instead, and that is why journalists have to use fewer words and write in a clear way, in addition to adding subtitles.”

 

During the webinar, Katt presented different models of visual content, including live streaming, silent video, info video, 360-degree video, longitudinal video and social media stories, in addition to providing example for these different types of reports, pointing out that producing high quality reports does not require the use of a sophisticated mobile phone.

 

In the second part, Katt clarified the basic elements of the video story, including the subject and the idea, and gave tips on how to choose the idea, while recommending careful selection, thorough research and a good drafting of the story before moving on to shooting.

 

Speaking about the importance of the emotional impact of the story, Katt stressed the vitality of having a strong beginning and including the most impactful shots at the start of the video, saying that “the first few moments prompt the viewer to decide whether to continue watching the video or not.”

 

The third and most pertinent element of video journalism is sound, and here the trainer highlighted the importance to preserve the surrounding sounds and use the commentator’s voice only when “it is necessary and useful,” noting “the importance of having a human being or a group of people as the heroes of the video story.”

 

After talking about the importance of sound and ways to record and integrate voices in the video, Katt tackled the focal aspects of visual appeal and visual sequence.

It is noteworthy that these training sessions are held remotely, as an extension of the training of journalists in the Middle East and North Africa within the “Social Media Platforms Solutions” program, which was launched in partnership with the Facebook Journalism Project and in cooperation with the Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum held by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the International Journalists’ Network (IJNet).


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2020-11-11 Uncategorized0

RMD

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) offers a series of journalistic trainings in Arabic on social media solutions and mobile journalism.

 

Our colleague, Mais Katt, of the Rozana Development Centre, will provide two of the six consecutive trainings. Journalists who attend the six “webinars” will receive a certificate of completion of training, provided by the ICFJ.

 

The training targets journalists in the MENA region, and lasts six weeks, from November to December, in the form of weekly webinars for the specified period.

 

Prominent journalists and experts from the Arab World will participate in the training to provide a summary of their knowledge and expertise through educational interactive sessions on journalistic solutions on social media, and video and mobile journalism, which has become of utmost importance for Journalists to reach different segments of the audience, and using mobile phones to create content, as the vast majority of users watch it on mobiles as well.

 

Do not miss the opportunity to attend the training and obtain the certificate, all you have to do is fill in the following form.

 

A member of the ICFJ will contact you with details on how to access and participate in the webinars.



2020-09-27 Uncategorized0

RMD

In a collaboration between the French Agency for Media Development (CFI), and the Humanitarian Aid and Journalism organization(AHJ), and with the support of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. a virtual seminar is organized to launch a project “Makanati”.

 

The “Makanati” project encourages a wider participation of women in Iraqi and Yemeni societies and a better understanding by the local population of the challenges they face, particularly through the production and dissemination of information about women.

 

It also aims to raise awareness among journalists and future journalists of the subject of gender equality in the media and women’s rights.

 

In 28-29 September 2020 ،The “Makanati” Seminar consists of 4 sessions, on Zoom platform in French and Arabic with English and Kurdish translations.

 

Save your place

 

The journalist, Lina Al-Shawaf, will participate in moderating one of the discussion sessions in the seminar, namely: “Media and Gender in Iraq and Yemen: Analysis of the situation”.

 

The main objective of this seminar, is to create a constructive dialogue between 100 journalists and experts in media and gender, as well as with activists and students in journalism, or representatives of civil society organizations and governmental organizations about the current role of women in media in Iraq and Yemen today.

 

The seminar will examine the latest developments, difficulties and challenges that are encountered, and will shed light on existing initiatives as well as sharing concepts and building a common vision of the “place” women should have in the Media in their respective countries, and within their specific contexts.


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2020-06-16 Uncategorized0

RMD

Syrian journalist Mais Katt, director of the digital department at Rozana Radio, provided advice related to digital storytelling directed at investigative journalists during their coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Katt explained that in the era of digital devices and the Internet, “it has become idle for journalists to present media materials in a traditional way.” Therefore, journalists today have to think of tools that enable them to present their content in innovative ways that involve the audience in the story.

According to Katt, the coronavirus crisis has been accompanied by an abundance of information, which is rather complex and sometimes contradictory; this is why sentences alone cannot communicate all data and the journalist needs to use innovative media tools to present information to the public.

Digital storytelling is especially important in covering wars, natural disasters, epidemics and diseases, and today, the coronavirus crisis, while its tools help journalists attain their goals in a much better way, either through awareness-raising messages, the representation of numbers and statistics, and even by means of documentation, detection and tracking.

Digital storytelling (also known as visual storytelling) is the method of transforming written stories into interactive and visual digital stories. This technique is new as it became practised in the media field less than ten years ago. There are some platforms in the Arab World that use digital storytelling, such as Inkyfada from Tunisia, InfoTimes from Egypt, Drawer from Lebanon and Rozana from Syria, in addition to others.

Types of digital storytelling

A journalist needs to present information in different formats in order to make it easier for the audience to understand and possibly enjoy watching. There are different tools that suit the different capabilities and skills of the audience, i.e. some tools suit technology experts and other ones are designed for the younger generations that lack advanced knowledge about technological gadgets.

Digital storytelling is a mode of narration made specifically for digital platforms such as those on the web and found on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube, including all forms of “stories” and mobile games. Hence, these digital modes are difficult to integrate into traditional media such as print newspapers, radio stations and or television. 

As for the easy-to-use modes, Katt referred to still images, motion images, 360 angle images, 3D images on Facebook, videos, 360 angle videos, drone camera videos, live broadcasts, interactive maps, infographics, video graphics, and motion graphics, in addition to animations, polls, and other digital modes that we can use. Of course, each template has a special style of narration that serves the purpose of communicating information in a different way than other forms.

Interactive digital storytelling is a narration mode that is based on telling the journalistic story and dealing with the audience as a recipient, reader, viewer, or actor in the story. Interacting with the story is either by clicking on the like button, sharing the post, commenting, clicking on the video and watching it, continuing to read the post, browsing the interactive map, answering questions or sharing a questionnaire, or other options if any.

According to Katt, interaction is prior or takes place automatically through “crowd sourcing”, whereby the journalist obtains the elements of his/her visual story from the audience, by asking them for pictures on a specific topic, for example, or cooperating with them in building the story; and thus the audience becomes a key party in structuring the story.

Examples of interactive digital storytelling

– An interactive file produced by colleague Ahmed Awwad from Egypt, Egyptian newspaper Al Mal News

– An investigation on Rozana website entitled Coronavirus in Syria … Distance education is a fake procedure!

– An Investigate on Rozana website entitled Syrian IDP’s: We cannot buy detergents … Our tents are made of garbage

– An interactive map on Al-Mayadeen website How the world faces coronavirus with hope

– A virtual 360 angle image:  A virtual image of Al-Oqab Prison in Syria

– 360-degree video produced by BBC, filming Mosul in 360-degree technology

– A website site that provides interactive coronavirus tests, a virtual test — Palestine Remix

– “Cognitive test” cookies in a Facebook story about coronavirus, an interactive game

– A story about George Floyd on the CBC News account on Snapchat — the story of George Floyd

– Infographic – Info video

-Motion graphics- Animation example

-Interactive digital games, the story of the Iranian journalist

What skills do you need to have in order to tell a good digital story?

It is important to know that digital storytelling is based on creating content and is not limited to a set of technical tools that can be used to tell a story. Also, having access to research and tracking information tools is essential in this process, in addition to the ability to be creative and resourceful in telling the story of your investigation, as well as to being aware of the latest technical tools available. 

Steps to produce a multimedia material using a correct language

First, choose the angle with a strategy to build the story, and then define your sources and the type of materials that you can obtain, including sounds, pictures, video, or others, if any.

Second, assess your team’s technical capabilities appropriately, set the cost, create a plan, then develop it while building your story in its written form, in addition to making sure that the work is done within an atmosphere of team spirit, and finally enjoy the result.

Third, when drafting sentences accompanying photos, videos, and infographics, make sure to always abbreviate and choose words that are direct “like an arrow”, as Mis Katt puts it. Also, stay away from demonstratives, relative nouns, and long, complex sentences.

User experience is key to the success of the interactive story

The user experience varies according to the target group, there is no single measurement that fits all groups, and based on this point, we must be keen to provide a digital experience that can be understood and interacted with, in a way that the user understands the way to watch, enjoy and interact with the material automatically without explanation or complication. An example of a suitable user experience is presented by Inkyfada, and another example of a specific target group is the article about European Weapons. 

Tools you can use:

– Websites that provide digital storytelling services: Shorthand, the example of “The grooms of cyberspace”

– Digital services website ex.co, an example from City dog website

– Google Maps services, Google online training on the use of Google Maps

– Freebpik website offers free photos, montages and graphic elements

Pixlr which is an online photo editing website

-Squaready app allows writing on photos and converting videos and images into GIFs.

– Enapseed free mobile photo editing and effects app

– Atavist allows you to create a free account and publish directly on the platform



2020-05-02 Uncategorized0

RMD

The project includes a ten-month free online training program, which aims to hone the professional skills of journalists and enable them to enhance their ability to produce professional content.

 

The project targets journalists and citizen journalists working in the Arab region (Syria, Yemen, Gaza, Sudan), given the difficulty of receiving journalistic training via methods other than communicating via the Internet.

 

The training program consists of 11 courses, the topics of which revolve around on the basics of journalistic thinking, media ethics and principles, risk assessment and security conditions, as well as research methodologies, news production, and digital journalism.

 

The training will also focus on creative journalistic writing, visual narration, interview techniques, publishing on social media, and constructive journalism, in addition to transitional justice and journalism, and journalism and trauma.

 

Rozana Media Foundation will participate in the project by producing an educational animation video collection, which helps to clarify the content of the journalistic training exercises, and provides information in a smooth and understandable way for the participating students.

 

Rozana team has previously produced animation and motion graphics in partnership with media outlets and international organizations such as UNICEF, BBC Media Action and Relief International.

 

Rozana has also organized, since 2014, many workshops and training sessions for Syrian and Arab journalists and citizens, under the supervision of professional Syrian, Arab and foreign journalists.

 

It is noteworthy that, in 2014, the Rozana Media Foundation established a training center, which is equipped with the necessary tools and instruments to realize audio-visual and written media content productions.

 

Additionally, the foundation publishes media content through its website and radio broadcast (FM) and online.

 

To apply for the training program, please click here.



2019-02-24 Uncategorized0

RMD

Rozana Media Foundation started working on a project, along with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), to support Syrian women and girls, and provide them with media platforms; a space through which they can voice their concerns.

 

Rozana and the UNDEF’s joint project aims to promote the role of women in local communities and support their rights in order to increase their participation in social, political, and cultural life in Syria nowadays and in the future.

 

Rozana will be responsible for producing information and press materials that give voice to these women through all its platforms, highlighting the way Syrian females contributed to the production process.  Thereby, the foundation will provide a large and free media space for all of these women to express their opinions and talk about their stories and experiences in different aspects of their lives.

 

UNDEF supports projects that voice out civil society, promote the rule of law and human rights, and encourage all groups to contribute and participate in democratic processes. Established in 2005 by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Fund is the United Nations’ only project with the word “democracy” displayed in its name.  It is the only body whose main purpose is to support democracy through empowering civil society. The fund is also one of the UN’s most recent projects.



2019-02-04 Uncategorized0

 

RMD

The scandal of what has become known as the “Russian money laundering” is unfolding day after day, thanks to the investigation of 30 journalists, including seven Arab journalists, of Arab companies into the “money laundering” files since it started in 2014.

The investigation followed 13 out of 150 UAE companies whose names were listed among thousands of companies which have been identified as being involved in financial corruption and illegal bank transfers in 96 countries.

In this investigation, we monitored the transfers of the 13 companies and their activities, which amounted to $ 70 million, and we made contacts with them in direct encounters.

 

Since 2014, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has published a series of investigations in collaboration with the Russian Novaya Gazeta newspaper to uncover the largest  money-laundering operation in history, $ 21 billion, for the benefit of Russian figures and companies. The money of fake transactions that managed money laundering was transferred to 5140 companies through 732 banks around the world.

 

The UAE National Bank of Dubai (NBD) is among these banks and it is responsible for suspicious bank transfers worth $ 357 million. When Arabian Business magazine in the UAE asked the bank manager about these facts, he admitted it, but he said he was victim and he did not know about it. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) was also suspected of passing bank transfers in exchange for money laundering transactions worth more than $ 26 million. When the interrogator asked for a reaction, he did not respond.

 

The investigator found that UAE companies received remittances from convicted Russian companies in exchange for the export of goods which are not related to the company’s declared activity. It also revealed relations between some of these companies and Russian companies and departments, as well as the involvement of some companies in corruption files and major financial scandals, such as Panama documents scandal.

 

To read the full investigation, click here


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