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2020-12-20 Uncategorized0

RMD

The digital department director at Radio Rozana Mais Katt continues to train journalists from the Middle East and North Africa region in order to hone their skills in digital journalism. Among the most important skills that Katt offered were methods of verifying information, storytelling tools, journalist’s cybersecurity, ways to engage the audience, and other skills that contribute to developing the journalistic material.

 

After the first webinar that was held on 12 November as part of the International Center for Journalists’ new training series on mobile and video journalism, which was inaugurated by the Syrian journalist Mais Katt, director of the digital department at Radio Rozana, who provided instructions and methods for journalists on how to use mobile phones to produce press content, the International Center for Journalists organized a second two-hour webinar on Thursday 19 November, with the participation and interaction of 370 journalists from the Middle East and North Africa.

 

During the training 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, the 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 the visual stories are reaching a greater number of audiences, which brings to the fore the importance of learning video story production skills nowadays. 

 

Katt 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 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 it. She also urged the participants in the session 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 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 how 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 “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 publication.” 

 

She continued: “Many stories do not stop 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). The training workshops will be held weekly and will include interactive lectures with highly experienced trainers. 

 

Mais Katt is a journalist and expert in digital journalism and co-founder of Radio Rozana and the Rozana Media Development Center (RMD). Katt has trained many Syrian and Arab journalists and gave lectures on digital journalism and the digital and visual narration of journalistic stories. She has also worked in the field of investigative journalism with Arab and international institutions to prepare in-depth projects focusing on the Middle East and Syria in particular.


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2020-12-16 Uncategorized0

RMD

Rozana’s trainers continue, together with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the Facebook Journalism Project, to provide training for journalists in the Middle East and North Africa, mainly on video and mobile journalism. The workshops were held in the Arabic language and lasted for six weeks.

 

After the first webinar held on 12 November as part of the ICFJ’s training sessions on mobile and video journalism, which was initiated by the trainer at the Rozana Media Development Center (RMD) Syrian journalist Mais Katt, who provided instructions and methods for journalists on how to use mobile phones to produce journalistic content, the ICFJ organised a second webinar on Thursday, 19 November that lasted for two hours and witnessed the participation and interaction of 370 journalists from the Middle East and North Africa.

The fourth session was held for two hours on 3 December, with the participation of 311 journalists and students, during which Darwish provided practical advice on mobile journalism and information on the tools used to prepare journalistic reports using mobile phones, while stressing the importance of paying attention to sound quality when preparing reports with a mobile phone and recommended using an external microphone to record the audio.

Darwish mentioned a number of microphones that can be used to enhance and purify sound, including the ones used in interviews, such as the BOYA wireless microphone, which he referred to as a good option because of its capacity to record good quality sound at a moderate cost.

Darwish also recommended the Rode microphone, which is his favourite and the one he used to produce the report that won the Thomson Foundation Award. However, the trainer noted that this microphone is a bit more expensive, while presenting a number of devices suitable for the different conditions of the shooting location. Hence, in case the journalist could not use the external microphone, Darwish recommended using the phone’s speaker to record.

The journalist also referred to the importance of using a tripod when starting to shoot the story and stressed that the first step is to choose the right phone mount, while presenting some of the recommended tripods with mentioning their advantages and other details regarding the devices’ weight, capacities and prices.

He indicated that the heavy weight of some good tripods constitutes a disadvantage, unless the devices can offer more stability, in addition to introducing the Flexible Tripod, which is a small rubber stand that is both flexible and affordable; in addition to recommending the Manfrotto and the Regetek tripods.

After introducing the aforementioned tools, Darwish went on to talk about other gadgets used for motion photography, noting that using these tools are easy, useful, and allow the journalist to take photos like a professional cinematographer.

He explained that scenes captured using the motion tools are usually horizontal shots, saying that the latest versions of Osmo Mobile also allow taking vertical shots.

Darwish presented devices manufactured by Zhiyun and Osmo companies and talked about their capabilities, features and prices, in addition to demonstrating an example of taking shots with motion tools in a video report broadcast by RTE TV.

On the other hand, participants asked questions about the different tools that were presented and the best ways to use it, while Darwish explained that each report needs specific tools, depending on the shooting conditions. He pointed out that not all of the aforementioned tools are necessary for each journalistic report, but there are always two important tools, which are the microphone and the tripod.

Darwish presented smartphone brands available in the market that can be bought from stores or online and can assist journalists in preparing their reports, pointing out that the latest generation of smartphones is advanced; hence, journalists should look for the right features that may assist them in preparing reports such as battery lifespan and storage space.

The journalist said that as long as the camera (or cameras) has a good quality, good reports can be produced using a mobile phone and with the help of the tools he mentioned earlier. The participants were very interested in the aforementioned devices and asked if these tools are available in Arab countries.

 

As for external lenses that can be attached to the mobile phone, Darwish recommended using Moment lenses.

 

With regard to lighting, the first piece of advice was to photograph outside whenever possible, but if the journalist had to conduct an interview indoors, spotlighting devices like the Manfrotto could be used to improve lighting.

 

Darwish concluded his presentation by talking about some useful applications that can be uploaded on mobile phone, including FilmicPro, which is a paid app and one of its most important features is the ability to emphasise focus and lighting.

 

He explained that the application allows shooting videos with different screen sizes and even in portrait mode, which is useful when producing Instagram and Facebook reports.

 

Darwish also recommended the Adobe Premiere Rush montage app for iPhone and Android users, as well as Lumafusion and iMovie, which are available for download on iPhone.

 

It is noteworthy that the training sessions were held online, 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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2020-12-12 Uncategorized0

RMD

Rozana’s trainers continue, together with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the Facebook Journalism Project, to provide training for journalists in the Middle East and North Africa, mainly on video and mobile journalism. The workshops were held in the Arabic language and lasted for six weeks.

 

The first webinar was held on 12 November as part of the ICFJ’s training sessions on mobile and video journalism, which was initiated by the trainer at the Rozana Media Development Center (RMD) Syrian journalist Mais Katt, who provided instructions and methods for journalists on how to use mobile phones to produce journalistic content.

 

After this first webinar, the ICFJ organised a second webinar on Thursday, 19 November that lasted for two hours and witnessed the participation and interaction of 370 journalists from the Middle East and North Africa.

 

The third session was held on 26 November for two hours, during which the Egyptian journalist Mustafa Darwish, winner of the 2019 Thomson Foundation mobile journalism for best press report, presented an overview of mobile journalism.

During the training workshop, Darwish discussed the numerous advantages of using smartphones to shoot news reports, namely the low cost of equipment compared to expensive professional cameras and the expenses of hiring a shooting crew, in addition to the high-quality of phone cameras, the convenience of filming and moving to different locations, which also helps protect the journalist, in addition to the quick access to live broadcasting and sending materials via smartphones.

The fourth session was held for two hours on 3 December, with the participation of 311 journalists and students, during which Darwish provided practical advice on mobile journalism and information on the tools used to prepare press reports using mobile phones, while stressed the importance of paying attention to sound quality when producing journalistic materials with a mobile phone, and recommended using an external microphone to record the audio.

Like the previous sessions, and since mobile phones would be the journalists’ best friends in 2021, the fifth session training facilitated by journalist and media trainer Sarah Hotei on 16 December witnessed the participation of 295 participants from different parts of the world, during which she spoke about the process of producing and editing videos using mobile phones.

Hoteit started the training session with presenting a story about a Lebanese centenarian, who is allegedly 125 years old, produced by the Dutch channels Deutsche Welle (DW) and Zoomin TV in two different ways. Hence, DW presented the story in a serious manner, while Zoomin TV used fast-paced music as an addition.

Hoteit said that the story was the same, and as was the shooting style and the hero, but the difference lies in the storytelling technique through editing.

After presenting this example, the trainer provided useful tips to help the participants determine the style they would choose to produce their stories as a first step, and in a second stage, they should determine whether the story would be humorous or serious, in addition to focusing on the planning and implementation, including the identification of the shots that are supposed to appear in the beginning, the middle and the end of the video.

Here, Hoteit emphasised that the journalist needs to know in advance the scenes and interviews he/she wants to conduct in order to plan the montage process.

After completing the previous two steps, the journalist has to choose the music, which Hoteit considered to be one of the most difficult stages which she often finds challenging. This step also includes the choice of timing for each shot, which need sometimes to be expedited to go along with the pace of the story or slowed down to reflect suffering or demonstrate the lapse of time. Therefore Hoteit recommends flexibility when choosing shots and timing depending on the nature of the story and the target style.

Some of the webinar participants asked about sources of music that could be used for free and without copyright restrictions. Others responded by posting links to websites offering royalty free music.

The participants noticed that the visual stories that were shown include a written text on the screen that translated the speech of the story protagonist, so they asked the trainer about the importance of such a method. In effect, the facilitator answered saying that this technique had many advantages, especially when the journalist wants to clarify to the Arab World’s audience some words that are said in a certain dialect, hence, adding subtitles to the video is important so that everyone can understand the video story in case they cannot activate the sound in public transport or in the workplace.

During the webinar, visual stories were presented and Hoteit explained how to work on this type of productions and provided tips related to editing, including the importance of each shot to be meaningful in a way that allows the video maker to present something new; while emphasizing the need to avoid repeating the same shots unless repetition has a purpose in the video.

The media expert stressed that a story that may take a day or a short period to prepare should be told without adding time-consuming shots which do not serve the story. She also provided specific technical guidelines to follow while editing the video, including ensuring the continuity of shots.

Hoteit concluded the session by talking about editing apps, including the LumaFusion program, which she thinks is the best, however, it is a paid app and available only for IOS phones. She also showed the trainees how to use KineMaster and provided them with the names of other useful apps.

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).



2018-09-14 Uncategorized0

RMD

Radio Rozana’s Executive Director Lina Al-Shawaf received today in Stockholm the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Award for the year 2018.

Radio Rozana, based in Paris and Turkey, is a media outlet that covers Syrian affairs at home and abroad.

The radio has a network of correspondents in all Arab and international capitals, including Paris, London and Stockholm, as well as Turkey.

Rozana Radio’s Executive Director said: “We also cover Syria’s actualities via new media platforms, and also Facebook and Twitter applications. We cover the news from a 360 degrees angle.”

Radio Sweden set an interview with Lina Al-Shawaf which is available on the audio file.



2017-07-04 Uncategorized0

RMD

Radio Rozana won the second prize of the Migration Media Award (MMA) for the Euro-Mediterranean Region among Arab radio stations, for one of the episodes of the vox program broadcasted from the Paris studio.

The award was given to the significant news presented in the episode entitled “Organ Trade … Its Secrets and links to refugees” from the vox program, which is prepared and presented by the journalist Soulafa Lababidi, who has been working in the field of media for more than ten years.

The festival management is holding a special award ceremony on the island of Malta on 14 June.

Radio Rozana participated in the competition with three topics related to Syrian refugees, produced by journalists working for the foundation

The submitted journalistic materials were subjected to an eligibility examination, then the content was evaluated and scored by the jury and finally came the selection process, so the work was done with the institutions and journalists producing the winning materials.

This prize is awarded to informative materials that address the issue of migration in the Euro-Mediterranean region in all its aspects.


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2017-04-22 Uncategorized0

RMD – Asfari Foundation

The Asfari Foundation said that Radio Rozana is a non-profit organization  established by Syrian media professionals and registered in France and Turkey. It is an independent, non-sectarian, non-partisan media outlet that covers Syria’s affairs from different angles and with the highest professional and ethical standards.

The Asfari Foundation indicated that Rozana Radio has a wide network of independent correspondents inside Syria and around the world, but operates mainly in Syria, Turkey and France.

Radio Rozana believes in the importance of freedom of expression and the role of the media in building democracy and ensuring accountability.

Radio Rozana has been supported by the International Media Support (IMS), the Open Society Foundations (OSF),  the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

In 2017, the Asfari Foundation supported a training launched by Radio Rozana in favour of displaced Syrian media professionals in Turkey, so that 200 media workers would receive training to conduct their journalistic work in accordance with the highest standards of the profession. The project will also provide training for ten qualified trainers to ensure the sustainability and expansion of the training. Thus, the funding offered by the Asfari Foundation, which aims at supporting professional journalists to hone their skills, will contribute to sustaining and enhancing the independence of the Syrian media sector.


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2015-11-11 Uncategorized0

RMD

Radio Rozana received on Tuesday, the Mariano Ciprian award for the best radio and online radio project, which will be received by Rozana at a conference organised by Aragon Radio and TV in the Spanish city of Zaragoza.

The annual award for excellence is granted within two categories, namely, the Mariano Ciprian award for the best online radio project or program, and the best research and doctoral thesis in radio and television.

It is noteworthy that last year the award, which is considered one of the most important media prizes in Spain, was granted to Aero FM and the University Radio Organization.

The award was launched in honor of the memory of the researcher Mariano Ciprian, professor at the Complutense University of Madrid, who was regarded as one of the most important specialists in the field of digital broadcasting. He died in 2013.

Rozana Radio was established in the summer of 2013 as an initiative to cover the situation in Syria with the utmost professionalism, through its network of correspondents deployed inside Syria and in neighbouring countries; to be a platform that prioritizes civilians in Syria and provides them with an opportunity to express themselves and their opinions, regardless of their orientations or religious and political affiliations.


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2013-10-12 Uncategorized0

RMD-Syria Untold  

Syrian youth have been more inclined to think about establishing media projects, due to the urgent need for media platforms that report the situation in Syria objectively, away from biased trends, and through which they can communicate the news, stories and ideas of the Syrian people to a large audience.

From the background, the idea of establishing Radio Rozana saw the light as a more practical platform that aims at “communicating a truth about what is happening in Syria through the eyes of the Syrians themselves, far from being misled by hegemonic media outlets which are currently in control of the media scene in Syria.

Work on the Radio Rozana project was initiated about two years ago, during which many meetings, studies and research took place. The most difficult task was to find professional correspondents inside the country, as the majority of journalists have already left Syria under security or livelihood pressures.

The biggest challenge for Rozana was to train a professional team of journalists. Therefore, before its launch, Rozana held two workshops dedicated to its correspondents, who started working on-air and preparing experimental news bulletins, news and story reports, five months before the launch of the project.

Journalist Mais Katt, one of the project’s founders, explained Syria Untold: “We are not an alternative media, because the regime did not have a media establishment at all. The regime’s media are security branches, actually, and the greatest danger is that the revolution’s media outlets are subject to similar pressures from other parties, and are unable to convey people’s opinions freely.”

Regarding Rozana’s ties with the Syrian uprising, Katt stated that Rozana stands by the people who took the streets for dignity, and tries to voice their opinions, pains and hopes.”

All the correspondents of the Rozana network are activists of the Syrian revolution, as is the case with the majority of Rozana’s team in Paris and other countries.

The team tries as much as possible to create a balance between journalistic professionalism and moral bias in favour of the Syrian tragedy.

As for the most important topics that capture the radio’s attention, Katt highlighted that “Rozana focuses in its reports and stories on the daily lives of Syrians, their projects, lifestyle and stories. We try to draw hope for a better life by focusing on successful experiences and beautiful stories about ordinary people.”

It is natural that the team faced many difficulties during the launch period, which prompted Rozana’s staff to work long hours to overcome any problems that may appear here or there, but the support of the correspondents’ team was the biggest incentive for the entire group of workers to insist on overcoming all obstacles.

Radio Rozana has received a lot of Arab and international media attention, as news of the launch of Rozana was covered by many newspapers and TV channels, and there is still a great sense of curiosity among European media outlets to follow the development of this project.


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