4TH INTERNATIONAL CAREER WEEK: NEWS MAKING IN CONFLICT AREAS

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Communication and Media Studies Faculty organized a lecture on conflict reporting to mark the 4th International Career Week yesterday the 29th of March 2015 at the Faculty’s Purple Hall.

The event started with introduction of the program by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nurten Kara. Thereafter the guest speaker was introduced by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hanife Aliefendioğlu. Attendees of the event were faculty members, research assistants and students of the university.

The guest speaker Hikmet Durgun, a freelance Journalist in conflict areas started by highlighting the risks faced by journalists reporting conflict. He said every journalist hopes to get home after reporting news but in their case, it might not be fully certain. He further said that war reporting is not mandatory. In his words, he said; “no media institution will force you to go into the war zone. Any journalist that reports from the war, do it voluntary”. He further said that journalist in the war zone should be objective in reporting and the most important thing for them is to always use peaceful and comfortable language in reporting news so as not to escalate the conflict.

Hikmet Durgun further highlighted other important goals to be achieved by a war journalist. He said; “as a journalist reporting conflict, don’t give up your task of providing information to the public even if your life is at stake. Every war journalist should be aware of the social, economical and environmental conditions of the war. They should be fully informed about the conflict and know the geographical locations in other to flee if need be. Journalists working in conflict areas don’t under go training, but some European countries like France and England to mention but a few give at-least five days special training program to war journalist”.

He also gave some important tips that war journalist should adhere to in the cause of war. He said; “you should cover your ears when bombs explode to avoid getting deaf. War journalists should always work with other journalist in other to feel safe and be less at risk. It also helps you to be aware on what to expect and what danger you can get into. War journalist should never mention their location to avoid the risk of been targeted. Also, don’t create panic, worries and emotional stress for loved ones”.

Hikmet emphasized the news writing aspect of war reporting. He said, “information should be gotten from two sides of the conflict to stimulate a balanced news report. The main task of a war journalist is to make news, but it is also ultimately important for him to be saved in other to be able to tell his stories. As a war journalist, you should always have your communication tools with you always in other to pass news at all time. In reporting war, it is advisable not to make use of the zoom camera in other not to create tension. Zoom camera looks like a gun and can seem like a threat”.

He urges all and sundry to appreciate and encourage war journalist because they risk their life to bring us news that is aimed at creating peace.

By Deborah Sylvester