Future-proofing Your Global Media Career
On 8-10 July 2015, Edinburgh Napier University hosted a special three-day conference with guest lectures by expert journalists and filmmakers from all over the world. You can view all the lectures below.
Day One — 8 July 2015 — How to make it as a 21st century filmmaker
Marc Perkins — Feeding the Buzzfeed generation; 8 Totally Unexpected snapshots from the Arab Uprisings. Marc is head of documentaries BBC Arabic. He started his career in radio, before learning to film and edit. For ten years he worked as a freelance shoot-producer, specialising in hostile environments. He covered the conflict in Congo, Angola, Burundi, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has worked as a documentary producer for the BBC, Channel 4 and Al Jazeera. He oversees BBC Arabic’s award-winning documentary series Aan Korb, which has closely followed the uprisings across the Arab World.
Flora Gregory — What commissioning editors are looking for. Flora conceived and ran Channel 4’s reporter-led foreign affairs series Unreported World for five years, before joining Al Jazeera English in 2005 for the channel launch to run Witness, the channel’s award winning flagship documentary strand. Flora left AJE in 2014 and is now a Media Consultant specialising in documentaries and international co-production, mentoring film-makers, and curating documentary platforms and events.
Joshua Min Htut — Undercover Filmmaking. Joshua was the main character in the Burma VJ documentary. He has worked on several more documentaries, and was camera team leader for Channel 4’s The Orphans of Burma’s Cyclone, which received The Rory Peck award. He now works for the BBC’s Burmese service.
Hany Beshr — Getting commissioned to make news documentaries. Hany is the presenter of a daily show for Alaraby TV in London. He was a London correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic and has produced several documentary films, some investigative. He also commissioned several documentaries on behalf of Al Jazeera Arabic when based in Qatar. He covered the Egyptian revolution in Tahrir Square and its aftermath in 2011. He studied in Cairo and Dundee and is working on a PhD.
Julian Rake — How to succeed in television news. Julian worked for Reuters for two decades, as a TV journalist, a bureau manager, and then as Asia Regional Editor for Reuters Video News. He started his career with Reuters in New York and had postings in London, Brussels, Nairobi, Jerusalem and Singapore. He left Reuters in 2013 and now works as managing director of Quantum Publicity in Phnom Penh and as an adviser to CCTV in Beijing.
Callum Macrae — Advocacy journalism: why it matters, and how to make money doing it. Callum studied at the Edinburgh College of Art, and his TV Company Outsider TV Outsider Television has produced several documentaries for various television channels, including Dispatches, Enemies Within and Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields for Channel 4, Witness and People in Power for Al Jazeera and Panorama for the BBC. Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields won the Current Affairs – International category of the Royal Television Society’s Television Journalism Awards 2010/2011, won two One World Media Awards and earned a BAFTA TV Award nomination. Apart from war documentaries, he has directed documentaries on other subjects such as on sex workers and child wedding practice among Romani people in Romania.
Robbie Fraser — Producing and funding documentaries as an independent filmmaker. Robbie is a director and writer who works across numerous disciplines, and is the founder of Pure Magic Films. He has produced four documentaries for BBC Alba, including The Bridge Rising, and recently completed Family Goldmine, a feature documentary filmed in Mali, with funding from Creative Scotland. He also wrote and directed a feature film, Gamerz. Robbie has a MFA in Screenwriting and Directing from Columbia University Film School in New York.
Day Two — 9 July 2015 — Journopreneurialism: making a living in modern journalism
Kevin Gover — From writer to multi-tasker: being a freelance radio journalist in the 21st century. Kevin has had 30 years of experience in international journalism and radio presenting, from living and working in Brussels to hosting live radio programmes from Norway. He is a national award winner, having jointly won the 2005 Arqiva Commercial Radio Award for Marketing Excellence. During this time, Kevin has gone from music sequence presenting through News Management to become a MoJo wizard, adapting his skills at every opportunity. His first documentary was shot entirely on an iPhone 5s — and shortlisted for the Winchester Short Film Awards. Kevin’s news content currently reaches a domestic audience of around 26m commercial radio listeners per week through Sky News Radio. His TV work has also reached millions around the world through Sky World News.
Ruth O’Reilly — Setting up a successful investigative news website. — Ruth was co-founder of Northern Ireland investigative news website The Detail, which eventually grew to be a team of five full-time staff producing text, audio, video, animation and interactive data content, and won two Royal Television Society awards. She is now based in Edinburgh as manager of resources and video production at The Scottish Parliament.
Simon Pia — How to write a killer feature. Simon has worked for over three decades as a journalist in print, radio and television, covering current affairs, sport and the arts. He has written for all Scotland’s major broadsheet newspapers — The Scotsman, The Herald and Sunday Herald, and Scotland on Sunday — and authored eight books. He has also worked in public relations for the private and public sector, most notably as media secretary for the Labour Party leader at Scotland’s parliament, run media training courses, and lectured at Glasgow Caledonian University as well as Edinburgh Napier University.
Billy Briggs — Expanding your freelance market to overseas audiences. Billy’s award winning human rights investigations have featured in the Herald, the Guardian, Scotland on Sunday, the Observer, the New Statesman, the Sunday Times on the BBC and also overseas in the Irish Examiner, Guernica (USA), New Zealand Herald, Sydney Morning Herald and on Al Jazeera. His reports have featured a wide range of locations including Gaza, Iraq, Dubai, Bosnia, Slovakia, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Israel, Lebanon and Syria.
Iain Overton — Turning your journalism into a book. Iain is Director of Investigations at Action on Armed Violence. Before this, he was the first Editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. He was won several awards during his time as Senior Producer at BBC Current Affairs and Exec Producer at ITN. Iain’s extensive travels to investigate the global arms industry led to a book: Gun Baby Gun: A Bloody Journey into the World of the Gun.
Simon Pia — Building your personal brand. Simon has worked for over three decades as a journalist in print, radio and television, covering current affairs, sport and the arts. He has written for all Scotland’s major broadsheet newspapers — The Scotsman, The Herald and Sunday Herald, and Scotland on Sunday — and authored eight books. He has also worked in public relations for the private and public sector, most notably as media secretary for the Labour Party leader at Scotland’s parliament, run media training courses, and lectured at Glasgow Caledonian University as well as Edinburgh Napier University.
Andrew MacGregor Marshall — Expanding the scope of your freelance work. During 17 years at Reuters, Andrew reported from over three dozen countries. He was Reuters Bureau Chief in Baghdad during the 2003 war, then Managing Editor of Reuters Middle East. After working as Editor Emerging and Frontier for Reuters Asia, Andrew went on to produce freelance multimedia content for CNN, Al Jazeera, VICE News, the BBC, SBS and ABC.
Andy Jones — Maximising yourself across platforms and selling content around the globe. Andy started his career by working as columnist for TheLondonPaper. He has been freelance since 2009, writing columns, lifestyle, travel, sport and celebrity pieces for the Times, Sunday Times, Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Guardian, Metro, Daily Star, Grazia, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Company, FHM, GQ, Men’s Health, Loaded and Nuts magazines. He is also an experienced broadcaster with frequent appearances on TV and radio. He is a regular newspaper reviewer on Lorraine (ITV1), BBC London and LBC Radio plus he has also appeared on Channel 5 programmes like Hotel Inspector, Essex Jungle, Live from Studio Five and The Vanessa Show as well as BBC1’s Sunday Morning Live. He has also been recording and voicing his own radio packages for BBC World Service’s award-winning Sports Hour programme as well as making live packages for Radio 4’s You And Yours and has featured his work on BBC’s From Our Own Correspondent. Andy also filmed and edited his own news package for London Live.
Mike Wilson — Journo-preneur: Launching a news service about media and for media based in Scotland. Mike is Managing Director of allmediascotland.com — the leading site for Scottish journalists, broadcasters, communication professionals and media students, plus everyone else involved with, or interested in, the media. Previously he spent more than two decades as a freelance journalist and media consultant, initially specialising in social affairs journalism, and then switching to sport, including for The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph and The Guardian, plus FourFourTwo and the Scottish Football Association. He also works as a media trainer, both in the UK and abroad.
Day Three — 10 July 2015 — Expanding your skills across platforms
Glen Mulcahy — The essentials of mobile journalism. Glen is Innovation Lead, Technology with RTÉ, Irelands National Public Service Broadcaster. His broadcast career began in 1997 with the fledgling TnaG (later TG4) and later he moved in production resource management with the RTE Irish language news service: Nuacht. In recent years he has trained with the BBC in multi-camera direction. He is a certified Apple support professional, an active AVID Media Composer editor and an enthusiastic photographer. Glen has led the development of a mobile journalism production model which harnesses the potential of smartphones as content creation devices. He has travelled around Europe to speak at conferences about the project and the apps and accessories he recommends.
Abdullah Mussa — Using video and new technology to engage a 21st century audience. Abdullah is editorial strategist for Al Jazeera’s AJ+ news platform for mobile devices, aimed at engaging viewers between 18 and 34 years old. Abdullah will talk about modern story-telling techniques with the use of mobile video to solicit community engagement, and he’ll explain how freelancers around the world can get commissioned by AJ+. He was previously Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Cairo.
Benjamin Zand — Living the life of a globetrotting mobile journalist. Benjamin reports and makes short and long-form documentaries for the BBC. He is a mobile journalist, often travelling alone or in small teams around the world on projects for BBC News and BBC World News, such as BBC Pop Up, the BBC Travel Show and the Victoria Derbyshire programme. He is a key part of the BBC’s Video Innovation lab, which is responsible for BBC Shorts, BBC Pop Up and the video wing of BBC Trending. His work is regularly on BBC 2, BBC News and BBC World News, and he’s currently working on documentary series for BBC 3.
Liisa Rohumaa — Ten Things Your Mother Never Told You about SEO. Liisa is a Senior Practice Fellow at Bournemouth University where she is Programme Leader of BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism. She is co-author of The Online Journalism Handbook and is currently researching online interaction between journalists and readers. Liisa worked for 12 years at the Financial Times and was news editor of FT.com. In 2006 she was appointed as the first journalist in residence by the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice. Liisa started her career in journalism as a reporter for the Surrey Comet and has worked for BBC Worldwide, the Stage, the Daily Telegraph and Financial Times. Follow her on Twitter: @snarkmouth
Andrew MacGregor Marshall — Minimising the risks in combat zones and hazardous places. During 17 years at Reuters, Andrew reported from over three dozen countries. He was Reuters Bureau Chief in Baghdad during the 2003 war, then Managing Editor of Reuters Middle East. After working as Editor Emerging and Frontier for Reuters Asia, Andrew went on to produce freelance multimedia content for CNN, Al Jazeera, Vice, BBC, SBS and ABC.
Rawan Damen — Stories from idea to online via TV screens. Rawan joined Al Jazeera Arabic in 2006 as a filmmaker and commissioner. She is a documentary producer and filmmaker for the last 15 years and a main commissioning senior producer of Focus, a political strand for the last seven years. Many of Focus episodes are re-versioned to Al Jazeera English as part of Al Jazeera World strand. Her award-winning documentaries include ‘Al Nakba’ on the story of Palestine from 1799 and ‘The Price of Oslo’ on the secret direct negotiations between PLO and Israel in 1993. She led a team of interactive content makers and developers in 2014 to launch the interactive website: Palestine Remix: www.palestineremix.com The website got in June 2015 two prestigious online media awards in London: Technical innovation and best digital team of the year. She got her MA Communication Studies (with distinction) from Leeds University, UK, in 2003 and BA Media and Sociology (with distinction) from Birzeit University, Palestine, in 2001.
Philip Grossman — Reporting and filming with drones. Philip is a photographer and engineer from Atlanta who was one of the first journalists to be allowed access to ‘The Zone Of Exclusion’ around the ruined Chernobyl nuclear reactor and the nearby abandoned city of Pripyat. He made innovative use of drones to capture hauntingly beautiful pictures of a lost world, both untouched by humanity and ravaged by decay, in Earth’s most notorious ‘no man’s land. He also works as a photographer for The Weather Channel and is the owner of Philip Grossman Photography, in addition to being a trained civil engineer. Lecture will on Monday September 7 at Edinburgh Napier University, Merchiston Campus.