News

6 tips for protecting your mental health when reporting on trauma

By Arun Karki | November 01, 2017

This post is the second piece in a two-part series about how journalists can protect both their physical safety and mental health, as well as the health and safety of their subjects, when covering dangerous or traumatic events. You can read part one, which addresses physical safety, here.

Twelve years ago, I didn’t know how impacted I was by Nepal’s civil war and Maoist insurgency. For a year, I had to pore over raw footage of the aftermath of the war in post-production. After six months, I started dreaming scenes from the war. The same thing happened in 2015 after spending months producing numerous stories on the April earthquake in Nepal.

Amantha Perera, the Asia-Pacific coordinator at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, explained this condition is known as ‘vicarious trauma.’ It’s caused by working with victims of trauma or, in the case of journalists, covering traumatic events. While many of the symptoms are similar to the more commonly known post-traumatic stress disorder, many people don’t know vicarious trauma, also known as compassion fatigue, exists. But traumatic incidents can have psychological impacts on subjects, audiences and journalists alike.

The following techniques may help journalists build own resiliency and learn how to report sensibly on trauma-related issues: Continue reading “6 tips for protecting your mental health when reporting on trauma”

4 tips for staying safe when covering disaster or unrest

By Arun Karki | October 23, 2017

A week after the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that rocked central Nepal in 2015, Prakash Mahat, a cameraman with Nepal TV News, was covering both the aftereffects of the earthquake and the ongoing search for survivors in Kathmandu. Minutes after reaching the scene, a powerful aftershock almost toppled him into the wreckage.

“I didn’t care that I was covering a rescue operation by standing on debris piled up nearby,” said Mahat. “As the place started shaking, I was so scared. I lost my mind for a while and nearly lost my balance because I was shooting videos from a big, professional-sized camera. I forgot that tremors could come anytime.”

Dilip Thapa Magar, a Kathmandu-based freelance television reporter and activist who has reported hundreds of news stories on war, natural disasters and street protests for the past 16 years, said trauma reporting is different from standard reporting — and thus requires a specific set of skills. Continue reading “4 tips for staying safe when covering disaster or unrest”

Fact-checking and independent media: weapons against ‘fake news’ in Ukraine

By Judith Langowski | October 30, 2017

Countering fake news and propaganda has been journalist Margo Gontar’s mission since she co-founded the Ukrainian fact-checking website StopFake in 2014. A project at the Kiev School of Journalism, a group of professors, students and volunteers established the site in response to the stream of fake news that exploded with the occupation of Crimea.

“The aim of fake news is not that people believe [it],” said journalist Margo Gontar. “Their aim is to confuse the audience. At some point, they just don’t trust the media at all.” Gontar theorizes that, when inundated by fake news, many people just distance themselves from political discourse altogether.

To fight this type of disinformation in Ukraine, independent and quality reporting is vital, a sometimes challenging prospect in a country ranked 102nd out of 180 in freedom of the press, according to Reporters Without Borders. Three-quarters of the Ukrainian media market belong to only four oligarchs. Continue reading “Fact-checking and independent media: weapons against ‘fake news’ in Ukraine”

Equipping Publishers in an Era of Crises

By Carla Foote | November 10, 2017

After a brutal killing of a Christian couple in the Punjab province of Pakistan, a purported picture of the couple became part of most news reports and quickly spread across social media. However, Asif Aqeel, reporting for World Watch Monitor in Pakistan, determined that the picture was not accurate.

Aqeel shared his account of this tragic story during a workshop on factual reporting led by World Watch Monitor co-founder Julia Bicknell during the October Crisis Publishing Initiative conference in Sopron, Hungary. The session was one of twenty workshops focusing on the myriad of challenges facing reporters, editors, and publishers in the midst of crises.

The conference, hosted by Colorado Springs-based Magazine Training International, combined specific skill areas such as reporting and photography, along with a deeper understanding of the context in which modern crises unfold. Continue reading “Equipping Publishers in an Era of Crises”

Crisis Publishing Initiative Draws Christian Publishers Worldwide

Some of the most serious crises threatening the world today were the focus of the Crisis Publishing Initiative conference in Sopron, Hungary, last month. The event, hosted by Magazine Training International, drew some 60 Christians in publishing from 22 countries.

Journalists heard experts give up-to-date data on migrant movements, religious liberty, and human trafficking. And they attended workshops offering practical help in covering war zones, natural disasters, and refugee camps. They learned how to ferret out and discern the truth in chaotic situations, how to stay safe, and how to deal with secondary trauma. Writers, editors, and photographers all received tools to more effectively communicate the truth in the midst of crisis.

“This conference arose out of concern about the misinformation, exaggeration, and outright lies that proliferate as a result of crisis,” says Sharon Mumper, president of Magazine Training International. “We believe it is the responsibility of Christians to find and publish the truth and to offer the information and resources that make it possible for the church to respond to crises as those called to be salt and light in society.”
Continue reading “Crisis Publishing Initiative Draws Christian Publishers Worldwide”

Religious Liberty to be Featured Topic at Crisis Publishing Initiative

Persecution throughout the world is escalating, millions of Christians live with gross insecurity, and the concept of religious freedom as a universal human right is being challenged. The Christian persecution crisis is among the key topics at the Crisis Publishing Initiative Oct. 15 – 18, 2017, in Sopron, Hungary.

In a plenary session, a workshop, and two case studies the crisis will be examined from all sides by a religious liberties analyst and Christian publishers experiencing persecution.

The Crisis Publishing Initiative is for Christians in publishing on the front lines, as they seek to find the truth in chaotic situations and publish the information their readers need in order to respond to crises as those called to be light and salt in a fractured world.

Elizabeth Kendal, an international religious liberty analyst and advocate, will present a plenary session discussing the challenges of reporting on religious persecution with the discernment, wisdom, understanding, and courage required of writers and publishers seeking to be a voice for the suffering Church. Continue reading “Religious Liberty to be Featured Topic at Crisis Publishing Initiative”

Refugee and Migrant Crises to be Featured at Crisis Publishing Initiative

With millions of people globally on the run and the biggest displacement of people the world has ever seen, the refugee and migrant crises are key topics at the Crisis Publishing Initiative Oct. 15 – 18, 2017, in Sopron, Hungary.

In a plenary session and three workshops the crisis will be examined from all sides by a Christian researcher and author, a senior news editor, and the head of a refugee ministry.

The Crisis Publishing Initiative is for Christians in publishing on the front lines, as they seek to find the truth in chaotic situations and publish the information their readers need in order to respond to crises as those called to be light and salt in a fractured world.

The current refugee crisis is affecting many of their readers.

refugee
Patrick Johnstone

Patrick Johnstone, strategist, futurologist, and author, will present one of the plenary sessions discussing the astonishing growth of the migrant population throughout the world over the last 50 years, and exploring implications for releasing and receiving countries. He will point out likely future trends, highlighting the inevitability of a continuing challenge in migration. And he will suggest reliable sources of information and action plans to encourage Christians, challenge social attitudes, influence secular authorities, and impact society as a whole. Continue reading “Refugee and Migrant Crises to be Featured at Crisis Publishing Initiative”

American and German Foundations join Crisis Publishing Initiative as Sponsors

Magazine Training International (MTI) is pleased to announce new partnerships with co-sponsor Tyndale House Foundation and contributing sponsor Stiftung Christliche Medien, as they join the Crisis Publishing Initiative. The Crisis Publishing Initiative conference will be held on Oct. 15-18, 2017, at the Hotel Lövér in Sopron, Hungary.

The Initiative is for Christians in publishing on the front lines, as they seek to find the truth in chaotic situations and publish the information their readers need in order to respond to crises as those called to be light and salt in a fractured world.

“We value the opportunity to partner with MTI for the Crisis Publishing Initiative because we see it as another opportunity where we can pool the resources God has given each of us and invite him to act,” says Mary Kleine Yehling, vice president and executive director of Tyndale House Foundation (THF). Continue reading “American and German Foundations join Crisis Publishing Initiative as Sponsors”

Yes, you’re publishing in the midst of crisis

crisis-logo-CPIWhy should I attend the Crisis Publishing Initiative? I’m not publishing in the midst of crisis.

Really? Are your readers impacted by fears of terrorism? Or are they concerned about the influx of refugees into the country? Do they worry about the increase in violent crimes in their cities or the political turmoil in the country next door? Were they affected by the last flood, earthquake, or typhoon?

Face it. You are publishing in the midst of crisis, whether or not your publication reflects that fact.

Are you helping your readers understand what is really going on? Are you giving them the information they need to respond to the crises around them as Christians? Or are they dependent on solely secular sources for often biased information and angry, strident voices for opinion? Continue reading “Yes, you’re publishing in the midst of crisis”

Magazine Training International Opens Discounted Pre-Registration for the Crisis Publishing Initiative

Christian journalists, editors, publishers, and bloggers from around the world are invited to attend the Crisis Publishing Initiative hosted by Magazine Training International (MTI) Oct. 15-18, 2017, at the Hotel Lövér in Sopron, Hungary.

MTI is now accepting pre-registrations at a 25% discount from the regular registration fee of $450. The “Sunrise Special” discounted registration fee is $335, and is available now through April 15, 2017.

The registration fee covers a reception and supper on Oct. 15, lunches and coffee breaks Oct. 16-18, a banquet on Oct. 18, and an information-packed program taught by a dozen veteran journalists, researchers, and security specialists from around the world.

Pre-registration is available at http://magazinetraining.com/crisis-publishing-initiative-registration/ Continue reading “Magazine Training International Opens Discounted Pre-Registration for the Crisis Publishing Initiative”