Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category


Lessons Learned From a Photojournalist to Her Colleagues

I am an Italian photojournalist of Croatian origin, and I have lived in Torino for many years now.

I come from the Balkans, territories devastated by wars in the nineties, which is something that lead me to this work. I grew up in a small town, where women became teachers or maybe work in the only food industry of the area, but always staying close to home. Looking back, my choice of career probably was dictated by a response to the highly sexist society I was raised in.

In the last years, my work as a photojournalist has focused on wars and conflicts taking place all over the world, and my investigative reports come from the Middle East, Africa, but also the Balkans, Russia, and Asia. I work as a freelancer, but also have my own news website.

Aleppo, Syria, © Andreja Restek / APR

Submitting your work to newspapers and find interested parties is always difficult as a freelancer, and it takes an extra effort as a woman: often, you need to work more, struggle more, and prove that you are good at your job more than usual.

But I love my job and I believe it is really essential in our world. What I find fundamental, in order to do it well, is being there in person: you can’t speak about war without seeing the frontline, you can’t write about refugees if you haven’t talked to them and haven’t been with them.

Sierra Leone, ph © Andreja Restek, 2016

Journalists have an important and noble role: our job is beautiful, and what we have to do is to be honest and report news without letting our views interfere with it. Without adding political or social implications. It’s not something easy, but it is due. We have the duty to be impartial, humble and not hypocritical.

Syria. © Andreja Retsek

When doing my job, I have the chance to give a voice to those who don’t have it. Often the people I interview gift us with the only thing they have left: their story. And that is why my priority is treating these stories with respect.

Refugees from Austria, Viaggio, Serbia, Ungheria. © Andreja Restek

A few years ago I realized that as a journalist I could do even more for those struck by war, and with some colleagues I founded an NGO which tries with small but efficient and precise projects to help people in need.

My father once told me that I live life breathing at the top of my lungs, and I would advise any colleague to follow their dreams and to “fully breath their lives”.

Andreja Restek is a photojournalist of Croatian origin living in Torino. She is the founder and director of APR news, an online newspaper that follows and monitors terrorism and terrorist groups in the world and conducts independent investigative reports on illegal trafficking and human rights. She is a member of the International Federation of Journalists and registered to the Albo dei giornalisti.

She has been invited as lecturer and guest to many events, organized among others by UNICEF, University of Torino, Salone Internazionale del libro di Torino, Associazione vittime del terrorismo, Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), RAI, Festival dell’Europa solidale e del Mediterraneo, photography clubs. She was the artistic director of the International Security Festival 2017 in Vicenza.

In 2016 she published “Siria, dove dio ha finito le lacrime,” a photographic book collecting her salient work regarding the Syrian war. You can follow her work on Twitter and aprnews.net.

If you or someone you know would like to share her narrative, please fill out the following form and a member of the International Community will contact the nominee. 

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Breaking the Silence, Empowering Female Journalists Worldwide

“There are two groups of people that are more vulnerable during riots and marches: female police officers and female journalists.”

Last month I was in Washington D.C. getting various forms of training. During a seminar those words were directed to me from the in-house expert. The goal was to train us, the journalists, to be safe during civil unrest, marches and riots, but what left me shocked was that the expert gave me the “it is what it is” attitude. It happens. Women are more susceptible to attacks than others in these circumstances. But what are we doing to shift that attitude and ensure the safety of not just female journalists, but all journalists?

If you are a journalist going abroad on an assignment, it is so important to be prepared and proactive in any situation that may present itself. As a woman, the rules of engagement change and the reality is you can be left completely vulnerable.

There are dangers we face that most likely our male counterparts may not experience. Last year, the Committee to Protect Journalists held a panel discussion with journalists on their experiences reporting on the front lines, dealing with sexualized violence, and countering gender-related threats and restrictions.

Returning from my time in the Middle East in 2014 and earlier this year interviewing refugees, there were some unfortunate obstacles I faced that left me to reassess my safety in my work.

But I’m not alone.

Just last week, I read about award-winning Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima and her struggle to gain justice after 17 years where she was abducted, tortured and raped following her report on violence at a maximum-security prison involving state officials and paramilitary groups. The painful and prolonged court system in Colombia hasn’t stopped Bedoya to fight tirelessly against and she even started a campaign in 2009, “now is not the time to remain silent”. She stands up for women and has gained strength in her fight against injustice in her case and for women in similar circumstances.

There is also Shakeela Ibrahimkhel of Afghanistan, who had to end her 10 year career at one of the country’s leading news channels to seek asylum in Germany. The continued violence, threats and harassment from the Taliban has led some 100 Afghan women to seek refuge outside of the country.

The threats don’t stop there. Just days ago the Nepal Press Freedom reported an incident of a death threat towards Sushma Paudel after  a status on Facebook. The threat against Poudel from a Canadian resident was over a story the journalist had filed.

These acts of violence, the lack of safety and the overall status of female journalists globally is alarming. Doing a simple Google search for “threats against female journalists” right now and in .51 seconds, there are about 2,820,000 results!

Although my experiences abroad do not compare to the harrowing female correspondents, freelancers and even fixers abroad, I do believe what is happening to women in our line of work should raise a red flag.

In order to understand, empower and give a voice the women around the world doing amazing work, the Society of Professional Journalists’ International Community will feature female journalists starting this month as part of a #PressFreedomMatters movement giving these women a platform to express their narrative.

Come back every Wednesday and read the stories these women have to share, the obstacles they’ve faced and how they are overcoming them.

 

If you know someone that should be featured in the weekly series, please fill out this form

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Migrants: Where from, where to and local impact

Originally posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World

If you ever wondered why there is a better selection of tortillas in your local store or why getting good garam masala is suddenly much easier, the Pew Research Group has a quick way to look at immigration and emigration.

The Pew Group has a GREAT interactive graphic to look at immigrant and emigrant movements during the past 25 years at Origins and Destinations of the World’s Migrants, from 1990-2015

Along with an interactive map, the Pew Group added a table so you can see with real numbers migration movement.

I’ll let the Pew Group explain what its wonderful graphic depicts:

The figures in this interactive feature refer to the total number (or cumulative “stocks”) of migrants living around the world as of 1990, 2000, 2010 or 2015 rather than to the annual rate of migration (or current “flows”) in a given year. Since migrants have both an origin and a destination, international migrants can be viewed from two directions – as an emigrant (leaving an origin country) or as an immigrant (entering a destination country).

According to the United Nations Population Division, an international migrant is someone who has been living for one year or longer in a country other than the one in which he or she was born. This means that many foreign workers and international students are counted as migrants. Additionally, the UN considers refugees and, in some cases, their descendants (such as Palestinians born in refugee camps outside of the Palestinian territories) to be international migrants. For the purposes of this interactive feature, estimates of the number of unauthorized immigrants living in various countries also are included in the total counts. On the other hand, tourists, foreign-aid workers, temporary workers employed abroad for less than a year and overseas military personnel typically are not counted as migrants.

And for those wondering, the total number of migrants living in the United States in 2015 came from:

  1. Mexico – 12 million
  2. China – 2.1 million
  3. India – 1.9 million
  4. Philippines – 1.7 million
  5. Puerto Rico – 1.7 million
  6. Viet Nam – 1.3 million
  7. El Salvador – 1.2 million
  8. Cuba – 1.1 million
  9. South Korea – 1.1 million
  10. Dominican Republic – 940,000
  11. Guatemala – 880,000

Remember, this is the TOTAL number of people from these countries living in the United States, NOT the number arriving in 2015. And I would personally put the migration from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland as internal migration rather than international. (That is why I have a Top 11, rather than Top 10). Seems the United Nations has its own way of looking at these things.

And in case you are wondering, in 2015 there were 180,000 people from Iraqi living in the United States and 70,000 from Syria, both up from 40,000 each in 1990.

Local reporters can follow-up on this information for a local angle by using material from the U.S. Census Bureau.

For example, I know from the American FactFinder, there are a lot of Ethiopian restaurants in Fairfax County, Virginia (population 1.1 million) because Ethiopian immigrants are the largest African group in Fairfax – 6,000 out of 31,000 African native-born residents.

You can get good papusas because Salvadorans make up the largest single group of Latin American residents — 32,000 out of 102,000 from Latin America.

We all know Annandale, Va., is known as Little Seoul. Well, the Census numbers bear that out, of the 170,000 people born in Asia in Fairfax County, 30,000 are from Korea. But what should be evident to anyone paying attention, the Indian and Vietnamese presence is also big. Fairfax has 29,000 people who were born in Indian and 23,000 born in Vietnam.

Not to leave out Europe, but let’s face it, the numbers are weak compared to the rest of the world. Fairfax has 25,000 people born in Europe. The single largest group are the Germans with 3,600.

Bottom line, if you are looking for a foreign story, start in your own neighborhood.

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Two Photojournalists Killed in Libya

SPJ’s International Journalism Committee released the following statement on Wednesday, 4/20/11:

“The International Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists mourns the loss on Wednesday of two great photojournalists. Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, both of New York, were accustomed to putting their lives on the line to help the world see the true, bloody realities of war. Yet their untimely deaths remind us of the real cost of violent conflict. We urge international authorities to pursue the truth behind this criminal attack and take steps to protect other journalists who are now risking their lives to spotlight a conflict that must not go unreported.  We send our deepest condolences to the Hetherington and Hondros families.”

Read Wednesday’s Associated Press report from Misrata, Libya.

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Rentals! The future of newspapers?

First posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World.

Many thanks to Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing for pointing out this great CNN story about “newspaper landlords” who rent the want-ads by the minute.

Is this the wave of the future of newspaper readers?

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Proof global knowledge and editors needed

First posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World.

The article below was posted on boosharticles.com today. Too bad there is no such country as the Dominican Republic of Congo

Ordinarily such a glaring error by the writer would be caught by the editor. But I am willing to bet all the money in my pocket against all the money in your pocket that there was no editor.

If there was an editor, then the writer and editor both deserve to be fired.

Just to be clear: There is a Democratic Republic of Congo and the Dominican Republic. Two different countries in two widely different parts of the world.

United Nations Plane Crashes in Dominican Republic of Congo

Posted by Josh on April 5, 2011 · Leave a Comment

A United Nations has plane has crashed in the Dominican Republic of Congo killing all of the 33 people on board aside from just one person. It is said that the accident occurred as the plane was coming in to land in the main airport of the country that is located in the capital city of Kinshasa.

It has now been confirmed that out of the 33 people on board the plane, there was only one survivor. Condolences have been offered to the families of those killed in the crash by the Security Council. It is thought that the plane missed the runway as it was coming in to land although the exact reasons for this happening are not yet confirmed. It is thought however that the wind conditions could have played a big part in the crash.

It is said that of the 33 passengers, four of them were the crew and the other 29 were UN personnel. It is said that the crew of the plane was Georgian. The plane in question was a Bombardier CRJ-200 jet which was part of Airzana Georgian Airways.

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Zimbabwe looking to use copyright laws to limit access to government documents

First posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World.

Talk about copyright protection gone crazy.

Boing Boing reports that Zimbabwe justice minister is steering a bill through Parliament that seeks to amend the copyright laws by giving copyright protection to legislation, notices and other material in the Government Gazette, court judgments and certain public registers.

Yep, that means the government wants to copyright in all these documents. The law will give the government all the rights and powers of a copyright holder.

And that power means the law and the doings of government will be copyrighted and not freely distributable to the governed.

It should come as no surprise. Zimbabwe is ranked #123 of 178 in the world on press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders.

Let’s not forget that Oregon tried this a while back: Oregon: our laws are copyrighted and you can’t publish them

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Free Speech Concerns in Egypt

Egypt will be holding parliamentary elections later this month, and the BBC reports that freedom of the press in the country is being restricted as election day approaches.

According to the report, Egypt’s government has “closed a number of television channels, tightened regulations on the sending of news by text message, and forced operators of satellite dishes to reapply for their licences.”

The media director of the ruling National Democratic Party says that these events have been “taken totally out of context.”

But Nader Gohar, whose satellite dish operation — Cairo News Company — must reapply for a new license, says that many media operators in the country feel like they are working under threat of being shut down.

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Egyptian Journalist Facing Trial

Agence France-Presse reports today that Egyptian journalist Hamdi Qandeel has been charged with “insulting and libelling [sic] a public servant or citizen performing their work.”

Quandeel compared statements made by Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit to a leaky trash bag.

There are two versions of the report — here and here. The second one removes the “rubbish bag” reference.

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Proposed South Africa legislation raises media freedom concerns

First posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World.

Many thanks to Freedom House for raising this alarm.

New Press Legislation in South Africa Raises Alarm about Media Freedom

“This law, if passed, is certain to have a chilling effect on press freedom as well as violating the right of its citizens to access information,” said Paula Schriefer, director of advocacy at Freedom House. “It is concerning when a democratic government moves for less transparency, not more, and it would be regrettable if the South African parliament allows this to happen.”

The legislation, according to Freedom House is a revised version of a proposed law submitted two years ago. At that time it was rejected because of concerns it could lead to excessive official secrecy.

The new legislation continues to have an “overly broad definition of ‘national interest'” according to FH.

Freedom House downgraded South Africa from Free to Partly Free in its 2010 Freedom of the Press report. The move came largely because of increased rhetoric against the media from government officials and new laws that limited the independence of broadcasters.

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Connect

Twitter Facebook Google Plus RSS Instagram Pinterest Pinterest LinkedIn


© Society of Professional Journalists. All rights reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789 | Contact SPJ Headquarters | Employment Opportunities | Advertise with SPJ