KUNA Journalists Learn How to Become Foreign Correspondents

Six Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) journalists were plunged into an intensive workshop on how to become foreign correspondents, including risks involved, news priorities, the organization and management of foreign bureaus, and how to tie their overseas coverage to local events.

KUNA's future foreign correspondents

Media Unlimited director Magda Abu-Fadil conducted the five-day course in October 2012 at KUNA headquarters in Kuwait during which participants also learned about the importance of being multimedia reporters able to handle photography and video journalism.

Not to be overlooked are social media that should be incorporated into the mix, Abu-Fadil told her charges, to secure greater audience engagement.

Magda Abu-Fadil with KUNA trainees in Kuwait

The reporters were also briefed on how to build their list of foreign contacts, databases, equipment needed for assignments, communication gear, sources, safety measures during crises and attempts to censor them by foreign governments.

They learned the key to a smooth operation is good coordination between the correspondents and bureaus, and, the newsroom.

Media Unlimited Trains Gulf Journalists on Crises/Conflicts Coverage

Crises and conflicts – a topic all journalists should learn to cover since they inevitably encounter them in their work at some point.

Media Unlimited conducted a five-day workshop grouping reporters and editors from Kuwait and Oman on how to write about prickly issues such as sectarian strife; economic, political and social crises; and, unexpected events.

Participants from the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) and Oman News Agency (ONA) learned from case studies, viewed videos of unfolding crises, and wrote news and features on related topics.

KUNA business reporter Suleiman Rida writes on Kuwaiti finance minister’s resignation

They also acquired skills on the importance of integrating social media in their stories and using them as sources of information.

KUNA journalists watch video on covering demonstrations

Other topics included the need for online research, reliance on archives, establishing an extensive network of good sources and learning how to deal with them in a crisis.

ONA’s Taleb Al Riyami and Abdallah Alhajri tackle the link between poor education and unemployment in the Gulf

Equally important was focusing on how to operate in a hostile environment, accidents and shocks that adversely affect journalists, and coverage of traumatized victims of conflicts.

Media Unlimited director Magda Abu-Fadil flanked by trainees in Kuwait

The participants also learned about proper coordination between editors and field reporters, newsroom dynamics, ethics while on crisis assignments, and how best to write and edit content for different multimedia platforms.

The workshop May 26-31, 2012 was held at the headquarters of the Kuwait News Agency.