Women In Journalism Monthly
SEPTEMBER 2019 ISSUE
Executive Editor Kiran Nazish
Editor Luavut Zahid
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
The Coalition For Women In Journalism and the Reynolds Journalism Institute have collaborated to develop a safety app called JSAFE.
The app was developed keeping the safety of women journalists’ in mind. It can be used to share complaints and the threats they encounter while doing their job, and helps measure their risk and safety.
Work on JSAFE began several months ago and the application is currently in its testing phase. This one-of-a-kind app will allow users to register complaints by choosing various forms of threats they face as journalists and also request a follow-up for their issue by CFWIJ.
The app, which will soon be available on the Apple store for iOS users, boasts a simple user interface that allows them to register/sign-up using their email address. The user will then be emailed a code to complete the signup process. The application has a drop down menu to choose from the types of threats the user has encountered and will also be asked to choose whether they require a follow-up of the case or not. If the user allows follow-up by CFWIJ, their issue will be pursued accordingly.
The application will also contain a section dedicated to useful resources for journalists.
Half Year report
In 2019, we documented cases of threats to women journalists across the world. The threats included different forms of harassment, murder, assault and violence, as well as physical and online abuse. Take a look at some of our key findings from the report.
Pakistan: CFWIJ’s Pakistan chapter delegation met Federal Ombudsperson for Harassment
On July 17, 2019, the Coalition For Women In Journalism’s Pakistan chapter delegation met with Kashmala Tariq, the Federal Ombudsperson against harassment at workplace.
During the meeting, the ombudsperson and CFWIJ’s delegation agreed to collaborate to help women journalist who are facing harassment at work. The delegation — comprised of renowned Pakistani women journalists. The women deliberated on the necessary actions required to increase awareness on harassment.
The ombudsperson, Kashmala Tariq, extended her support for the idea and agreed to work with CFWIJ by arranging interactive sessions and seminars to sensitize media about harassment in Pakistan, and ensure a conducive environment. Read our full statement.
Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari meets CFWIJ’s Pakistan chapter delegation
On July 15, 2019, The Coalition For Women In Journalism’s Pakistan chapter delegation met the Dr Shireen Mazari, the Federal Minister for Human Rights to present a resolution for the protection of media workers, particularly women journalists, in the country. CFWIJ urged the government to investigate the attacks against journalists, especially women journalists, both online and offline, particularly the vicious attacks against senior journalists — our member Asma Shirazi and colleague Hamid Mir. The need for accountability was also stressed upon during the meeting.
Dr Shireen Mazari condemned the attacks and fake news that affect the dignity and safety of journalists in Pakistan. She also assured the delegation about Prime Minister’s position against abuse and violence towards journalists. Read our full statement.
Turkey: CFWIJ’s work in Turkey
We kept a close watch on the state of press freedom in Turkey. CFWIJ’s coverage of three July 18 trials was an in-depth look into the prosecution of journalists in the country.
July 18, was a critical day for free speech in Turkey with three different trials being held at three different courthouses across the country.
The trials worked to censor journalists by making an example of the ones who had chosen to exercise their freedom of speech to report on facts.
Those on trial included many members of pro-Kurdish news media agencies, alongside several who have covered protests, such as the one that took place at Gezi Park.
The reports are evidence of human rights violations, as well as the lack of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in Turkey.
INTERVIEW - ASH GALLAGHER
In the 16 years she's been a journalist, Ash Gallagher has reported from the world’s most challenging places. From covering the plight of refugees in Germany to reporting from war-ridden Gaza and Mosul,
In this interview with the Coalition For Women In Journalism, Ash talks about her life as a journalist in a warzone, who found her way forward in the midst of trauma and a lot more on her memoir Reckoning in the Rubble.
By Rabia Mushtaq
Q1. In your writing, from reporting to poetry, you tackle trauma, healing and tap into raw human emotion; how do you channel that into words?
The role of a storyteller is to channel what we all go through as human beings and find ways to communicate those things in our craft. When you think of a film or a song that strikes you, you know the one you play over and again, quote or memorize effortlessly, it’s because you felt it… it resonated with you.
As a writer, I make the same effort. If I can channel what I’ve seen or experienced into a piece of writing, ultimately take the reader with me, then I’ve connected us and connected them, we all want connection — a ‘me too’, so to speak. But it can’t end with trauma. Life is about moving forward, and I want to take the traumas we all face — from war at home to war outside — and say, hey, there’s a way out.
Using grief and acknowledgement, stories themselves can be a path to generating healing. I hope my writing can reflect that. As for my poetry, it’s a raw, gritty look at what we all go through in love, in heartbreak, in our wounds, and in our healing, elevating something deeply connected on a soulful level, perhaps, in a more aesthetic format. The poets were always considered by ancient people to be the storytellers and wise ones, their writings were used to understand the world. Why should it be different now?
Q2. What was the inspiration behind writing a memoir?
I’ve always wanted to write books, I have a few in mind on my life-goals list. But it seemed as good a time as any, and honestly, I was so deeply impacted by covering Iraq, there was more to say, there was more to communicate, so the way to put it down was through a memoir. Iraq is a significant place, an ancient one, where as far back as we know, was the central ground for human development, writing and stories.
It is like ground zero for human civilization in a lot of ways. There’s a story in that which still affects all of us thousands of years later. In a way, perhaps, my memoir is a discovery of how we are impacted by the ancient ground.
Q3. Tell us a little about your book, the Mosul Memoir Project: Reckoning in the Rubble?
Reckoning in the Rubble, as I’ve decided to call it a memoir-style series of essays about an awakening and acceptance of self — a sacred reverence for what lies beneath the rubble of war within us all. I unpack themes examining tribalism, the sacred self, accountability and the idea that everything is spiritual and how we all belong. In a way, I suppose, it’s as if I went to the source of where our human record of consciousness began and “got woke.” The book tells my story, nestled in the cradle of civilization; it’s the raw human experience. Examining the effects on mental health, pain and what leads to restoration are themes many can identify. There are no winners in war, but there is opportunity. There is nothing glamorous about being a war correspondent, but there is a journey.
Q4. What made you go for crowdsourcing for your memoir and are you getting the support you are looking for?
There are a couple of things at play here. First and foremost, as a freelance writer and journalist, it is hard to take time away from day to day breaking news. We have a mentality about us which struggles to know where our skills fit. So while I still can pick up ad hoc work here and there, if I’m going to concentrate on the manuscript and where It might take me, I need the time to write. And in order to do that, I need to make sure I can eat, sleep and have enough for transport and a cup of coffee. So I have musician friends who have paid for their first albums through crowdsourcing and it’s apparently the supplemental way to find funding in the 21st century. I decided to give it a try. It’s not easy asking folks for support, but if I’m confident in the work, they will be too.
I also worked with an agent for awhile, the publishing houses are competitive. Even ones who were interested, their sales teams would turn it down for one political reason or another.
And that meant it was harder to get an advance or stipend to finish the writing.
I have had incredible support from a lot of good people who I couldn’t do this without, many of them journalists; ironically, who understand and believe in the work. But journalist or not, the folks who have supported have often been unexpected and a complete blessing. That said, there’s still a way to go. Writing is the first stage, then comes editing and publication. And the latter is still up in the air about where it fits, once I finish writing.
Q5. Your book is focused on the time you spent reporting from Mosul, Iraq, how you examined the aftermath of war and the spiritual aspect of being in that setting.
Once launched, what impact do you think it would have on the way journalists report in warzones and conflict regions?
The battle for Mosul, really is only the lens for which I am writing through. It is the premise for the story. But the human condition, the way we tell stories, how we all belong and how we all heal is ultimately the goal. Each chapter looks at different aspects of what it was like to cover Mosul and how that translated into my personal life, or perhaps the greater narrative of human existence.
I am a deeply spiritual person, a mystic perhaps, and so I see the depth of how it happens in the physical and how it relates to the soul, to the mind, to mental health and to overcoming tragedy. It’s not an instructional book, but it’s a series of stories, that someone will connect to and hopefully, find a reason to go beyond survival and really live what they’re meant for in this life. But to your point about impacting journalism, I have some hope it will challenge the industry to think more about solution-based reporting. We spend a lot of time on traumas, the number of dead and the tragedy of what happens in war or political situations.
And yes, there’s some great stories out there, but they’re not mainstream and even the analysis on-air is paid pundits to debate the latest tragedy. No one in the audience is listening, or if they are listening, they’re becoming more divided because that’s what they see and hear.
Yes, we as the media have a huge responsibility in informing and identifying solutions to the tragedies in the world, and even more importantly, we have a responsibility for connecting people.
How does it apply to them? People tell me every single day they turn off the news because it doesn’t apply to them and it’s too far away. But what if weren’t? What if I showed you what you have in common with a woman in Iraq whose husband beat her and ran off to shoot people and join a militia? Sounds familiar?
What if neglecting USAID and putting more money into weapons not only affects your pocket book but could cause your son or daughter in the military to miss Christmas this year? Maybe even their funeral? Do you care a little more? I bet. Or what if I could show that your tribe — family, politics and social status — is no different than the ones you call the enemy and maybe there’s room for peaceful negotiation?
What if reconciliation was really possible and we didn’t have to be so divided? Let’s do that because the war stories, the trauma, can’t just be reported because it’s there, it has to move forward somehow.
Q6. Warzones are not the most pleasant places to report from. Witnessing people suffer, especially children and women, can take a toll on one’s mental health. What was it like for you?
I have long said, it wasn’t the dead that bothered me so much. They no longer added to the story, it was the living. Their stories and energy, impacted me a lot. As a journalist, it’s my job to hold space for what they want to say. And if it's a tragedy they need to tell, then so be it.
In fact, it is a part of my job to help guide them with the questions for which I want answers, the ones I deem important to understand the story or the trauma better. But holding space for so many, some I may never see again, can be a heavy task.
In the moment, I turned myself off or deflected the heaviness of that sadness, just so I could be engaged, listen and do my job.
But afterwards, I always came away with a need to release. The body, mind and soul are connected and so what I felt in terms of sadness or frustration came out in the ways my body expressed itself.
So while I’m not a stranger to insomnia, war created a few more sleepless nights and there have been moments, I’ve needed to isolate myself to scream into a pillow or weep. But I’ve also found something else — covering war can also be enlightening.
But I’ve also found something else — covering war can also be enlightening. When I began with the intent to understand the human condition better, I found it, war isn’t always the worst of humanity.
Sometimes, war showcases the best of humanity. People are resilient through tragedy.
I say now some of the most enlightened ones are the mothers who get up off their mattresses everyday in a refugee camp and find the strength to feed and bathe their resilient children, who are often playing outside and laughing. So I learned a great deal from them.
War can take its toll, but war can also enlighten us to who we really are and what we want to become. Bearing witness to war isn’t just about suffering; it’s also about waking up to our very real primal condition and what makes us radically divine beings.
WOMEN BEHIND THE LENS
SEEING PAKISTAN THROUGH THE FEMALE GAZE
By Rabia Mushtaq
Having worked as a journalist for a weekly magazine, I often found myself covering a variety of events like book launches, press conferences, seminars, fashion shows, festivals and much more. Throughout my time on the job, I got familiar with some of the many popular photojournalists who closely, and particularly, worked within the entertainment industry in Karachi, Pakistan. But something always left me curious — I barely ever came across women photojournalists.
In Pakistan’s journalism industry, women often outnumber men in newsrooms as deputy editors and sub-editors. They also work as reporters on the field. But when it comes to photojournalism, male photojournalists can be seen thronging red carpets and taking up the best spots, especially during fashion weeks.
In the era of Instagram and popular online platforms, one may come across talented Pakistani female photojournalists. But sadly, the situation on the ground is different.
The lack of female photojournalists in Pakistan can only be guesstimated given that there is little to no data or information – official and otherwise – that could keep a count of how many women have worked and are working as photojournalists in the country.
Following cultural restraints, sexism at the workplace, discrimination and harassment both on and off the field, as well as the deep-seated misogyny and patriarchy in the society, women with cameras at the frontlines are still not a common sight in Pakistan.
So I decided to dive into the matter to find out where the women are, and speak with those who are breaking the barriers and striving to receive the same professional dignity and opportunities their male counterparts get in the industry.
In a video shot for The Coalition For Women In Journalism (CFWIJ) Sara Farid, a Pakistani photojournalist and CFWIJ member, shares that she was often the only woman with a camera when covering several press conferences and events in Pakistan. She calls the profession “a big boy’s club”.
“You’ll feel alone. You’ll feel like you’re being cornered and feel like there is no moral and physical support. You cannot enter the boys club because there’s a lot of sexism that exists in this industry, even in newsrooms by editors; you face character assassination and a lot of other issues,” she says, adding that one has to be strong and somehow, make it work for themselves.
Most of Sara’s work is focused on women’s rights, and religious and sexual minorities in Pakistan. Her passion for the work and success as a photojournalist is obvious.
“Growing up as a woman in Pakistan, all of us have faced some sort of bias, harassment, violence and abuse, and it makes you feel that you need to become a voice for all those people who face discrimination and violence, and you need to give them the space to talk about their issues,” says Sara, who then proceeds to share how being a woman has given her the opportunity to focus on various issues. “It’s important to talk about issues. As a woman I have access to these communities and I’m able to photograph them.”
Like Sara, Karachi based Malika Abbas Nosherwani has been working as a photojournalist since 2009. She works for White Star Photo – a photographic firm associated with the Dawn Media Group, as well as digital magazine Womanistan.
Talking about her experience as a female photojournalist for 10 years, Malika says it has been a good one, in general. “I haven't faced discrimination; in fact, a female photojournalist is sometimes preferred over a male photojournalist when it comes to women centric assignments,” she says. However, she does agree with the lack of representation in the industry. When asked why more women don't pick up a camera in Pakistan, she said, “Photojournalism is not a lucrative business to be in. And it involves being in places and situations where most women would not want to be and even if the women don't mind that, their peers don't want to be held accountable and responsible (in case of unforeseen consequences). Therefore, it takes a while to convince people that you are serious about this profession and are willing to put your 100% into it.”
During the course of my exploration, I connected with independent photojournalist Saba Rehman. Saba has been working for the past seven years and is the only female photojournalist working in an otherwise conservative province of Pakistan – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Having worked with both, local and international publications and digital news websites including behemoths like BBC, DW, Arab News, Al Jazeera and TRT World to name a few, Saba, too, says that she is blessed to have not faced gender discrimination following the support of her editors. However, she says that the number is rather low when compared to male photojournalists.
“There are no permanent positions for female photojournalists in any international publications in Pakistan. Even though the number of men are also inadequate, but the absence of women photojournalists as permanent staff largely remains an issue.”
From stories focused on female inmates to drug addicts and women empowerment to elections in the country, Saba mainly works in tribal regions where even men have a hard time covering news stories and photography.
“There are a lot of issues for journalists and photojournalists when working in Pakistan, particularly in the tribal regions up north,” Saba says adding that safety remains a point of concern.
“People don’t know what photojournalism is, while society’s lack of acceptance for the work, as well as restrictions by law enforcement agencies, can sometimes act as hurdles.”
Another tough battle that female photojournalists encounter is growing sexism in the industry. Saiyna Bashir, an Islamabad-based photojournalist who works for several international news outlets and agencies, talks about an instance when a male colleague was preferred over her to cover an event.
“They sent him to cover the Women’s March. Even though I could’ve done a much better job at it,” she shares and adds, “There is plenty of sexism, of course. Because everybody says ‘You’re a woman how can you carry so much gear and aren’t you tired’.”
Nevertheless, Saiyna’s work speaks for itself despite the discrimination she faces when doing her job.
“Following my diverse portfolio, my editors now do not specifically assign me for a specific story. From travelling alone in remote areas to covering a bomb blast at the Chinese consulate in Karachi, I get to work on various challenging assignments," she shared.
A budding female photojournalist in Karachi, Manal Khan, has also tackled sexism in the field.
“In 2017, I visited a mosque for an article on the importance of its architecture. As soon as I reached the gate, the security guard stopped me and refused to let me enter the mosque. I was wearing a long kurta and my head was covered when this happened,” she recalled.
“Even the media group I worked for was male-dominated. They only contacted female photojournalists for women centric projects or where men aren’t allowed to enter,” she said.
Giving women equal opportunities in the photojournalism industry is as crucial as providing them their deserving position in the newsrooms.
One may never know what the odds are for women photojournalists in Pakistan but support is never out of the question. As an organization invested towards supporting and mentoring women journalists across the globe, the subject becomes much more relevant for The Coalition For Women In Journalism. The need for women photojournalists will always remain imperative. The ideas and skills that women can bring to this profession is incomparable to what their men can manage.
Having a member like Sara Farid, who is one of the best Pakistani women photojournalists, CFWIJ looks forward to see more women challenging deep-seated norms in the country.
Both Sara Farid and her husband have been living in France after they received security threats in Pakistan. The change of place and work dynamics made it difficult for Sara to pursue her professional aspirations as a photojournalist, which is when she says the aspect of support became crucial to her life.
“Right now, the Coalition’s work is most useful for me… through CFWIJ’s platform I’m meeting new people, getting connected to journalists who work in Europe and other countries. It’s a great opportunity to be a part of the coalition and figure out my future plans,” she said.
CFWIJ upholds the importance of women’s voices in every aspect of journalism. As photojournalists, their visual creativity can be unfathomable and it’s only a matter of opportunity and consideration towards their talent.
Only 15% of news photographers around the world are women according to a study conducted by World Press Photo and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Another organization, Women Photograph, shared that less than one in five lead news photos published across eight popular news titles are photographed by women photojournalists.
This is the situation around the world. The numbers are likely worse in South Asia, especially in Pakistan, where journalism is a male-dominated field.
It is imperative to ensure that photojournalists and visual storytellers are as diverse as the subjects they choose to cover.
As far as society is concerned, Pakistan may be relatively backward with respect to an ample number of photojournalists, but the women photojournalists we spoke to have set an example for many to enter the industry and prove how representation matters.
In the past month, the Coalition For Women In Journalism documented various threats to women journalists around the world. From documenting arrests of Iranian women journalists to attacks on freedom of speech and expression in Turkey, and not to forget the travel ban on Majdoleen Hassouna — a Palestinian woman journalist. Here’s a round-up of everything from journalist’s safety to curbs on women journalists’ voices from the past month
State of press freedom in Iran
The Coalition For Women In Journalism monitored the state of press freedom in Iran last month, specifically the authorities’ treatment of women journalists.
According to the World Press Freedom Index, the country slipped six places down to 170 among the 180 countries on the Iist, following the arrests of journalists and activists with charges like jeopardizing national security among others.
Iran also came under strong criticism for being the world's biggest jailer of women journalists with 12 currently imprisoned for their reporting of human rights violations and coverage of protests against state policies.
The strict censorship policies of the Iranian government and prosecution of journalists was highlighted by CFWIJ in the form of its detailed report on imprisoned women journalists in the country.
Travel ban on Palestinian journalist
On August 18, a Palestinian journalist Majdoleen Hassouna faced a travel ban by Israeli authorities in West Bank.
The journalist — who works for TRT’s Arabic service — was attempting to return to her office in Istanbul, Turkey.
Majdoleen was visiting her hometown Nablus to spend Eid with her family, but when returning to resume work in the Turkish city, she was first detained by Palestinian intelligence. After being released by them, the Israeli authorities detained her for hours at a checkpoint and told to return back to Nablus; banning her to travel from thereon.
The journalist has had skirmishes in the past, but this was the first time she faced a travel ban. In July 2018, Majdoleen was physically assaulted by Palestinian security officers during a protest in Tulkarem, West Bank.
Turkey’s curbs freedom of speech
In the month of August, a court in Ankara ruled in favor of blocking access to 136 websites and social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest. An independent and bilingual online news platform, Bianet and ETHA (Etkin Haber Ajansı) — a left-leaning news agency, also came under fire during the clamp down.
The decision to block Bianet was later reversed by the court that deemed it a “mistake”. However, the rest of the platforms still remain inaccessible and reflect the Turkish authorities’ deliberate attempt to restrict press freedom.
We kept a close watch on the state of women journalists in Turkey. According to our data, 11 women journalists are currently imprisoned in different Turkish prisons. We continue to urge the authorities to release all women journalists who are behind bars only for doing their jobs.
On October 5, 2017, CFWIJ’s advisor Jodi Kantor and her New York Times’ colleague Megan Twohey published an expose that completely changed the way how the world viewed sexual harassment of women, especially in Hollywood. The two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists brought to light Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women, by convincing the victims — both famous and unknown — to go on record. Both Jodi and Megan made history by writing a gritty, investigative piece of journalism for the NYT.The duo is now back with a gripping account of their reportorial journey about how they managed to get to the core of the Weinstein story, which reignited the #MeToo movement in the US.
Edited by British-Lebanese journalist and writer Zahra Hankir, Our Women on the Ground, is a collection of personal essays by women journalists who have covered news and events in the Middle Eastern region. From sxism to the cost of war and conflict, the essays reflect what these women have tackled to fulfill their professional commitments.CFWIJ’s member, Hwaida Saad, also shares her experience by shedding light on the Syrian crisis that began in 2011. Hwaida notes down the changes in her interpersonal relationship with the sources in Syria with time, following the revolution’s transformation into a civil war;and writes about the way innocence gradually disappeared from the country.We highly recommend this book for its effort.
Sady Doyle reflects on why women are seen as monsters, how the stories convey and underline fears about women’s bodies, the way women resist and the idea of women possessing power. Ranging from classic myths and fairytales to contemporary horror stories, the book is based on monster tales and true crime stories.
Deep down the surface, the book highlights gendered concerns, dealing with sensitivities regarding a woman’s place in a society obsessed with patriarchal values.Sady brings forth the monsters that symbolize the patriarchal fear of women; how the notion of women being powerful frightens patriarchy and seems supernatural.
Dealing with sexual harassment, understanding newsroom culture, balancing work and life, or finding one’s way to leadership — this book shares the stories of women who have remarkably overcome such challenges while working for media organizations in the US. Through labor pains and raising kids, these women have called in news stories and fought battles to get where they are now. The same battles they now see the younger lot of women journalists facing 40 years down the lane — albeit with way less preparedness. There's No Crying in Newsrooms teaches lessons on what it takes for one to succeed in the media or any organization with men dominating the hierarchy and the female pioneers share their years of experience of surviving and challenging the system.
CFWIJ IN THE PRESS
WHO TO HIRE
Editors, employers and colleagues looking for recommendations, here are some women journalists covering stories on the ground with the expertise and insight that may significantly improve the quality of journalism you are looking for in the said countries. If you'd like us to help you get in touch with them, shoot us an email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
MESSAGING APPS WE SWEAR BY
Women journalists are at a risk of being vulnerable in the online sphere, so the idea of end-to-end encryption guarantees that no hackers, tech companies or governments with strict surveillance can spy on your gadget-led communication. Check out these three messaging apps you can count on when working on sensitive stories and communicating with sources without having to worry about anything.
I first heard about Signal during a digital rights training for journalists and instantly downloaded the app for its Open Whisper System protocol, which makes it super safe with end-to-end encryption.
Steer clear of spies! The app lessens the amount of data or metadata left behind by each of your messages.
You can text other Signal users in your contacts, make calls and send self-destructing messages that don’t last long during a conversation.
You may wonder if an app like Signal may cost you a fortune. Not at all! It’s absolutely free to download for both Android and iOS users.
Bonus point: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden calls it the most secure messaging application. Need we say more?
Need speed and security? Telegram is made for you.
Keep all your communications safe with its ‘Secret Chats’ feature — perfect for journalists working on sensitive stories.
You don’t need to worry about your conversation being misused. Once deleted by a user, messages vanish on the other side of the chat too. Use the self-destruct feature for photos, videos and files, even after they’ve reached the recipient.
Stay out of the cloud with Telegram. Your chats can only be accessed from the device you use. So if your device is secure, your secret chats are completely secure.
Telegram is blocked in some countries like Pakistan, China and Russia among a few others. So that’s a downer, unless you’re using a VPN connection.
If Telegram isn’t working in your region. Threema can be your savior but it’s a paid app.
With the end-to-end encryption and ad-free features, the app is a good deal and doesn’t rely on investors that may cause conflict of interest.
The app generates as little data as possible, so stop worrying and start communicating.
Messages are immediately deleted once delivered.
Groups and contacts are managed on users’ devices and no meta data is collected.
Tired of a tedious registration process? Chat anonymously using a random Threema ID, no personal info needed.
Threema keeps your communication safe with features like sending text and voice messages, files and locations in group and single chats.
·The app also is a great way to make voice calls and create polls.
IDENTIFYING A FAKE VIDEO
In this YouTube and WhatsApp-obsessed world, many media outlets and journalists end up making news stories using viral videos. One of our colleagues recently came across a sketchy video that seemed too unreal to be turned into a news item. If you’ve come across a video that seems vague, here’s how to identify if it’s worth turning into a story.
Check for inconsistencies: Download the video and repeat to check for any form of inconsistencies that you may otherwise not notice in one go. Visual effects and manipulations can be identified if watched closely. Blurring of the video at places, shadows and reflections are telltale signs to identify fake from real.
Observe: Look for anything that you feel is unusual in the video. Many videos may seem real but strange. From hydrographic printing to people diving down tall structures, the surroundings often give away minute details.
Look for the source: Even after looking for reliable coverage, you may find the video fishy. Google whatever you see and check for similar coverage of the news. Reliable websites and the language they use give away clues. Search for similar video titles to check if it has been posted before or not. Do a Google reverse image search of the video’s thumbnail. Check for the video uploaders’ online presence and genuineness. The duration of their account’s active status and their interaction with users is also helpful.