Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

IWPR Iraq Continues to Train Journalists

By IWPR
  • Other Half trainees from Karbala, July 2008. (Photo: IWPR)
    Other Half trainees from Karbala, July 2008. (Photo: IWPR)

During the last six months, the IWPR Iraq project has continued to provide training and mentoring, particularly for female journalists.

The workshops have helped expand the network of journalists operating in Iraq, while the resulting reports have highlighted issues pertinent to women which are often lacking in Iraqi newspapers.

“In Iraqi TV feature production, the words don’t complement the pictures. We’re trying to change that. Writing the script was the most challenging part of the production for the trainees”
Hiwa Osman, IWPR Iraq country director

In July, 11 IWPR Iraq trainees in Sulaimaniyah helped produce four episodes of IWPR’s flagship radio programme The Other Half. The show explores the changing lives of Iraqi women, through a mix of interviews, features and commentaries.

The trainees had attended IWPR Iraq’s training courses in online and television journalism in the summer. They learned about what makes a good radio programme, techniques for digital audio editing and how to conduct radio interviews and host discussions.

Course participants had assembled material for four episodes of The Other Half from their home towns of Basra, Baghdad, Karbala and Kirkuk.

The trainees covered a wide range of issues related to the situation of women in these cities and highlighted many of the difficulties faced by female journalists and activists.

“They handled themselves well during the show and they were quite aware of the entertaining nature of radio,” said IWPR’s radio producer, Pishko Mustafa.

The following month, a number of Iraqi TV stations expressed an interest in broadcasting two new IWPR films, which were produced as part of IWPR’s training.

Commenting on the session which led to the films being made, IWPR’s Iraq country director Hiwa Osman said, “In Iraqi TV feature production, the words don’t complement the pictures. We’re trying to change that. Writing the script was the most challenging part of the production for the trainees.

“The best way to train a journalist is to show them and not tell them. We told them in the classroom how a film is produced. This is an opportunity to show them how to do it.”

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