The Nice View Gratitude Academy in Msambweni does have an IT room where students are taught computer skills. But until recently, the school had no Internet connection. In January 2019, this changed with support from FLMH, a communications agency from Berlin, Germany. Now, several computers are connected to the Internet.
But “the Internet” is a lot more than just cables and routers; using it requires digital literacy. FLMH and the teachers at Nice View organized a week-long project to show students how to become active Internet users. As “Nice View Reporters”, they explored their surroundings from a journalist’s perspective, took pictures, conducted interviews, and published their work online.
The first project turned out very successful, so we proceeded with another week in 2020. This time, the Nice View Reporters produced photo reportages as well as a podcast and a video film.
Below, you find some rules for reporters that may help to have a good start.
Reporters have the task of reporting on what is happening in the world. They want to inform other people. That means they have to report honestly, truthfully and from multiple perspectives. For the Nice View Reporters, we stated the following basic rules:
Reporters follow the so-called press code. These are international rules that reporters voluntarily follow. For Kenya, you may find the very detailed press code at https://www.mediacouncil.or.ke/en/mck/index.php/code-of-conduct-for-the-practice-of-journalism-in-kenya
Important parts of the press code
• Respect personality and privacy An article must not harm anyone’s dignity. You also have to respect the private life of others. Make sure you don’t reveal anyone’s private secrets. Privacy also includes personal data, telephone numbers, postal addresses or email addresses.
• Do not discriminate against anyone You must not discriminate against anyone because of their gender, disability, religion or origin. If, for example, a woman is involved in a traffic accident, you must not write: “As everyone knows, women cannot drive.” Here you would have discriminated against the person because of their gender. Be considerate. Before you write something think about whether you would want to read a specific piece of information about yourself and whether this would violate your feelings and your privacy.
• Do not privilege anyone As a journalist, you should stick to a neutral stance. Do not privilege anyone, especially not because this person rewarded you. Reporters never give, or take, bribes!
• Always work carefully Always be careful and thorough when writing an article. Think about what you want to say and what information is needed. Then you start with the research for information. While researching, make sure to not confuse your facts and check your information twice. Or thrice! Even if information seems correct it might be wrong or incomplete. So, crosscheck!
• Before publishing, check all the data and facts again. Check the spelling and all numbers again – typos or transposed numbers easily sneak into texts. Editing and correcting your own report prior to publishing is an important part of the job.
Types of reports
As a reporter, you can produce different types of reporting, be it a written article, a podcast or broadcast, or a video:
• You base your reports on facts, giving information and letting aside personal opinions and emotions. This may be a solely news report or a story about people and their doings and feelings. The stories on nice-view-reporter.org are mostly of this kind.
• You can do an interview and show it as it is recorded. So, it’s only questions and answers, and only small editing for better readability.
• You can focus on you own opinions and feelings about a topic. In this case, you have to clearly mark your piece as opinionated! Make it clear that you only speak for yourself. You may, for example, cover a football match or a music show with your personal preferences.