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What Should a Journalist Know Before Pressing the REC Button? 22 Moldovan reporters were trained by Recorder.ro team

01 April 2019
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During two days, more than 20 journalists from the Republic of Moldova learned from two authors of the project Recorder.ro from Romania, how to make impact videos, beginning with the idea and ending with the publication and promotion. Reporters were trained during the training entitled ‘Video-Journalism: How to Create Quality Video Content’, organised by the Independent Journalism Center on 29-30 March.
 
Journalists Cristian Delcea, one of the founders of the platform, and Alex Nedea presented the achievements of Recorder, which in less than two years became one of the most popular and profitable journalism platforms in Romania, being followed on Facebook by nearly 250,000 people. Currently, about 40% of the income of Recorder comes from donations. In just six months, the team managed to gather from readers more than EUR 56,000.
 
‘Over the last years, a middle class has been created in Romania that understands that the quality media must be supported and that journalism is not a charity work. When a media institution is supported by the political factor, it can no longer be independent and reflect citizens' interests. Readers in Romania begin to understand this,’ explained Cristian Delcea.   
 
During the two-day training, the participants learned about jobsharing when working in a team, about how to structure their activity, where and how to get information before going in the field, what do they need to know before pressing the REC button, but also how should look like a multimedia reporter's backpack.
 
To understand the practical aspects of the work that must be done in order to obtain an impact coverage, Alex Nedea and Cristian Delcea explained the origin of ‘Dumnezeul achizitiilor’ [lit. God of Procurements], one of the most successful investigations of Recorder, which registered over 1.2 million views and more than 34,000 shares on Facebook. Journalists unveiled the invisible part of the investigation, providing details from behind the camera – key moments of the investigation and reactions that emerged after the publication. The 24-minute film meant 28 days of documentation activities, six days of shooting, eight hours of raw video materials, three cameras and a team of five people who complemented each other.

'Do a lot of research before going in the field. If you must interview a key person, tell them the general topic but not the subject. Do not shoot shots that are too short and leave the button REC on almost all the time. Set the camera well in order to avoid obtaining a flickering image, carefully analyse all the raw materials in order to be sure that no important detail was overlooked,’ recommended Alex Nedea, author of the investigation ‘God of Procurements’.

Divided into two teams, the 22 training participants had to edit and manage the raw materials recorded by reporters of Recorder.ro in Chisinau during the events dedicated to the Centenary of the Unification. Guided by trainers, they made two new coverages, each of them having a different approach.
 
‘I've learned things that will surely help improve my skills as a vision operator and image editor. I will apply in practice the things I have learned and will try to create video content that is more attractive to the public, like the Recorder does. An A-level training’, said Ecaterina Alexandr from ‘Ziarul de Garda’ newspaper.
 
'During two days we have managed to discuss important things concerning the nuts and bolts of the Recorder project. This helped us better understand how the young editorial offices are organised and how they work, as well as how the team managed to impose itself on the Romanian media market in record time. The skills of the Recorder journalists and their experience are absolutely necessary lessons for TV journalists,’ commented Nicu Gusan, reporter of the ‘Pur si Simplu’ project of Radio Free Europe Moldova.

This training, which was organised by the Independent Journalism Center, is part of the ‘Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova (MEDIA-M)’ project, funded by USAID, UK aid and implemented by Internews in Moldova. The MEDIA-M project aims to promote the development of independent and professional mass-media in Moldova, giving citizens access to a broad range of perspectives and create a more resistant to political and financial pressures media sector.