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Old April 9th, 2013, 01:49 PM   #1
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warzones: how does one get such work?

I'm sure it can't be everyone who's willing to go on such assignments, typically news or whatnot; or maybe the list is longer than I think.

How would someone find gainful employment in that area? Anyone ever worked such a job?
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Old April 9th, 2013, 02:50 PM   #2
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Re: warzones: how does one get such work?

Well, that depends if you want to do it freelance, or as a correspondent. I knew a guy that worked as a corespondent in Afghanistan; he got the gig through his employer who got him embedded with the military. So you need contacts for that kind of job, and your employer needs to have the weight to get you embedded.

I knew a guy who did freelance photography in (the former) Yugoslavia and later in Somalia. He just went there with his camera, and sold pictures to anyone that would buy them (reuters or some news agency I think). But he was on his own out there, and living off his own expenses, and it damn near bankrupt him.

I remember I had been sent some PDF's a while ago from the BBC and some other sources about what is needed for that type of work (the Beeb even runs some training course for war correspondents) - I can dig them out if you want them.
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Old April 9th, 2013, 03:05 PM   #3
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Re: warzones: how does one get such work?

The course correspondents need to pass is the HEFAT course (I think most European war journalists are required to have it, along with Reuters foreign correspondents). CNN foreign correspondents do something similar (it was based on the BBC model).

If you're serious about the idea then that would probably be the first step, and the right place to make some contacts

Centurion run the best known (and internationally recognized) HEFAT course; in the UK and in Woodstock, Virginia, USA:

HEFATŪ Courses - Centurion Risk Assessment Services

I found 2 PDF's in some old emails that would be of interest to you, PM me if you want them emailed to you.
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Old April 9th, 2013, 06:57 PM   #4
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Re: warzones: how does one get such work?

Thanks a million, Simon
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Old April 9th, 2013, 10:16 PM   #5
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Re: warzones: how does one get such work?

As mentioned .. you'd never get there unless you worked for an agency and they had the right credentials. Then at the front it's obviously dangerous.

I know a Sky news reporter here and he's just returned from reporting in Afghanistan. You've gotta work in a heavy bullet proof flak jacket.

And going off to Cairo by yourself for the recent riots would be a worry, try and get travel insurance for something like that. Go see the movie Argo.

Cheers.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 01:41 AM   #6
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Re: warzones: how does one get such work?

Just sent you the PDF's. Enjoy!
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Old April 10th, 2013, 07:51 AM   #7
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Re: warzones: how does one get such work?

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Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
As mentioned .. you'd never get there unless you worked for an agency and they had the right credentials.
So apart from the propagan...er, news stations, what are some such agencies?

Come to think of it, not even sure how one gets a job as a cameraman at a major news network...
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Old April 10th, 2013, 08:06 AM   #8
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Re: warzones: how does one get such work?

Through contacts, mainly!

Or you can start at the bottom and work your way up.

I got a temporary job as a runner for a TV station crew when I was young...and the idea was to work my way up, but it was a long long queue ahead of me.

Later, by sheer luck, I was sat beside a producer who was helping to set up a TV station in Uganda. I mentioned I knew Avid, and from that discussion I got a job with the station (helping to set up their Non Linear suite). That led to a job doing news editing (on tape-to-tape beatacams) - and I was able to continue with the station (I eventually quit and went on to something else).

But the point being that I got in because of a simple conversation; if they had held interviews for the position I would have never got the job with my lack of qualifications.

So it comes down to contacts, more often than not, I reckon.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 08:28 AM   #9
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Re: warzones: how does one get such work?

Naturally, I'd have to do the thing at which I'm worst to get to do the thing at which I'm best (not best-in-the-world of course, just best for me of the things I do).

I've been passed over for many a job for which I was over-qualified just because of my famously terrible interview performance.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 08:49 AM   #10
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Re: warzones: how does one get such work?

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Originally Posted by Kevin McRoberts View Post
Naturally, I'd have to do the thing at which I'm worst to get to do the thing at which I'm best (not best-in-the-world of course, just best for me of the things I do).

I've been passed over for many a job for which I was over-qualified just because of my famously terrible interview performance.
Probably best to try one of those HEFAT courses then, and try to make contacts. I hear that journalists are required to do a refresher course every few years, do you could always contact Centurion just to see if they have any courses running in the near future with some active journalists doing refreshers signed up?
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Old April 10th, 2013, 11:47 AM   #11
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Re: warzones: how does one get such work?

Yep, second week if every month it seems... Now to just come up with the ~$3500 and justification to pay for it
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Old April 13th, 2013, 10:52 PM   #12
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Re: warzones: how does one get such work?

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Originally Posted by Kevin McRoberts View Post
So apart from the propagan...er, news stations, what are some such agencies?
I do not think this attitude will get you very far in trying to work for a news agency.

You would need to know everything there is to know about working locally for an agency before they would even consider sending you.

That said, once you're working locally, the line to go to war is a pretty short line.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 03:37 PM   #13
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Re: warzones: how does one get such work?

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I do not think this attitude will get you very far in trying to work for a news agency.
Certainly amongst the several reasons why currently I am not working for such agencies. HEFAT knowledge should be useful operating in any questionable locale (we've no lack of them stateside), so I'm looking at that as my starting point.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 05:49 AM   #14
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Re: warzones: how does one get such work?

News agencies need to know you so living and working in a hot news spot is a good start. Working here used to be good experience for getting into the hard news business and many of the BBC's top journalists started out in the local news room. As previously mentioned, there are courses for courses for people doing war and in dangerous situations.
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