Welcome to the Global journalism seminars. This is the briefing on the sixth of February for 17 am the Kira Mirage earthquake struck sevens into Turkey and northern western Syria. Woods in 50,000 were killed and millions displaced by the disaster. The past 30 days journalists at frontline focus on the working overtime to tell their stories using AR and VR technology as a storytelling technique we've been perfecting since 2018. And they founded frontline as a Facebook page and doctrine the stories of serious bull. Today, frontline focus is a thriving multimedia agency that produces films and photojournalism for media clients, just Dutch broadcaster nos and Swiss outlet SRF. It also helps train local journalists inside Syria, where most of the team is based. You pulled 16 Journalist fellows to ask if they were using AR or VR in their newsrooms and the 6% were using augmented reality 26% Were using virtual reality. In this seminar we're joined by frontlines co founder Carniola showery and product thinker Heil Huff to discuss real world applications for new tech news. That's the briefing let's begin.
Hi, and welcome to the global journalism seminars. My name is Caitlin Mercer and when we envision the lineup for this term series, we thought we'd be finishing up the season by talking to her little and hired about how they use AR and VR to bring the news to life but 30 days ago that all changed when the technology that they honed to cover a warzone had to be put to work in the Qatar Oman Mirage earthquake rooms. Frontline and focus was founded by Famille who's joining us from Syria today. He's an award winning photo journalist who got funding from the Google News initiative to develop frontline and focus XR Heil, who joins us today from Geneva. That right yeah, is a humanitarian field worker who has been doing that for over a decade working with UN agencies and other NGOs and thank you both so much for making time for us. Today. I know you've had
quite a heck of a month. Yes, it was indeed. Yeah.
Thank you. Thank you. So
tell us where you were. When you when you heard about the earthquake and how quickly we're able to mobilize your teams.
Yeah, when the earthquakes is happening here in Syria, it's affected also by earthquake, but not as much as other cities. So I just go ahead to genders we heard that there is a much affected than other cities. So yeah, I also call our colleagues here in Syria. We don't know what happened in everywhere because there is no internet no electricity till morning. So yeah, in the morning, we we can reach out internet because we go across to border to see because there's internet Turkish internet near the border. So yeah, we connect with the teams and like, give permission to go to the city. See, where's that affected cities in ad lib? Northern Aleppo. So yeah, I went here in Northern elbow. Like some of our team in ad lib, and yeah, we still work it to now. Yeah, there is like three or four from our team is affected by earthquake they lost their home, everything. Still work. Good to know. Was everyone safe on the team? Yeah, everything is everyone is safe and everything is okay. So thank God for the
Yeah. What's the situation like on the ground now? You're saying it's everywhere?
Yeah, now. It's like, one month and more after that. I think quick. That's tuition is still bad because the people is afraid from earthquake and any anything is back to their home. So yeah, there's no one I think living now. In the home like all day, they like built tents. In front of their home. They live there. They bank just in the morning to bring their stuff like take a shower, eat there. And after that, they back into their tent, even there. Everybody's here is afraid from the earthquake. And what's happening next. So yeah, you can see tents and everywhere in the street and field in everywhere. There's more than now 1000s and 1000s of tents in Syria. Yeah. And the needs in Syria. It's still grown up. Because everyday you can see that victim of earthquake on the ground. So all the people in need here.
Even Mike Caitlin's some of the places that were hit, for example, genders it's a very small town in northern Europe. It was hit the hardest and they're quick, this area is not seen more likely there was no fighting was not destroyed by anything. And now the earthquake came and destroyed everything. And so even the people who don't have their homes were not impacted by their queen, refusing to go back and sleep in their in their homes because they're scared of their lives.
Yeah, because of structural damage, I guess is the fear.
Yeah, and I mean, there was a lot of small earthquakes that happened after the two the two main ones the two big ones that happened back to back in two days. And yeah, structural damage can basically result in in like, total collapse of buildings and keep in mind that these areas are not governed very well. So there is building codes is not something that people do. There is nobody overseeing like buildings that are being built in the only ones and old ones. So So yeah, that's that's another reason why people are scared.
Must be incredibly difficult for Syrians not to feel it's like superstitions about it just keeps coming. Right. How do the people in that in that town feel?
In general, yeah. Sorry,
engender, having missed the war and now being flattened by an earthquake. What is the response of the locals to just the continued misfortune?
Yeah, the genders it's a small town and there is a lot of people came in from another cities to here. There is no war here. So you can find the people from their zone you can find people from Aleppo from Hama from Damascus from everywhere, they came into here to generis and this city is grown up like last five years. So you can see a lot of new buildings here. Yeah, and the people said, Okay, we don't affected by war. But now we lose. We lose everything. Yeah, I think like, I met people, like two hour couple of hours. I met them and they live in in, in school. So all their children were there studying in this school, they came in with their family and build a tent inside the school and live in there. They said okay, we now feel safe. We lose everything. There's some family lose their home, work, cars, everything. But yeah, they're good things. When when see some families said okay, we don't lose anybody from the family but we lose like home. Thank God for that things. Because there's more than 1400 people died here in January so you can imagine our situation. Yeah.
I'm going to share some of the work that you've been doing. See if I can do this successfully, to tell the stories using AR and VR, and AI has played a role, too. So we're looking here, you want to tell us a little bit about what I'm showing them
yeah, this is big, big building. There's I think there's more than 32 families living here in this building. And there is no more than seven person Yeah, just came out from this building. So everybody's died. Here. There's more than one died under the surrogates. Wow. And just in this apartment. Just in this apartment. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Since today, I were in symmetry here in the city. Yeah, you can see a big graves here with their names are full families, like seven people. 10 people, five people, all the families in the same grave. So yeah, it's it's a big thing had been here for the small city and small area and the people that's not ready for that things. We can all people said okay, we can imagine everything. Because we live with that airstrike we live with a shilling. We live with everything. Farmers came in from the sky to the cities. But we don't imagine that that's happened to us here in Syria, that earthquake and that's and we also when we when we talk into the Civil Defense, they said okay, it's shocking for us because it Yeah, you can see usually the Civil Defense go like to their small area, there's just one building hit him by a strike or something like that. But when when you wake up and this earthquake, you can see more than 100 of places it in my earthquake. So they, yeah, they don't know how to start and where they can start. So yeah, there's a lot of people losing their lives under this collapse. of their homes and yeah, buildings. Here we found here and genders. We focus in gender especially because there is you can see big affected on the ground because the states nearly a 70 to 80% of the city is going down. So yeah, you can see the ripples and collapse and everywhere.
That's, I mean, it's not it's not funny. But it's, it's, it's so humanizing, isn't it to you know, it's so humanizing to see the kind of artifacts of, of life you recognize.
Yeah, we usually see that this building, it's it's in same Yeah, we bought him by airstrike but earthquake. We can't imagine that things.
What Khalil was saying is, is the war usually happens in a concentrated area you have like one or two neighborhoods that people basically fighting places are safe, relatively. This one in a couple of minutes it devastated an entire region like and no The White Helmets and civil defense in Syria they cut their capacity is is enough to respond to like a one class building or to more like an ad from respond to that big existences is beyond their capacities.
Tell me how
that that piece that I just shown, how many people did it require? How much equipment did it require? How quickly were you able to turn turn that out and and why is it important to you to work in these formats?
Well, we're filming Usually it takes about with 360 filming. It's a specific camera that we use to cover the to like do the whole take the all angles and like film with it. We did not have that one before. It's it's quite pricey. And so when we got some funding, we were able to purchase a lot of equipment that helped us with that with that kind of thing. And then once the filming is done, uh, usually it's a couple of photographers that will go out and and basically try to cover all angles with that camera. And then they go back to the desk, some editing some some, some work on the video is being done. And then we have in this case, basically we were at the like in the back line supporting Shalini and the other photographers for like doing that kind of filming and producing. Once we receive the video we take over and give them the next task and they will go and do it. So when you see the video, we have some editors that we work with specific ones trained to edit 360 video, and then the video goes live as soon as we can because we want to we want the people to be in this story. And to feel story. Going back to the to why did we choose that kind of covering. So we see it as like for example we were we were basically trying to stay away from the breaking news business because it's very fast. It happens within a couple of minutes. Like even if you now go back to the storylines on the internet on the major media like publications. You need to search for the earthquake story because it became a little bit older for the media, like people aren't covering the earthquake that much. Because this is how breaking news stories work. We wanted to do something more in depth, more human that can cover a lot of angles of a story that can feel make people feel related to the to this thing to the material that you see to the content to the people from the other side of the world. So with 360 you can you can have the people feel that impact way more than watching something normal. Like imagine yourself with a with a with a with a headset, like you can look around you can feel yourself and your own you this experience will live with you for a long time because you will be able to see everything and where people live for example in their in a tent or in their destroyed home. In that case of the earthquake. There is a research by Bloomberg. an estimation of $800 billion will be invested in the metaverse by 2024 which is next year. And there is also a search by same same institution that by 2030. They will everybody in the world will be involved somehow in the metaverse for so I mean we're involved in it very much because this is our business but but it will be a lot of people who didn't think for example, that they will not buy a newspaper anymore and read it online in the past and now they do that and now they don't think they will be involved in the metaverse they will feel like oh I'm missing out on something I have to go in and see what's going on there. Not just the Microverse like the the XR work in general. So So yeah, this is this is basically the reasons why we chose that poly
man we just talking about that. Which answer you do you want to which question Do you want it to answer on it? Because I think we have to now.
Which, which question do I want
to in? Yeah. Do you want to answer?
That's a good question. I'm sorry. I was just slightly distracted because I'm being messages a message about a sound. And I would just like to encourage my friends downstairs to turn off all of the equipment at the plug, turn it back on again, and restart the process of logging in in order to get sound. One if you could hear that if you could go and assist and we're very grateful. But let's the three of us couldn't continue our conversation with the with the other 50 and those of us joining us on Twitter. I think where I where I'd be interested to go next is to understand a little bit about in terms of the response to this story.
weren't initially thinking breaking news, but now you found yourself in a breaking news situation. What was the preparation that you have done beforehand in terms of working with Syrian journalists and citizen journalists? How well prepared were they to be called up to to cover the story in a unique way that allows people to kind of empathize with the story of on a whole different level. How already winning and and what did you do to train them up?
Yeah, what are we talking about that? Especially I can start with the local journalist when we thinking about that things because everybody he's, uh, here is like when they thinking about that story or news. They think, okay, I can take photo video. And that's it. That's how we deal here and see Yeah, because they used to deal with like fast news, something like daily news that says there's some places hidden by airstrikes something died. That's it. And when we talking about with those guys about their stories, and how we build that stories, there is a stories, some stories taken like a month from us to build it, especially when we're talking about the XR because we use it VR AR and now we use AI so it's hard to do take this time because you should have ambition to to build this story. So yeah, when we talk in with those guys, so we told them Okay, forget everything. We will not deal now with that breaking news. When something had been as a breaking news, you can deal with it as a breaking news. But now we are build a story because after 12 years, everybody's starting to like pulled from everything what's happening so yeah, it's yeah we used to see everything here. Everyday there is a strike every day there is a died guys something someone died. So yeah. But we start to deal with Okay, let's build story. So we we can like a back and focus on what's happened in Syria. So yeah, we start to teach them how to deal with a camera, how to thinking and the story and not just one Angular in two three angles how to deal with the camera with that those angle, how to build a story for 360 how to build a story for AR when can when can I use VR and when can I use AR and now we start using AI also it's another way to build a story because it's make easiest for us to use AR also because AI can help a AR so yeah, it's take time it's take more than one use to teach those guys. And now we have like I can say like I have 10 guys with a good experience to deal with XR and AI.
Tell me about how AI played a role in this story. How do you use AI?
How we use AI cars in AI it's like we use when when we work with a our scanner so we can scan that places scan their bodies, anything's here and after that we can make it and render it and after that it's we can use it to in our stories. But with AI they give you like a chance to take just one big video and after that they can deal with this video and make it as a are or if you wanted to make it as a video. So yeah, and in somehow like sometimes we we miss something in the blazes so we just take a video or use an old video and from with the AI we can make it as VR or AR Wow. Yeah. So when we when we start with the XR project I always said okay if I if I know these things before maybe I can take a video for this place because there's some places in my mind I yeah, I remember it and it's really good to take it with a VR and they are but now with the AI I can use it I change it yeah to change this video and make it the AR and VR
and let's talk a little bit also about about the training on the ground. But what training has to happen for the people back in the newsroom who have to process all of this data. I hear you saying it's getting easier with AI but there must be how big is the team back in the newsroom and how do you process all of the footage
where you still have we're still a small startup. I wouldn't say small anymore. I think we should we should say we're a startup. So we don't have that big of a team and then you throw matters. We are the majority of them are in Istanbul. But we have we work with people from all over. I mean I'm based in Geneva Switzerland so it's a we work with people with different places. I was completely new to this technology to be honest. I mean I can use myself as an example of like how we how we did this. And what helped me is like I was the one who purchased all of the equipment for him. So I get the chance to play with it before I give it to him. You know learning by doing is the best way of and then by being the product manager I basically sit down with the with the editors and like go through the product, the footage from scratch the raw material, review everything go for like through everything from the very beginning. And that basically helped me a lot to understand one how to shoot with this kind of equipment and to how to deal with the equipment after you after you are done shooting and how to how to come up with a final product such as the ones that you have shared.
Right? Tell me this is a dodgy question but and you can not answer it if you want to but and you might not even have the comparative data. But do you think the journalists who were trained on the Syrian side of the border were better equipped to handle this earthquake than those on the Turkish side?
Not really, for a couple of reasons. One is our journalists in Syria are local. So they were personally impacted by the earthquake. And so they had to deal with their own, like own life before they go into port one step. Two is don't forget that there was the access to Turkey is way, way easier than covering the story from Syria. I mean, we work with six or seven different and outlets, including media organizations and NGOs. And this is this is our capacity. This is where we could cover at that time. While every single news media team in the world could actually go book a flight, go there, be there next day start shooting that day. So it was it was a different experience in terms of that but I can't wait I can tell you is about our team is like our team is like highly equipped with very advanced cameras. Very advanced technology. They're very well trained. We managed to secure internet was a huge challenge during the earthquake like they have to shoot the whole day we couldn't reach them because they would go inside and we would have to wait until the end of the day so they can drive up to the borders like Park in their car upload the like file that the image and then we have to deal with it. So so we in terms of equipment and training, we had a reliable team. The first day was a little bit of a shock. So it was actually it was the main one who was basically out and working and within the next day we could catch our breath like the earthquake happened on Monday morning at 417 in the morning, Tuesday morning. We were full on full team filming in pictures filing at the end of the day. We were back on track. I think I
meant more from emotional resilience standpoint after covering the war. Do you feel more equipped to cover a disaster zone?
Oh, yeah, I think so. Very much. So. Yes. Yeah, the team has been covering the conflict for I mean, PhillyD only has been there for now. 11 years, I think. And then the rest of the team is mostly from the areas like where we work. So they lived through the conflict. Some of them have lived through the conflict. Some of them are 20 years old, and they they were born they were born in the conflict so they know exactly what to do. They know exactly. They are aware of their security protocols. They know what to do. They know where to go, where not to go. They were very well equipped to deal with that. Yeah,
it's not just stories of disaster and and and war that your teams are covering. I wondered, shall I share? Ernesto his Cat Sanctuary or the bazooka? Which would you prefer me to share?
That story I love cats. Yeah,
the internet loves cats. Right. Let's let's take a look at this one. Use it. Tell us a little bit about about this story and what what we're looking at a lot of cats
Yeah. It's Mr. It Do you know that this place it starts with an elbow. I think 2013 14 Something like that. And after everybody going out of elbow, they are now in the countryside. They have now more than 1500 Kids in same place. Yeah, and and I think we will follow up with someone an earthquake now because they came into genders and some affected cities to collect their cats. And yeah, take it to the shelter there.
I don't know it just kept getting his vaccinations do I want to see oh
it's like a labor No.
There you go. Kittens make it all better. So they they've they've now been collecting cats from the earthquake zone to take back to a level.
Yeah. They will take it to Idlib now they are I think every waking just one day each week and they collect their cats affected by earthquake and take it to Idlib where they say the Ernesto bass there.
That is a lot of cats. Tell us a little bit about why you decided to tell that story about why the story was chosen.
This is what I was what I meant of like we're usually not focused on the breaking news. This very beautiful human story that came out of the war. I don't think we had them in shelters even before the war. This is something that happened. I don't think that whole area had any cat shelter before the war. happened an idea of somebody who likes cats and he and he in passionate about saving cats and you know cats in our culture is is is like their main pet in everybody's house. So I grew up with my grandma had a legendary cat called Suzy. So yeah, I mean, we decided to tell that story because it tells about it's a very human story. It's a beautiful about how people come together to save. Even the animals are impacted by the war even we want to show the viewer that war is just not just on people but also on the animals. Who are like living around and they needed care. They need food, they needed vets, they needed medicine. They need somebody to take care of them. And so we decided to tell the story just to show the viewer that this is this is also happening. It's not just the destroyed buildings that you see around you or like the waves of millions of people working on the towards Europe or in Syria it's also the cat
Yeah, and uprights texture to the to the international community as well that Syria is more than broken buildings. Yeah.
Yeah. Because all people when we when we say like just Syria. Our thoughts go into that. Okay, Sprite building, there is airstrike someone died. That's it. We have another kind of story we have a good story. We have a soft story. You can Yeah, we can show through our works. So yeah, we worked with Ernesto before AR and VR and after we bring this technology Yeah, we back them to them and we found with them in XR. So yeah, it's good. We have also now we make like a video. We change it to AI. So it will be I think we will launch like some of those videos and then AR and AI I think next month so yeah, be online. So you can Yeah, we can. You can live there.
I've got questions coming in. In the q&a section I think let's just go across there. I'm not sure how my my my darlings are doing downstairs but I'll check in with them in a second. Let's start with Dahlia Kamal who says can you translate the webinar into Arabic Dalian mother RF but maybe a little inhale will will do this in Arabic. And the people want to know, Sharon teaches journalism. She teaches visual journalism and she wanted to know if if you were working with beginners and students what camera would you recommend
or learning on? Yeah,
there's no there is a lot of kinds of cameras but for beginners I don't know I don't want it to make a like an ad for some companies aren't
always the models are available but
yeah, but we used to use Insta 360
instead three, six. Yeah, it's
good. They have good cameras with like the software is also is very good. And it's easy to use. You we have a camera like starts from 100 to 1000. So you can choose the budget that you want it to deal with it. So yeah, I recommend on Insta 360 also GoPro they have a camera feature. They have a camera also. Yeah, but we used to use the institute we have all kinds of cameras. But we used to use the Insta 360.
How are we doing? Sorry, go ahead.
Yeah, so there's also a myth about the the headset is very expensive. I can't afford it. This headset is 25 euros on Amazon. Wow, that's required. It's this is their headset. It's uh, you know, you put your phone in it,
or you put your phone and
it's, it's 25 euros and Amazon. So don't let anybody tell you it's very expensive. I can't afford it. You can buy one there is one for five bucks, the cardboard one the Google one. It's $5 it's a Starbucks latte. Don't have a latte today. Go buy a cardboard Google. Yeah, it's very it's very cheap. So I mean, you can buy it you can spend 1600 bucks the new the new meta quest is is $1,600 I think it's very expensive. But you can also spend 25 You can spend 100 It's, it varies. It's not expensive.
Also, also we buy one of this not cardboard. It's a plastic one by $7 with a joysticks so you can use it also. It's a good one. Yeah.
I think Andrew Piersall has an interesting question. And the examples I was showing you wouldn't have seen how you incorporate interviews into your footage. So I'll just pose his question as is. Is the footage mainly observational, or have you tried to include interviews and pieces to camera while filming? Either of you can
take that it's actually mostly interviews. Observation of just to cover a story like they're a quick one, which is more in the very in the very beginning of the incident if they're beginning of the news. We wanted to show the level of destruction that happened but we mainly do interviews. Ernesto has an interview to it. And then we have I shared our website on the chat. And this is the 360 page. You can look at stories. I think 90% of our stories are interviews. And what we did is basically it's mostly in Arabic so we did the translation on both angles. So if you flip the camera around, you see it here you see behind you as well. So if you walk around the room, you will be able to see the transition. This is a very, very beautiful story. music
It's a beautiful story. This guy is a is a musician and he cannot play music anymore. Exactly. This is exactly what we mean. Yeah,
this is the kind of thing where on the one side you can you can see the English you can you can hear Him speaking in an Arabic
How do you pronounce Bozak was up
or tambura tambura number some
so you can hear that.
I hope I shared sound I hope you can hear that. But you can listen to this. You can listen to Jama explaining his instrument. You can hear him playing it. Look around his garden. Yeah. Kind of gives you a sense of control over the story doesn't it that you are sorry. Technical difficulties. It gives you a sense of ownership almost of the story that you're able to control elements of how you're receiving the story. You can choose to look at Joomla or look at his garden or Oh, it's it's very.
You feel very involved as a audience member.
Yeah, yes, absolutely. There's a follow up question from Andrew. About surely this is for you.
Yes. Do you prime the interviewee about the technology and then go hide behind the wall so you're not in the shot?
Where are you hiding?
Yeah. Yeah, we always hide it. Yeah. Because we have like a we we control all cameras on our phones. So yeah, we hide behind the walls every every where? For the camera not show you Yeah, so yeah. It's, we always hide in we, we know we start to know how to hide from the camera. And then sometimes we just like give like you just give your back to the camera and that's it. You just fall Go Go ahead. Yeah, because the camera it's just 5.7k. So when you go like more than 30 meter. So you can see that it's much clearer. So you just give that back to the camera. And that's it. Yeah, but but but usually we hide behind the walls behind everything. Everything's just to hide from the camera. Yeah. And he's
in the middle of the room and then you go away. Yeah.
That's it. Yeah.
Underneath the camera. Sorry. Thanks. Yes. Can
you stand underneath it and
yeah, yeah, yeah, but but but he, you still show somebody down? Down? Okay. Yeah, they got because the camera it's blind from that those areas? Yeah, so they can cut some some places from here, but they can show everything.
Brilliant. Tell me one of the worst. mistakes you made when you were learning the technology.
When when when you put to the cameras, sometimes we add the first Yeah, not not now because now we are experts with this camera. Yeah, we put the camera like that in front of the guys who were interviewed. So they cut this place from his face. So with that without nose.
So you do have to
learn about the positioning of your camera if you want to. regime from the Philippines says 100. All journalism stories should be about cats going forward. Cats and dogs. And I'm not sure if the room downstairs is able to let Natalia ask your question live. Do you want to give it a try? Or?
Yes hello, thank you. The quality of our audio is not so good. But we saw a lot of beautiful video especially with cat Thank you.
is about fake news and misinformation. Have you ever faced cases when AR and VR technologies were used for spreading fakes and misinformation? Yes. Could you give us an example and in general, what do you think about the problem of using these technologies against democracy and freedom of speech?
Yeah, we actually have not so far knock on wood. faced any situation about misinformation or misinformation about the product we are working with? I personally I mean the thing is like if your XR technology's not that widespread yet we are anticipating it to be more global in the next few years. And then I think by that time, the misinformation campaigners will catch up on that technology and they will go it's happening now and it's I think, I believe it's happening now in the metaverse. It will definitely happen on the XR XR world and we still again, we're still a small startup. So we we will probably get we have to catch up with that very soon, but so far, we have not yet faced any situations like this, but I think it exists on the metaverse 100% And there shouldn't be some policies there shouldn't be some some ways to avoid them. I mean, the the media now is struggling to deal with the misinformation campaigns on the regular platforms like know, the metaverse and virtual world so that I mean I believe there should be some some lows in countries and some policies that can that can face the disinformation and misinformation Can
I wonder if you've? I doubt you would have this answer already. Because as you said, it's rare to find the sort of misinformation XR stuff but I wonder if you've thought about developing like these are the telltale signs that something is real and these are the telltale signs that something has been produced an AI or
you know what I was about to say? The challenge now is going to be the AI is producing I saw an article before I come in about a magazine is producing a story about the subway in New York City that looks identical to a real story that was produced. So the problem is going to be the AI and there is a couple of lawsuits in the US that I am watching about using the the the the art there was an artist that sued a big AI company because they're using art that is very similar to her art and saying this is not okay. So I'm watching these lawsuits and I want to see what the result that is going to come up because that is going to basically impact everybody including us about a trademark can and like who owns the who owns the image who owns it on the internet, can I just use it because it's your it's on the internet. It's aI VR. So that is going to determine a lot of way forward. And I think as we move into this technology, there will be a lot of similar similar challenges and similar lawsuits that will come through and we will we will benefit from that I hope. Let's see what happened.
Yeah, I think I think also there's usually in in journalism we did with that things, because, like, who owned these things and who owned this things. So yeah, we usually like in some artists painting or something like we some sometimes we found something like paint on the wall. So we have a consent form for that things. So we give our consent form for the guys who paint that thing. So we ask him, Okay, can we use this painting on our article on our video on our AR, VR, anything like that? So he signed up for that things but I think it's very early to deal with that with AR and VR, because everything is new now. Especially when we're talking about the Middle East, Middle East. It's it's very new here. And there's not that much people know how to deal with the XR. So yeah, we need a time here. I think
when you're talking about consent forms, I'm going to come to menar next but when you're talking about consent forms and particularly filming in the Middle East. A How do you deal with consent around those who don't want their image to be shown who don't want their faces to be shown? Who might be walking past and be how do you deal with consent when you're filming in rubble?
So I can I can do a couple of things. One we we really set up ourselves in a place that everybody is on camera is going to be a sign a consent form. If we are in a situation that somebody just get out of the earthquake and is basically in a mental state of mind that cannot be consenting and writing about something. When we always ask people are you okay to be filmed? And they say yes, camera can we use on video? Can we use this footage for the purpose of like publishing on the internet it's going to be on blah, blah, blah, blah. And that's a very easy way to say yes or no people sometimes say no, we don't use we don't film we stopped the whole process. It's very important for us to have people say approve that we are going to use their images in situations like we have a big crowd of people. We usually really avoid doing that kind of doing that kind of story. We focus on like one one person and they can give a consent. Consent for us in writing, if possible. If not I can believe you. Yeah,
there's a yeah, there's lots of ways to deal with that. Like when you deal with breaking news, it's not time to take a consent form or deal with that things. So yeah, like when the earthquake started we just filmed that. So nobody's taking care about the cameras. Nobody wanted to deal with the camera or making an interview for camera. But when we have said that after two three days, we start to involve in the stories of the people. So in that way, we start talking about consent form. So yeah, when like when we go to shoot or filming in camps, like in the school, so we tried to tell people at the first Okay, we will film here, if there's anybody No, not like to show it in the camera. So if you can go from here as you want to, but everybody's shown in their camera, you should sign that consent from expect that we will delete that video if you don't want it to show on his face. So we have also a big case here in Syria, also in the Middle East. Is that too, like because I saw the woman here? Yeah, the woman not like to talk to so usually they hide their faces by button, some scarf or sometimes going on from their places. Okay, that's it. Right?
So modestly has to you obviously have an extra thing to think about when you're filming in this region.
Yeah. My mother.
Yeah. Question. Yeah.
My daughter from Georgia. My question is, I feel like you've kind of answered some of it. What's your strategy in interviews in took up in interviewing the best terms and covering their story stories? And we'd like some people who are already saying, Okay, we would we accept that but they are under the trauma
Yeah. So sometimes, we actually don't. Sometimes we tell them we'll come back. So I'll give you an example. A couple of days ago, we were covering a story for one of the children who were impacted by by the earthquake for for a client and, and we went to the house to their tent, that is their new house now. And the child was not comfortable on camera. So we just walked away. And we said we'll come back. Maybe tomorrow the day after. Until you guys feel until he the child feels okay to speak on camera. And his family is okay with him sneaking a camera with us filming them. So we came back a couple of days after that and he was okay to speak on camera. When we see the situation that is basically beyond. You cannot basically film here we also think about I mean, don't forget that we're also from Syria. So and we also so a lot of this kind of we live the trauma ourselves, and we understand exactly how people feel when there is a camera in front of their face. The moment they're like RFPs after so we don't really do that until it's okay with everybody involved. And the process. Yeah.
And in some cases also we Yeah, that especially with our kids, they don't they don't like to go ahead with a camera and interviewing there. So we asked some someone else from the same family talking about the story, even if the story is about these kids. So yeah, in some cases, we make an interview with other another person from the same, same family. So yeah, that's it but as I said, we take your time with that.
Yeah. And then one thing about covering children in particular is very sensitive for a lot of reasons. And so sometimes if we feel the story is not okay to be to be filmed in person. We go to Animation. We did it a few times. We did an animation movie about kids and their stories because we we felt this is not okay to be shown in person. So we got to mention we changed their names if we have to just we tell just for the purpose of like showing the people what's going on without without jeopardizing their children's privacy.
It has to be an example of where you where you've moved to animation.
This is an AR This is. This is okay. Yeah.
Um, you'll see
how the question again kind of around the standards of moderation that you have to maintain your seat taken away. Yeah,
thank you so much for talking to us today. So yeah, my question is also linked to the ethics of using a previous slide. So I was wondering, when you are dealing with 360 video content, what kind of a review process do you have before publishing? Because I guess when you have more footage, there is always a bigger risk of publishing something that you actually didn't even realize was there. So I was wondering if you see a risk like face to your work or how do you approach it?
Yeah, and Malika will add on her questions that which is, what are some of the ethical challenges of being a visual journalist? I think they're slightly related questions.
For the first question about the review process. We usually do three types of three layers of review. One is the editor himself when he's done doing the video he watched it again and again to make sure it's like especially like we like a lot of fresh it's so when I ask somebody to go film something. I asked him if you can take 200 rushes please do because that will give us a lot of room to expand our story and show a lot of angles, but the editor use it and then the the editor in chief, the one at the desk in Istanbul reviews it thoroughly and then it comes to me I look at it and then we come up with something that is final. If we're doing the story for us. It's done. If we're doing this story for the client. It's shared with the client client gives feedback we edit we can send back and it's done. For the second part, maybe she'll can answer that Helene ethical challenges in visual journalism. Yeah, I
think we, it's a big it's a big question. Yeah. To answer. Yeah. We used to do that with that things for more than like 18 years. Till now. For me. So yeah, we we, we used to like we have a lot of parts to answer on this question. First of all, is to respect the people who wanted to film with them. Because in the war zone, when you go into film, the people it's always be nervous. Always be like, under the trauma and the shock, so you should be polite with them. You should do ask, always ask also. We should respect the region because we, we you talking about Middle East, and especially here in this area, the people is always very sensitive about families about kids about hoomans. So you should ask always ask. So I think it's a big question. Yeah. Sometimes there's a they will ask us to not to shown something in the in their story. So we respect that things also. When when we make a promise to families that we will not do that thing. So we will not do that things. Sometimes they ask us okay, don't cut this part from this interview because we wanted this part to be on our interview. So we will we will keep it because we it's not just ethical it's it's like it's a story for the people they affected by 12 04. That's what we cover. So you should show on everything as the people want that things. That's the first thing that we want to do show it and that's what first thing what we want to thinking about it when when we make any stories. Also, that's what we learn our like, photographer also underground, so we told them okay, you should deal with our with our like, we have a rule so you should deal with that things. You should go with our rules. Make that that and don't make that that so that the first things we we talking about it before learn them how to deal with the camera.
Yeah, honesty, accountability, transparency, informed consent, cultural sensitivity.
There's a lot of things Yeah.
Thank you Khalil and her we've run out of time, but this has been just the most fantastic hour. I'm sorry about the technology issues we've had upstairs and downstairs but I loved every second of talking to you. It's our final seminar of the term. So thank you for being our final guests. And I must say thank you to the people who worked behind the scenes this term to make this happen. Including Quan, our unseen producer in the sky. Lauren, who helped with admin, Matthew and Marina who helped with our comms and our video production side of things. Huge thank you to you and a huge thank you to the journalists fellows who join and bring us such interesting questions. And thank you hail and folio for giving us a fantastic hopeful way. Despite being from such a conflict torn area. You've given us I think, one of the most hopeful seminars because of the innovation that you're doing. So thank you for that.