DW Akademie in Niger: Smartphone videos with an impact

Producing videos with smartphones is one of the focuses of DW Akademie trainings in West Africa. At a recent workshop in Niger, twelve radio and TV journalists produced initial reports for the online platform "PaxSahel".

While the security situation in the border region between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger becomes increasingly fragile, DW Akademie is conducting a project on conflict-sensitive reporting with an aim to help reduce tensions. The project is funded by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

At the workshop in the Niger capital Niamey, the twelve journalists from Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger quickly learned the basics of filming and editing with smartphones. And Hassimia Abdoulaye, a participant from Niger, soon discovered the effect that videos can have when spread on social media channels like Facebook.

How a posted video financed a surgical procedure

He had just posted his first video there. It looked at the young national soccer player, Ibrahim Tankari, who was injured in October 2017 during a training session with Niger's national team.

His family, however, could not afford to pay for the operation.

"The soccer world began reacting as soon as my video was posted on Facebook and WhatsApp. In the end, the team club's president decided to cover the costs himself," says Abdoulaye. "For a long time it had seemed there'd be no solution, but the video solved the problem in just one day."

Reports produced during the training will be posted on the PaxSahel platform. PaxSahel was established by the Réseau d'initiatives de journalists (RIJ), a network promoting journalists in West Africa and presenting conflict-sensitive reports on cross-border issues.

RIJ aims to establish itself as a reliable, regional reference source. Workshop participants are to continue supplying the platform with high-quality mobile videos.

A similar workshop took place in October in Mali.