Friday, October 17, 2014

DATELINE DAR ES SALAAM: CNN: 'Journalists' job is more dangerous but more important than ever before.' - CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014.

CNN International's (DStv 401) boss for newsgathering told Africa's journalists on Friday in Tanzania that their work is more dangerous, but more important than ever before.

"Journalists' job is more dangerous but more important than ever," Deborah Rayner, the senior vice president of international news gathering for TV and digital at CNN International told journalists.

She was one of the panelists and speakers in a panel discussion at the media forum of this year's CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014 which was held at the Kunduchi Beach Hotel's conference centre.

The 19th CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards will take place on Saturday evening at the Mlimani conference centre in Dar es Salaam in the East African country, when some of the best journalists across the continent will be honoured for their work the past year in Africa's most prestigious competition celebrating journalism.

"It's become more important than ever to find ways to establish the truth," said Deborah Rayner.

Speaking in general about journalists, journalism and reporting across all media and not specifically about CNN, Deborah Rayner said "sometimes we're actually guilty of reporting stories peacemeal and in isolation".

"We need to take an even bigger view. We need to be more aware [as journalists]."

"As journalists we get into this because we think we can make an impact. The best type of journalist changes policy."

"Not just journalism but investigative journalism is more important than ever," said Deborah Rayner who called on journalists to be courageous.

"It is our duty to be as diverse as possible and our CNN newsroom is incredibly diverse. In that way you retain perspective and are able to incorporate as many perspectives as possible in your reporting."

Deborah Rayner said she firmly believes in "ground up" news gathering and that publications and broadcasters need to employ and send out experienced reporters to cover stories and gather the news.

"I believe in 'ground up' news gathering. You put the most informed journalists on the job."

"News editors are human beings. You can only hope that your editors have years of experience and are able to compare how you've responded 25 years ago to a type of story to how you're responding now."

"Editors need to listen to their journalists on the ground and it is the editor's job to know the rules. And we hopefully have very clear ethical standards that editors ensure that journalists adhere to," said Deborah Rayner.