Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) and Camp Lemonnier Public Affairs Directorates conducted a knowledge exchange from Aug. 29-31, 2022, with Djib-Live TV, RTD: Téĺé Djibouti, Agence Djiboutienne d'Information - ADI, and Journal La Nation, in coordination with U.S. Embassy Djibouti and Ministère de la Communication, chargé des Postes et des Télécommunications.
Nearly 30 public affairs and media members met at the U.S. Embassy American Corner to discuss advanced photography and audio/visual techniques in an inaugural relationship-building event.
“Technology evolves quickly, so we have to evolve with it,” said Aden Ibrahim Aden, a cameraman and photographer. “This training included foundational building blocks, and we’re going to take it back to our jobs to implement.
“And it’s not just for us here at this training – it’s for the younger Djiboutians who will enter this career field later,” he added about the ongoing partnership effort. “Some of us got our original training at the Djibouti University but nothing afterward – my education was great, but I realized I needed more once I started working.”
The event focused on the different stages of news storytelling: pre-production, production and post-production. Each stage has different requirements and sometimes even different teams of people are assigned to create the final product that viewers read in the newspaper or see on television.
“Overall, this has been very interesting,” said Deka Mahamoud Barkat, a video editor for the local TV studio RTD. “The highlight for me was meeting all the other Djiboutians to see what software they’re working on, to look at the other programs they use and just in general to collaborate within the Ministry of Communication.”
The news media in Djibouti is state controlled, meaning the media entities of Djibouti work with or for the Ministry of Communication. All entities were present at the knowledge exchange.
“The future is bright for Djiboutian media as we move forward alongside other countries,” Barkat said. “Today we compared our technologies and learned techniques that are efficient, quick and powerful.”
Having those other media experts in the same room also proved invaluable for Moussa Isman Gafaneh, a photographer with La Nation. He said he enjoyed collaborating on the technical aspect of his camera settings, because he’s used his camera for years, but most of his experience was self-taught.
“This type of training is special,” he said. “I was so happy to be here – the atmosphere was incredible, and I can’t wait to bring back this information to my colleagues. It will definitely help the U.S., Djiboutian relationship as we move forward as partners.”
The next steps in this media training campaign are Djiboutian, U.S. collaboration events at news sites throughout the region. Both teams will identify locations to meet up to walk through the stages of production to experience the unique nature of African news coverage.