It seems that with the critical coronavirus situation we are facing, the role of journalist fixers is becoming increasingly important. Recently, Reporters without Borders has published the 2020 World Press Freedom Index and it is not looking good for journalism.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the free press is facing a lot of restrictions and press freedom has been severely limited in some countries. RSF’s secretary-general, Christophe Deloire believes that we are now entering a decisive decade for journalism.
“What will freedom of information, pluralism, and reliability look like in 2030? The answer to that question is being determined today” – Christophe Deloire
A make or break moment for the media
Less than a week ago, Ed Wasserman, dean of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism expressed his concerns for the future of journalism during a panel held by the university. Just like Deloire and many other experts, Wasserman believes that what we do now will reflect in the future of journalism. The coronavirus pandemic is not a crisis that will pass for journalism. It is a touchstone that will shape the future of journalism.
Under these circumstances, the question that we asked in the title of this article becomes very important. Is it possible to do remote news coverage? We believe that with the help of an expert journalist fixer it can happen.
The difference between now & then when working with journalist fixers
It’s becoming clear that the coronavirus crisis has split our perception of time in two – then and now. Before the crisis, as a global media production agency, we would get a lot of requests for journalist fixers in many countries of this world. We helped major media brands, like BBC and New York Times, gain access for their news reports and stories. Our journalist fixers would cover fact-checking, translation, film permits, as well as access to valuable contributors to the story.
Now, during this crisis, the role of journalist fixers has become even more important. When, according to the 2020 World Press Freedom Index, so many countries are keeping a tight lid on information, local journalist fixers are the ones that can gain access. As a foreign reporter covering a story in a country where press freedom has taken a blow, it can get impossible to do it on your own. However, journalist fixers can move more freely within the country and can help with crucial information, contributors, and even interviews.
Besides the issue of press freedom, there is also the problem of the borders. Many democratic countries have closed their borders because of the pandemic. But, as our trusted local journalist fixers have reported, in some countries with closed borders, local media is allowed to move freely. Under these circumstances, the journalist fixer can become your eyes and ears in the country. You may not be able to travel there yourself, but you will be able to gain information and a clear view of the situation.
Working with journalist fixers – trust & a proven track record
Whether you need to do a story in a country with closed borders or news coverage in a quarantined city, local journalist fixers are your answer. With their help, you can keep your audience informed, do your job, and remain safe at the same time. However, there are two essential conditions when working with journalist fixers.
The first one is trust. You need to trust that these people will do their jobs thoroughly and trust in their ethical principles. This is why, when choosing a fixer, you can either choose somebody you have worked with in the past or choose a trusted company. With a global presence in over 40 countries, Storytailors can provide you with the services of fully vetted journalist fixers in the countries we are present in.
The second condition of successfully collaborating with journalist fixers is to choose experts with a proven track record. Again, this is where we come in. Our fixers have worked with world-renowned media brands and have managed to always meet the expectations. Storytailors works with fixers that have done fact-checking for BBC, gotten film permits for Netflix or Discovery Channel, and helped journalists from the New York Times, Channel 4 and The Times get interviews with important local actors.
We agree with media experts who say the coronavirus is a touchstone for journalism. And we are here to make sure that global journalism passes this test. We should not wait for the crisis to pass. What we should do instead is adapt, get creative, and find a way to do our jobs as best as we can during this crisis. In the end, it will all be worth it.