Tag Archives: video journalism

The Fat Bidin Vox Pop (Ep 4) – So how is the media covering the MH17 tragedy?

The issue this week ain’t no laughing matter. Zan and Aizyl Azlee talk about the MH17 tragedy and they meet people in the mean streets of Kuala Lumpur to see what they think… how the media has been covering it, if the victims’ families are given respect and privacy, and the differences and similarities between this tragedy and the one five months ago… MH370.

Check out the accompanying podcast:

For more episodes of The Fat Bidin Vox Pop: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1d-NZ0GhtntbufmCVanQ17tj7MT9y0e9

Subscribe to Fat Bidin on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=zanazlee

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From Nothing to Something: How to Make Passion Work for You



From Nothing to Something: How to Make Passion Work for You
By Zan Azlee

Many years ago, I wanted to make documentary films. Unfortunately, I had totally no clue of how to begin such a career and I didn’t know any way to go about it.

I wondered if there was a job I could look for in the newspaper’s classified ads that stated ‘documentary filmmaker’? No, I couldn’t. Believe me, I tried looking!

So what I decided to do was to just shamelessly declare myself a documentary filmmaker. Luckily for me, digital technology and the Internet were just about to boom during that time.

If I couldn’t apply for a job as a ‘documentary filmmaker’, I could just buy a cheap camera and make my own short (and long!) documentary films.

So, I turned my films into DVDs and just started handing it out to as many people as I could and also submitting to different film festivals and competitions.

Of course, I also started a YouTube page as well as a website and posted many of the films I made for people around to watch online.

It was definitely not my intention at that time, but I had inadvertently turned myself into an independent documentary filmmaker.

Slowly, my work began to obtain recognition. I had my own style too (or that’s what I like to believe!), which was being a one-man-crew.

I wrote, shot, edited and distributed my own films. And somehow, that allowed me to turn documentary filmmaking into a career.

Here’s how it worked. Once I had completed a film, I would approach broadcasters with a proposal to see if they’re interested in my story.

If they were, we would negotiate a deal and I would sell my programme to them for a fee. And here is where it got interesting for me. [Click to read the full article at KopitiamEkonomi.Com]

The Fat Bidin Vox Pop (Ep 3) – Trustworthiness of the Malaysian media… is plagiarism rampant?

We ask Subang dwellers how much trust they have in the Malaysian media. Especially after BERNAMA, the country’s national news agency, was recently accused of plagiarising an article from the Jakarta Globe about the Indonesian presidential elections. Is plagiarism rampant in the industry? Some think that all journalists do is sit in the office and write what they are told to!!

Check out the accompanying podcast:

For more episodes of The Fat Bidin Vox Pop: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1d-NZ0GhtntbufmCVanQ17tj7MT9y0e9

Subscribe to Fat Bidin on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=zanazlee

Why being a freelance (entrepreneurial) journalist in my early years helped my career


I’m not that old, but I’m not that young either. I have a career that has spanned 14 years now, and sometimes, I feel the urge to share my experiences with people.

And that’s why I like giving advice to young people. That’s one of the reasons why I love teaching (I’ve been teaching undergrads for 10 years now and conducted numerous workshops).

One of the most common advice I dish out to young journalists (whether they like it or not!) is that they need to put themselves out in the world. Go out and be a freelance journalist.

Too many young journalists like to begin their career as full time staff at news organisations. I’m not saying that this is wrong. In fact, I started out as a full time rookie journalist too.


But I soon left the comfort of full time employment and became a freelance journalist. I actually prefer the term entrepreneurial journalist. I was self-employed for 10 years and the benefits I have gained is just invaluable.

1. I learned that you have to always stay on your toes and keep your journalistic and storytelling skills sharp. If you don’t have your nose on the ground or don’t tell your story effectively, you won’t have any clients wanting your stories. That also goes for staying in tune with the latest methods.

2. I learned to be effective and efficient in what I do. I discovered that being a solo-journalist meant that I could do my work faster and achieve the best results based on my own set standards. I also learned to be multi-skilled (I can write, present, shoot video, photos and edit). And that has helped to keep my costs low too!

3. I learned that you always have to respect people and never burn bridges. The industry isn’t big and you need to always treat people how you want to be treated. Anyway, the bigger your clientele, the better your business.

5. I discovered that I have my own unique voice and to believe in myself.

6. I learned that most often times, satisfaction and happiness always come up tops compared to money.

7. I learned to be entrepreneurial. I learned to market and promote myself and my work. I learned never to give up and be persistent. I learned that I should never rest on my laurels because there are many people much better than you out there.

8. I learned to be resourceful and managed to only do the stories and projects that I wanted to.

So, it irks me to see so many young journalists who immediately got a full time job and then start getting complacent. They shirk at any additional duties or tasks they are given. They resist anything new that they have to do. They don’t try to expand themselves and grow. They don’t push themselves.

I’m not saying that all of them are like that. Some have thrived, progressed and grown even if they have never gone entrepreneurial. But in my observations, these people are far and few between.

But hey, one can only base things on one’s experience. And I doubt that I would have grown as much as I have if I didn’t have that 10 years of entrepreneurial experience.

I’m just saying!

And if you’ve read right down to the bottom of this post… then be rewarded by clicking on this hyperlink to an article I wrote a couple of years ago about being an entrepreneurial journalist!

New Media needs to transition to in-depth stories rather than breaking news


It seems that recent research shows that people these days, especially those between the ages of 18 to 34 are getting news fatigue, a condition where they are so overloaded by fast facts and data that they are turning off of it.

This somehow is in direct conflict with how we (or I!) have always thought about New Media being the preferred form of how people wanted to get quick news. Well, it used to be that way.  But not anymore.

Now, people are yearning for more in-depth coverage of news rather than just breaking, breaking and breaking news. And it seems that New Media is still the preferred choice.

The Vice Media Group (one of my preferred go to media!) has just launched Vice News, where although it is current news they are covering, it doesn’t seem like they’re too obsessed of breaking stories before anyone else. What they specialised in doing is getting a different perspective of the story… and it’s been a hit with young people so far.

Check out one of their stories below (The Battle for Aleppo):

Another method for in-depth stories is going multimedia. Ahhh!! Here’s something I’m really familiar with! By telling a story from many perspectives and through many methods (text, still photos, video and audio), it becomes more compelling and multi-dimensional since people get more context and background to a story. It really is just more engaging.

Humans of New York is one such project that I think embodies multimedia storytelling very well.

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Another one is Time magazine’s The Pity of War.

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I did something like this when I went to Afghanistan three years ago. Check out Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite. And below is one of the many videos in the series: