Brussels, 11st March, 2016. We had the pleasure of interviewing Rudi Vranckx, in the framework of the Media & Learning Conference and of sharing with him some thoughts about how can we do, as a journalist, to offer people another points of view regarding to a conflict, social issue, or whatever story we want to tell.
Rudi Vrancks has worked as a conflict journalist for more than 25 years in the news department of the Flemish public service broadcaster VTR. His experience is very valuable for the comprehension of the current world affairs: the spread of terrorism, the war in Syria, the integration of migrants in Europe, and the drama of refugees.
Precisely, this drama is one of the main subjects of «Najjar, Dibújame en pólvora«, an added reason to make the most of this opportunity. We are very grateful, not only for all the goods things we have learned in this interview, but also for the example that represents for our journalism students.
First of all, we have talked about the power of new narratives. «New narratives is about finding a genuine point of view, which means connecting with society, with groups like the young muslim community in Europe and giving them a voice. So we made this documentary «My Jihad», showing them not confronting, but showing what is going on, how they perceive what is happening», Rudi says.
In fact, his team achieved a very important goal with this documentary: to give a voice to a community most of the time underrepresented, or treated with great charge of subjectivism.
What is more difficult indeed, is to transform and idea in something more sustainable, with a legacy to keep. That is the reason why «we also gave them a platform called A hundred voices, which means, give them a voice of their own. Because there is the problem. We can see a lot of hypocrisy, there is a kind of conspiracy idea, so we give them a platform and a voice you need to gain the confidence. That´s the key, for me, of what we can do».
As an advice for the journalism students who may listen us, Rudi bets on good journalism made with little means but powerful ideas. «Mainstream is very expensive, the alternative is social media, the internet, all the new ways of telling stories. You have to find your own story, as a content, not only the means to do it, but finding the blind spot».
But how to find this idea, how to seek and find this necessity not covered yet. «It sounds very simple but you have to find the blind spot and reflect about what is not been done by the traditional media, what can we do differently. And how this that we are doing is empowering the voice of the people you want to reach. So respect them, connect with them and give them a voice, and then you get a long way».
The documentary «My Jihad» has been selected in the documentary festivals of Berlin, Biarritz and Prague.
Thank you very much, Rudi, and we hope you can follow this way of thoughtful works, plenty of meaning and value for the society in which we live.
«The Course of Osama»
Some os his books:
«Voices from the battle front»
«No news from the Front»
«The war for the minds»