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Posted by admin on 2019-01-12 in 上海性息 with No Comments

Veteran Dateline video journalist David Brill shares his experiences in covering protests around the world in providing a few tips on what to expect at APEC next week.


As a video journalist, one can't help but predict the upcoming events over the next few weeks, and by this I mean the looming APEC summit in Sydney.

There'll be a huge influx of journalists and camera crew within the next fortnight, to cover both the APEC summit and the countless protests that are sure to surround it.

Picture Gallery: Combat Cameraman: Life in pictures

Ever been in a riot or have your own tips on reporting a story? Leave your comments here. We'll be posting them throughout the week.

I read the other day the NSW government recently bought a huge truck fitted with a high pressure water canon. The truck itself can hold up to 12,000 litres and the canon can target someone at least 50 metres away – and trust me, you don't want to be hit by one of these.

I remember in my earlier days I was covering a story in Britain about the miners strike. The British police employed a water canon and the water pressure just blew people away, very frightening, and by the way, very wet.

Protesters were blasted with the high pressure device and being flung metres away like lifeless rag dolls. One person in particular got caught in the direct path of the water canon and smashed his head badly against a nearby wall.

However times have now changed, protests and demonstrations are almost a regular occurrence in some countries — some are peaceful while others unfortunately aren't.

While it looks calm on the surface, it's actually an extremely tense situation – it only takes one person, from either side to ignite the flame. Sometimes a demonstrator may get too close or a police horse will get startled by a loud noise.

In the thick of it all

Covering a riot and or protest isn't an easy thing, and I'd like this opportunity to give you some of my advice – what I suggest you try to do, is keep a clear pathway if you can, so you can move out quickly – try not to get tied up in the atmosphere.

There'll be hundreds of journalists from all over the world covering the riots and they all tend to follow each other.

I like to break away from the rest of the media, because if you're with them, you're all competing and it makes things worse. So try and find another position for yourself.

It's quite understandable that the demonstrators will have a peaceful protest, which sounds all good and well, but once you get in there and people from both sides (police and the demonstrators) are being provoked accompanied with all the noise, an atmosphere begins to build.

Have an access strategy, knowing when to go in close, and when to pull back and use your zoom.

The benefit of mini cameras

For those who read my last blog, I can't emphasise enough the importance of the mini DV cameras.

While other news crews may use big bulky shoulder cameras, the video journalists will have that edge using a smaller camera.

They're less intrusive, easier to use, more user friendly and don't tend to fuel the fire compared with a bigger camera.

While you can hold the camera quite steadily in the palm of your hand, still keep an eye out around you and have an exit strategy in case things begin to get ugly.

Be an observer, not an intruder

Sydney has never really seen a full on riot before, and I can't predict whether or not there'll be one during APEC, but if I was to pass on anything to the younger journos from SBS, it would be don't get caught up in the crowds.

You can get good shots by being a bit further back, where you've got a chance of getting out of the way, and just zoom in from a distance… and get plenty of close-ups of faces.

Be an observer, not an intruder.

I say again, demonstrations can get very nasty and frightening, watch your back!

Ever been in a riot or have your own tips on reporting a story? Leave your comments here. We'll be posting them throughout the week.

Written by David Brill and assisted by Debs Majumdar

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