23 | APR 2019
11 APR | 2018
Øthers from Doha, Doha, Qatar
Sport media excellence: MUNDBØL founder offers lecture in Qatar
Dr. Ali Bakri (right), Head of Sports Development Department, and Dr. Ayman Ali Ahmed Elkeky (left),
"The effective communication in sports", a media workshop organised by Qatar Olympic Academy gave Martin Mazur the possibility of tackling the current challenges of the profession.

he round tables of Qatar Olympic Academy's conference room are full. A mixed audience of journalists, media consultants and people working in different bodies of the sports industry attended the media workshop "The effective communication in sports", held by MUNDBØL founder Martin Mazur and Bein Sports host Raed Abed, both part of the vast network of journalist of AIPS, the international association of sport press. The seminar was in English and Arabic, with simultaneous translation in order to engage the speakers and listeners in fruitful conversations. Mazur, with over two decades of [...]

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[...] of experience writing for publications from Argentina, the UK, Italy and Germany, first spoke about “media coordination in a mega event”, with the sights set on Russia 2018, and the values that make a good journalist stand out: preparation against improvisation, and why talent is not always enough. 

"The real World Cup is not 32 teams facing each other, but over a thousand media teams that will be testing themselves, competing with colleagues from their own countries and also against foreign journalists. And at the same time, a World Cup also gives the opportunity to understand what the leading media outlets are doing. And by leading media outlets, I don't necessary mean the most powerful, but the ones that have more creativity and good use of the resources they have," he said.

"A journalist on duty needs to be serene. And sometimes, if he's forced to drive eight hours for a match in order to save a handful of dollars, the result will be disappointing. I've seen journalists wasting their time trying to sell or buy local money, looking for hotels closer to stadiums, or collecting receipts to be able to get paid. All this translates in a poorer coverage. It's not their fault. But the more involved they are in the organisation process, the more advantages they will have. Nobody likes to commute three hours a day to cover a training session. It's the risk if you leave your plan in the hands of an administrative officer rather than a journalist".

Quality vs. quantity
“Right now, quality and quantity are often mistaken for each other, and while the journalists must always to try to produce creative, distinctive and high-quality content, publishers and broadcasters also need to understand that in the battle of quantity vs. quality, quality must always prevail,” Mazur exposed.

“In the past years, with the irruption of a new model of online reporting, this was sometimes forgotten. Rather than writing an extraordinary piece every day, journalists were asked to write several different articles, shorter, less interesting, just for the sake of quantity. Fortunately, clickbait is now retreating and less backed by advertisers, and the difference of quality is what really makes a media outlet, and a journalist, more followed and respected,” he added.

Adapt or perish
“At the same time, a competitive mindset is what makes the good professionals to adapt quicker and take advantage of the new technologies. If someone does not want to adapt, then there will be another taking over his or her place. Sometimes, the journalists want to adapt, but the media outlet they work for are lost in time, or vice-versa. A World Cup is always the best test to understand the new media world."

Patient zero
In the second day, he covered the importance of social media, the value of metrics and how to deal with fake news. From Mario Mandzukic to Donald Trump and the Pope, the audience tried to unlock the secrets to understand the patient zero of an unconfirmed story and the dangers of republishing stories without being properly checked first.

“It was a very interesting workshop and we wish to thank AIPS for its collaboration,” said Dr. Ali Bakri, Qatar Olympic Academy’s head of the sports development department. All attendants received a diploma after completing the five-day course.

AIPS Sport Media Awards
Mazur also emphasised the importance of the upcoming of AIPS Sport Media Awards, which will become the first international prize for sports journalists, photographers and video producers. “The profession is going through a number of changes and difficult scenarios in many countries. However, when it comes to writing a story or making a video, those who emerge as leaders are the ones that are capable of leaving the difficult scenario aside and focusing on the quality of their work, despite the circumstances. There’s no such thing as First World media. Everyone now has the power to become First World media, by doing outstanding reporting even if they have a sports blog or work for a small local newspaper, and these Awards offer equal chances to everybody,” Mazur said.

“Seeking for sport media excellence is something that we must never forget. And unfortunately, this is not always the case. We are forgetting to praise our colleagues when they present a good story, we do not give enough credit to the ones that came with a scoop. That’s why AIPS Sport Media Awards are an invaluable addition to the profession, because they are meant to be a celebration of the best sport storytellers from around the world, giving credit for what they’ve done, and at the same time inspiring many others to follow the same road,” he concluded [Ø].

This content is presented by AIPS Sport Media Awards, a bridge to the future of sport journalism and a celebration of the best sport storytellers from around the world. Submissions for professionals are free and open until September 17, 2018.
For more information visit www.aipsawards.com