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From the Frontline to Kigali


Former foreign correspondent Thomas Crampton talks to Eric Weiner, another former foreign correspondent, about his thoughts on the 10 career options left for foreign correspondents. As media giants crumble and budgets for "the old way of doing things" no longer exist it's a timely (and funny) 10 minute chat. I'm guessing option number 5 - "Public Relations" is proving to be the most popular for all journalists, not just foreign correspondents, purely for economic reasons, but...

 "Deep down, in your heart of hearts, you know, you're just a flack" link

However, after several years of media training for the Frontline Club, the BBC, Al Jazeera and others, it looks as if I'm heading yet deeper towards two of the other options. Firstly, option number 4 - "The Professor".

I won't quite be a professor, but I will be training Rwandan journalists here in Kigali, where I moved with my family one month ago. I'll be trying to impart a little of what I know and hopefully learn a fair bit of what they know about journalism.

I'll be working part-time on a USAID funded programme in association with the Rwanda Initiative, a Canadian media NGO based in the Rwandan capital. I'll have around 5-8 journalists per month, from radio, newspaper and TV, and I hope to learn a bit about what they do, how they work and where they work.

This shouldn't take up more than a day or two per week, which leaves me plenty of time to desk-based research work, schedule training overseas with a little left over for option number 10 - "Digital".

I've handed over the bulk of the online end of Frontlineclub.com to the very able Charlotte Cook. And finally, instead of writing about journalists working on the frontline, I get to be one. Almost. I'll be blogging for Frontline about life in Rwanda and I'll be launching my Kigali Wire news/blog site in a week or so

You can follow me on Twitter @kigaliwire and if you're really keen (and you've read this far) you can learn about the process behind building Kigali Wire which will possibly form part of the training I'll be doing here in Rwanda.

Press accreditation in Rwanda currently costs $1,000 per year for foreign journalists, but it looks like the fee might come down to a more freelance friendly $300 in the near future. As and when it does, I'll look at getting accredited and adding a bit of Eric Weiner's option number 1 - "The Journeyman" - to my portfolio of jobs.

So, please stay tuned. And, if you're passing through Kigail - do let me know.