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Journalists: think vertical, think phones, think diversity

International mobile journalism innovator and trainer Yusuf Omar will challenge local  journalists and educators to think vertically through their phones at the JEANZ conference later this month.

Yusuf Omar is a guest speaker at the annual Journalism Education Association of New Zealand conference, which takes place this year on 13 and 14 December at Te Auaha New Zealand Institute of Creativity, and has the theme: Creative tension – diverse form and function of the art and craft of journalism.

Against a backdrop of falling enrolments and closing programmes in New Zealand journalism schools, Omar will challenge how journalism is taught for changing roles and audiences, speaking in a Facebook Live session on Disrupted Journalism and Disrupted Journalism Education.

A former CNN senior social media reporter, and mobile editor for the Hindustan Times responsible for 750 journalists across 27 offices, Omar was Thomson Foundation Mobile Journalist of the year 2016.

He has been at the forefront of the mobile disruption of journalism, dealing with the fragmentation of mobile platforms, equipment and software. He discarded his top-quality cameras because mobile phones do breaking news faster and more effectively, and has put Snapchat filters on rape survivors so they could tell their stories safely. He trains communities to tell their stories, and challenges journalists to think vertically through their phone, just like audiences in communities.

The other international keynote speaker at the conference is Dr Nasya Bahfeen, an expert on identity, media and sport.

Born in Jakarta, Dr Bahfen is a senior lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication at La Trobe University in Melbourne, where she coordinates the Master of Communication (Journalism Innovation) and teaches various undergraduate subjects, including sports journalism.

She is also an Australian Football League Multicultural Community ambassador, and was a journalist and producer for ABC Radio Australia, ABC Radio National, and SBS radio and online.

The conference will also include local presentations and an industry panel discussion with Paul Thompson from RNZ, Mark Stevens from Stuff, Katrina Bennett from NZME, Bernard Hickey from Newsroom and Adam Ray from Newshub.

The conference will be broadly grouped around three topics: journalism education for diverse audiences using diverse tools and skills; hard questions and creative answers for shrinking training options; and collegial feedback and discussion on teaching development.

Registrations are open for the conference here.