Kaamil Ahmed

jamma.co/KaamilAhmed
I'm a journalist who writes about conflicts, refugees, the environment and everything related. Focus a lot now on Rohingya and Sudan. I've been based in Jerusalem, Bangladesh and Turkey.

My Communities:

Bangladeshi

Sessions:

FinishedFinished answering on May 25 at 18:45 BST

Ask me about:

  • Journalism
  • Storytelling
  • Writing
  • Photography
Answers

What tools/apps do you use day to day in your profession?

Kaamil Ahmed - 1 week, 2 days ago

WhatsApp is an essential. Lots of group chats where local activists or journalists share the latest information. The easiest way to get in touch with contacts. Telegram and Signal do similar things in different contexts. 

Facebook. That will surprise a lot of people but it's so useful as a jo…

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How do foreign journalistic assignments work?

Kaamil Ahmed - 1 week, 2 days ago

There are a few ways.

- As a member of the desk:

- You're probably going to have to pitch your idea to your editors. What you'll need is at least 3 or 4 story ideas and an explanation of how you're going to do them. They're going to have to be solid ideas, so you've probably been talking to conta…

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Such an interesting question. A lot of people kind of take a step back by going into comms for humanitarian or human rights groups. It means they're still telling important stories and sometimes they feel they can advocate more directly for vulnerable people than as journalists. And it's paid a lot…

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I'm lucky that I haven't exactly had to convince my parents, they've pretty much backed me. I've wanted to be a journalist since very young and have constantly tried to improve my skills and seek opportunities, which has set me up for the next stage and helped me push back whenever there were some …

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How much do journalists earn 3 years into their career?

Kaamil Ahmed - 1 week, 2 days ago

It really varies depending on where you go, whether it's a website or you've come through a major outlet's graduate scheme. 

I'd say a lot are probably somewhere between £24,000 and £30,000. It could be a bit more or less but it definitely won't compare to a lot of corporate jobs …

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When I was in uni 10 years ago, they were saying there would soon be no newspapers and no jobs for journalists. I'm not saying it's all calm now but the industry hasn't fallen apart. I also had a smoother transition into jobs than a lot of people I graduated with. 

There are tools lik…

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You have to work harder than everyone else. Make it your goal to be the best. You're not getting into this to give your opinion but to report facts, which means finding out what the facts are, and to tell stories. You need to learn the actual skills of reporting, of how to gather information, ask q…

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Which journalists do you look up to and why?

Kaamil Ahmed - 1 week, 2 days ago

More than anyone, I look up to the journalists whose names we usually don't know. They are the local media, the "fixers" for global news who do most of the actual reporting that is then packaged by others (though that's not to say outsiders don't have a really important role in framing, asking diff…

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How did you improve your writing style?

Kaamil Ahmed - 1 week, 2 days ago

I think the most important part of writing is listening. You can only write with whatever material you have and so that must first be gathered. Remember this and the actual stylistic parts fall more easily into place. 

I am not writing to tell people what I think I see but to try and tel…

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Very special. It was confusing, stressful, captivating. It's so much more layered than you realise. At first, I thought it would be way more militarised then it really was but very soon I learned the ways the city operates that I didn't expect. Very shortly after I arrived in 2015 there began a ser…

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Is journalism a good career option right now?

Kaamil Ahmed - 1 week, 2 days ago

Yes but you have to be brave. There's a lot of uncertainty in the industry and the coronavirus pandemic has made that worse. You'll have to work hard, even harder than others trying to get in who have the confidence of a private school education and a network to tap into that gets them the right wo…

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Long-term? No. There are places I've really loved but they haven't felt like home. Jerusalem was the most special and the place I lived the longest (2.5 years). It will always feel like a second home where I made amazing friends, matured as a journalist and did some work that I felt was really impo…

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This is complicated, so I'll start with the hard part and move on to the hopeful. Journalists don't all have the same levels of influence but even a well-known face from the TV can sometimes feel powerless when they want to tell the stories they want. They have to convince their editors and the edi…

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