Qatar Media Corporation’s (QMC) Channel 37 manager Ali bin Tawar al-Kuwari underscored the importance and power of social media in storytelling and disseminating information, particularly in the country, at the sports journalism masterclass, taking place at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q).
“Social media engages more people, different segments, and I got (followed) by a diverse audience,” al-Kuwari told participants on the third day of what was described as a unique and engaging initiative, dubbed as ‘Friends of Qatar’. The session was also attended by Gulf Times editor-in-chief Faisal Abdulhameed al-Mudahka.
The four-day masterclass, a first-of-its-kind in the Middle East under the patronage of Gulf Times in co-operation with NU-Q, kicked off on Monday and concludes today at the NU-Q campus.
Al-Kuwari recounted how he successfully captured and shared fascinating moments, taking pictures and videos, in his numerous travels and visits to various places, especially in South and Latin America, using only his mobile phone.
“I got different audiences, and then I see the changes in the community, a lot of people are talking about places, I (in my social media posts) educate them, I have become a messenger of nations,” he said.
Receiving positive reactions and feedbacks from netizens, al-Kuwari said he realised that he suddenly had a message to share to the public – “To accept other and to live near each other” – which was also mentioned in the Holy Qur’an: “To meet and enjoy each other.”
“Diversity is amazing” he stressed, citing his experience during his immersion with people and groups as part of his vlog.
Al-Kuwari also highlighted how social media can provide an array of career opportunities for people who have the interest and passion for storytelling.
He said vlogging his adventures and posting them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, among other social media accounts, landed him a managerial job at QMC when his series of posts were noticed by the company’s senior officials.
According to al-Kuwari, QMC created an independent English channel, which was “totally different” from the news media of Qatar TV, for him to head.
From this point, he said many opportunities have opened such as travelling to other places, including India, among other countries, to film and generate content for his programme. He is scheduled to visit Rwanda today (December 5) with his crew.
The Channel 37 manager stressed that traditional media is supporting and helping promote his endeavours and programmes saying that some episodes were broadcasted on Qatar TV, Turkish channel and Al Jazeera.
While he enjoys doing his passion, he said such work remains to be a big challenge as they broadcast for eight hours daily, airing and sending the right message to viewers.
Al-Kuwari also encouraged participants, as well as neophyte and aspiring vloggers, to be confident and not to be affected by negative comments.
“Talk to your small (mobile phone) camera and don’t bother about the comments that come in. Comments did shape me, but I don’t allow them to control me. Just keep on improving and have the right skills,” he said, citing how renowned influencers rose from their ranks.
Al-Kuwari said neophyte vloggers who try to build confidence can also start by creating a small window such as tweeting, taking pictures or short video/audio for Instagram.
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