The Battle for Mosul – Rise of the White Flag
New School Media Studies Alumni co-founds project to share and support the work of freelance journalists covering conflicts worldwide
Danish-born journalist Anne Alling (28) is a 2012 Media Studies Alumni now covering conflicts and humanitarian issues worldwide for TV, radio and print media. Parallel to her reporting, Anne Alling is a co-founder and coordinator of The War Zone Freelance Project that offers medical safety trainings for independent journalists in conflict areas and hosts exhibitions and talks on world conflicts and the freelance journalism profession.
After touring Europe with their multimedia exhibitions and hosting medical trainings in Iraq for freelance journalists and fixers covering The Mosul Offensive, The War Zone Freelance Project has now come to the US to share their work with journalism and media students nationwide including their newest photo exhibition “The Battle for Mosul – Rise of the White Flag”:
“I joined The New School Media Studies Masters Program in 2012 as an international visiting student attending Media Production, Interviewing and Political Communication classes. Studying for my journalism masters in Demark, I was looking to improve my technical skills and broaden my international perspective. The semester at the Media Studies Department helped me build a foundation to pursue a career in international reporting and shortly after my stay in New York I moved to Jerusalem where I started working as a freelance journalist for various Danish and international media outlets.
Since then, I have covered various cultural, political and humanitarian issues in the occupied West Bank as well as the 2014 Gaza War and the 2015 Israeli elections. In 2014, I became one of the first Danish reporters to cover the so-called Islamic State’s invasion of Iraq as she reported on the militants’ attack on Sinjar and Mosul, the Yazidi Genocide, and the following massive refugee influx to the Northern Kurdish Iraqi areas. I have since continued working in Iraq, most recently with an eight months long stay in Iraq reporting on The Mosul Offensive while helping to arrange War Zone Freelance Safety Medical Trainings for local and international freelance journalists and fixers. I have also covered the struggle of youth and women grassroots movements in post-Gadaffi Libya (2013) as well as the refugees influx to Germany (2015). She is now based in the States as a US correspondent for Danish media.
I am grateful for my time studying journalism but my experience is that journalism schools teach you to become a journalist, not a freelance journalist and especially not a freelance journalist working in war and conflict areas. During my first years of freelancing I faced a lot of challenges and had hundreds of questions that I could not find the answers for among my experiences from journalism school. Instead I found help from other journalists willing to share their experiences (and struggles), give advice and team up for reporting trips. As a freelance journalist you work on your own and without the backing of a big cooperation. That entails a great amount of freedom but you still need a community to work with and get feedback from and this is exactly why we have created The War Zone Freelance Project. The WZF Project is dedicated to share and support the work of freelance journalists covering conflicts worldwide. Through our various projects and initiatives we strive to create a platform for freelancers to help improve their skills and learn from others within the profession.
With decreasing budgets for international reporting and a shrinking presence of staff correspondents, freelancers are becoming an increasingly important source for international news reporting, especially in conflict areas. However, working independently in hostile environments comes with major risks, and proper preparations, understanding the responsibilities of these risks and taking the right security measures while in the field are of crucial importance. During the past years, we have met with hundreds of journalism students across the world interested in covering conflicts and shared and supported the work of some of our times most talented freelance professionals. Altogether to help improve the conditions for journalists covering conflicts as a freelancer and provoke debate on the importance of safety for journalists and the future of freelance war reporting.
In the upcoming months we will be giving talks on freelance conflict reporting and our various projects at journalism colleges and universities across the country while also presenting our new photo-exhibition “The Battle for Mosul – Rise of the White Flag”. The exhibition focuses on the major battle to retake Mosul and the civilian struggle to survive the bloodshed, sharing the work of independent freelance journalists who have covered the war extensively.”
Watch the trailer for “The Battle for Mosul – Rise of the White Flag” photo exhibition here: https://vimeo.com/226293076
You can follow The War Zone Freelance Project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and learn more about their projects and programs on www.warzonefreelance.com including sign up for online sessions and medical safety trainings.