CHIANG MAI, Thailand (UCAN) – A group of young video journalists (VJs) from different countries overcame cultural hurdles in chronicling the recently concluded SIGNIS World Congress. “We learned a lot from people from different countries. This has been an incredible experience for the 10 of us,” said Rochelle Kimberly D’Souza from India.
The 10 aged between 18 and 22 from India, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand took part in SIGNIS’ first International Youth Exchange Program held during the Oct. 17-21 congress. SIGNIS is the worldwide Catholic association for professionals and academics in audiovisuals, broadcasting and new media. Its gathering in Chiang Mai, Thailand, focused on the theme, “Media for a Culture of Peace — Children’s Rights, Tomorrow’s Promise.” D’Souza recalled the challenge her group experienced in covering the congress’ proceedings. “We were running around the convention centre and had little sleep at night as we were editing videos,” she said. “It was surely tiring … but being with friends from different countries, different cultures and different thinking gave us a broader outlook on life.” “It wasn’t easy, at times it was very frustrating, but I think the main thing is that it has been most educational.”
The results of their work can be viewed at SIGNIS Veejay’s Blog. The young VJs also presented a one-minute video production they had made in their own countries on the congress theme. Vi Cao from Vietnam shared that working with a diverse team during the congress has helped her “make clear and precise decisions because when everyone wants to take the scenes they like, it makes editing very difficult.” Melissa Grace from Malaysia said she has gained more experience in approaching people and interviewing them. Pakawat Kraisomsuk from Thailand had a slightly different experience. Being an experienced VJ, he did not have any problems with video shooting, editing or any part of the production process. What he found most challenging, he said, was overcoming language barriers in communicating with his team members from different countries. During the congress, he and two other Thai video journalists received a SIGNIS Asia Media Award for their joint one-minute video on the congress theme. The 10 VJs said they will continue to share their experiences through their blog. They also plan to visit each other and continue to produce short videos on children’s rights in their home countries.