Interesting stories can be found everywhere in the world - you just have to be able to tell them well. Participants in ifa's training courses learn storytelling in text and image for websites, newspapers and social media. They also get insights into news and opinion writing, good interviewing, constructive journalism or researching on the net.
You learn to write by having experienced colleagues edit your own texts. The ifa training courses provide precisely this feedback in three steps.
First, the workshop participants have to meet. They do this almost every Saturday via video chat, a new technological possibility that makes our training programme possible in the first place. Then each participant looks for a topic, pitches it and subsequently researches it on site. Experienced trainers accompany this research. In the end, everyone delivers a text or photos, and the result is discussed in the group and individually.
Graduates from ifa programmes can participate. Those who have completed all of the training units can obtain a certificate: "Basics in Journalism" for text training and "Photojournalism and Visual Storytelling" for photography. For this, 50 points must be collected in each of 40 training sessions. During and after the training, graduates can work for ifa's own SHARE Magazine, for media companies in Germany and abroad, for NGOs and foundations.
The interviews and reports are regularly published in our online SHARE Magazine and other media such as The Guardian in England or Frankfurter Rundschau in Germany (see links on the authors' profile pages).
If you want your topics to catch attention, you need strong photos. Images transport emotions and make a lasting impression. The certificate programme "Photojournalism and Visual Storytelling" teaches the necessary skills in image composition, dealing with people on location and sensible sequencing of image motifs when telling a visual story. Camera technique is taught, but complex, expensive technology is not a prerequisite for taking good photos. A smartphone is enough.
Participants are given many practical exercises as homework and discuss the results in the group under the guidance of trainer Sven Creutzmann. The courses take place every Saturday for a year. Graduates from ifa programmes can participate.
Those who have completed all of the units can obtain a certificate: "Photojournalism and Visual Storytelling". For this, 50 points must be collected in each of 40 training sessions. Graduates can work for ifa's own SHARE Magazine, for media houses at home and abroad, for NGOs and foundations.
The funds for the certificate programme come from the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Trainer for Storytelling, Pitching, Opinion Writing
Ruaridh Nicoll edited the Observer Magazine for seven years and 360 issues. An award-winning journalist, he had previously been a science and environment correspondent, a foreign correspondent (in North America and Africa), a columnist and opinion page editor. He has made documentaries for the BBC and written two novels. He currently lives in Havana, from where he travels and writes across the British media.
Trainer for Social Media
Radi began his media career at 19 as the Executive Manager of Tripoli FM, the first English language station to broadcast from Tripoli, Libya, in 2011. After three years in radio, Radi joined the BBC Media Action North Africa office in Tunisia to focus on journalism and social media content; for five years, he mentored more than 140 young Libyan journalists and civil society activists. With BBC MA, he provided training programs for Libyans, Tunisians, and Algerians. In 2019, Radi co-founded Fasila, Inc. together with his partner, Brian Conley, from the US. Fasila is a media consultancy providing training covering a wide range of topics, most notably storytelling with photos and videos for social media. Fasila has completed projects in Yemen, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Brazil, and Libya. In 2014, Radi was part of ifa´s CrossCulture Programme, spending his time at TIDE Radio in Hamburg. In 2022-2023, he provided training sessions for Deutsche Welle Akademie in the Digital Innovation for Peace Project.
Trainer for Constructive Journalism
Meenal Thakur is a programme manager, solutions journalism trainer and former journalist. She currently divides her time between Prague-based Transitions where she is developing and managing solutions journalism programmes in Central and Eastern Europe and Dart Centre Europe where she is managing training and projects to support the growth and new partnerships of DCE. Prior to this, she was a project manager at the Maastricht-based European Journalism Centre where she managed multiple European journalism grants programmes focused on cross-border investigations, solutions journalism and development reporting. She is experienced in working with journalists and freelancers in Europe, South and South-East Asia and Africa on different solutions journalism-related projects and training. Meenal has also worked on press freedom advocacy at Amsterdam-based Free Press Unlimited and as a politics and policy journalist in India.
Trainer for Elements of Journalism, Counselor for SHARE Magazine
Tilman Wörtz worked for Zeitenspiegel Reportagen for 10 years and wrote feature stories for German magazines and radio stations. He did journalism training in Colombia and Ivory Coast and co-founded Studio-Ecole Mozaik, a school of journalism in Abdijan. For two years, he directed the Zeitenspiegel Reportageschule in Reutlingen. For ifa, he set up the curriculum for the journalism training courses and evaluates the project. He currently works as a science communicator at the University of Tübingen.
Trainer for Photojournalism and Visual Storytelling
Sven Creutzmann was born behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany and later educated as a commercial photographer in Hamburg. He worked in studios for three years, followed by seven years covering news for the British news agency Reuters. For the past 27 years, his main focus has been on documentary photography for magazines. He contributes to Getty Images in New York and Zeitenspiegel Reportagen in Germany as well as being a founding member of Jibaro Photos, a collective of international documentary and artistic photographers, founded in 2020. He has published four books. Sven gives lectures, shoots commercial productions and teaches photo workshops in Latin America and worldwide.
Trainer for Storytelling, Interview, Elements of Style
Emma John is an award-winning journalist who writes for the Guardian across sport, the arts, travel and more. She has been an editor on numerous magazines including Observer Sport Monthly and Observer Magazine, and has written three books, one on cricket, one on music and the other a memoir. She also makes radio documentaries, hosts podcasts and presents live events.