Friday, June 1, 2012

Postcard from Swedish Radio International

“I need to teach you from my mistakes so you don't do them.” That was one of the great sentences I had to keep in mind when I first heard it, when I just joined the Swedish Radio (SR). I was told so by a lovely officer there who was teaching me how to record, edit, mix and put audio reports together for the radio. Basically, I was getting tips and learning skills from a person who has been devotedly working there for around 30 years. I secretly thought, “Gosh! I'm getting the best of the best education about working in radio. OMG!”

It was 1st of March, exactly three months earlier, when I first started my three-months internship course at SR International – Arabic section. It's, as far as I know, Sweden's biggest radio broadcaster and it's a public service; owned by the people. In many respects, SR and BBC in UK share many characteristics. Having said that, I was overwhelmed during my first days to be there. “I come from a humble neighborhood, middle-class family, with a humble university education but lots of self-study knowledge and how the hell I'm here!” I thought. It was very exciting for me giving all what I experienced my whole life. Little did I know, my excitement was going to be interrupted.

Before I started going to SR, I had been advised by a Swedish friend that I must inquire about if I still can blog or/and speak at seminars. Basically, the question was would I still be allowed to do my activism work or not? Since SR is a public service, all stuff must keep their political opinions private. I was going to be obliged to .. keep silent! It was a heartbreaking news I got. After lots of thinking.. I managed to fix that. (You can read in English and Swedish about how I fixed that here; I wrote about my dilemma at SR's Medieormen.)

After three months of diligent work and reporting on a various topics, – except political ones- today my internship course came to an end. I'd definitely say it was an unforgettable experience. Discipline, punctuality, working perfectly under pressure, accuracy, providing quality work, respecting the audience and, most importantly, "objectivity" are among the many matters I learned.

I just can't forget how I was humourously shouting at the middle of the office to the stuff; raising my hand up, "We need a revoluion in SR!" Frankly speaking, nothing is perfect; we just do our best to seek perfection. We succeed sometimes and fail other times. Perfection is a work in progress. Hence, SR and other media facilities must always keep in reforming and never take things for granted. That goes also for its stuff. There is always a way to make things better, nicer, more just, more credible and closer to perfection.

Last but not least, I admit I'd truly miss the wonderful stuff at the Arabic section, regardless of how odd they could look like when they are stressed with deadlines ^__^ . Each one of them touched my heart deeply. I appreciate their advices, their assistance and support.

Thank you SR!