In a large international organisation, working with other bureaus is often no easy feat. Different time zones, different teams, and sometimes … different priorities. But over the last 3 years I’ve come to realise that long-distance (work) relationships can work – and sometimes it’s the person you’re working with that makes the difference.
Elizabeth Melimopoulos is a talented producer who works across several editorial teams within Al Jazeera English’s online department. Based out of our HQ office in Doha, she became my ‘go-to’ point of contact back in 2014 when I was first based out of our London office. You know the type of colleague: reliable, dedicated in their work and always willing to help others. Often, a rarity. But this proud ‘Venezuelan/Greek/Mexican’ brings a wealth of regional knowledge to her reporting. Plus, she is sure to always do it with perseverance, thoroughness and a smile. That’s why I really enjoy working with her.
In this Q&A I ask her what she feels she learnt from our initial training course undertaken in Mexico City before our field reporting began. You see, when you undertake an IWMF trip like this, you also undertake a 4 day HEFAT course with three of the best trainers in the business: Jeff, Cath and Laurier. An information jam-packed course meant to expose journalists to hostile environment and first aid training:
“Quite simply, the biggest benefit of the training is that I now have a better idea of what I don’t know! I would like to think that if I ever was faced with an extreme situation, I now have a bit of a better understanding of how to give a more considered response and not be impulsive with my actions. The training also reinforced how important teamwork is. Sometimes I think you can care more about your teammates than yourself and that you would do anything to keep them safe. I also really enjoyed learning how to defend myself – it’s great to know that with your own body you can learn simple moves/tactics to escape from potentially dangers situations. And for that, it was a very empowering experience.”