By Kai Prager, Senior Media Relations Specialist
Business Wire is an international newswire, catering to the needs of organizations, companies, journalists, reporters and other media professionals around the world. The needs of our clients and partners varies from region to region making it important to keep our finger on the pulse of changing trends. There is no better method for identifying the needs of a journalist than by listening to what they have to say. Edda Schlager works as a journalist and photographer based in Kazakhstan’s former capital Almaty. As she writes for audiences in Europe and the US, she has to find a special touch to introduce new themes with a relevance to the market she’s writing for.
To find out how she manages to discover the right stories for the right audiences, we asked her some questions about her work as a journalist and foreign correspondent:
You mainly work in Central Asia, which is an area that is not very present in European and US media. How do you select stories that are interesting for such an audience?
I always have to find a twist, which makes a story relevant for readers in Europe or the U.S. – such as a Kazakh German who was born in Kazakhstan, left it in the 90-ies for Germany and returned for business. I also use international politics or anniversaries to deliver background stories from Central Asia.
How do you find engaging stories?
I am in close contact with local colleagues, analysts, authorities or companies; I read local media and I am active on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram which are very popular in Central Asia. When travelling, I talk to people getting a sense for their daily problems or concerns. I use international news alerts like Google alerts or special interest services. Business Wire offers PressPass for journalists. So these international services give me the opportunity to monitor the broader setting of a current news mainstream and the demand for certain topics where I can place my local or regional stories in, which is quite important for me.
Which topics are the most popular from Central Asia?
In this year, of course, the Expo 2017 in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, will be one of the main news items from Central Asia. Central Asia is always good for exotic stuff of all kinds – rising fashion labels from Kyrgyzstan, the astonishing wildlife of the High Pamirs in Tajikistan, superlatives like the new luxury airport of Turkmenistan’s capital Ashgabat which can hold 17 million passengers a year.
Do you think there also is an audience for news and stories from Europe and the US in Central Asia?
Absolutely! The internet and especially social media are the main source for information in most Central Asian countries. People are looking for alternative sources. More and more people in Central Asia are studying abroad, after returning home they like to stay in touch with the world. As only few people know foreign languages most international news is consumed in Russian – made by Russian media. So, other point of views, are highly welcomed, even if it’s not simple to enter the Central Asian news markets.
To find out more about Edda Schlager and her work as a journalist and photographer, please visit her website, or follow her on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
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