Conflict Reporting Programme

Welcome to our Conflict Reporting Guide (CRG) that will help journalists and photographers to live and tell the story of a war.

A great deal of news is “conflict” based and journalists are participants in the conflicts they cover. Though they may make every effort to be “objective,” this is difficult at best. Complex conflicts are full of pitfalls for journalists, but the more one understands what is really going on in a conflict, and the role of the conflict journalist, the better the coverage can be.

If you weren’t lucky enough to have someone who helped you along the way, then you know first-hand the value of our Conflict Reporting Guide course programme. Our founder Vudi Xhymshiti, will take a moment to help you reflect on your educational and career journey. He will be your inspirational teacher and your co-worker who will show you the ropes of your educational and career pathway to conflict reporting.

Our programme delivers development for adults and students to get involved, succeed, and excel in their conflict reporting journey.

Hostile environments exist in many emerging markets, which are normally undeveloped economies situated in countries often characterized by political conflict, high levels of corruption, weak law enforcement and extensive competitive malpractice. In partnership with Hostile Environment Training Ltd in the United Kingdom, VX Pictures Ltd will provide two weeks of training that is designed to help prepare for and mitigate risks and challenges inherent in operating in unfamiliar and hostile environments.

Upon completion of the Hostile Environment Awareness course, you will be better prepared and equipped to manage the threats that may result in the loss of life, limb and liberty. Apart from practical survival skills and knowledge in how to cope with a stressful hostage or a disaster situation, you will also learn the importance of information security. The training combines both theoretical and practical elements and is delivered to your employees by highly experienced professionals.

HET - Conflict Reporting Guide

In our programme, you have the opportunity to connect with our exclusive skills and knowledge. This is a programme also for individuals (protégés) like you who need or want the same skills and advantages to progress in work, skill level, or on-field performance.

Hostile Environment Training Ltd and VX Pictures Ltd are experienced experts who will guide you in developing your skills, strategies and capabilities, enabling you to tackle the next hurdle more effectively with or without our presence.

This is a programme that is a great source of networking opportunities for young and mid-Career adults.


About the Conflict Reporting Programme

  • The Value of my Programme

    Our course programme, tailored by experienced conflict reporter Vudi Xhymshiti will help you understand, prepare and be aware of how to effectively report from the countries in the crisis of war.

    Our course will help you improve your social skills as well as bolster your self esteem. Throughout our group of five one-to-one sessions, we will make you (young adults, students and career media personnel) a better leader by enabling you to relate to different kinds of people. The sessions are designed to help you develop strong and confident communication skills so that you can handle any situation.

    In addition, our instructor will be your career counsellor, helping you to brainstorm career possibilities, define career goals and establish action plans to reach conflict reporting goals. We will also be a great source of networking opportunities for you.

  • Programme & Structure

    This programme is a powerful development tool that will help you achieve your personal and professional goals. It will successfully help you improve the following skills and capabilities:

    • Improve communication and personal skills.
    • Develop leadership and management qualities.
    • Reinforce your own study skills and knowledge of your subject(s).
    • Increase your confidence and motivation.
    • Engage in a volunteering opportunity, valued by employers.

    Our instructors will support and encourage you to manage your own learning so you can maximise your potential, develop your skills, improve your performance and become the conflict reporter you want to be.

    The Structure

    The first week will be 5+ hours either one-to-one or in a group of up to 5 people via Zoom with our founder and experienced conflict reporter Vudi Xhymshiti.
    This week will include editorial preparation, hands-on practicalities of conflict reporting, research, insurance, communications planning, proof of life document, travel security and risk assessment, itinerary/schedule and communication with editors.

    The second week will be a 3-4 day physical attendance (depending on whether you’re alone or with a group of 5) at the training facilities of our Conflict Reporting Guide partner “Hostile Environment Training” in Andover, England, United Kingdom.
    This week of the course will include First Aid Training, which is designed to be at the highest level of Hostile Environment Training available.
    You will also learn about Vehicle Safety and Security, Threat Risk and Mitigation, Radio and Voice Comms, Kidnap and Hostage, Landmines and IED’s, Conflict Management, Navigation Techniques and hands-on Weapon Familiarisation.

  • The Training

    This Conflict Reporting Course has been designed to teach you all of the following:


    First Aid Training

    The 4-day First Aid Training course has been designed to be at the highest level of Hostile Environment Training available. Combining the skills taught on our 3 Day HEAT course with the advanced medical training covered on our 2 Day HETC course, we provide the skills needed for preparedness.


    Vehicle Safety and Security

    Driving from your home to the office in the UK can sometimes involve a hostile environment, however vehicle checkpoints, whether they be legitimate or otherwise, fortunately, remains a rarity. Even the shortest of trips in a volatile area, however, can be a completely different story. Driving standards too may be a little infuriating on the M1 or M25, with speeding, tailgating and centre lane hogging making your blood boil.


    Threat and Risk Mitigation

    A trip to your local shops doesn’t take too much (if any) planning at all. All you have to decide is where you are going and which shoes to wear. Stopping on your way to get a quick latte or cappuccino is trouble-free. Who would have ever thought that a walk in the street would involve developing and adhering to a plan?


    Radio and Voice Comms

    Talking and communicating on our mobile phone is something we all do very well and take for granted. However, being understood on a two-way radio communication device, even in any normal minimal stress situation, is a different matter.


    Kidnap and Hostage

    Learn the skills you need to save your life. Hostile Environment Training’s Kidnap and Hostage training course has been designed around three key areas:

    • Reduce the risk of being taken as hostage.
    • Deal with the initial shock of kidnap and the subsequent hostage situation that ensues.
    • Exploit opportunity and maximising your survival probability from a kidnap and hostage situation.
    • Insurance underwriters and brokers, offer to provide a lower premium on Hostage and Kidnap Insurance for individuals who have received HEAT training from Hostile Environment Training.

    Landmines and IED's

    Every year approximately 200,000 new landmines are laid. Many minefields are either not marked or have been marked by the local population using a local technique.
    IED’s are increasingly the primary threat in countries with a risk of terrorism and conflict, many IED’s are not initiated by an individual leading to them being as indiscriminate as landmines.


    Conflict Management

    Conflict Management Training from Hostile Environment Training is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and awareness to make informed decisions in a hostile region.


    Navigation Techniques

    Navigation is key to success in any environment. Moving to and from a place of work to a place of rest requires the ability to navigate.
    When local knowledge and guides cannot be used, it’s down to the individual or group to be able to effectively move through their surroundings with purpose and direction. The direction is achieved through training.
    The ability to use a GPS can have limited success in any environment as calibration errors, antenna malfunction or battery failure can quickly lead to disorientation.
    Using navigation techniques and methods, such as using a map and compass, are somewhat more reliable so long as the user has the knowledge to use them.


    Weapon Familiarisation

    HEAT Weapon Familiarisation Course provides a hands-on opportunity to identify the dangers associated with handguns, assault rifles, grenades and other weapons which you or your staff may encounter in a high-risk location.

  • HET & VXP

    Upon completion of his HEAT (Hostile Environment Awareness Training) course, our founder Vudi Xhymshiti and HET Limited agreed to a noble purpose of combining and sharing their wartime experience knowledge with the wartime experienced instructors of Hostile Environment Ltd for aspiring conflict reporters. Our aim is: for reporters and journalists to live and safely tell the stories that need to be told.

    Hostile Environment Training provides training applicable to many sectors, from media to the pharmaceutical industry. The training is designed to help prepare for and mitigate risks and challenges inherent in operating in unfamiliar and often hostile environments. On completion of the Conflict Reporting Guide Course, which includes the Hostile Environment Awareness course, you will be better prepared and equipped to manage the threats surrounding you before, during and after the conflict reporting projects.

    Apart from practical survival skills and knowledge in how to cope with a stressful hostage or a disaster situation, you will also learn the importance of information security. The training combines both theoretical and practical elements and is delivered to you by highly experienced professionals.

    Vudi Xhymshiti's Conflict Reporting Guide

    Syria, Aleppo region, May 2012 — © Vudi Xhymshiti

  • What to Expect

    We will keep communications open with you. I will always offer feedback and support. The why, the how and when and where will always be the subject of our discussion and thriving conversations to develop an idea and subject, as well as your understanding of the craft. Together, we will define expectations, actively participate, maintain an ethical and professional level of contact and communication, which is a way to empower and keep you honest and get you to master the knowledge you aim for.

    I expect you to be as follows:

    • Be upfront.
    • Remember that your mentor is there for you but is only a guide.
    • Review your goals.
    • Be polite and courteous.
    • Actively participate.
    • Be innovative and creative.
    • Get to know (yourself) and your Trainer.
    • Get productive and genuine interest in self-development.
    • Completely switch OFF your mobile phone devices throughout the day.
  • Why choose me?

    Our founder (lead-instructor) Vudi Xhymshiti, has taught classes as small as 12 students and larger classes exceeding 50 students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as career photojournalists. In addition, he has successfully mentored 3rd generation of young aspiring photojournalists and journalists who have been assigned in various storytelling subjects from European newspapers to Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Reports as well as wire services.

    He has covered significant social, political and cultural events from the Middle East to North Africa and Europe. Through the course of his career, he has built strong classroom management and organisational skills and a thorough understanding of educational technology needed to facilitate his students’ learning experience.

    Vudi Xhymshiti's Mentorship Programme

    Vudi Xhymshiti is 10+ years experienced photojournalist, whose work has been published in American, European and Middle Eastern media, from The New York Times, Time to Le Monde and Paris Match of France, Der Spiegel and Stern magazines of Germany, The Guardian and Times of England to Vanity Fair and La Republica of Italy.


Book Your Course

The cost of the course is £2500 for a two-week course and can either be paid in 2 instalments or in full to receive a 5% discount.
This cost will include one week of editorial preparation with our founder Vudi Xhymshiti, and three to four days hands-on attendance course with Hostile Environment Training Limited in Andover.
It will also pay 50% of your hotel and 100% of your transportation cost from the Hotel to the HEAT field training facilities and vice versa.

5% of the cost will be a dedication to Photojournalism Hub and another 5% to Independent Press and Documentary Photographers Club.

To make your booking, please click on the button below. You will be taken through to a payment portal and upon payment completion, you will be redirected to the enrolment page in order to complete a form with your necessary details.