STEVEN Voser never thought he would pursue a career in journalism.
“I was fresh out of high school, and I simply had no idea what I wanted to do,” he said.
“Journalism seemed interesting, but I didn't really know anything about it at that stage. I just applied for the course and I got in.”
Fast forward several years and the former Gordon resident is not only passionate about his work but has been nominated for an International Emmy Award for his documentary Stray Bullets which examines firearm regulation in the Philippines.
Voser, who worked on the current affairs program during his internship at Al Jazeera’s 101 East in Kuala Lumpur, said he pitched the idea after discovering the rate of gun-related murder in the Philippines was higher than that of the USA at the time.
“I decided to chase up the story because the US had been and still is getting a lot of media attention regarding firearm regulation,” Voser said.
“We wanted to highlight another example of a country where there is a serious issue with gun ownership, regulation, and gun-related violence.”
Voser said the documentary explored why some people viewed firearm ownership as an important right and the difficulties involved in regulating that right.
“Given Al Jazeera’s reputation, and the fact that we had a full 25 minutes, I saw this as an opportunity to really examine the different sides to this story,” he said.
Stray Bullets has been nominated in the International Emmy Awards news ceremony’s current affairs category.
The documentary is up against three other current affairs programs from around the world with winners announced on September 28.
As well as pitching the story, Voser said he conducted the research, devised the documentary plan and organised interviews.
“I never thought this would happen, and I was obviously extremely proud to hear that the film had been nominated,” the 22-year-old said.
Even though Voser wasn’t always sure what career path he would take, he said the journalist’s duty as an upholder of truth always appealed to him.
“Many of the academic articles we read at university painted a very noble picture of the journalist as the upholder of truth, constantly on a mission to provide the public with objective facts to allow people to hold the greater powers accountable for their actions, and to help them make up their own mind about what is going in the world around them,” he said.
Voser currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina and plans to work as a freelance blogger working across the Americas before starting up his own media outlet in the next few years.