MediaTrain’s directors are all active trainers; the number of workshops they have given between them runs into the hundreds, in four continents and more than 50 countries. The company also uses independent consultants with a proven record of providing high-quality training based on solid media and communications experience. We understand the need to adapt to the very different media styles in different parts of the world. We are familiar with the highly sophisticated media of Western countries and with the developing news organisations of less wealthy countries. The choice of which trainers are used depends on their specialist knowledge of the location, subject and client as well as the language required.

Oliver Wates, MT Director

Since becoming a full-time trainer in 1998, Oliver has worked in more than 60 countries around the world. While at home in Asia, Africa and Europe, his specialist areas are Latin America and the former Soviet Union.

Oliver was previously a staff correspondent for Reuters news agency for more than 20 years, with postings in Argentina, Brazil, Pakistan, Portugal, and in Moscow, where he was head of the bureau during the break-up of the Soviet Union.

His training record includes executives from banks, oil companies and other big businesses, staff of NGOs and development agencies, and the occasional government minister (Moldova, Kyrgyzstan). But he remains close to his roots, training journalists in various disciplines, such as business and development, from Azerbaijan to Bolivia.

Oliver is no stranger to presentation training and moderating panels.

 “In this day and age, knowing how to cooperate with the news media counts as a basic organisational skill, not specialist knowledge. But there’s so much more to communication than that. I’m constantly amazed at how poorly people communicate within their organisations. It’s not something that comes automatically; you have to work at it. Which is where we come in.”


Andy Hill, MT Director

Andy is based in Nairobi, from where he has helped government officials, UN staff and NGO workers in Africa and Asia communicate the ideas essential to bring about change.</spanHis 30 years of experience as a journalist in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and South Asia, for Britain’s Guardian newspaper and Reuters News Agency, have been backed up by four years working for Oxfam in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

He helped forge a Communications and Advocacy strategy for its Middle East work and has used this experience to guide several NGOs working in Africa on the best ways to use communications in advocacy for change.

In Somaliland, Andy facilitated workshops that led the country’s Ministry of Information, Journalists Associations and Media House owners to draft and sign a Code of Conduct to avoid inflaming tensions around landmark Presidential elections. He is working and advising on communication strategies to help journalists in Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland to use their skills to help in the construction of more open, tolerant and responsible society.

Andy Has also helped senior United Nations and International Development Bank staff with personalized TV and interview training and gives workshops that help people communicate to the outside world and, just as importantly, within their orgaisation.

“Succinct communication begins in the thought process, not on the blank page. It’s a knack, a skill, and the basics can be effectively taught in a very short time. The courses I have worked on are often called ‘Media Awareness’ but the reality is that I have tried to help people order their thoughts and expression to communicate more clearly, not just to the media, but within their own organisations, to other institutions and to their publics and constituencies.”


Marian Hens, MT Director

Two decades of experience as a journalist, trainer and international communications consultant has seen Marian working with the public and private sector, from UN agencies to multinational companies.

Marian has media trained international staff in the US, Africa, Latina America, Asia and Europe, including high-level one-on-one coaching, such as the Head of Mission of the EU Special Representation in Kosovo. Her journalism training assignments have taken her from Haiti to Nigeria, Ethiopia and the Balkans.

She also brings to the team senior corporate experience in managing high-profile international and integrated communication campaigns, both offline and online. Early adopter of social and digital channels, she is equally comfortable dealing with mainstream, trade or consumer press, especially in sensitive, crisis situations.

From 1999 to 2007, Marian worked as a correspondent, editor and producer for BBC News, covering current and foreign affairs from London and other locations, including Jerusalem, Brussels and Madrid. Prior to that, she worked for the London Guardian and El Mundo newspaper.

“Communications have vastly changed since I published my first article back in the nineties. Today, 140 characters in Twitter can turn the reputation of an organisation upside down. But one thing remains the same -a good story is always a good story, whether told in front of a microphone, spelt out in a blogpost, or flagged in Facebook. Effective communication is about combining the ancient art of storytelling with the skill of how best to present that same story in the various channels”.



Anatoly Verbin

Anatoly has been designing and delivering training workshops in various forms of journalism and media techniques in different countries in English and Russian since 2002.

He was previously a correspondent for Reuters news agency for 16 years. He worked in the former Soviet Union, where he went all the way from a translator to news editor in the Moscow bureau covering 12 former Soviet republics, and the Balkans.

Clients for media training include OSCE mission staff in the former Soviet Union and Kosovo, UNICEF, World Health Organisation, senior management at the Russian Central Bank, ministers and government officials in Moldova and Kyrgyzstan, top regional officials, bank and company executives in Russia, and various international NGOs.

Anatoly is a co-founder of the Moscow Charter of Journalists. A Russian citizen, he speaks English, Russian and Bulgarian and lives near Sofia.

“Our clients are so different. Some are acutely aware of the need to master communications skills and use every opportunity to work on them. For others it comes as a surprise to hear that the importance of their posts and job titles gives them no guarantee of being listened to. And the hardest thing for them is to ‘speak like a human being’.”

Michela Wrong

Michela Wrong spent 15 years working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters, the BBC, Sunday Times, Economist and Financial Times, working in Rome, Paris and then Africa, which became her lifelong passion.

She is well-known for a series of non-fiction books on Zaire, Eritrea and Kenya which have become required reading for diplomats, academics and development professionals active in the continent.

She is a trustee for the Africa Research Institute and Literary Director of the Miles Morland Foundation, which funds a range of writing scholarships, culture festivals and book prizes on the continent.

Michela is fluent in Italian and French and based in London. As a foreign correspondent, experienced public speaker and writer of books aimed at the general reader, she appreciates the importance of clear, direct communication.

“Large institutions and corporations often foster impenetrable jargon, a kind of slick gobbledygook which may make perfect sense to insiders but becomes a major barrier to understanding, rightly alienating outsiders. But simple, effective communication skills can be taught.” 

Magdi Abdelhadi

Magdi, former Middle East Editor of the BBC World Service for 11 years, is a prominent writer, broadcaster and media consultant specialising in the region.

Based in London, he travels frequently to the Middle East, producing reports, analysis and documentaries about the politics and culture of the region.

Magdi’s 17 years at the BBC from 1994 to 2011 covered television, radio and the website, and production, reporting and presentation. He was one of the team that launched the first BBC Arabic television service in the mid-1990s, moving to the World Service after it closed.

Since leaving the BBC he has worked as a freelance, and also trained journalists and bloggers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and most recently in Algeria.

A native of Egypt, Magdi is fluent in Arabic, English and Swedish.

“The Middle East has a lot of ground to make up in appreciating the value of clear communications. It’s challenging terrain, but the need for sophisticated media training in the region has never been greater.”

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