Interview by Vassilios Nicolaos Vitsilogiannis (IG @vassiliosvitsilogiannis)
Siham Halila is an international journalist and a CEO of the Buzz magazine. She started working in journalism since 2005 as a CEO of Al Iktissadia newspaper. After that she worked for many large circulation magazines and newspapers in the Middle East, UK and Turkey. Modeling was one of her passions to walk for a lot of famous brands. She has interviewed famous superstars all over the world. She was awarded the title of the best journalist in the Arab world in 2019. In 2020, she received an honorary doctorate from the Asalam’s Academy in Germany. She’s the Goodwill Ambassador for the Arab Dream Association recognized by the United Nations. Siham was the finalist on the big competition TV series “Fashion Hero”.
Why did you choose journalism and not any other major?
In fact, I studied Accounting Business but journalism was my dream since my chilhood. I was dreaming of meeting many people who I may have not met before. After that, I studied journalism and I started my career in 2005.
What are some of your best qualities of your writing style?
I consider ideas, structure, and correctness the best factors for a great article which help writing to involve by focusing on a clear, manageable idea, argument or thesis around which to organize your material.
What topics would you like to cover at your publication?
I love covering celebrities, specialy talented ones.
Do you believe a good journalist should have certain qualities, explain that.
To be a good journalist, must love what you do first, don’t think about money. Possess a solid ethical core and integrity. Must have their audience trust in order to succeed. Fairness, objectivity and honesty are the three essential factors that need to be built into every story.
Do you use social media? If yes, do you use them for identifying new stories?
Of course, social media provide a platform where you can share your knowledge and gain credibility in your chosen field within the online community. Also, I use it to advertise my magazine.
How do you manage the stress of tight deadlines?
In fact, it is very hard but I use to be relaxed as much as I can and if I get a problem I take a step back, take my time to think about the perfect solution. Today, I can say I’ve learned how to handle stress.
Do you have any particular methods of staying informed with accurate information?
I am a member of a lot of whatsapp groups with a lot of journalists from all over the world and we keep sharing informations among us, I am also friend with so many celebrities who share their news with me.
Do you admire other journalists and their interviewing style?
I love Oprah Winfry and she is my idol, so, I love the way she interviewes her guest, she is very simple but she delves into her guest’s inner world.
Tell us about your collaborations with other media in the past and how fruitful was that.
With my experience, I get to know a lot of press and I had so many collaborations especially Arabic media outlet, I was happy to know some of them because they helped me develop professionally.
Would you be hesitant to ask uncomfortable questions?
I often avoid asking questions that feel too sensitive or personal. I focus only on my guest’s career.
Many thanks to you Vassilios for this wonderful interview!!!