WAN-IFRA Virtual training for science-based reporting 4 to 27 August 2020

Free of cost virtual training for science and health reporting

WAN-IFRA Facebook project - Virtual training in digital tools for journalists
WAN-IFRA Facebook project - Virtual training in digital tools for journalists

Wan-Ifra India organized a series of training programs for digital journalism that I was privileged to take part in. The sessions were held between 27 May and 2 July 2020 as part of the Wan-Ifra Facebook journalism project. I am not a Facebook person, and one could also say that I am over the hill. Nevertheless, I am interested as a journalist, editor, and B2B publisher in digital news media since part of my job is to write about technology changes in news media. And there is no better way to write about change than to engage in it if one can. 

We often have to describe and explain technology from afar, from press releases and visits to demonstrations, but digital journalism is something we have to do every day. There is no escape from it, so why not learn to do it correctly? Or at least better. The days of just doing your copy and handing it over to someone else are over. The days of only wearing one hat are over. 

To compete or survive in the modern news media environment, you will have to become adept at the tools and some of their underlying concepts. Use your smartphone to make videos, learn to edit them, learn to upload them, and learn to push them on the web, and learn something called search engine optimization.

I can only say that the virtual training was good to excellent, and the teachers’ energy frequently themselves digital journalists, inspiring. The courses on SEO, social media, and digital tools for journalism were especially interesting and generally ran over the time allotted. The fantastic thing is that there are numerous open-source or low-cost tools in the new digital environment that can help digital journalism and news publishing. 

Virtual training for science and health reporting

Now Wan-Ifra is coming up again with another set of series of training programs. The World Editors Forum Asia Chapter, the regional network in Asia for editors within the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), is offering a complimentary virtual training program covering six modules to improve the knowledge and practices of generalist journalists in the areas of science and health reporting. This is an important area as specific skills and tools are needed and an understanding of science or evidence-based reporting.

The coronavirus pandemic has challenged news organizations, requiring journalists to respond with immediate innovation and pick up new science and health reporting skills and knowledge on the fly. Journalists have had to manage with scarce resources while working from home and keeping themselves safe from the virus while having to write objectively about ventilators, infection algorithms, herd immunity, vaccines, and the methods of validating them. 

I am looking forward to being part of this training because we presciently started a health technology, diagnostics, and packaging B2B digital and print platform last year called www.healthtekpak.com. And because I am always concerned that a vast country such as ours, hardly has a decent science magazine on the newsstands. We help to produce a lot of science, technology, and math journals. One out of every eight referees of all mathematics journals is of Indian origin, but in our country, we don’t seem to have science magazines for the general public. 

Modules from 4 August to 27 August 2020

This science in the newsroom program offers six relevant modules to help journalists enhance their skills and update their knowledge and create awareness while working during the health crisis.
Module 1: Science, Covid-19, and Journalism, 4 August
Module 2: Monitoring and combatting misinformation, 5 August
Module 3: Data journalism, 6 August
Module 4: Innovation in pandemic storytelling, 25 August
Module 5: Solutions journalism, 26 August
Module 6: Future of the newsroom, 27 August

For more detailed information about the program and schedule, click hereFor registration, click here. The registration deadline, the last date for submitting your registration is 27-July-2020. Only two registrations are allowed per organization. Hurry up! Just one more week to go. Please email or call Vijayalakshmi Murali at WAN-IFRA South Asia. Telephone: +91.44.4211 2893; Cell: +91.8015144190.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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