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 here. For 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.