Abdulrasheed, Hammad writes,
The British Council, the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, trained 50 young journalists at the Future News WorldWide Conference.
The Future News Worldwide is a yearly exclusive virtual summit for the world’s best young journalists across the world which brings together young journalists and reporters from across the globe for 3 days of intensive training, learning and networking.
The three-day training brings great journalists across the world and this year’s conference theme is: “Building the skills, support, and resilience needed for journalism to meet the challenges of a changing world”, was held between 12 July to 14th July 2022.
Sarah, the FNW programme manager at the British council was the moderator of the three days virtual summits. On the first day, Marianna Spring, the BBC’s first Specialist Disinformation and Social Media Reporter, trained the participants on disinformation, the impact it is having on communities and how journalists can find and present the truth. On the same day, the panels featuring voices from BBC World Service, Reuters, and freelance correspondents were invited to discuss the topic: “From fixers to desk editors – the challenges and imperatives of covering the conflict.”
Prof Steve Jukes, Bournemouth University, and Lucy Young, British Council trained the delegates on how to easily study in the United Kingdom which includes choosing a course and university, finding scholarships, other funding avenues, and understanding visa requirements.
On the second day of the training, Caroline Scott, Google News Lab Teaching Fellow for the UK, trained the delegates on the Google News lab where she gave an insight into the powerful ways in which delegates can use Google tools and Google-compatible software in doing research and reporting.
Also, Rushati Mukherjee, Social Media Producer, Reuters Eyewitness, Simon Robinson, Global Managing Editor, News Publishing, Reuters, Jon Zilkha, Controller, BBC World Service English, Catherine Gicheru, Director, Africa Women Journalism Project, ICFJ, had a special conference with the participants to ask any questions on how to survive and thrive as a journalist in 2022.
Karen Mahabir, the founder of the AP’s Online Harassment Committee to better support journalists facing cyber threats and abuse shared her experience and the experiences of other journalists on how they were being harassed online and she trained the delegates on how to ensure their safety and resilience in a hostile online world.
On the last day of the training, the delegates were given a topic and guidance on pitching to an editor and the participants were tasked to produce a pitch for a journalistic story. At the end of this, seven teams were formulated and a person was appointed in each group to present the pitch of each group.
Some delegates spoke about the workshop
Swastika, a delegate from India said the training was well conceptualised as it included the voices of the relevant stakeholders in the field of journalism across the world, noting that the knowledge imparted by the participants was beneficial to his understanding as a newbie in the field. Swastika rated the event 8/10 based on the performance of the organizers in organizing the event.
“The most unique thing for me would be the speakers. They ensured diversity in the panel as it was promised. However, my favorite part would be the session taken on Google News Lab. The session was highly informative. For improvement, I would request the organisers to conduct these sessions physically and stretch them over a few more days,” he suggested.
Sambai Chemeli Brigid, a delegate from Kenya noted that the training was incredibly amazing and extremely informative, adding that it comes to the young journalists at a time they needed it most.
“Personally, I am just starting my career in broadcast journalism and as a content creator. From the very first training by BBC’s first-ever disinformation specialist, where I was able to learn how to ensure information is accurate and verified and how to deal with abuse and bullying online.
“The panel discussion on covering conflict was also extremely informative. As an advocate of mental health, I took part in this with enthusiasm. Not only does conflict reporting require emotional intelligence from the victims, but verification of information is also very important since one is dealing with sensitive information. Keeping the same and taking active care of one’s mental health as a journalist covering conflict is very important and very necessary.
“On day 2, I found the training on Google news lab tools very informative, important, and necessary in ensuring time management, verifying facts, organizing information, and a lot of other important skills in journalism. This was followed by a panel discussion where I gained insights to better my journalism career with the best in the business; Priceless! We also got our journalism questions answered, which was so great!
“Day three was Newsday where we got a chance to put our skills to practice and get reviews from an experienced editor! The training in general was incredible. I am now confident in taking my journalism career to great heights,” she explained.
She rated the event at 88% and the reason was their ability to bring together experienced and highly recognised professionals across the world with the young Journalists who are just starting their careers. He, however, stated that the knowledge gained was immense and she was glad, not only for meeting fellow young journalists throughout the world but also to connect with experienced professionals from powerhouses.
”The goals that needed to be accomplished were met while at the same time everything ran on schedule.
“What would make it 100% for me, however, is, if the ideas we came up with would be seen through to life before the actual conference comes to an end. It would be a great opportunity to see our creativity and the knowledge gained put to test and successfully applied,” he stated.
Brigid further noted that the abilities she gained after the event made her feel she was ready to utilise the knowledge gained, adding that her favourite session was on News Day where the delegates had a chance to put their story ideas together and presented them to a highly recognized editor.
“We presented our ideas to Lola Hierro and got her opinions and recommendations. This was also a great day for me because we were grouped at random and therefore we had the chance to interact with other delegates from different countries and appreciate the similarities and differences regarding certain topics and matters.
“What I would say needs improvement, is that the ideas put together should not just be forgotten when the conference ends. The organisers should find a way to see to it that they are fully pursued and published if they meet the standards of those partner media powerhouses. Not only would this boost the confidence in our careers but also make the resumes stand out,” Brigid recommended.
Abdulganiyu Abdulrahman, a delegate from Nigeria said the training was inspiring, eye-opening and instrumental to his journalism career, noting that it was a immeasurable pleasure for him to be part of the conference.
He added that the most unique thing that amazed him about the conference is the choice of facilitators who are experts in the field.
“As for me, I will rate it 90%. The organizers should use online platforms that are well known and participants can use effectively. Also, the organizers should consider paying a stipend for the participants for network connectivity,” he advised.
Adewale Zainab, a delegate from Nigeria said it was a great opportunity for her for being among the participants that participated in the Future News WorldWide conference, noting that it was an awesome experience being among the international journalists and facilitators across the globe.
She reinforced that the facilitator did well in training the participants through the rudiments of striving as young journalists in the field.
“The three-day session was fantastic and I had a nice time. Although I had network issues so I couldn’t get to listen to everything the facilitators passed across but all the same, it was a nice experience.
“I would rate the conference 60%. I would have loved to rate them more but during the sessions, I noticed some Nigerians find it difficult to navigate the platform. It was a lot easier for the international delegates as I assume they must have been familiar with it.
“But in a situation whereby they know they will be accommodating different journalists across the world, they should have opted for a better platform that will be easy to use and navigate. My favorite part remains the break-out session on the third day.
Lucas Marllon, a delegate from Brazil said he was glad about exchanging ideas and experiences with many great people all over the world, adding that the best part was studying in the United Kingdom and talking with Lola Hierro.
M. Ramees, another delegate from Kerala, the southern part of India expressed his gladness over the conference, adding that it was a great opportunity to meet great journalists across the globe.