"We always had fun. I think that sense of humour is essential in our profession and in this part of the world it is vital."

Anatoly Verbin

Trainer Anatoly Verbin and participants of the workshop "Reporting skills in the digital era", Moscow, September 2016. Author rights: Perspektivy.

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Anatoly Verbin, trainer about the workshop "Reporting skills in the digital era"

Every group with which I have so far worked under this programme was great but in a different way.

Some would have strong leaders who would inspire the rest. Some would have such a country, regional or professional variety that enriched all.

The group I am talking about now met twice – in early and late September 2016. The best definition for them I can think of is: Merry Team.  And I can't really say which of the two words is more important. We always had fun – sometime on the border of overwhelming. But I think that sense of humour generally is essential, and in our profession and in this part of the world it is vital. Without strong sense of humour one risks serious depression, seeing and understanding what is going on around you.

Team spirit is also a professional requirement, we are not lone bloggers – with all due respect to them. This was the team which was most active in our Facebook group, and I hope this will go on beyond the Perspektivy programme. A  key role in cultivating this spirit played the out-of-training programme brilliantly organised and led by Natalia Pisarenko. The visits to the Dozhd TV, Russia Beyond the Headlines, Ostankinskaya TV tower, Reuters, The Village – you just name it. Hardly any non-Moscow journalists have a chance to see so much in such a short time.

Couple of quotes from feedback forms to prove my point:

"I liked the master class. You can see it is held not just to tick the box, it gives you an opportunity to meet new people, get new knowledge – something I might not get a chance to get otherwise. A brilliant opportunity and experience which one must use to improve the output".   

"The master class was gave us gave us an opportunity to evaluate the state of journalism in the country…, to make new contacts which is important in our profession…We are implementing what we have learned already".

To sum it up, I think that both me and the participants enjoyed the training, which means it was useful and the Perspektivy programme is on the right track.

Couple more quotes from the feedback forms, which are especially satisfying.

"I have got more here than in six years of studying journalism. I am extremely happy, it was mega useful and very interesting".

"It is more effective than any known to me university journalism course".