A participant from Kazakhstan shares his impressions about “News writing in the digital era” workshop in Moscow

Oleg Veliky, Perspektivy

Oleg Velikiy in Moscow during Perspektivy Workshop

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MOSCOW IS MY DREAM CITY OR HOW I TOOK PART IN MASTER CLASS ON WRITING NEWS IN DIGITAL ERA

It was completely by chance that I learned about the master class on April 23-27 in Moscow. I immediately decided to apply, since I’m new in journalism and I need to learn a lot about this profession. I was also happy that it would take place in Moscow, because I’d been dreaming of visiting this city for years, but there was no such chance.

Finally, April 11 came, when the results had to be declared, and I was very nervous. When I opened the mailbox and read the letter, I couldn’t hide emotions and all editorial staff could hear my cry of joy)). So, I was offered to participate in the master class on writing news in digital era. In that letter the organizes also gave detail information about the proposal, which covered a return trip to Moscow, hotel accommodation, food and most importantly the study program. Already on April 21 I was on the way to my dream city.

Right after breakfast in the morning of the program first day the 14 lucky participants met each other at the hotel reception and took off for classes. At our destination we met program coordinator Natalia Pisarenko and master class mentor Anatoly Verbin. The classes were extremely intensive and it’s great that most of the time we were doing practical exercises, although there was some theory, too, you can’t do without it. The tasks were not easy and I couldn’t perform all of them “with an excellent mark”, but that’s exactly why I came here – to learn to develop news stories, structure the texts and much more.

I have to confess that we got a lot of information and there were things that I heard for the first time. There were 14 of us from different cities with unique experience. Communication with peers was of great use, too. Within the short time from April 23 to 27, four professional mentors (Anatoly Verbin, Grigory Dukor, Nadezhda Naiborodina and Nabi Abdulaev) did their best to tell us as much as possible about texts, interviews, journalist ethics and security, on how to tell a story in a single picture and much more. They gave simple advice on how to avoid mistakes and work with numbers, evaluate news and spin it. Thanks to the mentors I learned to write faster and think broader.

After classes together with other participants we walked around Moscow, had lunch and dinner together, visited each other in the evenings, had tea, discussed the day, told funny episodes that we came across at work. With every next day it was getting more and more interesting. We had a tour around “Dozhd” TV channel and “Reuters” information agency and naturally I was very impressed with their level, there’s a lot to learn from them. April 27 was the saddest day, because it was the last day and some participants even missed some classes, because they had to leave. In the end of the day we were given certificates confirming our participation in the master class. Before going to the train station I promised myself to be back to this city.

At my workplace I shared the newly acquired knowledge with my colleagues. I also started to write stories in a completely different way, which certainly made my management happy.

Oleg Veliky, Uralsk, Kazakhstan.