Results, impression, and insights of the training for the Perspektivy graduates: new format

Moscow, September 2017, Alumni workshop

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“The most important thing that I have taken with me from the project for the Perspektivy graduates is understanding that I can always focus on the topics that I consider important, even if there is no space for them in my editing house,” says Natalia Romanenko.

Four journalistic stories published in mass media generated tens of thousands of hits. This is the main result of the training for the Perspektivy graduates that was held in a new format of distant cross-border co-authorship in September 2017 in Moscow. Its participants tell about the topics they chose and the insights they had, while working on the projects and taking part in the trainings led by Anatoly Verbin.  

The new format of the training for graduates is similar to another Perspektivy project – “Cross-Border Journalism”. Young journalists from different countries also made teams to jointly explore current issues and create multimedia content. Training for graduates is unique because the authors interacted with each other distantly discussing the projects in online video-conferences and group chats. The projects co-authored by the training participants demonstrate that with the help of modern technology it is possible to overcome the borders and distances as well as establish professional communication to produce decent collaborative material even without meeting each other in person.   

Final stories

 “Ideas of the Future from the former USSR”. This material tells about businessmen-innovators in post-Soviet countries. It was produced by Igor Chigarskikh (Adygea), Olga Deksnis (Belarus), Lia Budiyanskaya (Kazakhstan), Mariam Sargsyan (Armenia), Natalia Zharinova (Russia) and Alexey Ivanov (Udmurtia). Long-read is published at the website shans.online.  

Olga Deksnis: “Every businessman and entrepreneur was eager to tell us about their projects. Our task was to cover the creative aspect in their choice of niche without advertising them. I think we have managed to do it.”

The program for graduates is a great “shot” hitting a new format according to Olga. “It gives an opportunity to meet colleagues from different countries, share previous experience with the Perspektivy program, learn about the life stories of previous projects and find new points of contact,” emphasizes freelance journalist from Minsk.  

Mariam Sargsyan: “The project interaction format is very convenient and fruitful. It helps to establish new useful contacts and learn about new specific problems in different countries, which is crucial for professional development.”

“Pregnancy among teenagers in the former USSR countries”. A detail multimedia story about sexual literacy among teenagers was told by Natalia Romanenko (Kazakhstan), Askat Turusbekov (Kyrgyzstan), Veronika Nikitina (Ukraine), Olga Deksnis (Belarus), and Alexey Ivanov (Udmurtia). They explored the topic through the life experience of specific young people from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. The material is published at theopenasia.net.

Natalia Romanenko: “We managed to cover far less than initially planned because it took quite a while to find the protagonists. However, I’m satisfied with the result of our team work because we ended up creating interesting material. In my opinion, it differs from what had been created before us on the topic of teenage pregnancy.”  According to Natalia, Anatoly Verbin helped the team to define the topic and understand how to present it. The work was not without difficulties though. “In the very beginning our team did not determine where to publish the material, which created some difficulties,” says Askat Turusbekov, the long-read co-author. “I would advise future participants to establish in advance where they will publish their material.”     

Natalia Romanenko: “The most important thing that I have taken with me from the project for the Perspektivy graduates is understanding that I can always focus on the topics that I consider important, even if there is no space for them in my editing house. Now I see that it is possible. I want to continue creating materials independently. Moreover, during the training my outlook underwent a change. I have never understood so clearly that my work can significantly influence the society.”

 “How migration was changing Kazakhstan” is the name of the long-read by Irina Galat (Kazakhstan) published at vlast.kz. The author explored how migration and demographic processes in Kazakhstan affect social, economic, cultural, religious and other aspects of life in the country. 

 “Without rights, but in high demand: the Russian language in Uzbekistan” is the material by Umida Maniyazova (Uzbekistan) and Irina Galat (Kazakhstan) published by Kazakhstan website СА-News. The text tells why more and more people in Uzbekistan learn Russian, although russophone population is dramatically decreasing.

 Irina Galat: “We managed to make the material interesting and complete. At first, we planned to cover the topic of the Russian language in Uzbekistan at a slightly different angle, but during the preparatory stage and the discussion with colleagues from different countries we understood, which direction we should be moving in.”

.According to Irina, such training for the graduates is valuable because it helps journalists from different mass media, regions, and countries share their experience. She also noted that mentor Anatoly Verbin did not just share his knowledge and taught to work in new unfamiliar formats, but also offered to look at journalism at a different angle. “Such exercises push you out of your routine making you think in a more progressive and global way,” notes the journalist.   

Comment of the mentor

Anatoly Verbin, media trainer: “There is no limit to perfection in our profession. However, taking into account that it was a pilot project, I’m satisfied with the result. The materials are very diverse and each of them raises serious and important topics.

Training for the Perspektivy program graduates is valuable exactly due to its cross-border aspect, since it gives an opportunity for participants from different countries and regions to meet, collaborate, and share experience. This is the future of journalism with the world becoming more and more global.”

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