Participants of workshop "News writing in the digital era", April 2016, Moscow. Author Alisa Kustikova
International standards of global information services taking root in regional mass media
Upon return to their respective editorial offices after the “News writing in the digital era” 5-day intensive master-class, the participants and their colleagues witnessed a positive change in their approach to work – it took less time to write a coverage and the quality of texts increased.
“The workshop was great and time just flew”, wrote one of the participants. “I keep all my notes, come back to them and revise certain points. Now I want to make the most of it, try a new approach to certain things, look for new ways and formats. It was really interesting, intensive and educational”.
When learning how to “spin the news” during the master-class, the journalists found out that “even a less interesting topic can be presented in a more attractive way” and each plot can be given “added value”, if you research and dig deeper into it. It was also stressed, that “the fact of the event is not the most important thing” and one should pay more attention to the context, when writing the news.
During the master-class the participants had to complete test tasks with real deadlines, which trained them “to think fast” and write fast in the real editing mode, take heavy phrases and sentences out of the text, and leave only the essential information in the leads and headlines.
Some of the participants were able to test new work formats on real speakers during press conferences, commentary requests and interviews. According to one of the participants, when talking to government officials, she started to explicitly state that the article would be published, even if they refused to comment, which helped in getting information. She says, that “they still give commentaries every time, even though with an unhappy face”.
All participants agreed that such master-classes given by professional journalists of international level help to go beyond regional limits, “reconsider long forgotten rules”, and master new formats for seemingly familiar genres.
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