Basics of Reporting with Focus on Business Journalism
KARACHI: The Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) yet again organized a comprehensive two-week training on 'Basics of Reporting' but this time the focus was on business journalism. The classes were conducted from February 13 to 24, 2017 at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi. The course has been offered for the third consecutive year and it receives an overwhelming response every time.
Nineteen working journalists from various print and broadcast organizations across Pakistan attended the training module.
The course was taught by James Miller of the Medill School of Journalism, and a local co-instructor, Naween Mangi who is a freelance journalist and former Pakistan bureau chief for Bloomberg News.
The course focused on the fundamentals of print media reporting and writing, with hands-on exercises, and guest speakers supplementing in-class lectures and discussions. The class topics included the reporter's role in society, how print coverage differs from broadcast news, and the distinction between 'hard news' and feature writing.
Along with studying the classic who-what-where-when-why structure of news articles, the students also gained insight on how to structure and conduct interviews, develop stories, and write for digital news platforms. Students also experienced how to cover breaking news by writing quick-take stories about a major news event, for a broadcast or web-based platform, based on sketchy preliminary information.
Subsequently, rewriting and updating the news, adding elaboration and context, as more information became available.
There was also a session on 'Ethics for Journalists' that stressed the need for objectivity and integrity while reporting. The session was conducted by CEJ director, Kamal Siddiqi.
Some other fundamental topics included financial news reporting, profile writing and covering the economy by translating dry economic data into news stories. Students also learned to write vivid descriptions as part of their stories.
In addition to conventional news-summary coverage, the trainers briefed the students on how reporters can also make use of less standard formats, including trend pieces, news-anniversary items, consumer guides, news analysis and explained the role of sidebar.
Guest speaker Nasim Beg, Vice Chairman Arif Habib Group, talked about the expectations of the business press reader, and global financial media vs. Pakistani financial media.
Another guest session was conducted by Farahnaz Zahidi on social media while Lala Hassan, senior program coordinator at Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) spoke on reporters' safety. Shayan Naveed, editor Tribune Labs delivered a guest lecture on multimedia reporting.
The participants of "Basics of Reporting" course had engaging discussions with the guest speakers and asked intriguing and insightful questions.
The training concluded with a certificate distribution ceremony at the CEJ and an end note speech by the trainers and CEJ director, Kamal Siddiqi.