Working with the NUJ’s professional training department, I’ve designed a new type of course that we hope will address the needs of many existing journalists as well as be of interest to people coming into the business for the first time. While most of the union’s training programme aims to furnish delegates with a specific skill, this course aims to provide some space for media workers to consider best practice and identify what areas they need to develop their skills in.
We’ve aimed the course at anyone currently being asked to work in a multimedia environment who wants to examine the options and gain some understanding of how various platforms work together. We’ve spoken to many journalists over the past few months who are struggling to get to grips with the pace of change and the news sets of skills being demanded of them. Too often that process means media workers are being asked to pick up new skills and new techniques on the hoof. That can lead to serious issues with resources, quality and assessing the new implications of communicating and telling stories in new ways.
None of this is intended to fuel the debate about whether some things are journalism and others not or whether this or that platform is dead or is the future. Those debates are going on elsewhere. This is a practical attempt to get to grips with what is happening, and to provide space for media workers to assess and consider. The course will broadly split into two parts over one day. The first will look at some examples of multimedia storytelling techniques, while the second will see delegates working in groups to pitch a story on multiple platforms. By the end of the day the idea is to have tackled some practical issues and helped identify further training needs.
The course is priced at the lower end of the range, with NUJ members getting a discounted rate. The first session is scheduled for Cardiff on 24 March, and there is a London session on 13 May. Booking is now open. It’s a new approach, we know the demand is there, and we’re very excited about putting this one into action.