By Sr. Monica Kujur RGS, Velim, Goa
(A participant of News Writing & Reporting Course)
Velim, Goa. 21st September 2020: Learning never ends. The openness to learn something new and updating of oneself regularly makes a person more equipped and resourceful. Twenty Good Shepherd sisters engaged in educational, health, social and pastoral ministries from Province of CEIN (Central East India Nepal) participated in an online training course on “News Writing and Reporting” through Zoom held from 13th to 21st September 2020 by NISCORT Media College, NCR-Delhi. Mr. Sumit Dhanraj, Journalist and Communication & Media Trainer was the trainer for this entire course. Fr. Robinson Rodrigues, the new interim Director of the NISCORT Media College, welcomed the trainer and trainees in the introductory session.
The trainer imparted the techniques and methodology required to compose heading, report writing, letter to the editor, article and feature writing, interview report writing, to hold press conferences and to differentiate between the fake and actual news. There were 18 sessions comprising 12 hours of teaching and interaction amongst the trainees. The assignments and the notes gave better understanding of the topics to the trainees. Some of the essential topics discussed in the sessions were as follows.
News Writing & Reporting: The reporter uses 5W’s – What, When, Where, Who/by Whom, Why, and 1H – How, to make a report authentic, interesting, new and significant. The good report has important information, focuses on the context and portrays human interest stories. It is written in inverted pyramid style. It has heading, subheading, lead, body and ending. The reporter should gather information from primary as well as from secondary sources in order to give accurate report of particular issues or themes. The reporter should be an unprejudiced observer, truthful, honest, punctual, person of basic human values and be able to check the facts before producing a story or report. The reporter needs to acquire the values which originate peace, justice and brotherhood in the society.
Article and Feature Writing: The article is a piece of writing well researched and documented on a subject to be published in the newspaper, magazine or periodicals. The articles need to be based on current issues related to people. The feature articles are written on a specific matter, person or the place for the particular age group in a simplified language.
Interview Report Writing: An interview report is the first hand information, gathered by the journalist either from a prominent person or to a common human being for the sake of reporting in the Press. The interviewer requires deep knowledge on the topic, prior appointment, questioner, recorder, camera person and the press kit. It is written in either question and answer format style or inverted pyramid style.
Press Conference: Press conference is held to disseminate important information related to current happenings, incidences, events, occasions, and achievements to the society through the channel of media. The host needs a moderator, formal invitation for the media persons and press statement. The host may provide a press kit and refreshment and gather the information of the journalists at their arrival. The reporter should be armed with questions, should ask only the most important ones, and should focus on the facts not the sugarcoated news. The reporter should not be intimidated with power or stature.
Fake News in Media: Fake news has emerged with the advent of social media. As a reporter or a reader one should do a CRAAP test to know the currency, relevancy, authority, accuracy and purpose of the report in the print and electronic media. As a responsible citizen doing Citizen Journalism, the reporters and readers should discard fake news, have discussion and debate to find the truth and write positive reports with facts and figures.
The trainer, Mr. Sumit Dhanraj challenged the trainees to step into citizen journalism to become the voice of voiceless, dalits, indigenous people, women, children and Mother Earth. The course generated writing and reading skills in the trainees. It has opened the eyes of the trainees to look at the media from a new perspective.
Sr. Pushpa Louis, the Province Leader of CEIN thanked Fr. Robinson Rodrigues, the Director of NISCORT Media College, NCR-Delhi for providing qualitative course, and Mr. Sumit Dhanraj, Journalist for his systematic teaching and personal accompaniment. Fr. Robinson thanked the trainees for their active participation and wished them well for their future.