Reflections and Questions that Remain, Chennai Workshop, Day 3

At the end of the final day of the Poynter India Workshop, we asked the participants what they plan to takeaway from the training and what questions they have left.  Howard Finberg led the session.  Tom Huang provided the notes for this post.

  • One journalist was interested in whether non-profit journalism orgs are sustainable
  • One had an ethics question about helping victims that you are covering as a journalist. We try to differentiate between when people are in imminent danger versus staying on your journalistic mission to document story without changing the conditions that are in front of you. We generally agree that you must help people in imminent danger whenever it’s possible.
  • Indian journalists talk about the challenges of working for a state-run org. When you work with a state-run organization, you risk having their opinions being forced upon you.
  • One journalist raised this caution: We should strive to temper new technology with ethics. Help students understand social, political and economic issues.
  • One had a question about how to manage all the data we are accumulating. Casey Frechette said one trend is that news orgs are creating their own internal encyclopedia, a catalog of content that is highly structured.
  • One wondered whether Poynter should organize the workshop along more cohesive groups, for example by age. Educators, editors, etc.

    • A journalism student said: I disagree that the workshop should be segmented. We took home as much from the audience as faculty. We learn from people we are sitting next to. The new digital tools will definitely help us get an edge over the older journalists. The Poynter faculty agrees.
  • A journalist expressed a desire for more practical training on some of the digital tools.
  • One said there’s a need to do real research on what the day looks like for a reporter, given all they need to do now. Media companies will need to make decisions if we value ability of journalists to do all the work – workflow and compensation.
  • Several wanted to create a forum where workshop participants can offer ideas and take this workshop forward.
  • Question about the application process. This was opened to everyone, was that a conscious decision? Howard Finberg: Yes, it was. When I started to work with Poynter to develop NewsU, we made the decision that it was about individual learner, not about the editor or HR person. We wanted to give the individual control over her training.
  • Lata said: It shouldn’t just end here. Life gets in the way. How about we have an exchange program, where you send a few journalists and we send a few people to the U.S. and do hands-on practical work.
  • How can Poynter have a presence in India for long-term? Howard Finberg: We want to develop virtual training, partner with schools, make it more accessible in India, and learn through dialogue.
  • One encouraged us to send more U.S. journalists here – we need to show them what Indian journalism really is.
  • The head of the journalism program at M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women pointed out another advantage to mixing the workshop: We appreciated dialogue between job providers and educators. I’m glad you took us as your partner.
The group photo at the end of the Poynter India workshop in Chennai on March 21, 2014

The group photo at the end of the Poynter India workshop in Chennai on March 21, 2014

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