Reflections from Day 1, Bangalore Workshop


bangalore pano w hif center tom jeff right

Participants reflected on what they heard during Poynter India’s first session in Bangalore. Here are some of their thoughts, takeaways and a-ha moments as captured by a teaching hero, Tom Huang.

  • A journalist said: It’s the first time I heard about disruptive technologies, that was my first of many a-ha moments. (Howard Finberg personal note: This always makes the hard work of teaching worthwhile.)
  • I focused on Tom Huang’s case study on the multimedia project, “Yolanda’s Crossing”: that was great learning on how to work on stories in the future.
  • “Who did what?” That’s a great way of thinking about and focusing your story.
  • I’m so glad equal weight was given to all the platforms: print, digital and broadcast.
  • This is something I learned in j-school but never used – writing budget lines to focus the story.
  • We know we shouldn’t panic. It takes courage to ask a politician a question. But when you are learning new tools, that’s scary.
  • I loved Casey Frechette’s session on digital tools – I hardly knew any of it. It was truly spectacular.
  • We see a lot of coverage of media industry, but I don’t hear anyone talking about what the reader wants. I appreciate that you talk about that and emphasize that. Howard Finberg: NewsU has a great course about audiences.
  • It’s great to know that ordinary people are using these digital tools.
  • Jump in. Don’t be afraid. Use the tools!
  • A journalist really liked the idea of what stories are about – money, safety, health, education, community.
  • A journalist said they appreciated something Vidisha Priyanka said: It’s not that readers want more, it’s that readers want something that helps them understand more.
  • A journalism student said: A lot of what we talked about is part of our curriculum. I shouldn’t just limit it to my course, but I need to move it forward into the real world.
  • I enrolled in data journalism last year, but dropped it. Well, Casey and Vidisha inspired me to try again. I write a lot of science. I tell scientists to tell me about their research as if you’re describing this to your mother. Simplify it.
  • It reminded me of my editor who says: Imagine yourself at a bonfire with little children and imagine telling your story to them. I will keep asking myself: Who cares, and what’s the point?

The bonfire image as a way to focus your storytelling stuck with the faculty.  I think we’ll have lots of stories to tell about our teaching in India around many bonfires when we return home.

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