The first ever New Normal initiative taken by NISCORT Media College during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown period was ‘online training programmes’. The primary purpose of such an attempt was to provide an opportunity for students, writers, communicators, media educators, journalists, lay leaders, social workers and Church professionals to learn communication and media skills in their own places, with no travel involved.
The first batch of the online ‘Basic Journalism Course on News Writing and Reporting’ was held from 11th to 23rd May, 2020. It was 12 hours of training with 18 interactive sessions attended by seven vibrant, budding journalists who decided to spend their lockdown time in a meaningful way.
The resource person was Mr. Sumit Dhanraj, a journalist from Indore. He offered sessions on ‘composition of news heading, drafting of news report with inverted pyramid technique and 5Ws1H methodology, editing report, article writing for newspapers, magazines and online blogs, letters to the editor, and interviewing techniques’.
He dealt explicitly on the topic Fake News in Print Media. One of the main concerns was to build awareness amongst youth and media persons about how to do fact checking, avoiding fake news and writing the truth as a journalist.
Mr. Benedict Abraham from Bangalore expressed that the course was very helpful in improving his writing skills. Fr. Manish Peter from Thiruvananthapuram said that he was impressed by the course content and the interactive nature of sessions. Fr. Kiran Kishore from Nellore said that he was able to identify his deep interest in ‘report and article writing’ in a systematic manner through this course.
Sr. Shiny Joseph of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd said, “I found this course very useful and educational. It gave me confidence to write reports precisely and meaningfully. It developed my reading habit and ability to read news with a critical outlook. This is an apt course for every beginner. The inputs were excellent and the course was participatory. We clarified our doubts instantly. The assignments helped us to update ourselves with current events around the world”.
Mr. Atlas Joy, a journalist from New Delhi said, “This type of short-term course is very useful for amateur journalists and those working in media houses. Although it’s called a ‘basic course’, it went far beyond, thanks to the facilitator”.
At the end of the course, Dr. Fr. Jose Murickan, the Director of NISCORT thanked the resource person for his dedication, and the participants for their active participation.
Mr. Sumit Dhanraj (Journalist and Media Trainer)