ITU Technology Skills for Journalists Workshop
(PR) The Information Technology University carried out a two day workshop on the use of technology in journalism. The workshop was a great success with some 25 journalists in attendance; including reporters and editorial staff from various publications in Lahore. The workshop was conducted by the Islamabad-based journalist and Al Jazeera English web correspondent Asad Hashim, the multimedia journalist Rabia Mehmood, the web editor for Jang and Geo, Shaheryar Popalzai and Rahma Muhammad Mian, a journalist and media specialist currently working at the ITU.
The first day of the workshop began with a session focused on the basics of creating and maintaining a sound online presence with the aid of social media. The session also shed light on the plethora of freely available online learning resources which journalists could employ to expand their knowledge. This was followed by an engaging session conducted by Asad Hashim, who talked extensively about developing a unique angle to a story and then using online resources for the news gathering and research process. He also stressed on the importance of testing for the veracity of such information. This was followed by a short demonstration of the procedure. Up next was a session on the use of social media in order to generate interesting story ideas and this was followed by an interactive meeting with the nine American journalists visiting Lahore under the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) exchange program.
Day two of the workshop started off with sessions on data journalism and how the use of technology could lead to interesting innovations in the field of journalism. Participants were introduced to some exciting techniques of data mining, organization and visualization and also given the basics on how raw data could be organized and made sense of through various softwares. Additionally, the concept of drone videos as a tool of journalism was touched upon, as was the idea of the ‘gamification’ of news, while the tremendous potential of smart phones in journalism was also thoroughly discussed. The last session of the workshop focused on the importance of maintaining digital security and safeguarding information in this new field of journalism.