by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- British High Commission funded Digital Media Training series
- 11 journalists from Grenada participated in “Change Your Story” workshop
- 70 to 80 regional journalists will benefit from workshops
To foster relations with journalists from around the region, the British High Commission to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean embarked upon a Digital Media Training series. Journalists from 8 countries across the Eastern Caribbean will benefit from hands-on mobile and digital solutions-based approach to journalism.
Multimedia Trainer and Mobile Journalism Specialist, Dan Mason, provided the training. Mason is currently based in Azerbaijan, where he heads a Sports Journalism Master’s programme at the State Sports Academy in Baku.
The “Change Your Story” workshops although condensed into one and a half days, were designed to bring awareness to digital techniques, tools, and mobile applications used to create real-time multimedia content, using mobile devices.
Grenada was the fourth country Mason visited, and last weekend wrapped up training with 11 journalists. Previously workshops were in Barbados, St Kitts, and Antigua. He is currently conducting training in St Vincent and the Grenadines, after which he will move to St Lucia to complete his 2-week tour of the region.
The training required journalists learn the simple but effective skills and techniques on mobile applications, such as Voice Record, Quik, Anchor, and Inshot, to enhance their coverage of news stories. It allowed trainees a better understanding of mobile tools which can be used for multimedia content, storytelling, podcasting, photography, social media, investigative, and entrepreneurial journalism.
“For me, if the journalists can go away just thinking a little bit differently about stories they face but using one or two of the tools covered during the workshop, then it would have been a success,” said Mason.
70 to 80 journalists will benefit from the workshop which coincides with the opening of new British High Commission offices in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Over his 40-year career, Mason said he never viewed journalism through a narrow lens, since with the advent of social media, more and more traditional platforms for consuming news are becoming obsolete, and consumers of news are now accessing information through their mobile devices. Therefore, journalists must be cognisant of this and respond accordingly by utilising these platforms to reach their target audiences.
Mason said the workshop allowed him to witness the strengths and weaknesses faced by media entities and journalists within each individual island, which he noted are quite similar to other territories around the world. “Journalists have challenges everywhere, and those challenges can come because of business pressures or regime pressures, which means that generally speaking, journalists are working in smaller newsrooms. They are having to take on more, and the thing that really frustrates me about that side of the development of journalism is where you have fewer journalists trying to do more, they end up having too much [of a] narrower focus which is not the freedom to develop stories and look at stories in more depth.”
Despite the challenges, Mason welcomed that the islands have managed to keep their community spirit which is reflected in their reporting of news, and he is pleased to have contributed towards the advancement of journalism in the Caribbean.