July 15, 2020, was one of the most memorable days in my professional life. Being a young journalist, I had the opportunity to engage with several talented individuals from around the world at Future News Worldwide Conference 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was held online, instead of London. Among 3000 applications from across the world, 100 of the world's most promising student journalists were selected to attend this intensive media training programme.
The 100 delegates have been selected based on their presentation and work, from 53 countries. At the live event, I learned how to connect with fellow journalists. This year's theme was, 'Trust and Credibility in Times of Crisis'. The conference greatly inspired me, as I aspire to pursue an enriching career in journalism.
Future News Worldwide is a partnership programme between the British Council and some of the world's leading media organisations, like Google News Initiative, Reuters, The Herald and Facebook among others. Their aim is to support youths to develop a wide range of journalism skills and to establish the UK as a global leader in nurturing young journalists and media figures. World-leading editors, broadcasters, writers and reporters shared their thoughts and experiences to encourage the participants.
Media entrepreneur, Ritu Kapur, Co-founder of The Quint, delivered her keynote speech, where she shed light on how young journalists can build trust and credibility with their audience at a time when the media faces attacks from governments and authority figures. She also talked about how to deliver a 360 report, covering all angles of a story.
Young journalists participated in workshops on various subjects, including 'digital tools with Google News Initiative, staying safe when covering long-term trauma with Dart Centre Europe, fact-checking and critical thinking with Tom Felle, University of Galway, launching a freelance career with Laurie Goering, Thomson Reuters Foundation, FNW alumnus Farai Matiashe, and up skilling yourself for employment with Aaqil Ahmed.
Maria Ressa, CEO and Co-founder of Rappler, discussed the importance of collaboration and ethical boundaries. Her stance on how networks can be a source of information and opportunity highlighted interesting aspects of a journalistic career.
The final session was focused on networking. it was the most attractive part of the programme for me, as each participant had the chance to share their opinions and experiences for three minutes. The two separate sessions were held from 9 am to 12:30 pm and 4 pm to 7 pm (BST).
Though this programme was held online, it broadened my outlook and attitude towards journalism and connected me with young journalists across the globe.