Introduction to the course
The course will include the following main topics:
- navigating an ever changing media environment,
- finding our way in a complex social media landscape,
- engaging through dazzling content,
- multimedia tools and applications.
The advent of online advertising, social media, 24-hour coverage, and other trends has brought huge changes to the media environment. Recipients of media content and different formats of publicly available materials now demand instant as well as visually attractive information. This has introduced several problems, most notably with verification: all who take the time to fact-check and verify information simply cannot compete with rapid-fire updates on social media pages. The first day will therefore consist of a series of workshops and discussions that will show participants how the news has been changing – and how they can not just survive but thrive in such an environment.
All content creators (whether you are a diplomat, head of the communication service or a professional reporter) must not ignore social media as a phenomenon: instead, they need to think about how best to integrate it into their content presentation, use it to get new information and feedback from readers, and create a whole new level of engagement with them. This isn’t always easy: there are many different social media platforms, and each requires a different approach and strategy, something that this course will also focus on.
Readers also engage far more with content that touch upon data journalism and contain effective charts, infographics and is visually friendly, well edited. Creating such content is not always easy: it requires some coding, data analysis and design skills. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple tools that can be used to create great photos, stunning visualizations, and other types of advanced multimedia content.This course will provide the participants with an overview of such key tools and will cover a series of practical workshops, upgrading not only the knowledge but also a wide list of IT competencies. Finally, it will ask some wider questions on the present state and the future of news. The course will therefore take a deeper look at presenting information on sensitive topics such as harassment, migration and terrorism, and the risks inherent therein. It will also show current trends in diversity in tech, together with cultural and geographical aspects that may influence the current situation. Finally, it will conclude with a practical approach on solutions journalism, relevant for local communities and responding to social problems, by showing how different institutions approach problems and how solutions journalism can advance the public discourse.