By Md Asaduzzaman

27 October 2020 - 18:24

As a university student from the economics discipline, I would hardly get any scope to take an academic lesson on journalism from the classroom. My passion for the subject led me towards the profession. I began writing as a university reporter at the Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh when I became a sophomore. 

I tried to learn the works of reporting by writing on several issues and closely followed my predecessor journalist seniors on the works they have done.  But, the real scenario of journalism across the world was beyond my comprehension and experience of my four years of reporting. I didn’t have any idea about how journalists around world utilise the digital tools of the modern era.  

As a young journalist, I luckily received the opportunity to engage with several talented individuals from around the world at the Future News Worldwide Conference 2020 held in July this year. This year's theme was, 'Trust and Credibility in Times of Crisis'. The conference greatly inspired me to pursue an enriching career in journalism.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was held online, instead of in 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.

Throughout the live event, I attended many of the learning sessions where I was introduced to creative reporting ideas and updated versions of journalism.  

In her session, Rita Kapur, Co-founder of The Quint, spoke about delivering a 360-degree report that covers all angles of a story. I also learned what should be done when the media face attacks from government and authoritative figures. Maria Ressa, CEO and Co-founder of Rappler, underlined for us the collaboration and ethical boundaries in journalism. Her stand on how networks can be a source of information and opportunity highlighted interesting aspects of a journalistic career.

I joined two separate workshops – ‘Upskilling yourself for employment’ and ‘Staying safe when covering long-term trauma’. In the second session, I shared our situation of covering the Covid-19 pandemic reporting in Bangladesh and how journalists are struggling with the long-term trauma that already left many dead. 

The final session was focused on networking. It was the most important part of the programme for me, as each participant had the chance to share their opinions and experiences for three minutes. I was connected with a fellow delegate Bilal Ali, who hails from Pakistan and exchanged views with him on practices and experience of journalism. Similarly, I also spoke with Issabella from Germany, Samiha from Bangladesh, Shauna James from India and some more. 

Participants of the workshops were connected in a WhatsApp group that later moved into a closed Facebook group. Now, even long after the conference, we can easily contact each other from across the world and exchange ideas, practices and experiences from our journalist careers.

Though the programme was held online, it broadened my outlook and attitude towards journalism altogether. I always dreamt to be a journalist who can make an impact on the society. To achieve that goal, I need to develop my skills and understanding about modern journalism. The Future News Worldwide 2020 had been a great platform for me to learn various aspects of global journalism practices and connect with journalists coming from different parts of the world.