The British Council Scotland, in association with the Scottish Government and Reuters, successfully organised Future News Conference 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh from 4-6 September 2015. With the theme namely “Business of News”, this year the conference was attended by over 50 young and ambitious journalists from all over the world.
Four young journalists from British Council Bangladesh, who have already demonstrated their expertise in their respective fields already, participated in the conference after facing a fair and vigorous series of selection processes based on applicant’s essays and face-to-face interviews. These four aspiring partakers were Md. Abdur Rashid and Arifa Alam from the leading Bengali newspaper ‘Prothom Alo’, Md. Mustafa Monowar of BRAC University and Md. Ibrahim Mollik from another prominent Bengali newspaper ‘Janakantha’. The British Council Scotland fully sponsored the trip of these four lucky journalists. The British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, H.E. Robert W Gibson CMG, prearranged a reception for the honor of these participants before they started their journey towards UK.
The three-day conference was comprised of a tightly packed schedule in which the journalists took part in workshops and master classes to improve their journalism skills by listening to lectures given by some prominent media experts from all over the world, including representatives from the Herald and Times group, STV and Thomson Reuters. Topics like the dangers of working in war zones and ethical reporting were also included in the sessions.
Karen Cunningham, the director of this conference said that the event was inspiring these journalists and shoed them the importance of having a free press. She stated, "The enthusiasm and commitment of these young people in pursuing a career that they believe in is truly humbling to witness."
It was an exciting opportunity for the young journalists to develop their skills and network with media professionals from all around the world as well as enjoying an exposure to the beautiful city of Edinburgh. On the last day of the conference, the Scottish Parliament treated all the young guests to a display of operative drones and the latest hi-tech gaming gear and gadgets from Oculus VR.
Feedbacks from Participants
"Getting to know both veteran and aspiring young journalists from so many different countries was a unique experience for me. It indeed was a wonderful initiative by the British Council!" - Mustafa Monowar, BRAC University
"Getting a chance to meet with so many wonderful people from around the world is the most cherished memory of my life. Thanks to Future News & British Council Bangladesh for giving me the chance to enhance my experience and knowledge" - Arifa Alam. Sub Editor, Daily Prothom Alo
"I am really grateful to the British Council Bangladesh and the conference authority for arranging such a fruitful event for inspiring the young journalists around the world. I have learned a lot from it. I have made so many friends from different countries of the world" - Muhammad Ibrahim Mollik, Daily Janakantha
The Future News conference was founded by the Herald and Times group and launched last year as part of the Commonwealth Games legacy programme.