A round-up of 2016 from NUJ Training Wales
By Anna Wynn Roberts
When Religion Makes the News: Speakers & organisers.
From left to right: Hussein Kesvani, Innes Bowen, Angela Graham, Aaqil Ahmed, Dr Jenny Taylor, Anna Wynn Roberts, Roger Bolton, Dr Michael Munnik
April 2016 marked the start of two years’ more funding from Welsh Government to continue the NUJ Training Wales project.
Since April, 208 people across the media industry have taken up subsidised training in a range of workshops like Shoot & Edit on an iPhone, Running an Effective Social Media Campaign and Data Visualisation (trainer Dan Mason); Writing for the Web and Strategic Communications (trainer Simon Williams); and Media Law & Copyright Refreshers (trainer David Banks).
There’s an interesting gender difference: around twice as many women have attended than men. I’ll leave that with you and I’d be grateful for any theories as to why!
I’d like Jason Evans, crime reporter at the South Wales Evening Post to know that we continue to serve biscuits at all our courses. But I think Jason has his priorities right; learning just isn’t the same without a sugar boost.
The moment we are most proud of was the workshop on religious literacy for journalists that we held on November 8th, When Religion Makes the News. Thanks to sponsorship from ITV Cymru Wales we were able to hold it at the fabulous Life Sciences Hub in Cardiff Bay.
I blogged about the importance and relevance of this event where over 80 journalists, editors and faith group representatives came together to network and hear from experts in their field. Jenny Sims, a Cardiff-based freelance journalist, wrote a piece for The Journalist called ‘Faith in the News‘ (p8).
If you attended, take a look to see if you were captured mid-smile. There’s a wonderful gallery of photographs from the day, taken by Natasha Hirst, on our website.
Thanks to our partnership with the Centre for Community Journalism (C4CJ) at Cardiff University we are able to offer a follow-on workshop in the Spring where Emma Meese and Matthew Abbott will offer training to faith group media reps on how the newsroom operates and how they can engage with the media and their members via effective use of social media.
Journalists will be invited along to engage in a type of ‘speed networking’ with the faith groups giving them an opportunity to find out more and make lasting contacts. Watch this space for news of the date, which will be set early in the New Year.
Our partnerships with both Cardiff and Glyndwr Universities mean that our funding goes further. We have collaborated on a range of ventures, the next one being the Social Media Roadshow Wales (SMRW) which is visiting Wrexham in February.
Our recent Freelance Salon offered expertise, networking… and lunch. Freelances were able to grill our speakers about their mixed portfolio of offerings, covering what editors want to faking it as an expert, self-publishing and crowd-funding for news investigations. Thank you Pippa Davies, Jamie Carter and Hina Pandya for your expertise. Pippa will be running a day-long course on How to Self-Publish in February.
On a Monday evening between 5.30 and 7.30pm, once a quarter, we have been holding Mentoring Network skills refreshers with Pam Henerberry. Anyone working in a mentoring or coaching role is welcome to come along to these practical sessions.
We have increased the number of free resources on our website – so fill your boots and let your colleagues know about them.
So to all the media professionals out there in Wales, you have a year and a quarter to take advantage of the remaining Welsh Government funding. If there is no opportunity to bid for more funding next Autumn then we will be no more as of March 2018. But as an eternal optimist I live in hope that the programme will continue beyond that time.