BrandArena: Promasidor Quill Awards winner describes Thomson Foundation course as eye-opening

Monday 13 October 2014

Promasidor Quill Awards winner describes Thomson Foundation course as eye-opening

The overall winner of the 2014 Promasidor Quill Awards for journalists, Mr. Kunle Falayi, has described the Thomson Foundation Summer Convergence Course he went for as both eye-opening and empowering for him as he acquired multimedia skills that would be useful to him beyond journalism.

Giving an overview of the course, Falayi said through the course, he was able to acquire rare skills that distinguish exceptional journalists in different parts of the world.

His words: “If there was a single event that could change someone’s life in a huge way, one would say the Thomson Foundation Summer Convergence Course, 2014 was exactly that. The world of journalism is about telling stories in multimedia platforms and this training could not have come at a better time for me. Thanks to Promasidor Nigeria, I can beat my chest and say that I am in the league of journalists in developed countries because I was able to acquire skills that even some of the western journalists I met during my placement had not had the opportunity to learn.”

The course, which kicked off on August 17, 2014, brought together participants from different continents. There was an American, 3 Omanis, 1 Lebanese, 2 Nigerians, 1 Rwandan, 1 Ghanaian and 1 South African on the course.

Falayi disclosed that it was clear from the start of the course that participants had started a journey that would change their lives forever; adding: “And it certainly did.”

The training commenced with David Harrison, an award-winning senior reporter and editor at The Sunday Times, who had done extensive work in hostile regions and had done investigative reports in Nigeria as well. With his wealth of experience, Harrison took participants through Basic journalism skills bringing to bear, his experience during the war and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Harrison’s class also included training on investigative journalism, covering politics, building contacts, interview techniques and how to handle ‘on and off the record’ when dealing with sources.

The training featured a Master class on radio recording. This was handled by a senior radio broadcaster with the BBC, Derek Ivens, who delved into the importance of sound and how to capture sound in compelling ways to tell a story better.

Meanwhile Falayi said: “The training on online journalism turned out to be the most important part of our course. The online training was handled by Dan Mason, a specialist in digital skills and social media. He was an award-winning editor-in-chief of different newspapers.

Mason took the class through the rudiments of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Social Media Optimisation (SMO). The training also dwelled on the tricks and techniques used by websites and blogs for encouraging greater level of readership. It also shed light on the basic optimisation skills to ensure that words, images and video stand the best chance of being found online.”

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