Indomitable spirits, passionate journalism and critical issues share the limelight at Future News Worldwide
Imagine yourself as a young, talented, aspiring journalist with indomitable spirits of conquering the world. And at the very beginning of your career, you are invited to one of the biggest and prestigious international media conferences to meet hundreds of other people from across the globe who have the same dreams and visions of changing the world by contributing in the field of journalism. What an incredible opportunity might that be?
For Myat Moe Khaing, Norma Hilton and Jawad Shadman Siddique, something like that happened this year. These three young journalists attended Future News Worldwide, the prestigious global media conference held in Edinburgh, Scotland in early July this year. This was an international conference attended by global media professionals with a view to craft the next generation of top journalists.
From a highly competitive field of 2,500 applicants worldwide, these three were lucky to get invitations to this conference, where they met their fellow journalists from 50 countries for an intensive three-day learning program. The participants were chosen solely on their passion towards journalism and the impact of their work in journalism so far. This program was organized by the British Council, in partnership with some of the world’s leading media organizations.
The conference also featured prominent names in journalism who spoke about some of the most talked-about global issues. Journalist Omar Yusuf talked about how rape victims could speak out using Snapchat filters to hide their identity. He emphasized the importance of using smartphones to eradicate the shortcomings which journalists used to face before the digital era.
Mary Hockaday, Controller of BBC World Service, discussed different forms of fake news and expressed why many people are threatened by honest journalism. Carry Grace from BBC stressed on the storytelling. In her opinion, the job of a journalist doesn’t change, only the essence does. Melissa Bell from Vox Media discussed about different problems they face in the practices of journalism.
Needless to say, the Future News Worldwide conference was an experience of a lifetime for the participants. But it was not all about discussions and resolutions. The scope of their journey transcends beyond just going to a conference. Myat Moe Khaing, one of the three participants from Bangladesh remembered her experience saying, “The most interesting part was meeting people my age with similar aspirations from all over the world. We hiked to Arthur’s seat during the day, danced our hearts away at night. But these same people would ask the smartest questions and debate on the most demanding answers.”
This year, Future News Worldwide focused on the universal values of objectivity, balance and evidence that underpin journalism. Topics under the lens featured storytelling and the challenges facing journalism in the digital age. Participating in such global competitive events heightens and amplifies the professionalism and experience in young professionals. The British Council hopes to execute more successful endeavors in the days to come.