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I’ve had the pleasure of co instructing a multimedia course for a group of senior journalists in collaboration with twofour54 tadreeb and Dan Mason.

They like to call the course “Managing Convergence”, we like to call it “Shifting to Multimedia”, both basically say the same thing: preparing  journalists’ mindsets to shift  from traditional journalism to the new age.

The course is Thompson Foundation, it is extremely interesting and helpful, and it all comes from Dan’s experience. It is full of practical examples and real life stories supporting every theory.

For me, it was a crash course in journalism; a very interesting field indeed. It caught my attention how close web geeks and journalists are from merging into one nowadays.

Both would share the same interests and learn the same skills:

  • Writing for Web

Your average geek would usually have a blog (like this one), would be microblogging half of the time and if he/she is old school you would find them on a couple of forums.

The new journalist is encouraged to have a blog and a microblog plus following others. Organizations on the other hand are encouraged to have their own blogs written by their own journalists.

  • Photography

With the development of cameras and ease of photography nowadays using them affordable digital SLRs, more than half of the people I know have developed a passion for photography and turned it into a hobby. They are doing really well and they all have accounts on flickr (blocked in UAE). I personally have one of those (SLR) but still working on it and polishing my skills.

The new journalist is encouraged to learn photography basics and be ready to capture a moment anytime without dragging a photographer with them everywhere.

  • Video Editing

Youtube started it all. Most of us know how to do basic video editing that consists of combining a bunch of short clips and creating something interesting and funny out of them.

The new journalist is encouraged to learn basic video editing skills and uploading videos for the web.

  • Community Building

Average geeks join communities, advanced ones create their own. Linkedin, facebook, myspace and every other social media channel you can think of.

It’s become vital for new journalists as individuals and as organizations to exist within those communities. They have to be at the center of their audience because it works both ways for them; on one hand they can learn what their audiences like to talk about, on the other they can actually use their audience as a source of information.

  • Gadgets & Technology

Having said everything above, geeks love their gadgets such as digital SLRs and Video Cams and high speed connections. Journalists need those handy most of the time to be ready to cover stories on their as they happen, and on their own at any point. So be it love or need, you gotta have them!

Interesting right? At a glance, you would think… why take the trouble of convincing an old school journalist to shift to modern journalism and teach them the skills, while it seems much easier to hire geeks as journalists? The latter have the required skills and they do it with passion.

The reality is of course a bit more complicated than that. Journalists would know. This does not mean that the threat is not there. Be careful, we all know geeks will take over the world eventually! ;)

Once you attend the course, you will find out everything in details. It comes highly recommended for every journalist who is looking for a career boost in a very short period of time. It is amazing how much a person can learn in less than a week. The course is delivered in English and Arabic simultaneously by the way, so do not let anything stop you.

If you think I always make everything come back to web again…you are right! That’s the point of me blogging at the end of the day :)

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2 Comments to ““Managing Convergence” course experience with tadreeb and Dan Mason”

  1. Mazen Abou Hatab Says:

    [finally] New blog entry: "Managing Convergence" course experience. Read about it here: http://tinyurl.com/l94jnr

  2. Dan Mason Says:

    Web geeks and journalists are merging, writes top guy Mazen after our #abudhabi multimedia course: http://bit.ly/3BKyeP

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