News, a Course that Transforms an Event into a News Story

What is news and what a news story should begin with? What is the structure of a news story and what questions should it answer? What are equity, objectivity and impartiality? How to choose the angle of approach and how to deal with anonymous sources? What is false news and how to recognize it? These are just some of the questions which formed the basis for one of the most important courses at the SAJ – “News.”

For six days students worked with trainers Diana Railean, a reporter for Radio Free Europe, and Elena Robu, editor at PRO TV Chișinău television station.   

The course began with the basic concepts of news as part of the journalistic spectrum. Students learned that not all information automatically becomes a topic for news; they tested methods of observation and discussed documenting, the angle of approach, citations and how to use them. “A news story should be current and credible, and it should be of interest to the public. Be curious and always ask questions,” the teacher Elena Robu told them. 

Young people learned what lead, headline and body of a news story are and how to write them; what background is; how many types of sources there are and how to work with them. Particular attention was paid to the discussion about plagiarism, as well as about journalistic principles such as equity, objectivity and impartiality. The trainers emphasized the idea that a journalist should have the decency to do their work responsibly. “Regardless of what media outlet you get to work for, try to be correct with yourselves,” added Diana Railean.

In the six days of the course, students completed a number of practical tasks. Thus, for the first time, they saw what fieldwork is, learned to work with sources, attended a press conference, made a news story from a press release and, finally, made their own news stories, following the rules they learned.

Currently, the School of Advanced Journalism is holding the course of “Interview.”