From capturing powerful images to crafting compelling visual narratives, 12 young journalists are embarking on a journey to redefine journalism. Stay tuned for their remarkable work!

Text by Syed Samiul Basher Anik

Bringing news to the public in real-time, especially through live reporting, presents unique challenges. As television stations and social media handles of online portals increasingly turn to live broadcasts, journalists have the opportunity to provide immediate updates, capture significant developments, and conduct on-the-ground interviews. However, some, like Rafsan Nijhum of Ekhon TV, have hesitated when it comes to live reporting, often avoiding it altogether.

But Rafsan’s perspective changed during a recent visual journalism bootcamp organized by MRDI in partnership with Fojo Media Institute. This program transformed Rafsan’s nervousness into confidence, helping him master the art of flexible live reporting. “The camp not only equipped me with the skills to engage the audience effectively but also provided valuable insights into the power of real-time live journalism,” he said.

MRDI’s flagship visual journalism bootcamp, held from October 30 to November 2, brought together 12 aspiring journalists and video storytellers from diverse media outlets to learn from seasoned visual journalists.

This unique initiative, designed to offer essential tools and techniques for a successful career in visual journalism, helped participants gain knowledge, hone their skills, and gain the confidence to excel in the field. The bootcamp covered a wide array of topics, including visual journalism techniques, the art of compelling storytelling, interview skills, research for impactful stories, and refining live reporting capabilities.

Sharing his experience, Md. Shakibur Rahaman, a journalist at the private broadcast station RTV, said the practical knowledge acquired in the camp will help make visuals more attractive and engaging for reporting. “The bootcamp’s impact extended beyond refining my skills; it encouraged me to consider daily events with a fresh perspective, which will enable me to craft unique stories, even from events covered by many other journalists,” said Shakib.

In the ever-evolving landscape of journalism, staying ahead requires a blend of skills that goes beyond traditional classroom teaching, and this is where MRDI’s visual journalism bootcamp stands out as an exceptional educational experience as it combines practical training, interactive learning, and valuable insights from industry professionals under a same umbrella.

Setting the bootcamp apart

The bootcamp’s success was driven by seasoned visual journalists and industry experts who generously shared their wealth of knowledge and experiences at the camp. Their practical exercises and guidance enriched the learning experience, ensuring participants left with not just theoretical knowledge but also real-world skills.

“The bootcamp has instilled in me the belief that journalism is not just a 9-5 job; it’s an art. It’s the art of storytelling, the art of working with light and camera, and more. I plan to incorporate these artistic elements into my future work,” said Mohona Hossain of The Business Standard.

With an increasing number of young individuals entering the field each year, many newsrooms in Bangladesh struggle to provide comprehensive training programs. As a result, new journalists often rely on day-to-day on-the-job learning experiences. Recognizing this gap, MRDI introduced the visual journalism bootcamp to equip young reporters with the tools, techniques, and confidence needed for a successful career.

Right from the inception of the bootcamp, MRDI’s project team has been committed to providing a unique and comprehensive learning experience for the participants. This approach is distinct because it pairs each participant with a dedicated mentor who will serve as a guiding light throughout their visual journalism journey.

From day one, the project team encouraged each participant to present a story idea based on their chosen themes, which will serve as a foundation for their visual storytelling efforts. Participants will work closely with their mentors to bring these stories to life.

But this commitment doesn’t end with the bootcamp itself. A month after the initial camp, the same group of participants will be reconvened for a follow-up bootcamp. This follow-up aims to refresh and reinforce the knowledge they’ve gained and provide deeper insights into various aspects of journalism.

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