Journalists’ role in the face of advanced technology

By Athira Liyana 

GOMBAK, 16 April 2021: With the advancement of technology, news and events are bound to fall into many narratives, which is why a journalist “must be diligent and peculiar with their facts and sources of information,” a news training session was told today.

Dr. Roslan Ali, a senior lecturer from the Faculty of Language and Communication, Sultan Idris Education University or Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) stressed the importance of fact-checking of sources when reporting a news item should a viral news becomes fake news.

He therefore urged the student journalists to constantly verify their facts to be balanced and fair when disclosing information and to remain unbiased. 

The news training, attended by aspiring writers, was aimed to teach students about the deconstruction and construction of news writing through the concept of 5W1H and how to find news angles. 

Dr. Roslan shared his views on ways for students to prepare themselves for a career in the media industry highlighting that a journalist must understand what makes news. 

He noted examples of viral topics on social media and challenged students’ thinking in critical choices such as whether “Dog Bites Man” or “Man Bites Dog” qualify as newsworthy.

“The news of a dog biting a man would spark human interest, however, a man biting a dog would spark genuine concern and curiosity in readers. Like, why would a man bite a dog?” Dr. Roslan added. 

“A well written news is one that goes directly into the story and is short and interesting enough for the audience to interpret,” Dr. Roslan said. “As a result, a journalist – especially young ambitious one – must understand the 5W1H concept accurately.”

Highlighting the significance of remaining neutral, Dr. Roslan shared that by accurately utilising the 5W1H concept, a writer would be exposed to many angles in which each criteria of the concept is followed by verification of facts that a reader would easily comprehend. 

He also shared with the participants the credibility of quotations in news reporting as it enhances the point of the news. He highlighted that a well-written news includes angles that evoke “human interest and curiosity, news that include both written and visual forms, and a straightforward report” supported with verified sources and facts.

However, Dr. Roslan informed that along with the angles, “too many facts in one paragraph will be too bulky” and would eventually disinterest the readers. 

He ultimately urged the participants to acquire not only the writing skills as a journalist, but also the ability to take good photographs and make good videos while proceeding into a career in the media industry.

“A journalist must think fast,” Dr. Rolsan said. “Good writing comes with practice. And for one to do that, he or she must make mistakes and learn from it in order to do well.”

Organised by IIUMToday, the session was attended by some 40 participants from the news portal. ***

News Training session with Dr. Roslan Ali conducted via Google Meet on Friday (16 April)

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