However, it’s not a new episode of “The Newsroom” television series. It’s just another day at Impact Media, a professional development program that started in July and ends in October. The four education modules, sponsored by the Foundation for Effective Governance, expose a select group of Ukrainian journalists to some of the best minds in the industry for tips on how improve coverage of economic and financial issues.
The whiteboard in the corner is full of notes – describing such themes as a “source wheel,” “creativity traps” and “beat maps.” All eyes of the attendees focus on Jacqui Banaszynski, who holds the Knight Chair in Editing at the University of Missouri’s journalism school. Banaszynski served as coach of the first session in summer. When she briefly outlined her Pulitzer Prize-winning series called “AIDS in the Heartland,” about a gay couple who suffered from AIDS yet stood by each other until death, the room became silent.
Banaszynski, a former reporter and editor at several American newspapers, shares her “access strategies,” giving her Ukrainian students useful tips in how to communicate with government bodies or church representatives. A journalist’s job is to come up with good stories. “If you don’t understand the situation, you should find somebody who explains it to you. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need,” she stresses.