What do a simulated election, a photographic drone and an award-winning documentary filmmaker have in common?
They all formed part of a two-and-a-half-day workshop that Flow put together for a team of over 30 communicators from the African Union in early October. The training was held in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Drawing from the vast journalism experience of members of Flow, we took the AU team of writers, media relations people and content creators through interactive and practical sessions on elections coverage, storytelling, interviews, how to cover social justice, drone journalism and documentary-making.
The training featured elements such as quizzes, role playing and practical exercises.
Flow trainer Willem Steenkamp thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the AU team. “Representing the diversity of our continent, they were smart, engaged and vibrant – and lots of fun! The practical exercises we set for them required a bit of acting, and they stepped up brilliantly. One of them, who played the incumbent in a particularly testy ‘election campaign’, was such a hit that he remained ‘Mr President’ for the rest of the course. They were all great – and it really was bittersweet to bid them farewell at the end.”
Highlights included a live drone demonstration by award-winning photojournalist Steve Lawrence; a documentary-making workshop by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Lisa Henry; and an election-day simulation that participants had to cover under tight deadlines.
Delegates were overwhelmingly positive in their feedback. This was illustrated by a live word cloud in which participants submitted descriptions of their training experience at the end of the training.
“It was wonderful to once again see our friends from the AU Commission, for whom we did media training last year,” says Flow trainer Christina Kennedy.
“The training – on everything from elections coverage to how to tell Africa’s stories (good and bad) in a compelling and newsworthy way – was extremely warmly received. Our sessions were highly interactive in nature, with role playing and robust engagement being a core part of Flow’s training methodology.
“We are thrilled to be building up a strong rapport and relationship with this client, and look forward to touching base with our friends from Addis Ababa again very soon.”