BIRN Serbia Holds Newswire Reporting Course

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BIRN Serbia organised a two-day advanced workshop on newswire reporting for contributors from the region as part of its Minority Media Training and Reporting Project.

At the training in Belgrade’s Media Center BIRN’s Editor Aleksandar Vasovic and James Heintz, a Moscow-based Associated Press news editor held three specialized sessions on different types of reporting techniques to seven BIRN contributors for the In Brief section on Balkan Insight’s website.


Vasovic focused his presentation on reporting in crisis situations. He explained news gathering techniques ranging from alerting the public about ongoing developments, handling the news desk, organising reporters’ teams and handling the story to its end. The discussion examined the problems of reliability of the sources and witnesses, aspects of security for a reporter in the field, interviewing techniques as well as the key differences between urgent and detailed reporting.

Heintz introduced local journalists to AP standards and explained the chain of information distribution from the spot to the editorial desk. Heintz also demonstrated some key elements of AP writing style and in a discussion highlighted usage and usefulness of press conferences and official press statements as sources.