Where might you get to talk about Martha Gellhorn reporting the Great Depression to Eleanor Roosevelt and the analytic yield of listicles and clickbait? In our Non-fiction and New New Journalism workshop of course. Or is that new new new journalism?
Whatever, it is a classic Squad workshop, we talk about an idea, pile equipment on the table, turn our writers out into a place – on this occasion Newcastle – and then make something together – this time in an impromptu electronic newsroom.
It is a precious workshop, led by Samantha Robinson, Digital Reporter for the Huddersfield Examiner. Precious because it is extra special when our grads, like Sam, fold back into making the future. Precious because she is in a hugely interesting place, working out how a local/regional paper retains it’s audience somewhere between the print version and the online penetration of Buzzfeed, Vice and Medium.
What Martha Gellhorn taught is that, whatever you are writing, serious journalism or a bit if fun, you have to go and look and you have to go and talk to real people. In a time when more and more stories in the mainstream media are written from press releases and survey reports it was great to see a group of writers go out into a city to talk to people and respond creatively to the cityscape.
Director, The Writing Squad