Global Story Production Workshop

By Sarah Hayhurst

DYNAMIC duo Sarah Edmonds; General Manager for Editorial UK, Ireland and Nordics, at Thomson Reuters and Mike Reilly; communications and marketing services provider from Hally Enterprises held the workshop on Global Story Production today.

A range of ideas were discussed on how to increase global reach and collaboration with stories. Basic story ideas were shared; both regional and international. Drug use in different countries, affordable housing, refugees and immigration were key themes.

The further development and sharing of these ideas can eventually create “something more powerful than what’s in our communities”, as Joanne Zuhl, INSP Vice chairperson/ Editor of Street Roots, USA pointed out.

To branch out globally would mean subjects often briefly pursued by the ‘mainstream’ media could reach a level of awareness where action will be taken.

An interesting idea which could be further explored is a story regarding street papers which hold tours of states or townships. Such tours already occur in Germany, Africa and Brazil. Not only is there room for a story to be collaborated, but also for similar projects to be taken up in different countries.

The more practical side of logistics was also discussed; of course there is no story unless you can make it work. The main points were simple yet vital to produce stories which can easily be collaborated on an international basis.

You must always have a planning mechanism where one person is a controller for refining the stories and keeping it on track.

There must still be flexibility for the contribution at different levels, and street papers must begin to share sources so as to increase the networks amongst our papers and reduce the resources which individuals must find, in turn reducing costs for stories.

Finally the discussion moved to promotion of street papers. Most collaborative pieces are written to win awards, which can be won if the stories written for street papers are submitted.

 It will not only show that street papers have both credible journalists and stories but also will provide PR coverage both locally and nationally.

This will eventually translate to sales, which go to vendors and overall raises awareness of the street papers’ work.

Globalisation of stories can only benefit INSP and further strengthen the aim to reach out to homeless people, whilst educating the readers on the needs and problems the homeless face.