Community News Project reporters take part in first Facebook training bootcamp

The first group of community reporters hired by the Community News Project have visited Facebook for a two-day journalism training bootcamp.

A partnership between Facebook, nine local news publishers and the NCTJ, the project is creating more than 80 new community reporter roles in newsrooms around underserved areas in England, Scotland and Wales.

As well as receiving the gold-standard NCTJ training to become fully-trained journalists, all reporters will also receive digital journalism training from Facebook to share into their newsrooms.

Almost 40 new community reporters were in attendance at Facebook’s London offices on 11 and 12 June, where they had a chance to meet one another for the first time.

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, called the bootcamp a “milestone day” in her opening address. She added: “Part of your training includes development of leading digital skills, this is what today is all about.

“Please share your skills with your newsrooms and put forward your ideas, don’t be afraid to make your voice heard.”

On the first day of the bootcamp, the reporters were given an introduction to Facebook’s News Feed and attended a session on ‘the journalist as a brand’.

They were taught how to use Facebook’s Creator Studio to manage and filter video uploads, and get insights on their content and audience.

The reporters were also able to learn about the content discovery and social monitoring platform CrowdTangle, as well as how to make use of Facebook Groups as journalists.

The second day began with a session on the rise in social and vertical video, before moving on to monetisation.

The community reporters also had the opportunity to get hands-on in a session on creating great video, before learning about Instagram for news.

Sarah Brown, head of training and news literacy, EMEA at Facebook said: “It has been inspiring to meet so many committed and passionate journalists over the past couple of days.

“This is easily the most diverse group of journalists we have ever trained in the UK and we are incredibly excited to see how these journalists develop stories within their communities.”

The next bootcamp for the remainder of community reporters will take place later this year.