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Experts address workshops on social media and election reporting

Lessons from TRT World’s Instagram coverage of the war in Gaza were featured during the 2024 Asiavision Coordinators’ meeting, with members encouraged to remember the three second rule on capturing the attention of audiences, the power of stories about people and the importance of tailoring content to suit each platform.

The executive producer of video at TRT World’s Digital channel, Emre Unal, shared his experience and examples to demonstrate why TRT’s social media platforms have seen significant audience growth since the war began. He also explained the key characteristics of viral videos, focussing on narrative and impact.

On Day 2, Senior TRT producer/correspondent Ali Burak Biber shared more insights on why audiences are moving to social media and how to optimise social media content. He highlighted the importance of building trust rather than sharing clickbait, and urged delegates not to overuse breaking news hashtags and banners. He said headlines should not promise more than stories deliver. He also encouraged delegates to analyse their social media data.

Emphasising the importance of data journalism and data visualisation, Lee Long Hui, a front-end developer and former journalist at Malaysiakini, shared his skills and knowledge of journalism and computer science for better storytelling.

Thai PBS Senior News Producer Jeerapa Boonyatus explained Thai PBS World’s strategic approach to distributing content across various social media platforms to maximize viewership and engagement. TVB Principal Editor Billy Chu discussed TVB’s social media strategy to reach and engage with audiences effectively.

A workshop on election reporting included a presentation by 360info editor Shahirah Hamid, who explained how 360info can be a resource for newsrooms and journalists when identifying interview talent for election coverage and looking for digital content.

TVRI World Producer Almar Reihan provided an overview of the main candidates and issues for Indonesia’s elections, as well as sharing TVRI’s plans for covering election day on 14 February.

CNA’s Kuala Lumpur correspondent Afifah Ariffin shared her experience during the Malaysian 2022 election, including the challenge of keeping up with the travel schedule of candidates, reporting from multiple locations on a single day, providing updated information in live crosses and responding to breaking news.

Earlier, ABU News Director Deborah Steele spoke about the role of the media in reporting elections, identifying the issues that matter most to voters, fact-checking and verification. She also highlighted the importance of journalistic ethics, trust, and safety and the risk of sharing disinformation.

About 35 people participated in the two workshops, which took place on January 23-24 at the Royale Chulan hotel in Kuala Lumpur.