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Journalists to share digital knowledge in newsrooms after Facebook ‘bootcamp’

Almost 40 new regional journalists recruited under a Facebook-funded scheme have met for a two-day training “bootcamp”.

The recruits spent the past two days at the social media firm’s London offices, where they met one another for the first time and undertook sessions on using the website as part of their jobs.

Nine regional and local news publisher are involved in the project, which is being funded by a £4.5m charitable donation from Facebook to the NCTJ and will eventually see more than 80 new roles created overall.

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, called the bootcamp a “milestone day” in her opening address.

Journalists at the bootcamp, held at Facebook's London offices

Journalists at the bootcamp, held at Facebook’s London offices

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.”

In their roles, the reporters will receive journalism training from the NCTJ and digital training from Facebook, which they will then share with their newsrooms.

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 for Facebook in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 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.