MANA reporters drilled in feature article writing

Lilongwe: 19 Malawi News Agency (Mana) reporters from the agency’s headquarters in Lilongwe were on Thursday drilled in feature report writing skills in a day-long workshop dubbed ‘Feature Writing Clinic’.

The feature writing workshop aimed at imparting skills in the upcoming as well as experienced reporters with the desire to refresh their knowledge.

Malawi News Agency Feature Editor, Mcneil Kalowekamo, initiated and organized the workshop after recognizing problems he encountered in the course of editing the articles written by reporters from districts as well as MANA headquarters in Lilongwe.

Speaking in an interview at the agency’s headquarters, Kalowekamo said he decided to organize the training after noticing the challenges which reporters were facing in feature article writing.

As features editor, I observed some gaps that exist in most of our reporters at Malawi News Agency in terms of feature writing. For this reason, I decided to organize the training to impart knowledge among the reporters on how to write constructive feature articles, said Kalowekamo.

He added the training was meant to drill reporters to have in-depth knowledge in tackling different issues that affect people in the country but also force decision and policy makers to act, all because of feature reporting.

Kalowekamo cited a feature article titled ‘A selfless man who single handedly manages 7 classes’ written last year (2017) by a MANA reporter, Solister Mogha. He described it as a perfect example of good feature writing.

The feature article that Mogha wrote brought overwhelming response from the general public which prompted different organizations to assist the teacher with teaching and learning materials such as books.

In addition, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology sent more teachers at the concerned school, said Kalowekamo.

He added that through the same feature article, the selfless teacher won an award during the 2017 Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation (MBC) innovation awards.

According to Kalowekamo, Feature stories have got positive impact on the development of the country.

Feature stories bring out critical issues and transform lives of people in society as they unearth unknown issues, he said.

One of the participants to the training, Esnath Kalawe said the knowledge she had gained through the training would help her become an expert in feature writing, saying she had gained some skills she was lacking in the area.

In his remarks, Maston Kaiya who is editor based at Regional Information Office (Centre) commended Kalowekamo for hosting the training, saying the training had built capacity among the reporters in feature article writing.

He described the initiative, which was also supported by the agency’s Head of Photography, Govati Nyirenda, as a positive development for MANA as a news agency.

When the features editor proposed to hold a feature writing clinic, the idea received unreserved support from the department’s (Information) directorate, hence the endorsement for it to take place.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA

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