Story-telling with impact: News that drives the news

Story-telling with impact: News that drives the news

Great reporting stands out in a class of its own, delivering real understanding through a narrative rich with drama and personality.

Yet uncovering the facts and getting a story right, against a backdrop of advanced technology, official sensitivity, and intense legal scrutiny, requires extensive research and validation. To stand out from the crowd, to break the news that drives the news agenda, reporters most know how to cut through the plethora of information, and often conflicting claims, to craft unusually compelling and painstakingly accurate stories that engage and inform audiences whilst shaping public debate.

Working with Jenny Luesby, an awarding-winning former correspondent for the Financial Times and BBC, you will learn the skills and techniques required to become a world-class reporter. During this five-day course, Jenny lays out the skills of data mining and developing behind-the-scenes sources. You will learn the psychology of interviewing, tips for pitching stories and the logic of solid case-building. She will show you how to grip and touch readers, and how to deploy drama, imagery and statistics to create compelling and accurate news stories that drive society’s conversation.

Drawing on more than 20 years of news experience, including eight in Kenya, Jenny provides an intense and in-depth course designed for gifted reporters who are keen to deliver high-impact scoops.

By participating in this course, you will develop the knowledge and skills needed to:

  • Develop fresh and engaging news angles.
  • Comprehensively research and investigate stories for both impact and accuracy.
  • Identify and develop stories that no one else sees.
  • Advance your interviewing techniques.
  • Deliver a solid, credible story pitch.
  • Deploy the world-class storytelling skills and presentation techniques that will position your stories in a class by themselves.

This is an advanced reporting course for reporters and investigative journalists looking to produce ground-breaking, agenda-setting news stories. This course will appeal to experienced journalists seeking to advance their careers.

Using case studies and other innovative teaching methods, Jenny will engage you in a range of practical exercises and activities throughout this course. Working in small groups on real stories, you will develop the skills and perspectives that will make you a stand out in your newsroom.

About the facilitators

JennyA Financial Times journalist for nine years, Jenny Luesby has worked as both editor and writer on the international, foreign, features and business desks. Before joining the FT, she was a report writer for The Economist Intelligence Unit and then the BBC World Service, specialising in economic reporting of OECD countries, Africa and the Middle East. She has a master’s degree in African economics and politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University and has been coaching journalists since 1993. She is author of the business writer’s handbook, The Word on Business, published by Financial Times/Prentice Hall.

Course outline

May 18 May 19 May 20 May 21 May 22
9:00-10:30 Why people read news – cognitive psychology
Understanding the change point
Resonance – news shocks and generational change Building the logic chain Building mini-chapters Data mining
10:30-11:00 COFFEE & TEA BREAK
11:00-12:30 The “so what?” test – winners and losers Resonance – fairy tales and emotional hooks Identifying scaling and logic Sourcing at speed Using imagery
12:30-13:30 LUNCH
13:30-15:00 The “so what?” test – trends and precedents Developing news angles from the “so what?” and resonance The “so what?” intro Interview skills Analysis versus comment
15:00-15:30 COFFEE & TEA BREAK
15:30-16:30 Applying the “so what?” test Scaling connections The hub paragraph Internet research – how to use, and not to use Conclusions and feedback

Download Brochure

US $1500 (covers tuition and meals for the five-day course)


Jenny Luesby
Distinguished Visiting Faculty


Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications, 9 West, 7th Floor, Mkungu Cl, Nairobi, Kenya
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This is an advanced news-writing course designed for experienced reporters looking to produce high-quality and agenda-setting news stories. It is recommended that applicants have:
Basic reporting skills and experience.
Basic computer literacy.
English proficiency.

Additional information

Parking is available onsite.
Lunch plus morning and afternoon tea are provided.
Certificates will be issued for attendance and participation in this course.