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American journalist presents keynote at first Northern Chapter CPD event

Award-winning American agricultural journalist Steve Werblow shared his secrets to writing the perfect feature at the Northern Section’s CPD event in February as the keynote at the first dedicated Continous Professional Development (CPD) event run specifically for agricultural journalists in Northern Ireland.

Werblow’s presentation discussed the role of agricultural journalism in a changing climate and included suggestions of how attendees could stay energised on the job and look for fresh angles on old or recurring stories, as well as the importance of contextualising information and avoiding implicit bias. He also briefly covered basic aspects of photography and told the stories behind some of his best shots.

Other highlights of the day included tips on future-proofing the industry through the production of high-quality online news from Belfast Telegraph Deputy Online Editor Jonathan Bell, whose publication’s website was named the best regional news site in the UK in 2019, and an Editors’ Panel featuring the candid thoughts of those at the helm of the region’s main farming news outlets.

The panel included Irish Farmers’ Journal Northern Editor David Wright, Agriland Editor Jim Breen, Farm Week Editor Robert Irwin, and also included Steve Werblow for an international perspective on the biggest challenges facing the industry locally.

As Werblow, who writes for John Deere magazine ‘The Furrow’, is also Secretary-General of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ), he was able to highlight and take questions from members about the networking, travel and professional development opportunities also offered to them through the IFAJ. All Irish Guild members are also automatically members of IFAJ.

The guild would like to thank the staff at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute for their support in hosting this event and the use of their facilities.

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