CNN adds breaking news simulation to academy program

CNN adds breaking news simulation to academy program
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Participants worked in teams to explore a fictional scenario that allowed them to act as reporters, news writers and content producers. (Supplied)
CNN adds breaking news simulation to academy program
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(Supplied)
CNN adds breaking news simulation to academy program
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(Supplied)
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Updated 14 December 2022
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CNN adds breaking news simulation to academy program

CNN adds breaking news simulation to academy program
  • Five-day event includes mock interviews, briefings and custom-made social media platform

DUBAI: CNN added a simulation to its academy training program for the first time over five days last week.

It saw 88 students from the network’s various academy programs participate to refine and utilize their skills at the twofour54 Yas Creative Hub in Abu Dhabi.

Participants worked in teams to explore a fictional scenario that allowed them to act as reporters, news writers and content producers.

They were required to verify sources, attend mock press conferences, conduct mock interviews, respond to email updates, and decipher documents.

They also had to navigate a custom-made simulated social media platform, which was updated throughout and included evidence, bots, decoys and news.

As part of the simulation, CNN built a set where participants had to investigate and gather news by interacting with journalists who played the roles of eyewitnesses, activists and corporate representatives.

The scenario, which aimed to encourage strategic thinking, team building, tact and decision making, was devised by CNN journalists in conjunction with Prof. Rex Brynen, from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and Jim Wallman, director of game design company Stone Paper Scissors. 

The participants then pitched their story to a panel of senior CNN staff — replicating the interaction with editors in a newsroom — and six teams were selected to write, produce and edit the final story.

CNN also held master classes chaired by Becky Anderson, managing editor of CNN Abu Dhabi and host of “Connect the World with Becky Anderson.”

She said: “This was a tremendous event; I’ve never known anything like it in the industry.

“It really replicated what it’s like to news-gather in a different environment, working with new colleagues and uncovering information to get the facts and to the heart of a story.”

Participants attended from various CNN Academy partnerships, including Loyola University, Seville; Chu Hai College of Higher Education, Hong Kong; University of Nottingham Malaysia; University College Dublin; and CNN Academy Abu Dhabi.