NSU hosts workshop on writing economics for media - Dainikshiksha

NSU hosts workshop on writing economics for media

dainikshiksha desk |

The Department of Economics at North South University (NSU) together with the NSU Young Economists’ Forum (YEF) recently hosted a workshop titled ‘Writing Economics for the Media: A Conversion with an Academic Economist’ on Monday (May 13), said a press release.  

The main speaker was Professor Niaz Asadullah, a visiting academic member of the University of Reading, UK, who is also a Professorial Fellow, at the Department of Economics, North South University. The event was graced by a special guest Professor Abdul Bayes, an eminent economist and former Vice-Chancellor of Jahangirnagar University.

During the workshop, Professor Niaz Asadullah focused on the need for academics and students to go beyond classroom duties and lessons to engage with the outside world and deliberate on wider social challenges. 
He highlighted the role of economists in shaping public opinions and guiding policymakers on critical social and economic issues through their popular writings. He shared his own two-decade-long experience of publishing over 200 opinion and commentary essays for the national and international media on topics such as economic inequality, child marriage, women's empowerment, migrant workers, education quality, and gender stereotypes. He also explained the challenges of and opportunities for publishing in global media outlets such as the Project Syndicate and the Conversation. 

Using specific media case studies, he offered personal reflections on what motivates him to write, as a public intellectual. He gave numerous other practical tips on writing persuasively and responsibly, stressing the need for economists to communicate complex ideas effectively and in a reader-friendly manner, it added.  

The special guest, Prof. Abdul Bayes added that “Turning the data into a story is the real but necessary challenge for economists writing for the mass media.” Professor Niaz’s advice to the students: “Don’t cognitively burden your readers or write in a way that intimidates them even if communicating a quantitative phenomenon.” 

The discussion explored why and how economists should write for ordinary people who may not know much about economics. Professor Asadullah noted, "For economists, popular writing is as much about flare as it is about substance." Prof. Abdul Bayes also shared additional valuable insights based on his three-decade-long experience as a seasoned columnist for leading Bangladeshi dailies such as the Daily Star and the Financial Express, the news release added.  

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