How to be a Journalist - The Complete Guide to Journalism
4.3 (433 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,847 students enrolled

How to be a Journalist - The Complete Guide to Journalism

All you need to know to become a freelance journalist or staffer and get paid for what you write.
4.3 (433 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,846 students enrolled
Created by Tony Bosworth
Last updated 7/2020
English [Auto]
Current price: $34.99 Original price: $49.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 1 downloadable resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • write news and feature articles and get them published
  • work as a freelancer or apply for jobs with leading media organisations
  • You need a computer - either Mac or PC - and bring your own passion...

So, you want to be a journalist? But you've never known where to start... 

Perhaps you thought you needed to go to college or university and spend thousands on a degree first...

Fact is, whoever you are and whatever life and career stage you're at, this complete guide will equip you with all the skills needed to become a proper journalist.

And you'll learn how to earn a living writing great journalism too. 

How to be a Journalist - The Complete Guide is written and presented by Tony Bosworth, an experienced international editor and journalist across newspapers, magazines and online. Tony's written for some of the world's best daily newspapers, including the Guardian, Times, Financial Times and Independent. 

He's launched or relaunched 15 magazines and websites. He's had his own weekly radio spot on London's LBC, and he's appeared on TV too. 

But Tony is also an educator who's trained hundreds of beginner journalists in practical journalism and media law at colleges and universities across the UK and Australia.

"So I know what editors are looking for," says Tony. "Either freelance writing or full-time."

"They are not looking for people with college and university degrees, believe me. Quite simply, editors want good, well written stories. They want people who can sit down and pull a good news story together. They want people who can craft a compelling feature. They want writers who can interview. And they want writers who know and understand media law too." 

"You will learn all these crucial skills, and more through my course. And at the end of the course you will be able to confidently go out and pitch real stories to editors, and they will listen because they know you can write."

Tony Bosworth is an editor and journalist so he knows what editors are looking for and through this course he shares all his experiences, knowledge, and even tricks of the trade, so you learn all the skills you need to be successful. Whether you're young, old, experienced or inexperienced - this enjoyable practical course will help turn you into a real journalist.

Video lectures, assignments and quizzes keep you interested, motivated and learning quickly.

Through the Udemy Discussion boards, you'll also be able to ask me questions anytime.

Here's what the course covers:

• What is a journalist?

• What is news?

• Who, what, where, when, why, how?

• The news intro or lead

• Building your story

• Headlines

• Quotes in depth

• Apostrophies

• Accuracy 

• Fact, opinion or both

• How to plan and set up interviews

• Getting the interview

• The confident interview

• Getting people to talk

• The different types of interviews 

• Getting the facts right

• Keep your words to yourself

• When things don't go according to plan

• No comment and off the record

• What is a feature?

• The importance of word count

• Pictures with your story

• Specialist reporting

• What is media law and why do you need to know

• The basics of media law and privacy

• Contempt of court

• Slander and libel

• Defamation

• In the public interest

• Court reporting

• Getting the facts right

• Who does what

• Style guide

• What you need to know before you pitch

• Getting paid

• What next?

Sign up for my course and you will soon be on your way to becoming a real journalist.


Who this course is for:
  • This course is for anyone who wants to be a journalist
  • The course is also an excellent refresher for all journalists
Course content
Expand all 45 lectures 02:49:18
+ How to be a journalist - the complete guide
1 lecture 02:11

Welcome to the course. By the time you get to the end of this course you will have learnt all you need to know to become a journalist.

Preview 02:11
+ What is a journo?
1 lecture 06:07

Find out what journalists do and how they work.

Preview 06:07
+ Writing news
13 lectures 34:22

Learn what makes a news story.

What is news?

News story building blocks - what they are and how to use them.

Who, what, where, when, why, how

Grabbing readers' attention with a great opening paragraph. Learn how to write them.

The news intro or lead

Getting the facts, quotes and when to use them, adding colour and depth.

Building your story

Write great headlines, and why editors like it when you do.


Why quotes are important, the difference between live and indirect quotes.

Quotes in depth

What they are and how to use them correctly.


How to get it right every time, and why it helps anchor your writing career.


When to put your opinion in, why you usually don't, and the difference it makes.

Fact, opinion, or both?

Test yourself on what you've learned so far.

Quick Quiz

A round-up of this section and focus on what you can now do with the skills you've learned.


Write a news story based on what you now know about the news gathering and writing process.


Let's look at your news story and see how you've done.

How have you done?
Now it's time to plan out a story. This short lecture outlines the background to a story about a motorway planned to go through a beautiful valley. How would you approach this story? Have a look and then let's get to work.
Lecture 16: Assignment - how to write a story
1 question
Let's have a look at how you've done on the Valley assignment.
Lecture 17: Assignment - How have you done?
1 question
+ Interviews
9 lectures 18:49

What you need to do before you try to get the interview.

How to plan and set-up interviews

The secret to confidently interview anyone.

The confident interview

How to get interviewees to tell you everything you need to know.

Getting people to talk

A guide to the different types of stories you can write from an interview

The different types of interview

Double-checks and follow-ups to make sure it's all correct.

Getting the facts right

What if someone wants to read your work before it's published?

Keep your words to yourself

Not all interviews run smoothly, but that's not always a bad thing...

When things do not go according to plan

What they mean and what you can do about them.

No comment and off the record

A round-up of everything you've learned in this section.

+ Feature writing
5 lectures 19:30

How to spot a feature idea and come up with great original ideas.

What is a feature?

Why it's important to stick to the word count an editor gives you, and how to suggest you need more space.

The importance of word count

How to provide them, how many, and why they are important.

Pictures with your story

How you become a specialist, plus the pros and cons.

Specialist reporting

Let's see what you've learned in this section.

Quick Quiz
+ Media Law
10 lectures 55:27

An overview of media law and the crucial role it plays in everything you write.

Preview 02:25

Learn how far you can go when reporting, and when you need to stop...

The basics and privacy

What contempt of court is, and how to avoid it.

Contempt of court

The difference between them and how journalists stay on the right side of the law.

Slander and libel

How you can defame someone, and how to avoid it.


Writing in the public interest and the protection it can give a journalist. 

In the public interest

All you need to know about court reporting.

Court reporting

Check how much you've learned in this section.

Quick Quiz

Put a story together based on an interview with some tricky traps...

Assignment - interview

Let's run over your finished story and check how you've done.

How have you done?
+ Pitching story ideas
5 lectures 17:13

Find out who to get in touch with on a newspaper, magazine, website or blog so your story gets pitched to the right person.

Who does what?

Every publication has a style guide. Here's why it's important.

Style guide

Make sure the pitch is spot-on.

What you need to know before you pitch

How to successfully make the pitch

The pitch

Find out how much you can expect to earn, and how and when to put your invoice in.

Getting paid
+ What next...
1 lecture 04:46

How to get work as a freelancer. Plus, the best place to start a full-time job in journalism.

What next?