Journalism Skills for Beginners

Report and write a feature story and get it published
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  • Lectures 84
  • Length 4 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

Course Description

All you need to report and write a feature story and get it published

Do you want to interview the Dalai Lama, report on a local issue in your community, write up a good story for your blog or website, or break into journalism as a possible career?

Journalism for Beginners is a “fast track” course infused with practical advice on how to report and write a feature story with the aim to get it published.

Journalism for Beginners – in a total of over 80 lectures and 3 hours of videos - includes an overview of the whole reporting and writing process, and then is split into three main sections – Reporting, Writing, and Getting Published.

The emphasis of this course is on reporting, writing and selling your story – making an income from the sale of your story. That is the goal medium to long term, deriving income from the sale of your stories. But it also includes some of the tactics needed to build up a portfolio of stories – some of which may be published for free – in order to demonstrate to prospective editors that you can report and write, and know your subject.

KEEP YOUR EDITOR HAPPY: In addition, the course includes “secret tips” on how to deal with editors. These tips are entitled: Keep Your Editor Happy. And with good reason! If you are going to get your story published, you need to keep your editor happy – in other words, communicate with them in the right way and provide them with a story they are happy to publish.

If you are looking for a good introduction to how to report and write stories and get them published, this is it.

The aim is to produce a real story and send it to a newspaper, magazine or news service for publication. In other words – and this is important – the focus is on getting published, not just going through the motions. What matters is getting published and seeing your name online or in print.

What are the requirements?

  • Pen and writing pad
  • Laptop or PC to take notes and carry out the exercises
  • Keenness to report and write a good feature story!

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Over 80 lectures and over 3 hours of content!
  • Report and write a good feature story
  • Write a story and get paid
  • Learn how to get published
  • Learn how writing for free can lead to getting paid
  • Learn key reporting practices
  • Learn key writing practices
  • Learn the secrets of how to please editors
  • Prepare a feature story for publication
  • Understand how to get published
  • Understand the opportunities for getting published
  • Understand the need to build a portfolio
  • Understand the benefits of internships
  • Understand the pitfalls
  • Understand the Journalist’s Code of Ethics
  • Understand why failure is part of the road to success
  • Take care with your image on social media
  • Gain a glimpse of why journalism is a great career

Who is the target audience?

  • Beginners
  • New freelancers
  • Those keen to break into journalism
  • Those who seek to brush up their journalism skills
  • Website owners who seek to tell a good story
  • Bloggers keen to tell good stories
  • Those seeking to add journalism skills to their skill-set
  • Those who recognize storytelling skills can benefit their existing career

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: What's in the course

Learn to report and write a good feature story and get it published


This video offers you insight into who would most benefit from this course.


Here is a brief description of what is in the course, starting with a useful overview of the journalism process, a guide to reporting, a guide to writing, and a crucial rundown on how to get published. After all, getting published is key aim of this course.


A useful insight into what the course is not about.


This comes from the heart - why journalism is a cracking career!


There are a couple of ways you could take this course.

Section 2: Journalism Skills Overview

A quick look at the skills before we plunge in.


I am not suggesting you jump into a war zone to report. This is a more fundamental truth and one of the secrets to success in reporting.


Cultivate this if you want to be a successful reporter.


Story ideas are like gold. They are vital for your success.


Targeted writing really helps.


The underlying aim of this course is for you to report, write and publish a story - and get paid. But on that path, don't discount the benefits of writing some stories for free.


Is your story idea a workable idea?

Section 3: Focus is key

No story will succeed in its aim without this.


Maintain focus - but be flexible when needed.

Section 4: Journalism 101

The basic reporting nuts and bolts to include in your story. Make sure you include them all.


A brief overview of the difference between a feature story and a news story.


An introduction to a very useful story template, one that will be explained in more depth later in the course.


You may be passionate about the subject your are reporting on - but don't let this blind you to the need for taking an objective approach.


Make sure you help inform the reader where you are getting your information and quotes from.

Section 5: Code of Ethics

This is ground zero - be honest in your reporting and writing.


A full list of the dos and don'ts for journalists.

Section 6: Safety in the field

Only certain types of reporting could be classed as dangerous. But it is useful to be aware of the need for commonsense precautions.


It is best to be prepared when you go out to report.


Some key resources for those planning to report on conflicts.

Section 7: Reporting your story

Doing your homework beforehand pays dividends.


Know when to stop preparation and planning and get out into the field.


Most people are experts in something. Maybe you can leverage your expertise.

Section 8: Practical stuff

Digital recorders are great. But note taking matters.


Using a pen and note pad is the core to reporting.


You will find out it takes some practice to get good at note taking. Stick at it.


If you are going to get serious about taking up reporting, it's worth learning shorthand. But you don't need it to complete this course and get a story published.


The dos and don'ts of using a digital recorder.


Always be careful that you are well prepared when you go out to report.

Section 9: Getting out into the field

This is the core of reporting - and it is the most enjoyable or gratifying part.


Meet your interviewees face to face and add the voices of people into your story.


Variety is the spice of life - and it helps spice up your story.


This is a secret crucially important to successful storytelling.


Make sure you cover what needs to be covered.


Know when to stop reporting.

Section 10: The art of interviewing

Good interviewing is an art - but it can be learned.


There are a range of situations in which you can interview or get comments from people.


Take care with preparing your questions.


Make sure to include the right questions to get the right information.


Don't lead your interviewee on.


Be alert to asking follow-up questions when appropriate.


You won't believe this - even some of the best journalists fall short here.


Treat your interviewee professionally and with courtesy, whoever they are.


Even if you have to ask hard questions - lighten it up at the end.


An overview of the interviewing process.

Section 11: Tackling complex issues

There are ways to report on complicated issues without having to spend years at university.


If you are tackling a complex issue, make sure you do some research.


Beware - If it really is too difficult to understand, maybe it is a subject or issue you should avoid.


A hit-list of subjects to avoid when you are just starting out in journalism.


Here we run over the basic points to remember when reporting.


If you are a movie buff, you might like this.

Section 12: Preparing to write

Here I provide an overview of the writing process - and introduce you to a very useful bonus, the importance of keeping your editor happy and the secrets and tips included in the following lessons.


This is useful if you want to remain in control of the writing process.

Section 13: Writing basics

This template will help you successfully organize your story.


Can you guess?


We return to the issue of focus and how crucial it is in the writing process.


Don't just add your focus at the beginning of the story and then let it disappear.


This is vitally important if you not only want your reader to start reading your story, but also want he or she to read your story through to the end.


I can describe what does into a lead. But there is nothing better than reading some examples of good leads.


Whether or not you include this color and action in your story will partly depend on the newspaper, magazine or news service you are writing for. But work to develop competence in this area.


Does reading your story equate to the image of a hot knife cutting through butter?


Working to tidy up your story.

Section 14: Editing Your Story

You've written your story. Now you need to become a critic.


Yes, it will sound shocking. But this is a crucial skill to develop.


Make sure you haven't left something important out.


This goes without saying - but double-check your story.

Section 15: Getting feedback

This can really help - but make sure you chose the right person for the job.

Section 16: Selling your story

All this effort and you will want to make sure you get your story published.


You need to have a passion or develop a passion for reporting in order to be successful.


It's is important to check with your targeted publication that they accept story submissions and what they are looking for.


It sounds obvious, right? You should aim to get published, not just go through the motions of reporting and writing without seeing your story online or in print.


This course focuses on you getting published and paid. But there are good arguments starting out why you should report and write for free.


Work at this!


If you are looking like you are going to get serious about journalism, keep things professional and start as you mean to carry on.


Shock! Horror! Yes, don't expect to come out the gate at full speed with a story that will go into print. It's a learning process and many reporters will discover their first attempts leave a lot to be desired. Stick at it!


Want to get serious about journalism? A blog or website can help.

Section 17: Your future in journalism

Tenacity is the hallmark of a good journalist. Practice, practice, practice, and you will have a chance to succeed.


The answer to that movie-related question - an answer that offers one of the secrets to journalism success.

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Instructor Biography

Instructor Julian Gearing, Award-winning journalist, editor, and media trainer

Over the last decade and more, I have trained journalists and people completely new to reporting in how to pursue great journalism. My training draws on three decades of reporting, including interviews with the Dalai Lama, being bombed in Afghanistan, hanging out with guerrillas in northern Iraq, covering hill tribes in Thailand, having run-ins with the Mafia, covering threats to the environment, and chasing entrepreneurs for business stories. I’ve worked on both sides of the desk – as a reporter and as an editor – as well as managed news agencies. I am passionate about great storytelling and investigative reporting.

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