Journalism Skills for Beginners
4.3 (10 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
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Journalism Skills for Beginners

Report and write a feature story and get it published
4.3 (10 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
72 students enrolled
Last updated 2/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $25 Discount: 60% off
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  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 8 Articles
  • 14 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • 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
View Curriculum
  • Pen and writing pad
  • Laptop or PC to take notes and carry out the exercises
  • Keenness to report and write a good feature story!

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.

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
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
84 Lectures
What's in the course
6 Lectures 12:30

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

Preview 01:45

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

Preview 02:39

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.

Preview 01:48

A useful insight into what the course is not about.

Preview 01:50

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

Why you are lucky

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

How to take the course
Journalism Skills Overview
7 Lectures 18:22

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.

Are you fearless?

Cultivate this if you want to be a successful reporter.

A useful secret to know

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

Brainstorming story ideas

Targeted writing really helps.

Write for a specific market

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.

Getting paid vs writing for free

Is your story idea a workable idea?

Work on your story idea
Focus is key
2 Lectures 06:02

No story will succeed in its aim without this.

Your guiding light

Maintain focus - but be flexible when needed.

When it is okay to change your focus
Journalism 101
5 Lectures 13:46

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

The five Ws and one H

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

Feature stories vs news

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

The feature story approach

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.

The pitfalls of passion

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

Code of Ethics
2 Lectures 06:42

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

Be honest in your reporting

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

The Journalist's Code of Ethics
Safety in the field
3 Lectures 06:42

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

Take care

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

Calculated risks and commonsense reporting

Some key resources for those planning to report on conflicts.

Specialized training for conflicts
Reporting your story
3 Lectures 09:48

Doing your homework beforehand pays dividends.

Don't skip preparation

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

But don't overdo it

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

Are you an expert but don't realize it?
Practical stuff
6 Lectures 18:20

Digital recorders are great. But note taking matters.

Note taking vs recording

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

Pen and note pad

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

Note-taking practice makes perfect

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 lost art of shorthand

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

Using a recorder

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

The secret every boy scout knows
Getting out into the field
6 Lectures 18:30

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

Visit the scene

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

Face to face

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

Take care to get a variety of voices

This is a secret crucially important to successful storytelling.

Waiting for the "bell" to go off

Make sure you cover what needs to be covered.

Covering the ground

Know when to stop reporting.

Calling it a day
The art of interviewing
10 Lectures 26:32

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

Getting down to the nitty-gritty of interviewing

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

Choosing your interviewing situation

Take care with preparing your questions.

Preparing the questions

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

Ask the right questions

Don't lead your interviewee on.

Avoid leading questions

Be alert to asking follow-up questions when appropriate.

Follow-up questions

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

The secret that even professionals fail at

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

Professional behavior

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

Finishing on a high note

An overview of the interviewing process.

Summing up interviewing
7 More Sections
About the Instructor
Instructor Julian Gearing
4.3 Average rating
10 Reviews
72 Students
1 Course
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.