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.
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.
This comes from the heart - why journalism is a cracking career!
There are a couple of ways you could take this course.
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?
No story will succeed in its aim without this.
Maintain focus - but be flexible when needed.
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.
This is ground zero - be honest in your reporting and writing.
A full list of the dos and don'ts for journalists.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.