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Free Journalism Training

January 11, 2012

In this era of yearly fee hikes at the colleges, why wouldn’t you want free training (free!) if you could get it?  Not to write myself out of a job, but you can get it and should.

In Skyline’s journalism courses, we’ve frequently introduced free online training sites to our newspaper staff.  One of the best sites we know of is NewsU.org, a training site for both student and professional journalists that is sponsored by Poynter.org.  Once you’ve signed up for an account with NewsU, you can pick from dozens of 1-2 hour online courses that help sharpen your skills on everything from lead writing to multimedia.

In fact, Poynter itself has free resources, a favorite being Roy Peter Clark’s writing tools based on his book on the same topic.  His podcast, available on iTunes (for free, of course!), gives brief, specific tips you can employ to be a better writer.  Or why not join his weekly writing  chats and ask your own questions?  Again, free.

Another site that contains loads of free training in basic journalism skills is Media Helping Media.  Once you’ve mastered the basics, the site provides more advanced training too.   Or check out The News Manual, a free resource for journalists.  This online book will walk you through all stages of reporting and writing news stories.

Finally, poke around the High School Journalism Initiative Web site for additional help on how to be a reporter.  Don’t worry about the “high school” part of it; this site is operated by the American Society of News Editors and has some major funders.

This list is by no means exhaustive–not even a bit.  But consider this a place to start.  And yes, we’d still love for you to enroll in a class in the Skyline College Journalism Department, but consider this a win-win:  You get training for free and you’ll stand out in your j-courses.

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