There is a free online journalism course

9 Free Online Journalist Resources For Every Aspiring Writer

There is a lot wrong with journalism these days. Objectivity has been replaced by blatant inclination. Integrity has been lost to advertising revenue and sponsorships. Fact checking and research are dead skills. Real journalism is a dying art.

If you're looking to become a journalist - whether it's for the news, sports, food, or whatever - there are a few key things you should know before diving into writing for the digital age: 5 How To Write Styles For Free Online Writing for the Digital Age: 5 Free How to Write Texts Online English is the language the world speaks and we need to use our two bits to get this right. The web has created a global audience, so if you're one of the… Read More And although you would benefit greatly from attending journalism school, you may not be able to afford it now.

Fortunately, the internet is full of free resources for learning journalism. Here are some of the must-read materials that shouldn't be overlooked or missed.

Texts and books

SPJ Code of Ethics

Ethics is arguably the most important aspect of journalism - more than writing, editing, interviewing, etc. After all is Journalism? According to the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), journalism is:

The free exchange of information is correct, fair and thorough.

And that's just not possible unless you, the journalist, approach each piece with an ethical mindset that promotes integrity above all else. That's why the SPJ has a free online code of conduct that you can access anytime, anywhere.

According to the SPJ, ethical journalism adheres to four principles:

  • Find the truth and report it.
  • Minimize damage.
  • Act independently.
  • Be accountable and transparent.

Read the full Code of Conduct to learn more. You can even download it as a handy PDF for printing.

The Handbook of Independent Journalism

Here is a free PDF manual from Deborah Potter who founded NewsLab (an online resource center for journalists) and taught journalism at the Poynter Institute. She was even a correspondent for CBS News and CNN.

In short, she knows her stuff - and if you read this guide you will find that she does Really knows her stuff This 68-page PDF document covers seven critical aspects of modern journalism:

  • What is news?
  • Learn the story
  • Tell the story
  • Edit the story
  • Broadcast and online
  • Specialist journalism
  • Ethics and law

All in all, it is easy to read, but it has plenty of useful tips, concepts, and guidelines to help you be a great independent journalist in this time of quick information. Download the free PDF while you can!

Writing for Success

Writing for Success is a textbook that is 100% free to download and read. It starts with the basics and walks you through the most important parts of the English language. Ultimately, you will be given critical thought and careful selection of which words to use when writing.

This book isn't just about mastering the language itself. 7 Apps That Will Help Everyone Improve Their English Grammar 7 Apps That Will Help Everyone Improve Their English Grammar You can think of those endless grammar- Elementary school worksheets are terrifying. Fortunately, apps are a funnier and more modern tool for learning grammar. Read More Words are the only tools available to journalists. So it makes sense to hone those skills as much as possible, right?

Writing for Success is available in five formats: PDF, EPUB, MOBI, WXR or Web Online.

Communication theory

Communication Theory is one of the featured books in Wikibooks, an online repository of open content textbooks on all sorts of topics. Some Wikibooks are incomplete or lacking in good content, but this one is absolutely spectacular.

In short, The Communication Theory explores various theories about how people share, code, and decipher what they know, what they need, and what they expect from each other. It's not a special book on journalism, but the concepts it contains will prove useful to any good journalist.

Be warned, however, that this book is dry, dense, and difficult to get through. You may want to put it at the back of your reading list. Communication theory is also available in a printable version and a PDF version.

Online libraries

The BBC Academy [No longer available]

Did you know the BBC has a free online library of resources for people interested in exploring journalism, broadcasting, and production technology? These resources are immensely useful to any budding journalist, even if you are interested in the BBC itself.

The journalism section is divided into seven main sections:

  • Skills (e.g. interviewing, reporting, writing)
  • Topic guide (e.g. religion, military, science, sport)
  • Law (e.g. courts, copyright, data protection)
  • Values ​​(e.g. impartiality, truth, accuracy)
  • Security (e.g. in hostile environments)
  • Get a job
  • BBC's style guide

Each post is a short and concise article with an accompanying video. Is it a legitimate substitute for journalism? Not even close, but it will teach you a lot of good things and give you a good starting point for further research.

News University

News University is a free online resource from the Poynter Institute, a non-profit school dedicated to journalism. The Poynter Institute actually owns the Tampa Bay Times. Everything you see here is based on real know-how and experience.

There are two ways to use News University. First, find out about the journalism and training resources available, which have tips and articles on reporting, writing, editing, and more. Second, you can enroll in one or more of the university's free webinar courses.

The webinar schedule is constantly updated with new courses, but some are available year-round. For example, the "Cleaning Your Copy" course is self-directed and very useful for new journalists.

News college

News College is a simple website with lots of short but useful tips that span multiple areas, including reporting, writing, editing, story hunting, and more. It is not actively updated at this time, but you can still use it as a journalism tips archive of sorts.

Again, many tips and articles are short and to the point, so I wouldn't use this website as my only source of knowledge and training. However, it's a great long-term reference of tips. Just bookmark it and come back to it from time to time to refresh yourself with the basics.

The knight center for journalism

The Knight Center for Journalism is a specialized program at the University of Texas at Austin that aims to train and empower journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean. In short, it wants to help improve the ethical and professional standards of journalism.

While the program has offered distance learning opportunities in the past, there hasn't been any since 2014. Instead, the best way to get this website out is to visit the digital library of free books, which has a handful of books that are free to download.

LEARNO's journalism courses

LEARNO is a new online learning platform that was launched at the end of 2015. It's still new. So don't expect much choice, but it's noteworthy because it currently has four courses, all of which are journalistic and all of them are free.

The four courses are:

  • Review: the basics
  • Google search for journalists
  • Manage data journalism projects
  • Do journalism with data

All four courses together are almost 500 minutes long. That's a lot of content that you can get for free.

Where else to learn journalism online?

The Internet is an extensive and extensive resource, and we know that there are likely dozens - perhaps hundreds - of other free resources and courses for learning journalism online. You might also want to take the courses on Udemy or these other online courses? Get the technical skills you need from these top 7 online courses. Get the technical skills you need at these top 7 online course websites. It's not just about learning programming languages, but also the unnoticed little technical skills that could take you even further in your career. Iterate to the next version of yourself. Class is in session. Continue reading .

And don't forget that journalism these days is more than just CNN and the BBC. Citizen Journalism on Social Media How Facebook is changing the news Journalism for the better, How Facebook is changing journalists for the better News agencies are considering publishing stories directly on Facebook. It's easy to be cynical. But this change could be a good thing - for readers and journalists. Read More

Did you find these online resources helpful? What other websites are good for learning journalism online? Is a journalism school necessary? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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