About this Course
4.5
10 ratings
5 reviews
This is a course in basic journalism skills, designed for the many people who are now taking advantage of new media to publish news, views and information. For five hundred years, the privilege of being able to publish was enjoyed by very few people – those who had access to a printing press or a radio microphone or a television camera. Now, almost anyone can publish to the world within minutes of being able to do so. But is it journalism? How does a citizen journalist find things out, so they can report facts and news - moving beyond merely braying opinion? And what are the legal and ethical pitfalls to publishing facts that some people might prefer remain secret? Over six weeks, this course teaches the basics of news writing, how to interview people to gain crucial information, how to develop and manage your sources and how to use your legal rights to access public information - and stay on the right side of the law when you publish. We discuss the ethics behind journalism practice, and conduct a mock investigation into local government. This course aims to empower engaged citizens to better participate in the news ecology. View the MOOC promotional video here: http://tinyurl.com/jj46rxw...
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100% online courses

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Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 6 weeks of study, 4-6 hours/week

Approx. 16 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 6 weeks of study, 4-6 hours/week

Approx. 16 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

What is a Journalist, and What is News?

This week we will discuss what journalism is, what journalists do, and how this has been affected over time by technology. We'll think about the exciting changes of our own time – the first in human history when the means of publication are in everyone's hands. We will then talk about the principles of news writing, and the nature of news. Finally, we will introduce Newstown, a fictitious place in Victoria, Australia. We also attend a news conference held in the Newstown Council Chambers. We will be using Newstown as the basis of our skills based exercises in this MOOC, so please take the time to become familiar with the town and its issues by following the link to Newstown in the course resources....
Reading
7 videos (Total 64 min), 3 readings, 3 quizzes
Video7 videos
Course introduction5m
1.1 What is a journalist? Part A12m
1.2 What is a journalist? Part B14m
1.3 Principles of good news writing15m
1.4 What is news?8m
1.5 Newstown media conference4m
Reading3 readings
Welcome to Journalism Skills for Engaged Citizens10m
Week 1 outline10m
Start of course survey10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Week 1 Newstown quiz - This is a practice quiz and does not contribute to your final grade10m
Active or passive sentences quiz - This is a practice quiz and does not contribute to your final grade2m

2

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Attribution, Verification and the Structure of News Writing

This week we discuss some more core skills of journalism, particularly the very important concepts of attribution of information, and verification. We explore the structure of news writing in some more detail. Finally, make sure you take a close look at the Newstown site, and keep looking at it from now on as the course develops. Some new information has been posted that you will need to use in this week's first assessable news writing exercise....
Reading
4 videos (Total 31 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video4 videos
2.2 Verification6m
2.3 Attribution10m
2.4 News story structure12m
Reading1 reading
Week 2 outline10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Week 2 Newstown quiz - This is a practice quiz and does not contribute to your final grade10m

3

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Finding Things Out: Places, Paper and People

This week we discuss some more core skills of journalism, particularly the very important concepts of attribution of information, and verification. We explore the structure of news writing in some more detail. Finally, make sure you take a close look at the Newstown site, and keep looking at it from now on as the course develops. Some new information has been posted that you will need to use in this week's first assessable news writing exercise....
Reading
6 videos (Total 49 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
3.2 Finding things out: More about places and paper4m
3.3 Freedom of Information14m
3.4 Finding things out: People – interviews5m
3.5 Deception and consent12m
3.6 Summary and learning activity m
Reading1 reading
Week 3 outline10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Week 3 ‘Finding things out’ quiz - This is a practice quiz and does not contribute to your final grade8m

4

Section
Clock
6 hours to complete

More on Interviews

This week we delve further into the art of interviewing, and watch and discuss some good and bad examples involving the key characters in Newstown....
Reading
12 videos (Total 96 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video12 videos
4.2 Dealing with traumatised people13m
4.3 Interview with the Mayor – a bad example 3m
4.4 Interview with the Mayor – a good example11m
4.5 Interview with the Developer – a bad example8m
4.6 Interview with the Developer – a good example19m
4.7 Interview with a Wildfire Victim – a bad example 1m
4.8 Interview with a Wildfire Victim – a good example 4m
4.9 Interview with a Conservationist – a bad example3m
4.10 Interview with a Conservationist – a good example11m
4.11 Telephone interview – a bad example 1m
4.12 Telephone interview – a good example 5m
Reading1 reading
Week 4 outline10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Week 4 quiz - Open and closed questions - This is a practice quiz and does not contribute to your final grade20m
4.5

Top Reviews

By ASSep 15th 2017

Completed this course in September 2016 - very engaging and informative. I really enjoyed participating in this course.

By MJSep 17th 2016

such professional tutors, carefully chosen diction.

Instructors

Dr. Denis Muller

Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Advancing Journalism

Dr. Margaret Simons

Associate Professor and Director
Centre for Advancing Journalism

About The University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is an internationally recognised research intensive University with a strong tradition of excellence in teaching, research, and community engagement. Established in 1853, it is Australia's second oldest University....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.