Internet Journalism (with optional video tutorials)
This 12-lesson course is designed to give a basic understanding of how to create web content as well as in-depth training in the art of being a freelance supplier to the web.
The course begins with a basic introduction to the web and then deals with the basics of freelance writing - not just with a web-centric viewpoint. Some law knowledge follows and then finally the specific and separate functions of the internet based freelance writer are covered with specific reference to how best to use social media.
Each lesson has assignments and there are also three ‘live’ tutorials along the way.
Video Tutorials with the course tutor are an optional add-on for this course. Please ensure you are familiar with video conferencing software before you enrol. Simply select the Internet Journalism (Tutorials) option when enrolling if you would like to utilise this feature.
Lesson 1: An introduction to web writing
This lesson gives a general overview of the Internet by describing briefly how it is structured, the specific services the public has access to and how the World Wide Web began and developed. It also helps you to understand web-based writing techniques and recognise the role played by editors online – and to know what is meant by a variety of technical and journalistic terms.
Lesson 2: Online journalism
This lesson provides you with a picture of web-based journalism today. It should help you to understand how technology has changed media form and content, and how web-based stories differ from those in print. It also discusses the challenges faced by the media when it comes to making a profit in the internet age and the challenges by web-based journalists and by investigative journalism in particular.
Lesson 3: Writing for the web
This lesson’s focus is on how to write for the web. It should help you understand how people read and negotiate content online and how to write in a way that is web-friendly, and how to organise your web content. It also deals with the ‘inverted pyramid’ form used for news stories generally, and web-based content more specifically.
Lesson 4: Readers and markets
This lesson offers an introduction to contemporary journalism practice. It should help you to understand why journalistic writing is different from other forms, the role of freelance writers and the opportunities available, along with tactics for getting published. More specifically, it should help you to appreciate how best to present your stories in a way that is acceptable to editors (including ‘house style’ and avoiding common errors of grammar and punctuation).
Lesson 5: Directing your writing
This lesson should help you to focus your writing so that you have a clearer idea of how to find appropriate markets, understand editors’ priorities and develop saleable ideas. It should also help you to appreciate the role played by specialist writers and the skills they require.
Lesson 6: Freelancing on the web
The focus of this lesson is the opportunities and challenges you might face in writing for web-based publication. It should help you to understand the risks and rewards in writing for the internet, the demands of online audiences and how to carry out online research efficiently. It also touches on how to submit ideas.
Lesson 7: Journalists and the law
This lesson will offer you an understanding of the legal rights, restrictions and pitfalls facing online journalists. It will help you to appreciate what is meant by libel, contempt of court and court reporting restrictions relating to young people and victims of sexual offences. You will also recognise what restrictions are imposed by the Official Secrets Acts, how people’s copyright is protected and arguments relating to freedom of expression, breach of confidence and privacy. You will also learn how the law has adapted to the Internet.
Lesson 8: Citizen journalism, blogs, vlogs and podcasts
This lesson should help you to understand the scope and range of web-based citizen journalism and to appreciate how a website might be useful for an aspirant journalist (and how to go about setting up one). It will also help you to understand the limitations of blogs, vlogs and podcasts and how to set them up.
Lesson 9: Google and social media
This lesson should help you to have a more comprehensive idea about what is what in the world of social media and of how to make best use of it as a journalist. Before considering interactive social media it looks at Google and Wikipedia and then gives pen sketches of different social media options, suggesting how best to use them (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit and TikTok).
Lesson 10: Online editing
This lesson should help you to understand the role of the online sub-editor and how it differs from that of the print sub-editor. It should also help you to appreciate the processes involved in tasting, editing and projecting copy, how to write catchy headlines that are web-friendly (search-engine optimization – SEO) and how to write captions.
Lesson 11: Online layout and design
This lesson should help you to understand the structure of contemporary newspapers and how their web versions relate to their print versions, and also to understand the different requirements for online and print layout, including how to choose type that carries the appropriate tone and message and how pictures, video and graphics on used on the web.
Lesson 12: Successful web packages
This lesson focuses on how to build up a web-based writing portfolio. It should help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses as a freelance web writer, and to build up a successful writing portfolio. It also returns to the subject of how to recognise the main legal pitfalls involved in writing for the web.
Distance Learning Courses
- News Journalism
- Freelance and Feature Writing
- Freelance and Travel Writing
- Freelance and Music and the Arts
- Freelance and Sports Writing
- Internet Journalism
- Media Law
- Novel Writing
- Erotic Novel Writing
- Short Story Writing
- Writing a Romantic Novel
- Thriller Writing
- Writing a Personal History
- Writing for Children
- Writing Poetry