From our BASIC JOURNALISM section

How to improve your journalistic productivity

If you turn up for the daily news meeting without a story idea, you're in the wrong job. A journalist should be living and breathing stories 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

The essence of style

Style differs from sentence construction (syntax) in that it cannot be quantified; it has no precise rules. This is inevitable because style is concerned not so much with the mechanics of English as with the manner in which the writer uses language to play on the sensations of the reader.

Language and style – the basics

This training module from The News Manual looks at language and style in news writing. It offers guidance on how to write sentences for maximum understanding, and examines why care over language is important. 

How to interview politicians

There is a fine art to interviewing politicians. You need to understand their motivation, realise they will have a script, not allow them to complicate matters, refuse to be sidetracked, and retain an open mind.

Syntax and sentence construction

A good vocabulary is essential for the journalist, because words are the raw materials of communication. But word power alone is not enough; we also need to master syntax, the craft of construction, before we can be effective writers.

News writing for beginners

A journalist writing a news story is the author, organiser and decision maker. Without them the story may never be told. They make the most important decision of all by asking the question - is there a story?

From our EDITORIAL ETHICS section

Unconscious bias and its impact on journalism

Journalists must not allow their own personal or political views to influence their pursuit of the truth. They need to remain objective and impartial, while also being aware of the dangers that unconscious biases can cause.

Why editorial ethics are important

The Media Helping Media ethics section is designed to help journalists understand and navigate some of the challenges they are likely to face as they go about their work.

Integrity and journalism

Without integrity your journalism is untrustworthy and suspect. Integrity is essential if a journalist wants to investigate issues, shine a light in dark places, and to dig where others don't.

Respecting privacy as a journalist

Journalists face a difficult balancing act. They must respect privacy, but they must also be rigorous and robust in their investigation into issues that are in the public interest.

Accuracy in journalism

A media organisation will be judged on the accuracy and reliability of its journalism, which must be well-sourced, supported by strong evidence, examined and tested, clear and unambiguous. Verified facts must form the basis of all news, not rumour or speculation.

Offence and journalism

Journalists must ensure that the material they use in coverage has a clear editorial purpose. Where that material is likely to offend, there need to be clear warnings of what is coming up.

From our ADVANCED JOURNALISM section

Confronting editorial bias in election coverage

Allegations of bias in the news media happen all the time, but they are most evident at election time. When deadlines are tight and pressures are greatest, the weighing of these factors may be less thorough.

Information disorder – how to recognise the forms

Four free-to-download high-resolution graphics created by First Draft News to help explain the different categories, types, elements, and phases of information disorder. They are available for use in publications and presentations.

Are journalism and activism compatible?

Can a journalist also be an activist for a cause without compromising the core editorial values of journalism? Probably not if they are to remain objective, impartial, and fair in all their coverage.

Information disorder – mapping the landscape

Over recent months, there has been a surge of interest in trust and truth in a digital age. Claire Wardle of First Draft News sets out her 13 priority areas for further research.

How to run an effective news meeting

Have you ever attended a dull news meeting where people are slouched on chairs, lacking ideas and unresponsive when called on? Here are some ideas for ensuring that doesn't happen.

Editorial independence during election coverage

Journalists, broadcasters and publishers have a responsibility towards the society as a whole. That means that journalists operate on the edges of the market and democracy.

Media Helping Media Facebook Page

journalism training in Serbia. Image by David Brewer shared via Creative CommonsMedia Helping Media offers free training resources covering basic, advanced and investigative journalism, editorial ethics, media management and strategy, and staff training. We also have scenarios to test journalistic instincts. The site is supported by Fojo Media Institute.
Fojo Media Institute logo

Compiling an investigative journalism dossier

Discipline, order and a well thought out plan are essential for successful investigative journalism. It starts with the compilation of a solid dossier built with meticulous precision and executed with an attention to detail.

20 ways a suspect can help a journalist

Sources are one of the most valuable resources for a journalist. Without sourced information, the reports produced may end up being padded with rumour and personal opinion.

How to investigate official documents

The investigative journalist never takes things at face value. They probe and question in order to get to the truth. If you are to uncover the story you need to keep asking questions.

The important role of the news producer

The news producer has an essential role to play in any news organisation. Their job is to add depth to the content being produced, make sure it is well-researched and oversee quality control.

Story development, ensuring all angles are covered

Asking the questions that need to be asked In a previous module we looked at the topic of proactive journalism, where journalists are encouraged to...

Proactive journalism, ensuring issues are fully explored

Informing the public debate Sometimes journalists become lazy. When this happens, the news they produce becomes superficial and shallow. They take information at face value....

Social media test for mainstream media

Does your media organisation have a social media strategy. Does it reach out and connect with your audience? There are many ways media organisations respond to social media, but here are three.

How to develop a media sales strategy

Sales is one of the most important elements of a media company's commercial strategy. The sustainability of the business relies on its ability to generate income.

Setting up a media business – four essential steps

A media business is like a table with four legs. These are the media organisation's target audience, the core editorial proposition that it offers to that audience, the values that the business holds dear, and the market that sustains the business. Each leg has to be strong and firm. If one leg is weak, the table wobbles. A shaky media organisation is not good.

Journalistic ethics – scenario

Try our journalistic ethics scenario and see what you would do if an earlier laps in editorial led to you feeling unable to cover a news story because of external pressures.

Journalistic integrity – scenario

You are a political broadcast journalist and are invited to speak at public event where the organisers want you to explain the role of the journalist in covering elections. After the event they offer you a gift, and ask whether you would be prepared to do some media training for politicians. What do you do?

Editorial impartiality – scenario

Allegations are made about an incompetent medical surgeon and a subsequent cover up at a hospital. People have died. Your news editor asks you to investigate. The only problem is – the surgeon is your cousin. What do you do?

Maximising the impact of media training

Thorough research is the essential if you are to deliver high-impact media training. Never accept a brief from media managers without question - they could be wrong and often are.

The essential qualities of a media trainer

What it takes to be a media trainer Media trainers must have recent, valid experience of all they teach. They need to understand the pressures...

12 tips for international media trainers

Those invited to help the media overseas need to ensure that the training they offer is continually refreshed so that it's up-to-date and sensitive to local issues and better addresses local needs.