Basic journaism training modules

12 tips for producing strong news stories

Good stories about any topic generally have some things in common. Here are 12 points to keep in mind when you are planning, researching and producing a news story.

10 tips for spotting a news story

What are the telltale signs that distinguish fact from fiction? How do you know when you are on the right track? The following are some tips for helping you ensure that you spot real news stories.

Tips for journalists attending job interviews

An interview for a job in the media is often the culmination of weeks of hard work searching for opportunities, filling out application forms and waiting. So it's important to make the best impression on the day.

What it takes to be a journalist

Hard work and self-discipline are at the heart of good journalism. Journalists should be accurate, first with news, trusted, easy to understand, straight, aware, disciplined and realistic.

20 tips for TV and radio packaging

Structure, timing, and letting the interview breathe are all essential elements for ensuring a TV or radio news package explores multiple elements of the story through interviewing different people.

News sources, numbers and the ‘so what’ factor

Most news stories start with one source. A journalist then has to verify the information and find at least one other independent source to confirm what's happened.

Journalism ethics training modules

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.

Fairness in journalism

Fairness in journalism means exploring all sides of an issue and reporting the findings accurately. Members of the public should never be used to exaggerate the importance of a story.

Integrity and journalism

Without integrity your journalism is untrustworthy and suspect. Integrity gives a journalist the authority to investigate issues, shine a light in dark places and to dig where others don't. It is essential for informing the public debate with trustworthy, rigorous journalism.

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.

Photojournalism and ethics

Media Helping Media has produced a set of suggested ethical guidelines for video and photojournalists in order to try to help those in the field navigate everyday editorial issues.

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.

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.
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How to set online news priorities

Tips on how to run a news website which is part of a converged news operation involving broadcast and/or print in order to fully exploit existing resources and add in-depth interactive elements.

How to avoid make-believe journalism

Our role as journalists is to unearth information, prepare it and then display it for the benefit of the audience. We are not there to fabricate, manipulate or force.

Media guide for staying safe during elections

Journalists covering elections should never carry a weapon, should have first aid training, dress appropriately, listen to the locals and avoid confrontation. Some tips from the IFJ.

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.

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.

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...

Social media in news production and news dissemination

Social media is an increasingly disruptive force on the media landscape. It challenges traditional, mainstream media to reconsider how they operate.

Newsgathering tips for producing great content

The newsgathering process involves sourcing ideas, planning coverage, assigning teams, structuring packages, monitoring the web, working in the field - and coming back alive and well.

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.

Developing the potential of your staff

Media training is about investing in people - your staff. They are your most precious resource. Without well-trained and motivated staff, you will struggle to deliver the right quality of content to your audience.

Managing people and setting objectives

For most staff, personal objectives are the most important, but they also need to know about the wider objectives. It is the line manager's responsibility to set personal objectives to help employees contribute fully.

Informed consent scenario

You are a reporter covering a house fire where a traumatised woman talks to you on camera but after the interview you are made aware of the circumstances that could mean she didn't realise what she was saying. Do you use the interview?

Deciding whether news is in the public interest

How do you decide if a story is in the public interest or not? This site already has a training module on applying the public interest test to journalism, but we have now put together a scenario.

Right of reply and accuracy scenario

Try our right of reply scenario where you are the editor of a morning radio news and current affairs programme and just before the bulletin you receive conflicting information that is too late to fact-check.

Evaluating the impact of training

The evaluation process at the end of a media training session begins the moment you are engaged by the media organisation you are being asked to help because this is when you know the expectations and deliverables.

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...

Wanted, your media know-how

Are you a journalist, media manager or media trainer with some tips to share for the benefit of others? If so, please consider submitting a training module to Media Helping Media.