Basic journaism training modules

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.

Language and style – words

In this module on language and style from The News Manual, we look at the words you use to tell your story. We see how important spelling is and how to avoid causing confusion with the words you choose.

Language and style – the basics

This training module from The News Manual is about language and style in news writing. In this modules, we offer guidance on how to write sentences for maximum understanding and why care over language is important. 

Applying the public interest test to journalism

Journalists should always apply the public interest test before deciding whether to cover a story. For most issues it's fairly clear but for some it's complicated, particularly where privacy and power are concerned.

Spelling tips for journalists

The ultimate misuse  NO ONE CAN DEVELOP WORD POWER without the ability to spell, for mis-spelling is the ultimate misuse of words.  Good spelling is primarily...

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.

Journalism ethics training modules

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.

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.

Is your journalism ethical?

If the content you produce pushes an agenda, spins a line, favours a sector of society, is manipulated by subjective values, you are probably producing PR copy or even propaganda.

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.

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.

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.

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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Fake news and trust chains

Here we discuss fake news or false news. We look at what these terms mean for journalists, the different kinds of fake news, and how to combat fake or false news through good practice and the use of trust chains.

50 tips for running 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 50 tips for ensuring that doesn't happen.

Updating an online news item

The site was asked by the editor of a newspaper in Zimbabwe to set out how an interactive news story should develop online and what elements should be added and when.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Convergence, workflows, roles and responsibilities

A converged newsroom operates like a content factory, responsible for all intake, production and output. It gathers and processes raw material, creates different products, and delivered them to the target audience.

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.

Establishing a market differential with original journalism

This module is about producing original, in-depth, issue-led journalism designed to inform the public debate and meet the needs of your target audience while giving you a market differential.

The uneasy but essential evolution of news

The audience, empowered with tools to choose, create, enrich and share, is the new superuser offering alternative sources and channels of information to those of mainstream providers.

Preparing and introducing a media corporate plan

The corporate plan is the most important tool in a media chief executive’s toolbox. Without it the media organisation can become lost and directionless.

Editorial integrity scenario

You are invited to make a public speaking appearance at a political event where the organisers want you to explain the role of journalism in covering elections. They offer you a gift. What do you do?

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?

Protecting the integrity of an interview

An editorial integrity scenario where a journalist on a large salary faces the dilemma of whether to compromise their editorial integrity, become a whistleblower, or resign. What would you do?

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.

Adopting the right attitude for media training

A trainer must not shout at participants or get into loud arguments. They must not make those attending their courses feel small or humiliate them. Some fairly strong points made by participants.

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.