Basic journaism training modules

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, retain an open mind, know your subject, and avoid a slanging match. You are there only to uncover information in order to inform the public debate.

Language and style – translation

In this module from The News Manual we look at the issue of reporting and writing across different languages, some of the challenges of translation and some of the main dangers to look out for.

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.

Court reporting tips for beginners

Reporting on court hearings is an essential part of journalism. It requires an understanding of local laws and knowing what can be reported and what can't.

News writing tips 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?

10 tips for reporting conflict and abuse

What to avoid when reporting conflict and abuse Reporting conflict and abuse is complex. Often the facts are not revealed in a way that offers...

Journalism ethics training modules

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.

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.

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.

Impartiality in journalism

Being impartial means not being prejudiced towards or against any particular side. All journalists have their own views, however they must learn to leave aside their own personal perspectives.

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.

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.

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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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.

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.

Presenting and exploiting content online

One of the skills of news website management is knowing how to exploit each story in all relevant sections, so that it appears on multiple section indices.

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 mindset for investigative journalism

The investigative mindset is responsible for solving more information mysteries than probably any other factor. If you haven’t started writing down your best strategies now might be the time to start.

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.

Creating a journalism content weighting system

Introducing a story weighting system helps prioritises effort on the stories that are of most value to the target audience, it saves time, speeds up production, and helps avoid wasted effort.

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.

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.

Identifying the target audience and its information needs

The first step in setting up a media business is to identify the audience you plan to serve. You need to know their information needs so that you can better serve them.

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.

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.

Photo journalism scenario

You arrive at a border crossing and see a child sitting by the roadside crying. You think it's been abandoned and take a picture. But it transpires it's just lost its mother and stops crying when the mother arrives.

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?

Editorial ethics scenario

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

Basic rules for delivering training

One of the first steps in delivering training is to articulate the ground rules. Participants need to know what to expect, what is expected of them and how you intend to schedule course elements.

Five essential steps for media training

For international media training to be successful, tried, tested and proven case studies from a similar region are needed. Theory has limited value, as do examples of what works in the West.

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.