Home Basics

Basics

For those starting off in a career in journalism including what makes news, how to write a story, interviewing tips, and fact-checking.

Image by U.S. Department of Agriculture released via Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

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.
Mobile journalism training Harare, Zimbabwe. Image shared via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

From citizen reporting to citizen journalism

The beauty of citizen reporting is that it can be fast and fresh, down-to-earth and uncomplicated, and, sometimes, reach areas not always covered by mainstream media.
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

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.
Radio production training in Jaffna, Sri Lanka by David Brewer shared via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

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.
Image by WP Paarz released via Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

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.
Image by woodleywonderworks released under Creative Commons

Referencing, attribution and plagiarism

Plagiarism is rife. Many journalists just copy and paste. There are tools - many of them free - which help content producers check whether content has been used without permission.
Image by Brandon Anderson released via Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Crime reporting tips for beginners

Sometimes crime reporting reflects important issues in society: corruption, drugs, homelessness, hunger, lack of education, or whatever. And sometimes it is just a good story, with no wider implications.
Image by David Brewer released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

50 tips for budding journalists

A journalist must learn the house rules of the media organisations they are working for. All will have a set of guidelines and a style guide. But here are general tips about starting off in journalism.
Image courtesy of Freedom House and released under Creative Commons CC BY 2.0

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 the level of understanding the situation demands. The journalist needs...
Photo of woman reading newspaper by Photo by Abhijith S Nair on Unsplash

What is news?

Here we consider what makes one thing worth reporting, while another thing is not. We offer a test for news which can work in all societies. We consider what makes some news stories stronger than others.