Introduction to journalism
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
What is the course about?
The course is designed to equip those interested in freelance journalism with some of the skills and know-how required to enter this area of the media. The focus will be on contributing reviews, interviews and features to the print and online media. The course will include analysing material from current publications and generating your own copy.
Students say: "it gave me a practical understanding of journalism"; "I liked the friendly atmsophere and getting feedback on my writing"; "our tutor was very engaging and had a wealth of knowledge to share.".
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
The course may include the following topics:
- Researching and analysing the market you wish to sell to.
- Generating, assessing and developing story ideas.
- Planning and briefing for reviews/interviews/features.
- Timetabling your ideas, understanding commissioning editors, their cycles and deadlines.
- Compiling and organising your data/research.
- Following a style.
- Writing interviews/profiles pieces.
- Writing pitches.
- Editing your work.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify suitable markets.
- Assess and select story ideas.
- Write features, interviews, profiles, pieces.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is suitable for beginners, and is aimed at those who want to improve their written communication skills online or in print. It is suitable for bloggers looking to get published, those looking to write digital content, and anyone interested in becoming a journalist, either freelance or full time. Energy and enthusiasm are more important than writing experience. You will need a good grasp of spoken and written English to keep up with the course.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Teaching will be mainly in groups or pairs to facilitate practical, hands-on exposure to the ideas and information presented. Students will have the opportunity to complete in-class writing tasks.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Purchase of publications/magazines from your target area is advisable. A book list will be provided. General guides such as The Writers and Artists Yearbook, or The Writers Handbook are recommended.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit run a range of beginner, intermediate and advanced journalism courses. Please search our website for 'journalism' to find more courses.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
Susan Grossman has had a long career as a travel, food and health writer. She has broadcast for BBC Radio 4, presented the Food and Drink programme for BBC2, been travel editor for the Telegraph Magazine, and published five travel guidebooks. She lectures on the Journalism MA at Westminster University and teaches journalism at City University. She is a ILM-certified career coach and mentor and runs regular workshops for freelancers and media professionals.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.