Introduction to Journalism

A comprehensive eight-week introductory evening course in journalism, which aims to have you commissioned by the end of the course and will give you the tools to be a great writer, with a focus on news and feature writing.

This course with The Journalism School is led by Keith Magnum, founding editor of the Hackney Citizen and a visiting lecturer at the University of East London.

It will cover news, feature and reviews writing, pitching, interview techniques and essentials such as subbing, contacts building, and media law.

No previous experience of journalism is needed, but you will need to be confident in writing and speaking in English.

There will be opportunity for feedback and appraisal of your writing throughout the course, and all work and activities are aimed to be as close to real scenarios as possible, with Keith available for one to one feedback, guidance and contacts throughout the course.

There is no final exam, as the last piece of homework set will be to write a successful pitch to a publication or website of your choice. Success will be a real life commission!

Guest speakers

Guest speakers will include Jenny Stevens (Managing editor at VICE UK, ex-Guardian and NME), Jennifer Lucy Allan (former online editor, The Wire), Philip Nye (a freelance journalist who specialises in data journalism and FOI-led reporting) and Nell Block (assistant editor, Who What Wear).

Full course outline:

Week 1: News writing

What is news? How to find it and then write it. We investigate where news comes from, how it is collected and how stories are written, including the content, structure and style of hard news writing.We’ll give you some key dos and don’ts in news writing and consider issues of objectivity, balance and accuracy.

Week 2: Online journalism

We’ll look at online journalism – how does online differ to print, and what are the current demands of each.

Guest speaker: Nell Block, assistant editor, Who What Wear.

Week 3: Feature writing

We look at feature writing – profiles, analysis pieces, backgrounders etc – and how longer pieces are constructed, including the use of colour. We also look at how to write to a set brief.

Week 4: Interview skills

We examine the particular skills needed to secure and then conduct successful interviews, either face-to-face or by phone. It will look at preparation, equipment, how to build a list of questions and differences between the hard and soft interview techniques.

Guest speaker: Jennifer Lucy Allan, former online editor, The Wire.

Week 5: Reviews

We look at the creation of review pieces from plays, films, books etc and how they differ from other writing styles. We consider how to prepare, and consider what it meant by a subjective approach to writing.

Week 6: Media law

We consider the key legal issues journalists need to be aware of – specifically defamation and libel, privacy, freedom of information and the courts.

 Week 7: Investigative / data journalism

In this session we’ll look at how data skills and freedom of information rules can be used to investigate an issue. The session will follow a case study story from initial concept, through data-gathering and cleansing, to final publication.

Guest speaker: Philip Nye is a freelance journalist who specialises in data journalism and FOI-led reporting.

Week 8: Writing a watertight pitch

This class will cover the most important aspect of journalism: pitching. It will focus on how to pitch your ideas to editors, how to ensure your idea gets noticed, and how to hone initial ideas into successful pitches and published writing.

Guest speaker: Jenny Stevens, managing editor at VICE UK, ex-Guardian and NME.

Eight two-hour classes for £295.00.

Classes run Monday evenings 7pm to 9pm at:

SPACE Studios
129-131 Mare Street
E8 3RH

Nearest stations: London Fields / Hackney Central / Bethnal Green.

Week 1 of the course will now occur on Tuesday 6 March at 7pm, rather than the preceding day.

This will not affect the remaining classes, which will be held on Mondays (except Easter Monday, 2 April), making the final dates:

March 6th, 12th, 19th and 26th
April 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th

For more information or to book a place you can contact us via email, or by using the form below:

Read our terms and conditions