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University of Melbourne

Journalism Skills for Engaged Citizens

University of Melbourne via Coursera


This is a course in basic journalism skills, designed for the many people who are now taking advantage of new media to publish news, views and information. For five hundred years, the privilege of being able to publish was enjoyed by very few people – those who had access to a printing press or a radio microphone or a television camera. Now, almost anyone can publish to the world within minutes of being able to do so. But is it journalism?

How does a citizen journalist find things out, so they can report facts and news - moving beyond merely braying opinion? And what are the legal and ethical pitfalls to publishing facts that some people might prefer remain secret?

Over six weeks, this course teaches the basics of news writing, how to interview people to gain crucial information, how to develop and manage your sources and how to use your legal rights to access public information - and stay on the right side of the law when you publish. We discuss the ethics behind journalism practice, and conduct a mock investigation into local government. This course aims to empower engaged citizens to better participate in the news ecology.

View the MOOC promotional video here:

Taught by

Denis Muller and Margaret Simons


5.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Super interactive and well-thought out course. I followed the classes and got a lot out of them, especially as my writing is currently very academic, the course helped me understand how news writing gets straight to the point. Unfortunately I did not have the time to write the assignments but I am sure it would have been a valuable experience. The forums were very interactive which made the learning experience feel very alive despite being online.
  • Michael D Materer

    Michael D Materer completed this course.

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