How do I learn to be a journalist over the internet?
November 20, 2007 8:54 AM   Subscribe

How can I learn about or get some type of journalism accreditation or certification over the internet?

I'm really interested in journalism, but live in Japan, so I don't exactly have much of a chance to study it except through the internet. I currently help edit a trade magazine here, but I want more knowledge about journalism and some kind of online curriculum would be great. I noticed News University which made me think of this whole question in the first place...
posted by phaedrus441 to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know that they actually offer any type of certification but offers online classes in things like magazine writing, copy editing, memoir, etc. The classes are fairly reasonably priced and they have new ones all the time.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 9:14 AM on November 20, 2007

From my experience, a few writing classes can be helpful, but the best thing to do is to write. And preferably do it for money.

Journalism school is kind of a lame thing to do. Most/many people in the field recomend you do anything but go to journalism school. It's much better to develop expertise in a certain subject (say a masters degree in middle eastern politics or a ph.d. in labor relations) than to get a 2 year journalism masters.

Learning the basics of writing is helpful but that's also something you can do on your own. That's the tough advice but I wished I'd followed it (got accepted to Berkeley and Columbia's J schools, moved to Cali and then decided it wasn't for me).

Good luck.

I took some mediabistro classes, btw. They were somewhat helpful.
posted by sully75 at 9:49 AM on November 20, 2007

a degree isn't particularly helpful in journalism--your clips are more important--but if you want to brush up your skills, the mediabistro classes are good.

the primary value of j-school is access to internships, which would be irrelevant to you if you were studying online.
posted by thinkingwoman at 10:25 AM on November 20, 2007

I find The Poynter Institute to be one of the foremost learning centers in the US, to be honest. See if they can help you.

I have an extensive history in journalism (degree, taught it in college, fellowship at the Poynter, AP award...) but I no longer pursue it because quite frankly, I couldn't earn a decent living doing it.

Good luck!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:03 AM on November 20, 2007

I have to disagree with the comment that a degree isn't useful in journalism. A small-town paper might take you without a degree but if you want to move up to the big leagues, you need credentials. That wasn't true in the old days but it's definitely true now. Most big media outlets have people with at least a bachelor's and many with advanced degrees.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 4:50 PM on November 20, 2007

The UK's National Council for the Training of Journalists offers a few distance courses. UK-centric, obviously, but may be worth a shot.

Also, Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University do an MSc in 'Publishing with Journalism'.
posted by ComfySofa at 5:11 AM on November 21, 2007

Hmm, RGU's might not be a distance learning course... though it claims it is on this page.
posted by ComfySofa at 5:17 AM on November 21, 2007

I have to disagree with the comment that a degree isn't useful in journalism. A small-town paper might take you without a degree but if you want to move up to the big leagues, you need credentials.

I think the poster meant you don't need a jskul degree. I would agree that studying pretty much anything else is more useful. Editors want to see clips, not jskul diplomas.

I grew up wanting to be a reporter in a country where I didn't speak the language well enough to work, so do what I did: approach a major English language outlet in your country - AP or CNN or BBC or what have you - and offer to do their gruntwork for cheap/free. Be eager. If they're smart, they'll put you to work and you'll start learning the ropes.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:33 AM on November 22, 2007

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