Creating community news, photographing with a smartphone

Community Journalism: Digital and Social Media

Gain practical skills and insights into hyperlocal journalism, and use digital and social media to create your own news website.

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About the course

Community journalism is a growing area of interest for professional journalists, academics and the wider public. The decline of local newspapers and radio stations, coupled with the low cost of publishing online, means there are more community journalism and hyperlocal websites being launched everyday.

Launch your own community or hyperlocal site

Whether you want to launch and support your own site - or simply study this new media sector - this free online course will give you both useful insights and practical skills.

Community journalism is an area that combines elements of traditional journalism with the new opportunities brought about by digital and social media, so we’ll look at:

  • setting up a community website
  • exploring different forms of community – local, professional or personal
  • identifying and building an audience
  • creating content and establishing a workflow to sustain the site
  • managing an online community
  • and abiding by media law and ethics
  • hands-on tips for Wordpress, Twitter and Facebook

Learn with the UK’s first community journalism centre

You’ll learn with the UK’s first academic Centre for Community Journalism, launched by Cardiff University in 2013 to help nurture and study this growing sector.

This will give you a broader understanding of the field and how it’s developed, as well as insights into the experiences of those already operating community sites.

Join other learners who’ve launched their own sites

This course first ran in April 2014 and many learners went on to start or improve their own hyperlocal sites, such as Cwmbran Life and EastGrinsteadOnline.

You can find out more about this course in Richard Sambrook’s blog post: “Community journalism: launch your own local news service.” Or read a review of this course by a learner at Class Central.

Requirements

This course is open to anyone with an interest in journalism or social and digital media, and in connecting their communities online. No prior qualifications are required.

We’ll cover core journalism principles, skills and practice as part of the course, as well as hands-on skills in creating and sustaining hyperlocal sites.

Practicing journalists or more experienced students will be particularly interested in learning about current developments in hyperlocal and community journalism in the digital environment.