The London School of Journalism

News Journalism

This 12 week evening course provides a practical introduction to news and features journalism.

This course will give you a solid grounding in how news and features are put together plus valuable feedback on the pieces that you write. If you are thinking of working in print journalism, this course will give you a good opportunity to discover if you would really enjoy it - and whether you can do it before you give up your existing career.

There are short pieces of writing practice during the course with plenty of feedback throughout and four writing assignments - editing, news, features and a vox pop. Students will have their assignments graded and be given written feedback from the course tutor.

The classes will begin at 6.30pm and end at 9.00pm.

The course tutor will be Tony Padman, an experienced freelance journalist who has written news and features for both tabloid and broadsheet national newspapers. He specialises in writing news, entertainment and general features.

Week 1: Introduction, course aims, syllabus, brief on assignments, short interviews, tools
Week 2: Where to find news, diary/off-diary, puff pieces, what makes news, markets
Week 3: News intros, the 5 Ws, inverted pyramid, balance, padding, who to quote, what to ask
Week 4: Making the story stand up, good vs bad reporting, news values, finding the facts
Week 5: News structure, dealing with the police, council and press officers, fact checking
Week 6: Writing to length, editing, deadlines, news in brief, avoiding hype and advertising
Week 7: Vox pops, how to conduct them, topics for vox pops, how to present the vox pop, how to use hard and soft news for vox pops
Week 8: News vs features, features intros, endings, hooks, scene setting, key quotes
Week 9: Meeting the brief, why features go wrong, questions to ask, shaping a feature
Week 10: Finding the right subject, arranging the interview, different styles of writing for features, easy and awkward questions, editing the feature
Week 11: Controlling the interview, killer questions, meeting the brief, listing your questions
Week 12: Commissioning, the job market, IPSO, course review, Q&A, future options

There are four writing assignments included in this course - two news and two features. Students will have their assignments graded and be given written feedback from the course tutor.

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