Skip to main content

New MOOC brings together essential journalism knowledge with practical digital skills

27 March 2014

The low cost and ease of publishing and gathering audiences online has revolutionised journalism. Community or hyperlocal journalism is a fast-growing phenomenon combining the basic principles of journalism with practical skills in digital publishing and social media engagement. At the forefront of journalism teaching and research, Cardiff University have launched the world's first Community Journalism MOOC, led by former Director of Global News at the BBC and Professor of Journalism at Cardiff, Richard Sambrook.

Professor Richard Sambrook

Professor Richard Sambrook has worked in journalism for 30 years as a producer, editor and senior leader and says: "I'm delighted Cardiff University is offering this open course on Community Journalism. These new local services are a dynamic new sector in the media – democratic, open and responsive to the communities they serve."

In this free online course, learners will find out about the evolution of hyperlocal journalism from leading media commentators, but will also develop a broad and career-enhancing set of digital skills that can be applied to nearly any sector.

Those taking the course will learn how to set up and run their own hyperlocal news sites as well as understanding more about the way the news environment is changing. Skills covered include:

  • Research an area using open data such as census statistics
  • Verify facts, photos and information with online tools
  • Source news stories using Google, Twitter and Facebook
  • Build their own WordPress website, write posts and install plugins
  • Use Analytics to find out more about the behaviour of their audience
  • Source free-to-use images for their blog or website
  • Create attractive graphics using online image tools

All of the tools taught are free to use and can be applied in a variety of jobs or sectors. Learners will be taught directly by digital and journalism experts who have worked for the BBC, Storyful, J-Lab, Trinity Mirror and more.

On the course, learners will develop an understanding of journalism essentials such as media law and will get to meet real-life hyperlocal journalists in video case studies.

Centre for Community Journalism logo

The course has already attracted nearly 5,000 learners from over 50 different countries around the world. To sign up to the free online course on Community Journalism please visit