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Community Journalism MOOC reaches 10,000 learners milestone

10 March 2015

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The University's Community Journalism: Digital and Social Media MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) has reached a new milestone of 10,000 learners who have joined the course.

The five-week course, hosted by FutureLearn, is delivered by the Centre for Community Journalism in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.

It is led by Professor Richard Sambrook, Director of the Centre for Journalism (the top ranking centre for postgraduate vocational training in the UK) and former Director of Global News at the BBC.

Professor Sambrook said: "I am absolutely delighted that over 10,000 learners have joined the course. It is testament to the growing popularity of the community journalism sector, and we look forward to lively discussion with learners from across the globe."

Initial survey results indicate that there is a large international cohort on the course, totalling over 60%. Learners are joining the course from all over the world, from Afghanistan to Namibia to the Ukraine. 

Survey results also indicate that over 40% of learners are already community journalists, or intend to set up or contribute to a community news site.

They will seek to emulate the success of learners from the first course, who established many new community news services as a direct result of their experience.

One such service is East Grinstead Online, which has achieved phenomenal success, attracting approximately 50,000 unique visitors a month since it was set up in 2014, inspired by the Community Journalism MOOC.

The University launched the UK's first academic Centre for Community Journalism in 2013 as one of its flagship Engagement Projects, which aim to transform communities in Cardiff, Wales and beyond.

The Centre for Community Journalism researches into this growing sector and offers networking, information and training for community journalists.

The University's flagship engagement projects work with communities on issues such as tackling poverty, boosting the economy, and improving health, education and wellbeing.

Topics covered on the Community Journalism course include: basic journalism skills, digital publishing, verification, media law and using social media for news gathering and promotion.

New sections on crowdfunding and community and ethnic media from around the world have also been introduced.

The course brings together tutorials from digital and journalism experts who have worked for the BBC, J-Lab, Trinity Mirror, Ofcom and more. Many of the tools taught are free to use and can be applied in community and mainstream journalism.

Learners can sign up to Community Journalism: Digital and Social Media by visiting futurelearn.com/courses/community-journalism