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Community Journalism

This course is currently unavailable for booking

There are currently no upcoming dates available for this course. Be the first to know when new dates are announced by joining the mailing list.

How can citizens become more involved in reporting the news in their community?

How does technology open up opportunities for communities to produce their own news?

Would you like to learn more about reporting the news in your local area? This course will teach you the basic skills you need for writing and producing your own news.

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered through ten 2-hour sessions, made up of lectures, class discussions, small group work, and debates. Class sessions will be supplemented by resources available to students via Learning Central.

Syllabus content

The course contains a theoretical element which will introduce the role Community Journalism can play in citizenship and democracy. There will also be a strong practical element, in which you will be taught how to write news stories, and hone your skills through practical application and regular peer and tutor feedback.

Sessions are likely to include:

  • What is Community Journalism? How does it differ from broadcast or news journalism?
  • Democracy and citizen engagement.
  • News values and the art of capturing a story.
  • Writing as a craft and creating a story.
  • Reliable sources and researching stories.
  • Reporting the arts, culture, and sport.
  • How to write about science and the environment.
  • Digital technology and the tools to enhance your story.

Coursework and assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

For assessment, you will produce a portfolio of writing of around 2000 words, which includes a reflective element.

Reading suggestions

  • Bradshaw, P. 2018. The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Digital Age. London: Routledge
  • Harte, D., Howells, R., Williams, A. 2018. Hyperlocal Journalism: the decline of local newspapers and the rise of online community news. London; New York: Routledge
  • McNair, B. 2012. Journalism and Democracy. London: Routledge
  • Nielsen, R.K. 2015. Local journalism: the decline of newspapers and the rise of digital media. London: Tauris

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.