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June 22, 2020updated 30 Sep 2022 9:25am

Learn how to become a journalist with free online masterclasses from the NCTJ

By Freddy Mayhew

Want to become a journalist? The National Council for the Training of Journalists has launched free online masterclasses offering an introduction to the profession for those who want to learn more.

The training body will release a video masterclass each week for the next two months via its Youtube channel, covering topics from newsgathering and interviewing to media law and broadcasting.

Contributors include the BBC’s Rianna Croxford and Sky News correspondent Alex Crawford, who presents the first session which touches on journalism’s role in holding power to account.

The NCTJ runs regular training for journalists both independently and as part of degree courses at select universities.

Among its former students is Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan, who started out as a journalist after gaining his NCTJ qualification from Harlow College, Essex, and who welcomed the summer school today.

“To anyone thinking that journalism might be for them, I would say: ‘Go for it.’ The summer school which the NCTJ has created is a great way to find out more,” he said.

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“The skills I learnt [on my NCTJ course], about how to spot and construct a story, how to interview people, how to navigate the strange worlds of national and local politics, the law – and even how to take shorthand notes at 100 words per minute – have stayed with me throughout my career, and always been unbelievably useful.”

He added: “If you think this industry isn’t for you, well think twice. Any person from any background can do journalism with the right attitude and the right skills.”

The summer school will cover the following topics:

  • An introduction to journalism – Alex Crawford, special correspondent, Sky News (see below)
  • Interviewing skills – Emma Robinson, accreditation manager, NCTJ
  • Sports journalism – Dharmesh Sheth, Sky Sports News presenter
  • Newsgathering skills – Emma Robinson, accreditation manager, NCTJ
  • Fact-checking and verification – Joe O’Leary, head of special projects, Full Fact
  • How to write a news story – Emma Robinson, accreditation manager, NCTJ
  • Broadcast journalism – Rianna Croxford, community affairs correspondent, BBC Ethics
  • Regulation – Will Gore, head of partnerships and projects, NCTJ
  • Media law – Mark Hanna, senior lecturer, The University of Sheffield

Videos will go up every Monday and all masterclasses will remain freely available via the NCTJ’s upcoming Journalism Skills Academy, which will launch in the autumn.

The NCTJ also runs the Journalism Diversity Fund, which awards bursaries to people from diverse backgrounds who need help funding their journalism training. Find out more here.

For more on how to become a journalist, read Press Gazette’s free online guide.

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