Last year this observer did the free on-line course provided by Cardiff University "Community Journalism: Digital and Social Media". Very interesting it was too, you might think you know a thing or two but there was plenty of information on that course that was new. This is how they phrase the background to the course:
"Community journalism is a growing area of interest for professional journalists, academics and the wider public. The decline of local newspapers and radio stations, coupled with the low cost of publishing online, means there are more community journalism and hyperlocal websites being launched everyday."
They go on to say:
"Community journalism is an area that combines elements of traditional journalism with the new opportunities brought about by digital and social media, so we’ll look at:
setting up a community website
exploring different forms of community – local, professional or personal
identifying and building an audience
creating content and establishing a workflow to sustain the site
using Wordpress, Twitter and Facebook
managing an online community
and abiding by media law and ethics."
Lots of people in recent years have turned to social media too to publicise their events or to bring community affairs to wider attention. For those engaged in this already or who might contemplate doing similar this course could be very helpful. You can find out more here. It is free and starts in February.
Strathclyde University are also offering an Introduction to Journalism course starting in February:
"This free on line course is aimed at those curious about journalism and looking to gain a better understanding of what the subject entails. Run by a team of internationally-renowned scholars and journalism practitioners at the University of Strathclyde, it gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the professional world of reporters and editors.
The course contains six topics - what makes a good news story; writing news; writing features; opinion writing; politics and journalism; and investigative journalism - and explores these in relation to a case study running throughout the six weeks. Although the scenario is entirely fictitious, participants will engage in tasks and discussions that reflect real-life situations in journalism."
Again this could be useful for anyone locally using social media or websites locally for their group, organisation or business or simply as a pastime. "
You can find out more about the Strathclyde University free course here.
There is one other free course out there starting soon that might also appeal to Gurnites: An Introduction to Cyber Security, this is an Open University course, also free, they state:
"We shop online. We work online. We play online. We live online. As our lives increasingly depend on digital services, the need to protect our information from being maliciously disrupted or misused is really important.
This free online course will help you to understand online security and start to protect your digital life, whether at home or work. You will learn how to recognise the threats that could harm you online and the steps you can take to reduce the chances that they will happen to you." More information here.