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Quality Journalism in the Digital Age

Venturing into e-learning for journalists? 7 questions to ask before you do


Photo: DPA

E-learning is a major educational trend and can enhance vocational training for media professionals, too. But there are several questions you need to ask yourself before going ahead and setting up e-learning modules.

Journalist and journalism training expert Werner Eggert has successfully experimented with new e-learning tools and implemented blended-learning courses for media professionals for years. He shares his knowledge with onMedia.


Monday 2015-01-26


Useful gadgets for journalism trainers

Fortunately at DW Akademie we have access to professional equipment for training courses and are very well supported by our technical staff.

But along with bringing training equipment such as VJ camcorders, laptops or audio recorders, packing a few travel-size gadgets can help trouble-shoot problems you might encounter during courses and help your participants.

For onMedia, journalism trainer Guy Degen opens up his grab bag of gadgets to make training and life a little bit easier on the road.


Tuesday 2014-10-21


Must-Read Research Papers for Journalism Trainers

memory aJournalism training and media development have evolved into a huge sector. It spans international development agencies, public, private and community media, NGOs, civil society groups, foundations, academia and private contractors. As a trainer, even if you have considerable experience, there’s a risk of concentrating on simply implementing the specific learning objectives of your next workshop without giving thought to the bigger picture or taking into consideration some of the findings from research into media development.

Here’s what I mean. An article in the Economist magazine back in 2007 spoke of a boom in journalism training in developing countries. The article raised a number of points that should grab the attention of any journalism trainer or project manager:

 “The need for basic reporting skills is still central.”

“Participants in the courses praise the results, while complaining about the lack of focus and co-ordination among some providers.”

“More is not always better. Quality varies wildly.”

“Some courses aspire loftily to build democratic societies through a free press.”

Seven years on, some of those points might sound familiar to you or even appear on your course evaluation forms. So whether you’re training journalists or working in other areas related to media development such as press freedom, community media, access to information or digital innovation, it would be worth reading the recently published research papers below.

Perhaps just as important, we can continue to ask ourselves: what’s working?, what’s not working?, and what more needs to be done in this field?


Wednesday 2014-09-03


Using Medium for online journalism training

Medium iconEncouraging trainees to use a blog platform such as WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr is a common approach in online journalism training.

The benefits in training workshops are numerous:

– most blog platforms are free to use and useful for training the basics of writing for the web;
– a blog post can replicate a standard online article;
– a blog is an easy to use, creative digital space;
– trainees can experiment with embedding multimedia and even adjusting html code;
– and, particularly for print journalists moving to digital media, the CMS of a blog often functions in a similar way to the CMS of a news media website.

However, if you’ve ever shown trainees examples of scrolling style stories such as the NYT’s Game of Sharks and Minnows or the Guardian’s Firestorm, you’ll often hear the question: how can we produce the scrolling style, especially for long form writing such as magazine style feature stories?

I usually point out the obvious, explaining that blogs do in fact let you scroll down the page. And depending on the level of experience of the participants, I might also suggest storytelling applications that onMedia has tested such as Creatavist.

But more so these days, particularly if I’m training short workshops, I like to introduce trainees to Medium – the blog platform developed by Blogger and Twitter founder Evan Williams.


Tuesday 2014-06-03


Reporting on climate change: Part II

Good reporting on climate change is important, and likely to become more so in the future as the impacts of changing weather patterns on lives and economies grow. But climate change journalism can be challenging. It’s complicated, controversial and there is a lot of information, and misinformation, to wade through. In part I of this two-part series, Kyle James offered tips on how to report on a changing climate. In this post, he looks some common pitfalls to avoid.


Tuesday 2014-05-06


10 essential tips to teach digital safety for journalists


The NSA spying scandal is continuing to make headlines, and the recent news about the severe safety loopholes exposed by Heartbleed is frightening. And yet for many the threat remains worryingly rather abstract.

A recent survey in Germany found that the vast majority (75 percent) of Germans have not changed their behavior when it comes to personal data. Every second person still believes they have nothing to hide. Even if journalists have become more sensitized to digital safety, most still don’t know what PGP or OTR means. The topic is however of the utmost importance, not only to protect journalists themselves, but more importantly, their sources.

This is precisely the reason why the DW Akademie organized an open online workshop on digital safety last December. The topic is also now an integral part of Deutsche Welle’s own journalism training.

The biggest challenge by far is not about teaching and demonstrating tools, but rather to convince journalists to actually change their behavior and the way they communicate.

Journalism training has to be carefully reconsidered, says DW Akademie’s Steffen Leidel. Here are Steffen’s digital safety training tips for journalists presented during his talk at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia.


Thursday 2014-05-01


Reporting on climate change: Part I

Climate change was once a niche topic; now it’s as big as the world. And, it’s a challenging one for journalists, especially for those without a science background. But since climate change could well be the story of the century, it’s important to cover it well. In this two-part series, Kyle James has tips on how to approach climate reporting, make your stories appealing to the general public, and avoiding common mistakes.


Tuesday 2014-04-22


Tips for training conflict sensitive reporting

Photo of a group of young men holding sticks

Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Image

From Rwanda and Iraq to Kosovo and Cambodia, media around the world has often played a role in stirring up conflicts – whether deliberately or unwittingly. Teaching journalists conflict sensitive reporting is one way of helping to reduce potential hostilities and create the conditions for peace. Journalist and media trainer Kerstin Kilanowski talks to onMedia about her experiences of teaching conflict sensitive reporting.


Thursday 2014-04-17


Trainer recommendation: Mozilla Thimble

Mozilla thimble iconIf you’re looking for a simple way of introducing your online journalism trainees to the web’s Hyper Text Markup Language, better known by its acronym HTML, then consider the nifty little Mozilla Thimble editor – part of Mozilla’s suite of Webmaker tools.


Monday 2014-01-27


Making broadcasting more social

For too many broadcasters, social media still remains something of an afterthought. A producer might promote an upcoming program on the Facebook page or send out a tweet. But really, much more can and should be done. These days, social media needs to be part of the entire broadcast production process.


Tuesday 2014-01-14



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