Learn the fundamentals of column-writing, pitching and digital storytelling from some of the most respected names in journalism
This full-day course boils down the essentials of journalism into a jam-packed day that could give your career a serious boost. A panel of senior Guardian journalists provide a practical guide to the skills you need to get ahead in the industry. You’ll overhaul your writing and interviewing skills, learn what editors want and how to pitch to them, and get an innovative look at how digital advances and open journalism have changed the nature of what an article can be.
Featuring talks from leading Guardian journalists including senior Guardian feature writer Jon Henley, former Comment editor Becky Gardiner and interviewer-extraordinaire Decca Aitkenhead, it's an event that budding journalists just can't afford to miss. You'll learn the essentials of column-writing and conducting interviews , how to write pitch emails to editors, and how to use social media and interactives to tell compelling stories. You’ll learn how to find stories and develop an argument, and tips and tricks for teasing out fascinating information from interviewees. You'll also receive advice on how to meet deadlines and keep your writing and content fresh, as well as how to raise issues that are important to you and your readers.
This course is for you if...
- You’re starting out as a journalist or blogger and want a grounding in the skills and tools you need to prepare yourself to write and pitch
- You currently run or write for a blog covering news or culture and want to produce more polished, professional content
- You’re considering moving into journalism and want a better understanding of what the job entails
- You’re a working journalist and want an overview of best practice and editorial priorities from major industry figures
The day takes the form of a series of talks from some of the Guardian’s most senior contributors to give attendees a rounded picture of how to operate in 21st-century journalism. Topics covered on the day include:
- Decca Aitkenhead on how to get interviewees to tell you things they weren’t planning to say
- Jon Henley on new ways of storytelling using social media and interactive multimedia
- Becky Gardiner on how to turn your idea into a compelling pitch and send it to editors
Decca Aitkenhead writes the Guardian’s Saturday interview. She began her career at the Independent, before joining the Guardian as a columnist in 1997, but left in 2000 to write a book about going round the world trying to find the perfect Ecstasy pill, which was less fun that it sounds, so she returned to the Guardian as a features writer, and became an interviewer in 2008. Gordon Brown’s spin doctor used to advise politicians, ‘Thou shalt under no circumstances do an interview with Decca Aitkenhead’. She thinks he was wrong about that, but some interviewees would probably agree. Read Decca’s Guardian articles here.
Jon Henley is a senior Guardian feature writer responsible for the acclaimed series Greece on the Breadline and groundbreaking, multi-award-winning multimedia interactive Firestorm. Over a 20-year career at the Guardian, Jon has reported from more than 30 countries and all five continents, including a 10-year stint as the paper’s chief Paris correspondent. Read Jon’s Guardian articles here.
Becky Gardiner joined the Guardian in 1998 as Women's editor. She was Comment editor from 2010 until April this year, and has held a number of other positions including Education editor, deputy editor of G2 and launch editor of Family. Becky recently left the Guardian and is now a senior lecturer, teaching journalism at Goldsmiths university.
One more speaker to be announced.
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Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.