The Community Journalism Series: Contributing to a Local Publication

Course Overview

The Community Journalism Series: Contributing to a Local Publication
Self-Directed Course
Time Estimate:
1-2 Hours

About Self-Directed Courses

In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.

Want to contribute to your local newspaper or website? This introduction to essential journalism skills and principles will help you understand what's expected of community contributors.

You'll learn the foundational concepts for writing, editing, interviewing and producing multimedia. You'll also gain insight into how journalists think and make editorial decisions, and you'll explore the benefits of contributing to a local publication.

A built-in assessment measures your proficiency with the course content. You can use the results to show a boss or potential employer how well you understand the basics of journalism.

Contributing to a Local Publication, part of our Community Journalism Series, will help you produce better content for local publications by showing you what editors are looking for. We've also developed a companion course, "The Community Journalism Series: Strategies for Managing Local Contributors," for editors and other newsroom leaders who want to develop new ways to include citizen contributions in their websites and publications.

What Will I Learn:

After completing this course, you'll be able to:

  • Identify the basics of effective writing, editing, interviewing, multimedia production
  • Describe the editorial process and ethical decisions that journalists make
  • Pinpoint the ingredients for success in reporting and writing
Who should take this course:

Freelancers looking to sharpen their skills or make themselves more marketable as well as anyone interested in contributing content to a local publication. Editors, especially those at community publications, who are interested in using this course as a training ground for local contributors.

Course Instructor:

Mark J. Miller

Mark J. Miller has written for American Journalism Review, Presstime, Crain's BtoB's Media Business, Folio: magazine and Digital Magazine News as well as Glamour, Details, The Washington Post,, Sports Illustrated for Kids and Runner's World, among many others.

Training Partner:

Suburban Newspapers of America Foundation

The Suburban Newspapers of America Foundation focuses on suburban and community newspapers and supports their role as the leading local information providers, helping them identify and better fulfill future communication needs in changing communities.

Technical Requirements:

For this course you will need to have at least version 7.0 of the Flash plugin installed. For the best experience, we suggest that:

  • PC users use Internet Explorer or Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox
  • Mac users use Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox or Safari
  • You set your monitor resolution to 1024 x 768 or higher
  • You use a high-speed connection