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Digital Journalism

Digital Journalism

London College of Communication
Taught by
Ben Gilbert


Get a sound understanding of the opportunities and challenges digital technology brings to journalism. Explore some of the latest news stories - Trump and fake news, the Panama papers, citizen reporting of terror attacks - by delving into the technology, tools, and issues.

On this five day course you’ll be introduced to the pivotal digital developments in data, social media and user-experience. You will find out about latest reader expectations that have made new business models not only possible but necessary. Whilst this is not a ‘techie’ course you will have the opportunity to get to grips with technology, like Google Analytics and HTML, in some practical workshops.

Through a series of case-studies you’ll look at different revenue-generating business models. There will be the opportunity to contribute to current debates and issues in digital journalism such as partisan news, verification and disruption.

At the end of the week you’ll have the chance to future-gaze, applying what you’ve learned by developing a business model and presenting it to your group.

Intermediate. You should have some prior journalism experience but you do not need to have any previous digital knowledge.

Day One: Overview

Digital journalism > Where are and how did we get here?
Issues, challenges and trends > Partisan content and fake news
The Industry > Job roles and responsibilities > Evolution and variety
StoryCase study > The politics of social media
WorkshopDigital vocabulary > Untangling the jargon

Day Two: Content

Editorial > Writing web-ready news and features
Basics > Breaking down the cognitive and mechanical skills involved
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) > Getting ahead on Google search
HTML > The language of computers
StoryCase study > The possibilities of 21st century content
WorkshopMaking the news > Creating an accurate and optimised real-time content

Day Three: Social

Social Media > Finding leads, sources and stories online
Writing for social media and chat apps
Creating a presence, building an audience and sourcing stories
Live, mobile and visual journalism > Mobile first strategy > Live-blogging > Video and images>
Law > User-generated content > Verification
StoryCase study > Social power and citizen reporting
WorkshopMaking the news > Creating an accurate and optimised real-time content

Day Four: Technology

Data journalism > Consume for knowledge, produce coherently and think critically
Analysing data, visualisation, challenges and privacy
Analytics and auditing > Using data to inform continual improvement
Audience > Where are they and what do they want
;">Case study > Turning Google's search knowledge into stories
Workshop > Digital gold > Mining big data

Day Five: Product

Workflow > Moving towards a digital output
Digital product development > Increasing usability, access and engagement
Futurising > New consumers > Platforms > Tools > Disruption
Demystifying digital > Presenting a business model
StoryCase-study > Multi-million dollar media

Workshop > UX design > Bring your content ideas to life in the digital sphere

This course has been specifically designed for those who have been working in journalism and want to explore the opportunities and confront the challenges of digital journalism with greater confidence.

You may be:

  • In a senior editorial position and responsible for recruiting new staff and managing a digital production budget
  • A journalist working with developers and digital designers
  • Returning to work after a break for parental leave or other reasons
  • A freelancer seeking opportunities and networks

If you have any questions about the course please do not hesitate to contact us.

Follow Up Courses
Our Digital Skills training courses are ideal if you started out in the pre-digital era - broaden your knowledge, employability skills and digital literacy for the digital economy.

Tutor Description

Ben Gilbert is an NCTJ-trained journalist with more than 15 years’ experience at the frontline of web media at leading digital platforms such as Yahoo and Microsoft. Most recently, he was editorial director at the disruptive startup MOVE Guides. A former music journalist, Ben has developed digital content strategy and created dynamic content as a writer, editor and producer. He is an Associate Lecturer at London College of Communication and Westminster University, holding an MA in Media, Culture & Communication from the Institute of Education.

Available dates