Pointing to free online ways to train journalists

I received some degree of criticism recently on a post about journalism classes I wish were more readily available in college J-schools.

I openly admit some forms of them already are and that many colleges have wonderful professors looking forward and doing great work with them. Still, I stand by the conversation being an important one — needling great institutions further.

That’s perhaps why I thought it funny that someone e-mailed me soon after that post and directed me to a collection of 50 open courses that could offer many of the basics of j-school.

They point to a variety online resources, including a great many of them from MIT’s open coursewares — part of a phenomenon on which I’ve written before. It seemed like another swing at j-schools. It’s far away from the name recognition, networking and other assets of a traditional school, but it’s certainly good for the dialogue.

See some of the best and some thoughts below.

I do maintain that the mot important part of attending university is meeting people — professors, adjuncts, speakers, mentors and friends. These contacts and sources will make you a better journalist far beyond the actual classroom work.

Studying online makes that harder, though, if you really want to, you can probably meet people you need to meet anyway.

It’s worth knowing the free online options available though, and, this really is a detailed, insightful, well-organized list, among my favorites:

  • Visualizing Cultures. Explore cultural perceptions with regards to racism, nationalism, war, and propaganda while studying the opening of Japan by Commodore Perry. [MIT]
  • Classical Rhetoric and Modern Politics. Learn to read, think, and write critically in this class that studies the formal art of persuasion. [MIT]
  • Language of the Image. This journalism class teaches students the important task of communicating through images. [News University
  • Five Steps to Multimedia Storytelling. Learn about audio, video, and graphics in this class that focuses on recording, taping, and editing for Internet content. [News University]
  • Freedom of Information. Learn about the Freedom of Information Act, Public Records Laws, and your rights to information in this journalism class. [News University]

It should be noted that the e-mail came from a Kelly Sonora, about whom other writers have wondered. But I don’t think that changes what is a good list.

Here are some other free online courses that might interest aspiring or even established journalists:

Any others you know about? What do students miss out on when they skip class and start browsing the Web?

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