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Helping journalists deepen their digital skills on their own time

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It’s become increasingly important for journalists to deepen their digital skills for reporting, but finding dedicated time to invest in learning can be a challenge.

To address that challenge, the News Lab has launched a series of advanced online learning programs focused on helping journalists quickly develop skills across key disciplines in digital journalism—on their own time. We’ve worked with Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, Poynter Institute for Media Studies and Journalism and Media Studies Centre at The University of Hong Kong to develop this content, focused on serving multiple languages, regions, and topics. We're offering this content as an evolution of the lessons currently offered on on our site.

We have partnered with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas to offer advanced online learning programs in both Spanish and Portuguese. The programs will include courses on verification, fact-checking, and immersive storytelling (e.g. VR, 360). Students who complete the required coursework can receive a certification from the Knight Center. The first course will be offered in Portuguese and will focus on fact-checking digital content.

In collaboration with the Knight Foundation, the American Press Institute, and the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, we will be supporting e-learning webinars, self-paced courses, and monthly training workshop opportunities on Poynter’s NewsU training platform. The content will include tutorials on digital tools like DocumentCloud and lessons on Google’s tools for journalists like Maps and Fusion Tables. We hope to offer journalists a holistic view of how these tools could work together in a real news environment.     

And in May, the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong relaunched its five-week MOOC, Data Journalism Fundamentals, with additional language support. Produced in partnership with Google News Lab and top news organizations in Asia, the MOOC targets students and journalists of all levels of experience. Students can now take the course in English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean, and Hindi. Case studies from newsrooms in Asia and data stories by leading international media organizations are also featured. More than 6000 students have participated in the original MOOC since it launched last year, and enrollment is expected to re-open in the fall with additional languages and content.

Students can earn a free certificate for the course through Hong Kong University by completing all required assignments. Students who complete the project will also get the chance to showcase their work on the JMSC website as well as receive expert critique by the instructors.

For more information about our training offerings and to sign up for these programs, visit We plan to bring more trainings of this type in the coming year, so let us know in the comments or email us at with suggestions for other topics and formats.

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