List of Free Online Journalism Classes and Courses

Free online courses in journalism are offered by real schools. Learn which journalism courses are available, what topics they cover and which ones lead to real college credit.

Online Journalism Courses for Credit

By going to the website, students have the chance to learn more about journalism topics and begin the path towards earning college credit. This affordable form of learning gives students access to numerous resources such as lesson quizzes and videos that are prepared by expert instructors.

The course titled Public Relations 101: Intro to Public Relations gives students the chance to study critical information in relation to journalism. Some of the chapters that are found in this course include:

Free Non-Credit Online Course Info

Free online courses in journalism are available from several real colleges and universities as non-credit courses. While some schools may require registration to access a course, most schools don't have that requirement. Students can see PDF files of course lectures and materials, but may need to download a media player, such as Flash, to access videos.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The OpenCourseWare initiative at MIT offers a variety of the institute's courses through a free publication. Students can see projects completed by previous students or download PDF files of course materials.

  • Introduction to Media Studies utilizes assignments and lecture notes to teach students how media impacts modern culture. The course examines the printed word, television, radio and digital technology. Sample student work is available in PDF form.
  • Documentary Photography and Photo Journalism: Still Images of a World in Motion utilizes image galleries, projects and assignments to show students the work of documentary photographers.
  • Gender and Media Studies: Women and the Media looks at how other races, classes and genders are portrayed in the media. Students can view study materials, including video clips, advertising videos and blogs.

The Open University

  • Understanding Media: The Celebrity in the Text demonstrates how the media shapes celebrity status and shows how to analyze information the public receives about celebrities. Students can download readings and answer questions on their own about the materials.
  • Key Skills Assessment: Communication exposes students to how humans process information and communicate. Journalists might be interested in knowing how to effectively receive and respond to information and how to evaluate that information. The course was designed for students to study for one hour each week over a period of 50 weeks, though online students may study at their own pace.

Poynter's News University

Poynter's News University courses require students to register in order to access the materials, however these courses are still free. Registration typically requires providing the student's name, e-mail address and a zip code. Students also need to have Flash version 7.0 or newer in order to access information.

  • Best of Photojournalism: What Makes a Winner allows students to watch videos and interviews on a photojournalism contest. Students have the chance to demonstrate what they've learned through a judging activity.
  • Freedom of Information introduces students to the First Amendment and the Freedom of Information Act. The course covers state laws and how to tell if a document is within the public domain.

Utah State University

  • Technology for Professional Writers teaches established writers to properly utilize software and new technology related to writing. The course is a variation of one previously offered by the university that was founded on research conducted in the 1990s. Students learn through a combination of lecture notes, assignments and additional resources.

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