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Online Journalism Certificate and Diploma Programs

Research online journalism certificate programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

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Essential Information

Students who are interested in news writing or reporting may want to consider enrolling in a journalism program. Online journalism certificate programs at the undergraduate level can often be completed entirely online. Courses from some certificate programs may be applied toward a bachelor's degree. Bachelor's degree holders may then take advanced studies in journalism or writing by pursuing master's degrees and graduate certificates. Many of these programs may be completed online.

Those who can't find an online journalism certificate program that works for them may consider a related program, such as communication studies or creative writing.

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  • Broadcast Journalism
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Journalism Certificate

Online journalism programs provide students the opportunity to write. Students create and submit short stories, articles and travel experiences to gain practical experience using specific writing techniques, such as creating a lead and building upon the information. Some certificate programs provide business-related information for students who plan to go into advertising or copywriting. Students explore writing opportunities in print and Web journalism, often incorporating film techniques, photography and animation principles into their studies.

Information and Requirements

An online certificate program in journalism can be completed in less than a year of full-time study. While some schools offer the online certificate program only during certain times of the year, such as during the summer, most of the online courses can be taken any time the students are available. All of the courses are available completely online.

To complete the program, students must have access to a computer and broadband internet access. Students complete assignments and turn them in virtually.

Common Journalism Courses

Courses in journalism present students with information and techniques to become successful writers or journalists. Common courses cover different writing styles and ways to get published.

News Reporting

Students learn what makes an issue or event newsworthy. They also learn specific set-ups for newspaper writing, starting with the lede and incorporating quotes obtained from interviews. Other journalism research techniques are also discussed.

Travel Writing

A travel writing course in an online journalism certificate program covers the main styles of travel stories and how travel writing differs from being a tourist. Students study resources for completing research before a trip. They also write pieces and gain insights into ways to market their work, including using photos.

Business Journalism

Students look at well-known business magazines like The Wall Street Journal to learn the basics of writing business and financial news. They learn techniques for gathering research, fact-checking and interviewing sources for business articles. They also study trends in business.

Ethics in Journalism

When can a journalist publish an unfounded story or break the law for a byline? What exactly is an invasion of privacy? An ethics in journalism course examines the legal aspects of journalism, what journalists need to prove to tell a story and when they need more information. Students learn what readers really need to know and what they don't.

Magazine Writing

Students examine the differences between writing for magazines and writing for newspapers. They also study the differences between writing for online and print publications and techniques for infusing an article with pictures and videos. Students become familiar with the magazine-writing process, from pitching story ideas to writing and submitting an article.


Career Information

An online certificate in journalism could be useful to someone who wants a career as a writer, editor or author. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (www.bls.gov), most writing and editing jobs require that applicants have at least a bachelor's degree, and that the best way to build a writing career is by gaining a reputation through published pieces. Certificates that require students to publish their works as part of the program could be useful. Additionally, most colleges allow credits acquired through a certificate program to go toward a bachelor's degree, so students can continue their education. Internships are also available.

Continuing Education Information

Students with an online certificate in journalism have dozens of options for continuing journalism studies online. They may take advanced studies by pursuing a bachelor's degree and, later, graduate certificates and master's degrees in journalism or writing, which may be completed online. Journalism certificate program graduates may also complete a degree in another subject, such as business, to specialize in a type of reporting.

Online certificate programs in journalism may be completed fully online; some courses in this field may be credited toward bachelor's degree programs. Graduates who aspire to become writers or editors may later pursue bachelor's degrees in journalism or writing, which may also be completed entirely online.

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