News writing – E-learning course

Our basic news writing interactive training course covers all the essential news writing elements.  It is packed with tips on writing news reports, stories and articles that will appeal to your reader and keep them coming back whether the story appears online or in print.  The secret is a skilled combination of spotting news, understanding who you're writing for, what news they're really interested in, and how to get that information across in a really engaging and timely way.  Our online e-learning news course shows you all the vital news writing techniques, while improving your short copy skills, and saving you precious writing time.

Thank you! Your feedback has made me beam with delight! Thanks so much for such an informative course.

E-learning delegate


Great for anyone who has been writing news for less than two years.

The course comes in 2 parts:

Part 1: Identifying the classic news triggers, coming up with your news angle and then structuring your points in the most effective way.

Part 2: A structured approach to writing good news stories: from how to pull the reader in with your intro, to backing it up in the piece.

You will learn:
  • How to identify the classic news triggers
  • How to create your news angle
  • Ways to grab your reader's full attention
  • Structuring your points in the most effective way
  • How to pull your reader in with your intro
  • How to make your news copy really engaging whether it appears in print or online
  • Top tips to enliven your language

...and much more.

News writing is an ideal foundation for our Advanced news writing online course.

If you sat down and did the course in one sitting, it would take approximately 1.5-2 hours to complete. However, the exercises and quizzes we include mean it can take longer. You can work at your own pace, and dip in and out of the course as often as you want, and go back to sections to really make sure you've understood. If you have any queries at all, you are very welcome to get in touch with the trainer as often as you want.

We set a 4 week deadline from the point you receive your enrolment information.  If you need longer though, you just need to let us know. The course covers:

What is news?
  • The classic definition
Remember the reader
  • What do they want from your news?
Spotting news
  • Looking for the classic news triggers
  • The 12 options
Find your angle
  • Making it work for your reader
The 5 Ws
  • What every news writer must remember
Gathering information
  • Getting your stories
  • Thinking about sources
Building a story
  • Checking facts
  • Verifying
  • What to always check
Planning: the key to success
  • Your 6-point planning guide
Writing the story
  • Getting first things first
  • Grabbing your reader's attention
  • Prioritising your information
  • Using the inverted pyramid
  • How this works online
  • Your intro options
Back it up
  • Delivering what you've promised
  • Making your points logically
  • Drawing your reader through the story
  • Using key words
  • Linking
  • Avoiding mechanical words and phrases
  • Using quotes to keep the reader reading
  • Keeping it tight
  • Using active verbs

This course is packed with interactive exercises that will check your understanding of writing a news story and making it work for your audience.

There are handy tips and checklists at key stages of the course.  These cover vital topics including:

  • The classic news triggers
  • What you must always remember
  • Examples from print and digital sources
  • Planning

and many more.

Margaret Coffey is a journalist, trainer and founding-director of ContentETC. As a trainer she works with major UK media owners and other organisations to design and deliver programmes to improve the performance of writers across all media channels. For 30 years she has written about business and technology for US and UK publications and websites, including BusinessWeek, The Independent, The Financial Times and many others. Margaret's recent clients include Bauer Media, Immediate Media, the University of Strathclyde, the Museum of London, Tekdata Interconnections and the National Bank of Kuwait Capital.

The beauty of e-learning is that you can do it at a time and place to suit you. But you won't be alone! Margaret will talk you through the key points to improve your skills and knowledge, and at any time during your e-learning course, you can email her with any queries or comments.

Margaret can also give you invaluable one-to-one feedback on your own work. If you buy the trainer feedback option, after the course she will ask you to email her a news story that you have written. She will supply you with individual guidance, comments and practical suggestions. Then, once you've improved your work, she will review your revised content and provide a second set of comments. This unique feedback really brings your e-learning to life and makes sure you have truly grasped - and applied - all of the key principles.

If you would like to receive a Certificate when you have completed your e-learning course, please just let us know and we will arrange for one to be sent to you.

News writing is £105 + tax per user * which gives you full unlimited access to the course for one month. If you need longer though, you just need to let us know.

If you want to add personal one-to-one trainer feedback to the course, the price is £155 + tax.

* Discounted rates of up to 70% are available for multiple users. The discount applies to this course or a mix of e-learning courses. We will give you an immediate 10% discount off your second course if you book with us again.