Public Interest Journalism is about delivering powerful stories that have an impact on society, with the sole objective of exposing the truth – think Panama Papers.
Predominantly used to expose abuse of power in government, corporate corruption and social injustices, it’s an integral form of communication that relays uncomfortable yet vital truths to the public, while putting pressure on those in power.
We believe in “learning by doing” and take a practical, hands-on approach to training. We start the course with several small group interactive sessions and workshops, to ease the class into interacting with each other.
Module 1: Know your target audience
▪ Where do ideas come from?
▪ How to zero in on an audience
▪ Mapping your target audience
▪ Influencers, agreed realities, and emotional pay-offs
▪ Using mapping to discover target audiences
▪ Using social media for insights
▪ Developing target audience statements
▪ Pitching target audiences
Module 2: Persuade your target audience
▪ What is learning and why this is important to understanding audiences?
▪ How do people learn? Information, skills, and behaviours
▪ The ingredients of persuasive aims
▪ Why you need different credible sources
▪ Why you should craft emotional appeals
▪ The benefits of formulating a logical approach
▪ Investigating examples – persuading target audiences
▪ Applying persuasion to your own context
Module 3: Storytelling for media professionals
▪ Narrative journalism versus information journalism
▪ The eight essential elements of story
▪ Symbols and universal truths
▪ Studying real examples illustrating the eight essential elements of story
▪ Story detective sessions: develop your own story
▪ The micro story: story in a tweet
▪ Create characters to engage audiences
▪ The importance of character: identifying people like us
▪ The types and tropes of drama characters
▪ Character histories and how to craft them
▪ Hero journeys and creating powerful character growth
Module 4: Creative formats to engage audiences
▪ How do we tell stories using media?
▪ Ten engaging formats and what makes them unique
▪ Which formats are good for conveying information versus conveying emotions?
▪ Types of formats and the ideas box
▪ Combining ideas creatively
▪ The 3 Act Structure and the 5 Act Structure
▪ Investigating formats: interviewing
▪ Investigating formats: the discussion
▪ Practice: engaging audiences with the discussion format
Participants will further:
▪ Receive training in basic audio using zoom recorders and popular audio editing software for radio or podcasting
▪ Practice “interviewing for storytelling and Investigation”
▪ Analyse successful investigations with experienced and award-winning investigative journalists as guest speakers
In the second week, we practice using in-depth skills such as:
▪ Core tools for investigations: hypotheses, timelines, and source maps
▪ Structuring your story’s “Masterfile”
▪ Learning-by-doing: combining all learned techniques to prepare an in-depth core project for further investigation back home
▪ Data journalism essentials: Excel and R
▪ The Story-based approach
All final project work is subject to group critiques. In doing so, we can ensures that your final project is clear, concise, and will achieve maximum impact.