Public Interest Journalism

Public Interest Journalism

Public Interest Journalism


Are you a writer? Are you passionate about finding the truth? 

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. 

About the Course 

You will work with world-renowned, award-winning investigative journalist, Janet Anderson and other leading journalists in their fields, to hone your skills in:

  • Efficient and accurate research
  • Identifying issues of governance 
  • Establishing misuse of power 
  • Story structure and writing 

Course details

This is a three-week online course spread over four weeks

This course takes place online. 

Academic Year: 2020 - 2021
Course fee: € 5700,-

Public Interest Journalism 1


  • Learning essential methods and techniques required to research, cross-check, and structure stories to reveal authentic information
  • Learn to utilize unique media formats to present in-depth stories that make an impact on public awareness 
  • Understanding a journalist’s role in maintaining good governance and democratic principles, for the benefit of humanity. 
  • Learning how to protect your data and stay safe online as well 
  • Developing  your emotional and mental resiliency
  • Exploring how to implement investigative journalism in small newsrooms
  • Developing your writing ability to translate your scoop into a story that appeals to your audience

For more information contact i[email protected]

This course is for experienced broadcast, print and/or online journalists and reporters who are keen to expand their knowledge of practical public interest journalism methods and techniques, enabling them to uncover and tell original stories that can have huge impact. To study Public Interest Journalism, you need to have a challenging mind that says ‘No’ to fake news and yes to the truth. 

The course teaches you investigative methods so that you can identify and uncover compelling stories on critical issues and present them in a powerful way. Discover how to research and structure compelling stories and return home with a fully researched investigative plan.

Public Interest Journalism 3
Seasoned international journalists

Seasoned international journalists

RNTC’s pool of trainers includes the best of the best; inspiring, seasoned international journalists with a wealth of experience in different kinds of new media on various platforms. They have worked with renowned  organisations like the BBC, CBC, MTV, and RNW Media (formerly Radio Netherlands Worldwide). Using their expertise and skills, they nurture and develop your existing knowledge and skills, taking them to the next level, for truly great public interest journalism.

Upon graduation

Upon graduation

You’ll have mastered investigative journalism methods, approaches, and techniques that are vital to every broadcast, print, or online journalist. You will know how to uncover and tell original public interest stories and deliver them with real impact.

Identify and investigate potential stories

Identify and investigate potential stories

After the course, you will be able to identify, investigate and structure potential stories and combine them with creative media formats for various platforms. 

Essential journalistic principles

Essential journalistic principles

You will have the confidence to uphold essential journalistic principles and hold businesses, governments and corrupt individuals  accountable for their actions, in order to contribute to the development of a healthy society.

This course is for experienced broadcast, print and/or online journalists and reporters who are looking to expand their field of expertise into practical investigative journalism methods, and take their skills to the next level.

This hands-on investigative journalism course aims to:

  • Inspire you with real-life case studies
  • Instil confidence in you to dig deeper
  • Provide you with the essential knowledge and tools for an impactful and enduring career in investigative journalism
  • Help you structure and schedule your revelations to hit hard at practices which have previously gone unreported
  • Help you tell original, true stories that may change society for the better


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 payoffs
  • 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 practise 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 such as Excel 
  • 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.


In the final  week, participants will work on their in-depth core project on the subject of governance, accountability and corruption.

Course dates: 7 June – 2 July 2021
MSP & OKP Scholarship application window: open from 2 -29 December 2020

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • You are currently working as a journalist and have a minimum of three years' experience in or for a media organisation.
  • Provide the original proof (or a properly certified copy) of your most recent educational qualification, in secondary or higher education.
  • Have sufficient skills in spoken and written English as this is the working language for our courses.  

After you have completed all the course sessions and assignments, you will receive an RNTC certificate and join the ranks of more than 6000 RNTC alumni worldwide.

Do you  qualify for a scholarship for an RNTC course? The most commonly awarded scholarships for our courses are the OKP and MSP (MENA) scholarships. 

For more information, please visit our scholarships page:

Everywhere you want

RNTC Media Training Centre trains journalists, social activists, programme-makers, media and communications professionals worldwide in achieving social change through media.


Next to our open courses, we also provide tailor-made trainings for individuals and organisations. RNTC prides itself on being innovative in both subject matter and method of delivery.

50+ years, 6000+ students

RNTC is the internationally renowned training centre of RNW Media. Over the past 50 years, RNTC has gained invaluable expertise in delivering courses to media professionals around the world.

Are you ready to take your career to the next level?