Community journalism courses

Exeter Observer offers free community journalism courses to help potential contributors learn skills and gain confidence.

These are in addition to the news writing seminars that help potential contributors quickly develop core journalism skills and key topic workshops which cover specific local, subregional and regional public interest issues to help contributors better understand policy and practice in and around Exeter.

Six week course

The intensive six week course provides a comprehensive introduction to public interest community journalism in the Exeter context. It covers everything required to enable participants to produce publication quality content without any prior experience.

Each course is comprised of six weekly three hour small group sessions which involve tuition, discussion and practical exercises. They are designed to enable participants to learn together, working in the round and in small groups or pairs.

The course is supported by comprehensive resources which include notes, readings and film recommendations. Written assignments include a news report and a feature article.

Individual support

Each course participant receives two individual tutorials, one after week four and another after week six. These are arranged outside scheduled course time and can be used to review assignments in detail, recap course content and discuss ongoing involvement.

Support is also provided following course completion to help participants fulfil their potential as contributors.

This could include becoming more involved in editorial and production processes, including the planned print launch, as well as writing articles for publication. We also hold regular team socials.

Eligibility

You do not need any special qualifications or previous experience of writing or journalism to participate.

If you are interested in holding wealth, power and influence to account and are prepared to put time into investigating and reporting on issues that matter to local communities then we’d like to hear from you.

You can find out more about our editorial values and perspective on our about pages.

We are looking for people who care about Exeter and the people who live and work here, who possess good basic literacy skills and who live in or near the city.

Active local network connections or local or sectoral insight or expertise would be a bonus.

We are also interested in applications from people with photography, film and social media skills: good journalism needs much more than words alone.

Commitment

Participants are expected to attend all six sessions and to complete all coursework and assignments. This is likely to take around eight hours each week, including session time.

They are also expected to make regular contributions to Exeter Observer after completing the course. We are happy to accommodate personal circumstances, which we will discuss on application, but are seeking commitment of eight hours a week for eighteen weeks or more.

If you are unable to commit to a six week course you might instead like to consider applying for a place on an Exeter Observer news writing seminar, which is designed to help potential contributors quickly develop core journalism skills across two full days.

How to apply

The next course will be announced soon.

Please get in touch to express your interest in a place, including a few details about yourself and why you want to get involved.

There’s no need to send a CV: we prefer to meet for a chat to check we’re on the same page.

Course content

Recent stories
Exeter City Futures Blueprint for a Carbon Neutral Exeter by 2030 graphic

Opinion  /  Climate & environment

Is Exeter finally responding to the climate emergency?

A surge of activity about action to combat climate change is taking place in Exeter, including the publication of a carbon neutral blueprint pending a "mobilisation summit", but detail and evidence is still missing and community engagement is falling short of debate.

Read more ...

Exeter Youth Strike 4 Climate banners on Western Way footbridge

News  /  Climate & environment

Exeter climate strike anniversary march brings junction to standstill

Protestors form human chain around County Hall to highlight Devon County Council's role as key regional climate policy decision-maker after Exeter City Council confiscates banners promoting carbon neutral blueprint policies.

Read more ...

Exeter Paris Street construction site on which Roman remains were found

Analysis  /  Planning & place

Echoes of Exeter's Roman past reveal risks to city's future vision

The unexpected discovery of Roman remains on Exeter's bus station redevelopment site suggests significant risks may also exist for the adjacent Citypoint regeneration scheme.

Read more ...

Jubilee Beauty - Exeter Central library chidren's area rocking horse

News  /  Community & society

Exeter library children's horse to keep on rocking!

A crowdfunding appeal has successfully raised £1000 to repair Exeter Central library's popular rocking horse, Jubilee Beauty.

Read more ...

Exeter net zero carbon housing pilot project in Chestnut Avenue in Wonford

Analysis  /  Planning & place

Exeter net zero housing revolution takes root in Chestnut Avenue

Exeter City Council is taking exploratory steps from talking about a zero carbon future to delivering one with a pilot housing project in Wonford.

Read more ...