News writing seminars

Exeter Observer provides free news writing seminars to help potential contributors quickly develop core journalism skills.

These are in addition to the community journalism courses that help potential contributors learn skills and gain confidence 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.

Two day seminar

The intensive two day seminar provides a comprehensive introduction to news writing. It covers everything required to enable participants to produce publication quality news stories without any prior experience.

Each seminar is delivered across two full days in small group sessions which involve tuition, discussion and practical exercises. They are designed to enable participants to learn together, working in the round or pairs.

The seminar is supported by comprehensive resources which include notes and readings. Written assignments include a news brief and a news story.

Individual support

Each seminar participant receives two individual tutorials, one following each seminar. These can be used to review assignments in detail, recap seminar content and discuss ongoing involvement.

Support is also provided following seminar 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.


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.


Participants are expected to attend both sessions and to complete all assignments.

They are also expected to become regular Exeter Observer contributors following the seminar. We are happy to accommodate personal circumstances, which we will discuss on application, but are ideally seeking a commitment of around one day a week.

If you would prefer to consider a more comprehensive six week course you might instead like to consider applying for a place on an Exeter Observer community journalism training course, which covers everything required to enable participants to produce publication quality content without any prior experience.

How to apply

The next seminar 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.

Seminar content

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