Credit: Photo by Yasmina H on Unsplash

Stuck inside with little to do? If you are a journalism student or fresh graduate, why not jump on an online masterclass or Zoom call with a media professional? After all, in the wake of the third UK national lockdown, more journalists are giving up their time to host online classes free of charge.

Journalism.co.uk has compiled a few choice picks, speaking to some of the hosts about the inspiration behind the classes and how to join amid booming interest in the sessions.

Breaking news, story finding and storytelling

A BBC journalist is hosting Zoom calls for journalism students this month who have had their university experienced disrupted by the pandemic.

Matt Graveling, senior journalist at BBC Six and Ten O’clock, is sharing tips and advice from his 15 years in the industry across three sessions, each an hour long.

"I realised I had a bit more spare time [during lockdown] that I wasn’t really using productively," he says.

"Seeing that university students and young people were not really getting the education they'd hoped they'd get, I just thought I can potentially kick-start a multiplier effect where I get people to sign up and do classes."

In each session, Graveling will be covering breaking news, story finding and storytelling. Each event is capped to 15 people as to keep the session interactive, but interest in the sessions has since exploded.

Due to the high demand, Graveling will try to re-run the sessions later in January for those who have missed out and is planning new ways to meet the level of need. Interested in joining? Contact him via Twitter to discuss availability.

Long-form writing, book deals and political journalism

Three free masterclasses are happening in January and February for beginner and intermediate level journalists.

These are organised by Helen Lewis, staff writer at the Atlantic and author of 'Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Flights' and will feature expert guests. After 670 people flocked to sign-up for the initial masterclass, Lewis decided to add two more classes. Dates as follows:

  • 'Long-form' on 18 January at 8pm GMT – joined by writers Ed Caesar (The New Yorker), Sophie Elmhirst (Guardian) and Oliver Franklin-Wallis (WIRED).

  • 'Political Journalism' on 8 February 8pm GMT – joined by editors Stephen Bush (New Statesman), Alan White (The Sunday Times) and journalist Hannah Al-Othman (Politics Home).

"One of the best parts of working in journalism is that other journalists are great company: smart, curious, provocative and insightful," Lewis says. "I also think it’s important to level the playing field as much as possible."

Sign-ups have been closed for the first session on long-form, however, Lewis is planning to record the sessions for those who cannot attend. There are still spaces for the other two sessions. Links to register can be found on the Twitter thread below and a link to join will be sent through email to join.

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Fashion writing, magazine editing, reviews

A popular series of magazine journalism masterclasses are returning in January, both for those wanting to break into this industry and those wanting to sharpen up their skills.

Terri White, editor-in-chief of Empire magazine, has been holding her ‘Making Magazine Magic’ masterclasses since November. Past sessions have focused on art direction, beauty writing and entertainment journalism featuring an industry guest, including journalists, designers and editors at Empire Magazine, Grazia UK, The Week Junior and The Sunday Times. More than 3,000 people tuned in to the sessions since November.

"I’m just happy that people have found them useful and it’s reminded me that the journalism and magazine community is a really great community," says White.

"I couldn’t afford a journalism course after university and got in through a job as a personal assistant. A lot of those junior jobs don’t exist anymore so I came up with the idea of free magazine and journalism classes."

In January, masterclasses will explore fashion writing, magazine editing and reviews with more ideas on the format being considered. Details about the next sessions are still to be confirmed, but will be announced through White's Twitter account.

Did we miss any off? Send us your free and upcoming masterclasses and sessions on Twitter @journalismnews

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