Working together to transform journalism training

Ignoring vowels, removing connecting letters and recording up to 150 words a minute. It’s not the latest algorithmic advance, but instead something many U.K. journalists will recognise as Teeline: a shorthand transcribing skill which forms part of a formal journalism qualification.

Two decades ago, as a journalism student in London, I was taught the importance of law, ethics and editorial values, as well as the technical skills required to be a journalist. While the fundamentals of journalism may not have altered since, it’s clear technology has radically changed how journalists work, not to mention the changing habits of their audiences.

Alongside the shifting landscape, we’re announcing our support for the  Journalism Skills Academy (JSA): an e-learning platform from the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). This will help digitally transform the way they provide assessments, qualifications and workshops, while also helping how they overhaul their approach to learning and education. 

NCTJ’s CEO, Joanne Butcher, says the new platform means distance learners no longer need to receive materials in the post, but instead can access them with a few mouse clicks. “It’s the latest move to ensure our work remains compelling, relevant and innovative,” she says. The organisation plans to develop a range of new courses and resources over the next 18 months. 

The Journalism Skills Academy website

The Journalism Skills Academy website

In addition, for the fifth consecutive year, we’re also supporting the Journalism Diversity Fund to help the next generation of journalists. As lead sponsor of the fund, we join 20 associations, broadcasters and publishers to provide bursaries to people from underrepresented backgrounds who need help funding their NCTJ journalism training. 

Joanne says the NCTJ is “absolutely delighted that we will be able to strengthen further the relationship between our organisations in the years ahead, as we grow these key areas of the NCTJ’s work.”

A group of people in professional attire stand in front of a wall with several Reuters logos.

Recipients of the Journalism Diversity Fund attending an event in London.

Training never stops when you become a qualified journalist. For a second year, the Google News Initiative is supporting the University of Central Lancashire to deliver the Journalism Innovation & Leadership Programme to provide postgraduate training opportunities for mid-career journalists from the U.K. and abroad.

Academics will select experienced journalists who apply to take part in an intensive 30-week course seeking to develop leadership, operational and product thinking skills, helping to connect people and build lasting relationships across the industry. The curriculum is grounded in industry insights tracking emerging trends and relevant themes. 

“It's perhaps never been more critical for those committed to the sustainability of journalism to take time out of the newsroom to think and learn from others as they assess new opportunities and ways of working,” says Dr François Gilson from UCLan. 

At the Google News Lab, we provide online resources on a range of digital tools, and in recent years we’ve trained 14,000 U.K. journalists and journalism students. We’re continuing to work with partners around the world, to find new ways to support personal development, both for staff journalists and freelancers.