Association of Caribbean Mediaworkers

January 24, 2013

Knight Center hosts online course series with Association of Caribbean Media Workers

In the next few months, the Knight Center will be hosting in collaboration with the Association of Caribbean Media Workers, three online courses for journalists on feature writing, ethics and news radio production.

All three online courses will be offered in English and taught by expert journalists from the Caribbean. The first course, “Feature Writing,” will be offered from February 18-March 17 and taught by Amitabh Sharma. The second course, “An Introduction to Ethics,” will be offered for three weeks from February 25-March 17 and taught by Kayode James. The third course, “How To Be a Good Radio Producer,” will be offered for four weeks from April 8-May 5 and will be taught by Elizabeth Bennett Marsh.

Students can now apply for the first course on “Feature Writing.” Journalists can apply to this course until February 7, by 5 p.m. (Austin, Texas time). More details about the course can be found here.

Amitabh Sharma.

The first course, “Feature Writing” will be offered from February 18-March 17 and will be taught by Amitabh Sharma. Sharma is a media professional and consultant of communication. He has over 19 years of experience as an editor, writer, teacher, trainer and consultant in communication. He is a copy editor, writer and features coordinator at Jamaica’s largest daily The Gleaner, based in Kingston Jamaica. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus where he teaches Feature Writing.

In this course, participants will learn the skills of writing effective features, how to give features a fresh look, and how to write in-depth and detailed stories that bring out the humane factor in any subject area they choose to write. The course will stimulate participants to look beyond the obvious, identify, develop and write about the numerous stories unfolding around them daily.

According to Sharma, feature writing is an important skill now more than ever.

“Feature stories have gained relevance with the changing population demographics, and the readers’ desire to be connected with the stories that unfold on a one-to-one basis,” Sharma said.

“Feature writers, as factual storytellers, bring out these very nuances, enhance the key elements and present it to the readers. From initiatives in communities to alleviate poverty and make a difference in society, to the latest trends in fashion and cuisine, the feature stories capture and encapsulate the story from a personal and human point of view.”

Students can now apply for the first course on “Feature Writing.” Journalists can apply to this course until February 7, by 5 p.m. (Austin, Texas time). More details about the course can be found here.

Students who are selected into the Feature Writing, and Good Radio Producer, courses will pay a fee of US$100 for each. If the student is a member of ACM, they will pay US$70 for each course. The fee for the Introduction to Ethics course is US$45 for ACM members and non-members.

This course is open to media professionals from all media industries and backgrounds, from journalists to public relations professionals. The course is ideal for young professionals, with five to seven years of experience.

This online course is divided into weekly modules containing multimedia presentations and links to online resources. Most of the course activities can be followed in the days and times most appropriate for each student. Exercises, online discussions and additional assignments will also be part of the curriculum. Participants can expect to spend 6-10 hours per week on the course.

The course will be taught using the Knight Center’s distance learning platform that has benefited more than 7,000 journalists from Latin American and the Caribbean, since it was created in the fall of 2003. On completion of the course persons will receive a joint Knight Center/ACM certificate of participation.

“We hope media and communications professionals in the region will take full advantage of these continuing education opportunities to improve their skills,” says Byron Buckley, ACM Vice President with responsibility for training.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas was created in 2002 by Professor Rosental Alves at the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism, thanks to a generous donation from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Center also receives contributions from other donors, including the Open Society Foundations and The University of Texas at Austin. The Center’s main goal is to help journalists in Latin American and the Caribbean improve the quality of journalism in their countries.