January 8, 2010

Students finish new online course in Spanish on digital tools for journalists

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin offered a new Spanish-language online course “Digital Tools for Journalists” by Sandra Crucianelli. Journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean could apply until Dec. 22, and the selected group attended the course from Jan. 11 to Feb. 21, 2010.

Crucianelli, an Argentine journalist and journalism instructor, recently completed the e-book “Digital Tools for Journalists,” which will be published in January by the Knight Center. Crucianelli’s book, which explains digital platforms in a variety of contexts, will be used as a central reference for this new course.

The course is free of charge, and spaces are limited. Preference was given to journalists who have three to five years of experience in print or electronic media, use the Internet and digital tools daily at work, and have limited opportunities to attend professional development courses.

Objectives of the course include:

  • Learn advanced techniques of online investigation
  • Become familiar with official national databases
  • Learn to use new digital tools of the Web 2.0
  • Acquire new techniques for Internet access and specialized software
  • Learn to use government websites as sources, especially documents related to public budgets.

Requirements to participate include:

  • No previous participation in the course “Advanced Tools for Investigative Journalism”
  • Basic knowledge of common software: Office, WinZip, Adobe Acrobat, and Explorer or another Internet browser
  • Access to a computer with cable modem or high bandwidth
  • Use of Internet and digital tools on a daily basis at work
  • Ability to read English (medium level)
  • A commitment of 10-15 hours a week, and no concurrent participation in any other Knight Center class
  • Possession or creation of a Gmail and Yahoo account.

The course is conducted entirely online and is divided into weekly modules that contain audio and PowerPoint lectures, theoretical background, and useful online resources. Weekly exercises will be performed through discussion forums, and a final exam will take place the last week of the class. Participants may study at their own pace, according to their own schedules, but they will be expected to meet weekly deadlines.

Applications were accepted online until Dec. 22 by 5:00 P.M. (Austin, Texas time). Those who were selected were notified the week of Jan 4. Journalists who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of participation from the Knight Center.

Crucianelli is a nationally and internationally known journalist and instructor who has taught her online courses with the Center since 2004 as part of the Knight Center’s distance education program.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas was created by Professor Rosental Calmon Alves at the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism in August 2002 thanks to a generous donation from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.