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11th July - 7th August 2021


According to the current covid-19 roadmap, all UK restrictions on large events such as ours will be lifted in June, making us confident that our 2021 Open Minds course will go ahead as planned.

This is subject to change in accordance with government guidelines. As such, we will be as flexible as possible should your plans change and will be offering full refunds, including the deposit, on any cancellations up until 30 June 2021. We will also do our best to help students to meet any further travel restrictions that may be in place for those travelling from abroad.

Journalism for Teenagers

Note this is only a guide, not a guarantee.

Journalism for Teenagers

Tutor: Tony Padman 
Weeks: 1

Course Details

If you want to write for your school newspaper or magazine, are thinking of studying journalism at university or considering a career in the media, then this course is for you. You will gain all the skills you need to report, write and edit news and features just like real journalists, along with a range of tips and tricks to get your stories into shape. Practical and fun, you will enjoy finding stories, interviewing people, attending the editor's meeting, writing up your stories to a deadline and seeing how newspapers and magazines are put together.

Course Notes


What is a day in the life of a journalist like? What makes a news story and news values? Who do you quote and what do you ask? How to avoid the mistakes journalists sometimes make? What does the sub-editor do and other important roles? How do you write introductions and structure you story?


How to develop your news report and contacts? How and where to find a news report and who do you speak to?What makes a great story that will appeal to editors and readers? Why do you use the inverted pyramid format for writing news? How do you make contacts? How do you write NIBs?


When to use alternative introductions? How to interview the public for news and maintaining balance with your quotes? How to edit your story to length? How to be selective with quotes? How to write to a deadline? How to use the correct language and grammar for news?


How hard differs from soft news? What is a feature and how can news become a feature? What are the most common types of features? How to write and structure your feature? What is the hook and how do you find it? Feature introductions. How to plan, prepare and research your feature?


How to interview people and get the best from? How the same feature can be written differently? Deciding what goes where in the feature and how to end the feature? What are the different types of features you can write? How and where to find news and features in your school?


Essential Equipment:

Bring a pen, notepad and (optional) a magazine or newspaper that you read or would like to write for.

Reading List

Piers Morgan The Insider (Ebury Press, 2005)

Jeremy Thompson Breaking News (Biteback, 2017)

Nick Davies Flat Earth News (Vintage, 2010)

Michael Wolff The Man Who Owns the News (Vintage, 2018)