By KELSEY PINAULT
If it weren’t for my CNJ 111 News Writing class in freshman year, I would have never learned about the website for Poynter’s News University. With one to two assignments a week in this class and my news reporting class the following semester, I quickly learned the importance of http://www.newsu.org.
The site has 22 pages of online courses to chose from, many of which are free or some that are worth $501. The courses range from seminars to tutorials and you can spend as much or as little time on each subject that you like.
Although I appreciate many sites that offer courses online, what makes this one stand out is the fact that it is specifically geared towards journalists, whether they be writers for The New York Times or a blogger on his or her free time. You can also focus on the field that interests you; all you have to do is type in the search bar for the courses, “broadcast” for instance, and the site will narrow down the courses that pertain to this subject only.
Another thing that makes this site stand out more than others is that the classes are actually fun. Rather than being a monotone voice speaking to you or lots of in depth and hard to focus on reading, NewsU uses fun and interactive ways to keep its students interested. I found that I didn’t mind doing the courses as much as I expected and was surprised by how much I learned.
Making an account with the website is simple. All you need is a username and password as well as some basic information about you (i.e., what your journalism experience is). After making your own username, the site will give you the option to view “My NewsU” in which you can view all the courses that you have done so far. In addition to access to all the free courses, have an account with Poynter also allows you to send an e-mail to anyone you like to show them how much time you have spent on each section of a course, and the work you’ve done.