Modules and Exercises for Journalism Training

While on-the-job training is an integrated part of our everyday work at IWPR, we also run a wide variety of formal courses to met the needs of journalists at all stages of their careers.

A module is an individual course of learning. Some last for an hour; others take a couple of days. In every case, the focus is on one particular theme. Each of IWPR's training and staff development modules works as a coherent mini-course. The modules will normally be mixed and matched to create an overall workshop, tailored specifically to the needs of the authors, editors and special guests involved. Every country and every region presents its own challenges, and this is taken into account in the planning of every workshop.

The following modules and exercises are prepared for use in our workshops and seminars.

Note: If you are not working with IWPR, please contact us to request permission for the use of these copyrighted materials.

Training guidelines

This narrative training module is an overview manual for journalism trainers, including: planning a training programme, identifying your audience and their needs, running a workshop, classroom management, and other practical details. These guidelines are an essential part of our effort to "train the trainers" in the regions where we work.

English, Russian, Serbian



International Journalism. Values of international journalism and the expectations of international readers.

a)International standards. Links to Word docs:
Albanian, Bosnian, English, Farsi (pdf), Russian, Serbian

b) Article styles and structures: Links to lecturer's notes:
Albanian, Bosnian, English, Farsi(as four part pdf: styles overview, structure overview, part I, part II), Russian, Serbian

Basic, one-page outline of a news analysis article:
Albanian, English, Russian, Serbian

Outlining your story. Designed to develop structure in article-writing, a narrative training module describes how to write an outline before writing the article.

Story selection. Who are the international readers and what are they looking for in news articles?
English, Russian

The Editing Process. IWPR edits hard, but working with the original author is key at all times.

IWPR's editing procedures and our reasoning outlined:
Albanian, English, Russian, Serbian

Sourcing and interviews. Valid sources and unacceptable sources and interview techniques. Outline:
Albanian, English, Russian, Serbian

Writers' guidelines. An overview for writers and trainee journalists aiming to write for IWPR:
English, Russian Also: special guidelines for Afghanistan

Building a story. This module is a group brainstorm and roleplay, following a story from initial idea to final publication. Participants play the parts of authors, editors and sources.

Physical security. Our advice for journalists in war zones and in other difficult situations. We talk about proper prior planning and the preparing for the worst, and beyond…



English libel law for journalists. This explanation of English civil libel law is aimed at IWPR trainers and editors to help them understand the basics of the legal system in which we publish our material. This guide presents a practical step-by-step process to assist IWPR writers and editors when assessing a text for potential libel.
Albanian, English, Macedonian, Russian, Serbian

Journalistic research on the Internet. What resources are out there and in what languages? And how do you know what online information is reliable?
English, Russian

Web security. A look at what journalists can do to protect their own privacy and the privacy of their sources while working online.
English, Russian Also see: paper on this subject

Combatting minority stereotypes. This module is designed for minority-focused NGOs and journalists covering minority issues, offering guidelines for developing a media strategy for the former and sensitivity training for the latter.


Reporting Genres

Feature writing. Handbook for those wishing to write international-standard feature-style articles.
English, Russian

Investigative reporting. How to prepare, plan and produce an investigative story.
Albanian, English, Russian, Serbian

Human rights reporting. Background and resources for journalists covering human rights issues and matters concerning international humanitarian law. It also provides practical guidelines for journalists investigating human rights abuses.
English: History, current frameworks, practical tips for journalists and online resources.
Russian: History, current frameworks, practical tips for journalists and online resources.

Online journalism. The presentation outline for a short introduction to online journalism, covering: writing and editing for the internet and looking at how the boom-bust of the 1990s can serve as a lesson to those who produce online journalism today.
English Also see: article for class debate

Peace reporting. The world has many examples of the media being used in a conflict to fan the flames of violence, but only a few where the media actually assisted the development of peace.
English Also see: participants handout ;and an article on the media in Macedonia that can be presented with this material

Economics journalism. Basic materials covering the fundamentals of economics journalism, including an overview of development issues.
Lecture notes for a brief presentation in English
Glossary of economic and development terms in English


Exercises and Case Studies

International Journalism.

Sourcing and interviews:
Four step exercise:

Exercise to address the issue of conflicting information from multiple sources:
Available in Russian, and trainer's notes in English