[Editors note: As it is always a good idea to study something new, we are updating an article that was initially posted in early 2020]

Online education is gaining popularity as the COVID-19 pandemic forces countries all over the world into quarantine. Even commercial content providers have opened access to their online courses to support preventive measures that encourage people to #StayHome.    

Online learning is a great way to acquire new skills and open the door to career advancement all from the comfort of your couch. With that in mind, The Fix has put together this list of five courses for media managers, editors and journalists. 

The Principles of Media Company Management

The first step in running a successful enterprise is learning the key principles of the business industry you want to work in. This online course is an overview of those for the media sector.  

This free online course is developed by Open Media Hub, Thomson Foundation’s media development project and part of the European Union’s OPEN Neighbourhood Program.

Taught by Eamonn Byrne, the senior director of The Byrne Partners Ltd, a UK based media development and consultancy company, the classes focus on managing a sustainable and profitable media business by providing  the fundamental tools, concepts, and ideas for media business management.

As the course goes on, you will learn how to define realistic business objectives and prepare a detailed business plan. You will also work through ideas for running an efficient media organization, given the varying conditions of different media markets and the financial challenges in operating independently while producing high-quality content. 

The program’s content is based on real-life media cases from all over the world.  

Duration: 4-9 hrs approx.

Price: free

Course program:

  • Introduction
  • Realistic Business Plans and Objectives
  • The Cycle of Performance
  • Structure
  • Clarity and Accountability
  • Performance
  • Response and Reward

Business planning for small media companies

If you are running a media startup, this online course is for you. The program goes in-depth into the development of a realistic business plan — we definitely wouldn’t advise you to start a business without one!

The course goes into what a business plan is, gives relevant reasons for why you need one and what makes it good. Participants will learn about business plan structure — the main sections and ideas to be covered in a realistic business plan and how to customize the best business planning practices for the needs of your particular company. 

Duration: 6-8 hrs approx.

Price: free

Course program:

  • Module 1 Business Plan Basics
  • Module 2 Writing a Business Plan
  • Module 3 Pitfalls, Hints, Resources

Effectively delivering the news to your audience

This is a joint project of Coursera, the world’s most popular online education platform, and  Michigan State University’s academic program, focused on news packaging and the utilization of various media formats.

The course provides detailed explanations on how to work with information (including the basics), plan reporting and report news in different formats. 

During this 5-week course participants will learn about key steps in news reporting, different news writing techniques, various forms for news production and how to serve different news reports to particular audiences. 

You can listen to the course classes for free, but for getting the certificate and access to assignments and feedback, participants should pay $49 USD per month. 

The course is highly recommended to j-school students and those just discovering the world of journalism. 

Duration: 9 hrs approx.

Price: Free audition. 

Course program: 

  • Earning and keeping trust
  • Preparing your news report
  • More than words
  • Keeping the news conversation going

More from The Fix: Future of media education: innovating both format and content

Digital Transition in the Newsroom

As the media industry goes digital, traditional media continue to face major transformation challenges: How to run a digital newsroom? How to interact with the audience? How to write news for an online audience?

These and many other questions are the focus of this online course produced by Open Media Hub.

Taught by Gilles Trenel, an award-winning TV director, editor and manager with vast experience at top media organizations around the world, this course will provide an overview of ideas for the digital (r)evolution in the newsroom.

As you probably already understand, the key focus of the course is change. 

The discussion starts with changes in editorial content and audience interaction and continues with tools and methods for in-depth transformation in organizational structure and skills. Then you’ll move on to creating your own business model and transformation solution, suitable for the pace of your media business. 

Duration: 4-6 hrs approx.

Price: free 

Course program:

  • Module 1 – (R)Evolution in the Newsroom
  • Module 2 – Editorial development
  • Module 3 – Structural Development
  • Module 4 – The First Step

Maximising Revenue in Print and Online News Media

This is another course helping legacy media transform and adapt to digital reality. The course highlights the tremendous shift in media consumption patterns and provides an overview of modern business models for media. 

Veselin Vachkov, director of Lidové Noviny, the oldest Czech newspaper, and the author of the course, says in the introduction: “Strong old media brands can not only survive but also successfully transform themselves into multimedia operations.” However, to be successfully transformed media organizations need to have realistic business objectives and sustainable sources of revenue. 

This course comprises the main sources of revenue for print and digital media including standard and modern approaches. Here you’ll find a practical analysis of the print advertisement and circulation revenue model as well as business models based on sponsored content, paywalls, memberships, donations, and subscriptions. 

The course is recommended for mid-level and senior editors and managers with experience in print and online media.

Duration: 6-8 hrs approx.

Price: free

Course program:

  • Module 1 – Print Revenue
  • Module 2 – Brand Diversification
  • Module 3 – Online Revenue: Advertising
  • Module 4 – Online Revenue: Paid Content

Introduction to Machine Learning for Journalists

This free online course, designed by Journalism AI in collaboration with VRT News and the support of Google News Initiative will introduce examples of application of machine learning in journalism: it will help to understand what machine learning is and how it can improve the work of your newsroom, its planning and expansion. 

Hosted on the Google News Initiative Training Center, it consists of 7 modules. Each of the modules can be explored independently.

Duration: 49 minutes

Price: free

Course program:

  • Machine learning, journalism and you,
  • Is machine learning the same as AI,
  • Different approaches to machine learning,
  • How you can use machine learning,
  • How does the machine learn,
  • Bias in machine learning,
  • Looking ahead to ML-powered journalism

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