News writing: The art of storytelling

Posted by Ewen MacAskill

Journalism is competitive. It can be a hard occupation to get into and it is just as hard to succeed in it. Thomson Foundation's new online course 'News writing: The art of storytelling' is designed to give you an edge.

The aim is to tackle the most fundamental skill of all, one that goes back almost as long as there have been people: how to tell a story, how to grab people’s attention, how to hold their attention. 

I have been a journalist for almost 50 years, almost half of them spent with the UK media group, The Guardian

I have covered almost everything – except, sadly, sport – and learned along the way many different ways to tell stories. 

I have learnt that there are definitely wrong ways to write stories but also lots of great ways to tell them.

What's in the course?

This online course is designed to teach journalists how to write news stories in an effective and engaging way using techniques employed by leading journalists from around the world.

It's in three parts. It starts by setting out how to write a basic news story and moves quickly on to explore ways of doing it better. The second part deals with advanced ways of writing news and the third, with writing analysis.

Course 1:

News Writing: The art of storytelling

Course 2:

Advanced Writing: The art of storytelling

Course 3:

Coming soon


The course experts

For this course, I have enlisted the help of top journalists from different parts the world to offer you tips and insights on news writing.


Alan Rusbridger

Alan is the former editor of The Guardian, editor of two books on journalism and a member of Facebook’s oversight board.

Janine Gibson

Janine is a London-based assistant editor of the Financial Times. She was previously editor of Buzzfeed UK and deputy editor of The Guardian.

Emmanuel Dogbevi

Emmanuel is an Accra-based investigative journalist. He is founder of NewsBridge Africa and of Ghana Business News.

Christine Mungai

Christine is a Nairobi-based journalist at Baraza Media Lab, a media based collaboration initiative. Her work has been featured on CNN, Al Jazeera and the Boston Globe.


Ewen MacAskill

Ewen MacAskill

Investigative journalism

Ewen MacAskill is a Pulitzer Prize-winning former defence and intelligence correspondent for The Guardian who acts as a mentor for Thomson Foundation trainees.

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