Unique new course on the art of writing news analysis

Posted by Ewen MacAskill

You’re a journalist and news breaks that Pele, arguably the greatest footballer the world has ever known, has died. A colleague in your newsroom is assigned to write the story, whilst the news editor asks you to provide some news analysis about his legacy. What will you say and how will you write it?  

A unique new interactive training course called News Analysis: The art of storytelling from the Thomson Foundation will help you answer that question. It’s the third in our storytelling series from Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Ewen MacAskill and is packed with ideas to help you write incisive, illuminating and intelligent news analysis as well as clearly labelled and thought-through opinion pieces. 

The former editor-in-chief of Guardian Media, Alan Rusbridger, is among the top-level team explaining how and why your approach to storytelling needs to change when it comes to writing analysis. “I know the news, I heard that on the radio, but I need to know why this matters, he says. 

The course uses a mixture of scenarios and real-life stories where participants get to decide how it should be done. Multiple choice exercises are among the ways designed to help teach the skills and thought-processes needed for this kind of advanced storytelling.  


The responsibility angle includes a section on honesty, transparency and ethics and the importance of making sure the audience understands what they are reading. Whether it’s a news story, news analysis or an opinion piece you are writing, the course will direct you on ways to ensure the audience trusts what you are saying. As Thomson Foundation’s East Africa Programme Manager, Berna Namata explains in the course: “Your integrity is everything, so you have to be honest right from the start.” 

News Analysis: The art of storytelling follows the successful release of the first course, News Writing: The art of storytelling, and Ewen’s second course, Advanced writing: The art of storytelling. 

All three self-paced free courses are available now via the Thomson Foundation Journalism Now e-learning platform.  

Course 1:

News Writing: The art of storytelling


Course 2:

Advanced Writing: The art of storytelling


Course 3:

News Analysis: The art of storytelling

Explore all our e-learning courses

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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