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Citizen Reporting Certificate Program is a Course

Citizen Reporting Certificate Program

Time limit: 126 days

Spots remaining: 15

$2,500 Enroll

Full course description

3-7 Hours Weekly

Registration Opens 2/12/24
Classes Start 4/1/24


Noncredit Certificate
of Completion

Program Overview

This nine-course certificate program introduces amateur citizens to the basic tenets of journalism to better prepare them for identifying local news, creating content, and sharing it with the people around them, in a financially rewarding way. The Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University in Downtown, Pittsburgh, owns and delivers the program, which has been developed in partnership with Neighborhood News Network and Trib Total Media.

Successful graduates of this program will enhance, but not replace, local reporting in communities by expanding the reach of existing local newsrooms and filling gaps in places known as “news deserts.” By engaging the public in content creation, the Citizen Reporting Academy seeks to empower the people who used to be the audience while expanding the diversity of voices and perspectives that contribute to local news coverage

Program & Course Structure

Students who enroll in the Academy will learn the fundamentals of journalistic practices by proceeding through nine courses that lead to a certificate in citizen reporting. The courses run asynchronously over a period of two weeks and require a time investment of three-to-seven hours per week, depending on the student’s pace. The nine courses are:

  1. Introduction to Citizen Reporting
  2. Community Reporting
  3. Media Literacy
  4. Media Ethics & the Law
  5. Social Media
  6. Monetizing & Marketing
  7. Interviewing
  8. Freedom of Information
  9. Multimedia Storytelling

During each course, a live instructor will assess the student’s progress and provide feedback on publishable content. Successful students who complete each pass/fail course will receive a virtual badge, and students who complete all nine courses will earn a virtual certificate. Every course will result in publishable content.

Learning Outcomes

Courses will cover topics such as media literacy, reporting, content creation, access to public records, legal and ethical frameworks, marketing, and monetization. The program objectives are for students to:

  • Demonstrate effective communication skills for a variety of audiences.
  • Implement journalistic practices and ethics in content delivery.
  • Identify avenues to build audience by marketing and monetizing their work.
  • Understand and interact with the Neighborhood News Network publishing platform.

Scholarship Information

TribLIVE Local is supporting the program and the local communities by granting 6 scholarships of up to $2500, the full amount of tuition, for the Citizen Reporting Academy. To apply for a scholarship, please complete their application form. If you are selected, you will then be provided a code to register with.

Scholarships are limited, so apply early. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Applicants will be notified of their application status on or before the program start.

Program Requirements

For the Citizen Reporting Academy, all participants must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Have reliable internet and computer access.
  • Access to a word processing system (Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or LibreOffice) to create articles.
  • Utilize their personal phone, tablet, or laptop to record video, audio, or photographs. Ownership or access to professional video, audio, and photography equipment is not required.

Refund Policy

Students who register for a course, but do not open the course or begin any course-work, are eligible for a refund at the discretion of the department offering the course. Those seeking a refund must contact the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at SCPS@PointPark.Edu to begin the process.

If your request complies with the cancellation policy, a refund will be issued by check and mailed to your billing address.

Contact Information

All questions regarding the program should be sent to the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at SCPS@PointPark.Edu