Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A “Become a Community Journalist” course could lead to print or broadcast media. (Image: CCTV)

Cambridge Community Television and Cambridge Day will offer an in-person course called “Become a Community Journalist” over four hourlong sessions in October.

The class is described as a one-month boot camp that takes students from the basics of what journalism is to covering a simple local news story and seeing it published.

It is born, in part, out of an explicit interest in seeing more people reporting for Cambridge Day – covering municipal meetings and other issues and passing that information on to others by putting it into a permanent online archive. Another outcome could be reporting for CCTV itself via television or a podcast, or for other media outlets, organizers said.

The class may also be useful for people who want to know more about how the institutions of local government and media operate and interact, without going on to write and post for others to read or see.

The class arrives not long after the local print newsweekly, the Cambridge Chronicle, has lost its only full-time staffer for the second time in around seven months. Gannett, the corporate owners of the Chronicle, hasn’t said whether the paper will get replacement staff; with the arrival of September, its website was led by a story saying “pumpkin spice season has arrived in Massachusetts” above coverage of shopping in Brimfield, developments in Sudbury and Concord and a Gloucester schooner festival.

A course description on the CCTV website says this of the class:

Newspapers are shells of their former selves and irresponsible operators are taking advantage, calling whatever they dislike “fake news.” That makes the role of citizen journalists, who can fill some of these gaps, more important than ever. In this fast-moving course, students will get a grounding in the basics, watch how city government operates and learn how to write up some local news in a way that serves both democracy and their fellow citizens.

The four sessions are schedule to take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursdays in October. A registration form is here.