Five online resources for student journalists

online, journalism, resource, students, Cameron Ridgway, Kettle Mag
Written by Cameron Ridgway

Whether you're in student media or studying journalism as a degree, the internet offers a wealth of resources that can be used to improve your journalistic skillset and make life easier when researching articles. Here we recommend 5 you may want to make use of.

Facebook’s new online courses

Facebook recently launched a brand new set of free online courses for journalists on its training platform. Modules available include how to make the best journalistic use of Facebook and Instagram as well as more specialised courses on tools such as Facebook Live and 360 degree video. Although the service has just launched, it is set to expand further over the next few weeks and launch online webinars in addition to the e learning courses.

BBC Academy

Used as an internal training source by the BBC, its Academy website is also available for the public to use free of charge and contains a wide range of resources for journalists developed by both experts and prominent BBC staffers.

Specific information on media law and writing style is useful for print, broadcast and online yet there is also dedicated information on presenting, filming and writing for every discipline that the BBC covers. Resources can be easily searched and are divided into both skills and more general topic areas (such as law and getting a job in media).


An advanced online search tool for Twitter, TWXplorer lets you search for text strings and narrow them down by time, data and several other criteria – handy if you are looking for reaction to a particular time or event or need to find historical tweets, which isn’t always easy using the search engine provided by the web version of Twitter. You can also save snapshots and easily return to a previous search by logging in again using your Twitter credentials – useful for picking up where you left off.


Struggling to find an expert in a particular field? Similar to #journorequest on Twitter, ResponseSource lets you put out an advert for an expert or commentator on a particular issue in addition to many other possibilities – through its Journalist Enquiry Service, you can also seek information, products for review, the agent for a specific company or images to use in articles. Use of the service is free and you can set a deadline for leads and a specific category for your request to ensure that you receive relevant and timely information.

FOI Directory

Researching for some investigative journalism? Before submitting any Freedom of Information Requests be sure to check the FOI Directory website, which contains a wealth of information including the contact details of major organisations which can be FOI’d, tips on how to phrase your request and an overview of the law and your legal rights relating to Freedom of Information. Intended to make the FOI process as easy as possible for journalists, the advice available could potentially save you a lot of stress.

What sites do you use? Are there any you find useful we have missed? Let us know in the comments below.