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Unisa Short Learning Programmes
Short Course in Community Journalism for Beginners (70106)


The certificate course is aimed at the development of knowledge, the application of that knowledge, critical thinking and the general understanding of the field of community journalism. The purpose of the qualification is to equip students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills for journalism in general and community journalism specifically. 

Target group

Aspiring journalists 

Admission requirements

Senior Certificate or an equivalent NQF level 4 qualification 


Six months 

Language medium


Registration periods

January and July 

Registration forms are available from Ms van Heerden 

Tuition method

UNISA open distance learning and one two-day workshop 

Kind of assessment


Formative assessment and examination admission will comply with UNISA’s formative assessment rules and policies 

Formative assessment: 

Assignment/case study 

Summative assessment: 

Three-hour exam 

Community Journalism for Beginners (CJFB01G)
Syllabus/Content Topics

The short course consists of two sections dealing with the principles and practice of community journalism. Topics include the basic theoretical principles of journalism; ethics and press freedom; different types of community media and areas of reporting; the organisation, characteristics, role and functions of community journalism; the interviewing process; the writing and editing of news reports; newspaper design, typography, photographs and layout; modern newspaper production and entrepreneurship. A case study of a community newspaper is also provided. 

Course leader

Ms M M van Heerden MLitt et Phil (Journalism) 

Discipline expertise: Worked as journalist, currently lecturer in Communication Science 

Centre for Communication Sciences 

Office 7-084, Theo van Wijk Building, UNISA 

Tel: 012 429 6320 

Fax: 012 429 3346 



Programme administrator(s)

Ms A Vermeulen NDAdmin (Unisa) 

Department of Communication Science 

Office 7-077, Theo van Wijk Building, UNISA 

Tel: 012 429 6016 

Fax: 012 429 3346