Skip to main content

News Sense: The Building Blocks of News

About This Course

News Sense explores the basic building blocks of news stories. You’ll examine the who, what, when, where, why and how of events and see how the answers to those questions shape news coverage.

We'll give you readings, examples, games and exercises to help you develop the mindset to begin reporting and writing the news. We hope this course sparks your interest in learning more about the craft of newswriting and the world of journalism past, present and future.

What will I Learn?

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Judge the newsworthiness of stories
  • Verify facts using multiple sources
  • Clarify information for yourself, readers and viewers
  • Build a strong foundation for any news story

Who Should Take This Course

Anyone who wants to understand the building blocks of the news and how journalists use these building blocks.

Course Instructor

Mary Ann Hogan

Mary Ann Hogan is a former writing coach who now teaches rhetoric and critical thinking at Florida Atlantic University.


The Knight Foundation

The Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote community engagement and lead to transformational change.

This $30 course is free thanks to the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What web browser should I use?

The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.