Becoming a journalist just got a whole lot easier thanks to a new program from The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at  Austin. The center will offer free, online courses in digital journalism starting with at least eight courses over the next four years.

“Free courses democratize access to journalism training by reaching out to thousands of people and creating big learning communities,” said Professor Rosental Alves, Knight Chair in International Journalism in the Moody College of Communication and Knight Center director. “The income by smaller classes will help the center to become sustainable, while keeping its role as a lab for new peer-to-peer learning models and a source of free or affordable journalism training worldwide.”

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The free courses aren’t the only aspect to the new program, as there are options available for those who want to dig deeper into a journalism education. The project will also offer low-cost online courses and online master classes for individual newsroom, all of which will help to support and sustain the project.

The schedule for the new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is currently being set. To receive notifications when the next class is available, sign up for the newsletter on the distance learning page.

All of this is made possible by a $600,000 investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which “supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts,” according to its website. The dream of free higher education may or may not ever make its way through the legislative process, but with innovative programs like these, education can become more accessible to all. Now go buy an AP Stylebook and get to learning!

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Featured image from Wikimedia, Creative Commons licensed

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