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UC Berkeley Online Course On Journalism For Social Change

The University of California, Berkeley is currently offering online course on Journalism for Social Change. This self-paced course will emphasize on learning how to use solution-based journalism to impel positive social change.

The overall objective of this course is two-fold: 1) to teach people from all walks of life how to use journalism and media as an implement of social change; and 2) have those students become effective change agents themselves. This MOOC starts on July 12, 2017.



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Course At A Glance

Effort: 2-4 hours per week
Subject: Communication
Institution: The University of California, Berkeley and edX
Languages: English
Price:  Free
Certificate Available: Yes. Verified Certificate for $49.
Session: Starts on July 12, 2017

Providers’ Details

Berkeley is offering MOOCs with edX to develop and foster adoption of Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) on campuses around the world. SPOCs are designed to supplement and enhance the learning experience of on-campus students, while providing local faculty an opportunity for more interactive activities and more time for “high-touch” pedagogy.

This online platform edX provides online courses from the world’s best universities. edX can empower you to build innovative applications, services, and experiences.

About This Course

In a vibrant democracy, journalism and media have the power and responsibility to both inform and inspire the public to political action. Achieving this requires a deep understanding of current social problems and how policy is formulated, alongside the ability to tell that story in a manner that drives an otherwise apathetic public into action.

This course equips students with the knowledge and skills they need to produce solution-based journalism – stories that give equal weight to problems and solutions. Throughout the course, students will view examples of outstanding solution-based journalism. The majority of these stories focus on vulnerable children. The umbrella of children allows us to explore the broad, but deeply interwoven policy areas concerning: communities, poverty, child protection, child maltreatment prevention, foster care, and the courts. 

At the same time, this course provides students with a platform to research, report on, and write about the policy and justice issues that fuel their own interests and passions, whether that involves immigration crises or poverty. Early on, students will share their interest areas with their classmates and start to share information and ideas. Students will then produce Final Stories on their topics of interest.

Why Take This Course?

This is a free online course. This MOOC will be offered with Video Transcripts. Student work will be published throughout the semester and have a direct, immediate impact. Through precise, rigorous reporting and policy analysis, students will substantively contribute to public discourse, and by virtue of that contribution drive political will toward positive policy solutions to the myriad social issues that vulnerable peoples across this globe face.

With that experience, students will be better prepared to use journalism and media for social change in whatever field they explore beyond the class.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course you will have knowledge of:

  • Ways to use journalism and media as an implement of social change
  • Strategies for becoming an effective change agent
  • How reporting your work can drive positive policy solutions


Daniel Heimpel
Goldman School of Public Policy
University of California, Berkeley



How To Join This Course

  1. Go to the course website link
  2. Create an edX account to SignUp
  3. Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  4. EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  5. Once you sign up for a course and activate your account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org home page and type in your email address and edX password. This will take you to your dashboard, with access to each of your active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on your dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.) 

Apply Now