There's no shortage of Internet sites about journalism, reflecting most aspects of the job. Naturally, American sites far outweigh those from the rest of the world, both in quantity and sheer depth. But there are a few British sites that it is worth knowing about.

Big sites about British journalism

The best-looking British site also has the best web address: www.journalism.co.uk. It also offers a weekly email newsletter and a front page of journalism news, updated daily.

The site itself provides a gateway to lots of jobs, a freelance register that will cost you £50 a year to join, a media news feed of unusual interest and masses of links, many of them star-rated by readers. There are lots of opportunities here for readers to involve themselves. Few, sadly, seem to bother. The site its own discussion forum for freelance journalists, but you must register to use it.

Then there's Journalism UK, which doesn't quite achieve the pixel-perfect look of the previous site, but is still quite useful. It has lengthy menu of options down the left hand side, but most of them lead to one long file full of annotated links to useful sites (including this one). Beware, this may take a few minutes to load initially, but once you are there it is piece of cake to navigate up and down.

The other big file, by the way, is the FAQ (Frequently Answered Questions), which deals with lots of useful stuff like "How do I get into journalism". It provides a pretty accurate summary, I would say. I would like to know more about the authors, but the site lacks an "about" page, which is a shame.

The other slick-looking UK journalism site is Hold The Front Page, which specialises in the regional and local paper variant. It has lots of local paper news and jobs, a lengthy freelance list (now £35 a year to join), a useful list of regional paper staff so you can find people you trained with and an exceptionally useful glossary of terms used in journalism, including legal terminology. Then there's a directory of recommended websites, contact numbers for numerous organisations, accounts of the latest developments in press law and, a personal favourite, a couple of pages on shorthand. It's a slick, professional operation, owned by three regional publishers: Northcliffe, Newsquest and Trinity Mirror.

Some other notable UK sites

Vince Kelly, once editor of the Birmingham post, has put together a nice straightforward site called News-Desk UK. It won't win many prizes for elegance, but it has all the usual stuff — jobs, freelance register, contacts, links to national and regional newspapers — and loads very quickly. The pages of brief information about the law are particularly useful.

Alan Rawlinson teaches journalism at the University of Central Lancashire. His CARpark UK is another aesthetically-challenged site that contains lots of good links. His subject is Computer Assisted Reporting (hence CAR) and the set of links to "Basics, tool and tips" provides lots of food for thought. Otherwise, there are comprehensive links to government sites, science, medicine, libraries and much more. Ugly, but worth getting to know. You can sign up for updates.

Training and journalism education

If you want short-course in-service training in journalism, you need PMA. As an alternative, try the Journalism Training Centre. If you are from a local newspaper background, consider the courses run by Cleland Thom Journalism Services. It also offers a range of online courses, some aimed directly at helping you pass the National Council for the Training of Journalists' national certificate.

If you want to study journalism at college, you might want to start by consulting the National Council for the Training of Journalists, the Periodical Publishers Association, or the Broadcast Journalism Training Council. Many UK universities now offer journalism courses.

CONTENTS