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Much as I am trying to avoid it, becoming a better journalist is apparently getting easier and easier. Thanks to the folks at Poynter Online, you can now participate from your desk in "webinars
" -- short, cheap, phone-Internet combo training sessions -- rather than traveling for a costly workshop or weeklong session. It's all part of Poynter's News University, a two year-old effort that currently offers 40 courses to more than 40,000 registered users. Many of the online courses are free, and interactive -- popular with journalism students and working reporters alike. There's no education-specific course yet (hint, hint), though they do have a health care module, something about interviewing better, and a couple of things about reporting across cultural boundaries.Even without taking their online research course, I learned about a cool new online phonebook called Argali and looked up all your home phone numbers.