Introduction to Modern Journalism
Level 1 (CQFW Level 4), 10 Credits.
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Designed for people who want to understand what they are being told by the media and why they are being told it, this course offers the opportunity to explore how news is chosen, shaped and presented. It also explores how elections and wars are reported, and considers social media and citizen journalism. Students will then be shown how to structure news and features, how to write them and finally how to establish a simple web platform to create their own blogs and newsletters.
Weeks 1 to 4 cover HOW IT WORKS
- Introduction and Administration housekeeping
- Establishing normative concepts of journalism, what it could be and how it’s viewed.
- Examination of how news is filtered, and what makes news and what doesn’t.
- Examination of political economy and the commercial imperative of news.
- Examination of background and use of PR and news sources
- Examination of how broadsheet concept is threatened
- Examination of how elections and conflict is presented.
- Examination of how health, science and risk is presented
- Examination of how images are used in news – anchoring meaning
- Examination of how language is used – lexical choices
- Examination of how audiences receive news- ranging from models of media power to models of audience power.
- The concept of the public sphere
- Examination of journalism and activism, and e-democracy
- Examination of professionalization of political communication
Weeks 6 to 9 cover HOW TO DO IT
- Examination of citizen journalism and social media
- Examination of the structures that turn information into news.
- Discussion about locally sourced news stories.
- Examination of techniques and formats of features and how to pitch ideas
- Practical writing session/ sub-editing and critique.
- Establishing of web platform.
- Population of web platform
- Continue populating web platform.
- Show and tell of portfolios before they are submitted (optional)
- Reminder of principles of responsible journalism.
Who is this course for?
Anyone with an interest in modern journalism and who would like to know more about how it works and how to do it.
Learning and Teaching
Learning and teaching are undertaken by means of small group work. This is a 10-credit course, so there will be two-hour meetings once a week (20 contact hours in all) which will include discussions and tutor-led activities. The aim is ensure that the classes are enjoyable and stimulating for all.
Coursework and Assessment
To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.
There will be no formal examinations. The basis of assessment will be a portfolio consisting of a collection of news clippings and justifying explanations totalling 1500 words. Alternative forms of assessment are available, by prior agreement with the tutor.
Your work will be assessed by your tutor, who will offer you written reports which we hope you will find constructive. The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are flexible and are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.
Allen, S. 2004. News Culture. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Franklin, B et al. 2005. Key concepts in journalism studies. London: Sage.
Hartley, J. 2002. Communication,cultural and media studies: the key concepts. London: Routledge, 2002
Kovach, B and Rosentiel, T. 2001. The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect. New York: Three Rivers Press.
Allen, S. 2006. Online news: journalism and the internet. Maidenhead: Open University Press
Chomsky, N and Herman, E. 2002. Manufacturing consent: the political economy of the mass media. New York: Pantheon Books
Gilmor, D. 2006. We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People for the People. Beijing: Farnham: O’Reilly.
Richardson. J. 2007. Analysingnewspapers : an approach from critical discourse analysis. Basingstoke ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan
Library and Computing Facilities
As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on
(029) 2087 0000.
Accessibility of Courses
Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.
A range of further information can be found on our web site www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn or in Choices. This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.