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MCH8170 : International Multimedia Journalism Final Project

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Ms Sarah Drummond
  • Lecturer: Ms Esther Beadle, Dr Barbara Henderson, Mr Jim Knight, Mr Chris Falzon, Mr Chris Stokel-Walker
  • Technician: Mr Travis Roush
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 3 Credit Value: 60
ECTS Credits: 30.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module develops multimedia journalism production, creativity and innovation. This module allows students to:
• Innovate and articulate advanced practices of multimedia journalism in a range of contexts;
• Demonstrate their knowledge of the key elements of clear news gathering, production and dissemination across a range of technologies;
• Articulate the ethics, legal and civic parameters of multimedia journalism and the role of the journalist;
• Assess the significance of how intercommunications between representational and presentational production are reshaping and developing news media and ways to build audiences;
• Develop advanced capacities to select the right multimedia technology for the story and audience at hand;
• Clarify and extend skills in journalistic branding and self-branding, social media optimisation and interactivity with audiences;
• Compile a portfolio of evidence and a critical understanding of journalistic practice and content production in relation to employment, career or postgraduate education aims.

Outline Of Syllabus

International Multimedia Journalism Final Project is a student-led exercise of professional practice, digital creativity and critical evaluation of journalism in global contexts. Through a three step learning approach – led by experienced journalists - you are supported as you develop advanced and innovative strategies, skills and tools needed to succeed in the global journalism industry.

You will use visual, written and audio techniques appropriate to the story or content at hand, experimenting with storytelling techniques. The critical and creative projects offer the opportunity to analyse the field and your practice to embed expertise in audience engagement, social media optimisation, brand identity, user experience and design, news and feature production, freelance and pitching opportunities and portfolio building.

You will manage your own workload and journalistic outputs to establish a publicly facing portfolio of journalistic work.

The topics covered in this module may include:
• global innovations in journalism practice
• editorial, social and critical strategies
• multimedia news and feature production
• intercommunications between ‘representational’ news and ‘presentational’ media and their impacts on journalism
• critical evaluation of ‘news values’ and the civic responsibilities of journalism
• pitching and commissioning
• news and feature production in text, video and audio form
• interview features and the practice of depth interviewing
• applied ethics in professional journalism.
Not all of these topics are necessarily taught every year; indeed the syllabus may shift in emphasis according to media climate and social and economic cultures at the time of teaching.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00Synchronous consolidation
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials71:007:00Interactive non-synchronous lecture materials delivered online.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion830:00240:00Practice of journalistic newsgathering and production towards assessment activity for phase 2.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion419:3078:00Students undertake specific research for Phase 1, and engage with reading and media publications and feedback as directed.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion320:0060:00Academic reflection and writing, producing essay work for the assessment of Phase 3.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops73:0021:00On-campus workshops, can be switched online if needed.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1116:00176:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision81:3012:00Students have the opportunity for feedback and supervision on their work.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Learning is facilitated as students develop their multimedia content with teaching methods plugging into delivery. Students work to create and launch a website around a specific journalistic topic, provide editorial content for it and critically analyse their practice. Workshops will support students to develop a brand, build an audience and develop a content strategy. Students are assigned a supervisory tutor who will support them during the module.

In the first stage of learning students work on the ability to propose a news website with editorial strategy, content plan, optimisation plan, branding and audience plan and outline of the ethical and legal parameters for their project, and an identification of the critical analysis to be used through phase 2 and written about in phase 3. Lectures, workshops, directed reading and research supervision and independent study support this activity (Weeks 1-3. Learning Outcomes: A6; A7; C3; C4; C8; D1).

Students develop a site as if an industry brand and are assessed at the end of the 'live activity' by which they should have produced five pieces of individual journalism with supporting social media posts. Lecture materials, small group workshops and independent study support this activity (Weeks 3-8. Learning Outcomes: A3; A5; C1; C2; C5; C6; C7; D2; D4).

Students then critically analyse how their field analysis and research-based knowledge of the journalistic field impacted on their final project and produce an essay. They are supported through individual project supervision. (Weeks 9-11. Learning Outcomes: A4; A8; B3; B4; B7; C3; C4; D3).

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal3M201500-word (or equivalent) proposal
Design/Creative proj3M50Journalism project to include 5 pieces of individually produced journalism and 5 corresponding social media posts.
Essay3M303,000-word essay
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
Research proposalMAn ethical request must be made by the deadline set; it must be updated in line with approval feedback and reflect any change of topic, to reflect the submitted assignment.
Written exerciseMA risk assessment must be made by the deadline set and before newsgathering activities take place for the assessment pieces; it must be updated in line with approval feedback and reflect any change of newsgathering activities; it must be relevant to the submitted assignment.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment strategy:

Element one: Project Proposal (20%) (A6; A7; C3; C4; C8; D1)
The proposal of a journalistic website suitable for a specific audience. To include consideration of a social media strategy, editorial approach, branding, user engagement and the ethical and legal parameters.

Element two: Journalism project (50%) (A3; A5; C1; C2; C5; C6; C7; D2; D4)
Individual multimedia content production suitable for a specific audience. To be developed within negotiable parameters, incorporating audio, video, non-linear narratives and still images as appropriate.
Ethical approval and risk assessment sign-off must each be gained and maintained accurately in relation to the journalism and newsgathering activities. These assessments (ethics forms and risk assessments) are not graded and therefore do not contribute to the module mark but must be passed in order to pass the module.

Element three: Essay (30%) (A4; A8; B3; B4; B7; C3; C4; D3)
A critical essay analysing and demonstrating the application of research and knowledge of the field influenced by professional practice and multimedia strategies during the production of the project.

Additional task-specific criteria:

Element one: Project Proposal
- Articulation of how to build a cohesive brand to develop and engage an audience/community across the website;
- Critical understanding website functionality, user experience, editorial and social strategies;
- Analysis of ethical and legal parameters of the proposed journalistic project;
- Coherence and logical construction of the proposal including written skills and appropriate referencing.

Element two: Journalism Project
- Quality of journalism/media production skills within the social, cultural and pragmatic contexts in which it is produced;
- Evidence of news gathering (original story generation), interview skills, research skills and the gathering of data;
- Consistency of style across audio, video and written, strength of images;
- Use of multimedia technology for the story and intended audience.

Element three: Essay
- Use and selection of theoretical arguments from a wide range of academic sources and how they are linked together;
- Evidence of application of these arguments to practice during the execution of the practical project;
- Overarching argument of how knowledge of the theoretical field impacted on the multimedia project;

Reading Lists