MCH8069 : Multi-Media Journalism: Principles and Practice

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To introduce students to the broad range of traditional and digital journalism practices;
To develop their ability to research and report in effective, engaging ways across a range of platforms;
To allow students to explore, experiment and innovate in journalism practice.

Some still call it multi-media journalism, some call it convergent journalism, some call it digital journalism – but most of us just call it journalism. Today’s journalists, and PR people, need to be able to tell their stories in many ways, using different media technologies, and engage with many different audiences in many different ways. Some readers, viewers, listeners are content to accept and enjoy the journalism we create for them, the journalism that we hope will help them to make sense of the world around them.

Millions of printed newspapers are still being sold every day and the fundamental principles of journalism, be it in print, TV or radio (gathering important, interesting, valuable information and passing it on accurately, engagingly and quickly), are still in high demand.

But others want to help shape the story by supplying additional facts, context, opinions, still and moving images and sound clips – and enlarge the conversation through social and mobile media. So we also need to be able to host and contribute to these conversations.

This practical, hands-on module will introduce you to those key skills of newsgathering, interviewing, writing and editing. You will learn to tell stories using a combination of text, still and moving pictures, sound recordings and social media, and how best to tell a particular story and identify and engage with a particular audience.

You will be encouraged to think about the ethics of writing, about how the demands of a media industry can often conflict with the writer’s ethical and political positions, and how to address these issues.

And you will be encouraged to explore new and emerging forms of journalism and to experiment and innovate and think creatively about the ways in which professional practice might yet develop.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module is suitable for students who have no journalistic experience, but it also offers students who have such experience, the opportunity further to develop and extend their skills and knowledge in the field.

1 Lecture 2 hours Introduction, news and the intro par
1 Workshop 1 hour Setting up your media storage, Introduction and audio recording

2 Lecture 2 hours Interviewing. Start your Profile Assignment
2 Workshop 1 hour Adobe Auditions for audio editing

3 Lecture 2 hours Writing news reports for different media platforms
3 Workshop 1 hour Adobe Premier for standard video editing

4 Lecture 2 hours Writing for radio, TV and the web
4 Workshop 1 hour Adobe Premier for standard video editing

5 Lecture 2 hours Writing for Radio, TV, The Web and Social Media
5 Workshop 1 hour Adobe Premier for enhanced video editing

6 Lecture 2 hours Feature Writing
6 Lecture 2 hours: Reporting Speeches

7 Lecture 2 hours Ethical issues and the law

8 Lecture 2 hours Multimedia project workshop – Forming groups and brainstorming project ideas

9 Fortnightly workshops on group multimedia project.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture82:0016:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical81:008:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:00Tutorials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1136:00136:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge outcomes:
This module will allow students to gain introductory and critical knowledge of:
1 Key principles of ethical and professional practice in journalism.
(Ethical and professional practice are explored in the news reports to be produced for three media and the profile in which students will be interviewing a subject and addressing issues of intrusion, privacy and respect for their subject and the manner in which that subject is portrayed. These will be addressed furthermore in the speech rep[ort in which issues of accuracy and balance are paramount and the multi-media feature in which ethical practice and professional performance will be central to the research process and news and information gathering as well as the representation of sources and ‘actors’.)
2 The conventions of writing, editing, and reporting.
(Through presentation, discussion and critical analysis during several seminars and practical workshops.)
3 The role of informative, persuasive, instructive, and entertaining writing and reading.
(This will be the subject of a specific seminar and examples will be analysed critically throughout the module)
4 The advantages and disadvantages of different media as story-telling platforms.
(These will be interrogated when each new medium is introduced as students develop the technical skills necessary to produce material on the new platform and explore the professional skills necessary to use it as a story-telling tool.)
5 The inter-relationship between the reporter and her audience(s).
(This relationship is changing fast and students will be exploring the opportunities offered by the interactivity both encouraged and generated by the technologies and the changing dynamic between ‘news producer’ and ‘news consumer’.)

Skills outcomes:

1 Interviewing.
(This will be introduced and practiced in the third semester and students will develop the skill in a range of contexts as the module progresses with formative feedback being provided regularly.)
2 Writing, drafting and editing.
(Students will constantly be writing, drafting and editing their work and they will enjoy feedback at all stages from peers and from tutors)
3 Planning and organising a range of articles from short reports to packages using multiple media platforms.
(The module has 15 contact sessions, five of 2 hours and 10 of 1 hour duration and the students will have instruction and support in planning and organising their articles throughout both semesters from peers and tutors.)
4 Representing others’ views and opinions.
(All the assessment tasks are designed to give students the opportunity to learn how to represent others’ views and opinions accurately, clearly, engagingly and without undue bias or prejudice.)
5 Working to deadlines.
(Assignments will be due in periodically in order to emphasise the need to meet deadlines.)
6       Researching and reporting on a substantial topic or issue.
(The profile assignment allows students to research a topic, and to plan and prepare the organisation and presentation of that topic. The multimedia feature demands greater autonomy from the students in the planning process, the gathering of information and the presentation of what will be a substantial piece of journalism – but they also have to cooperate in producing this because they will be working in pairs.)
1 The range of material covered in the module will provide students with the opportunity to establish a base from which to develop as professional journalists in a range of media settings.
2 Students have the opportunity to be taught by professionals in the field and to then identity their own skills in order to enhance them in the context of advanced professional study, employability, or career.
3 Classes will mix formal instruction experiences with informal advice and practice sessions.
4 Practice in generating media content will be to the fore both inside and outside the taught sessions.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M153 News Reports, total of 980 words, to be submitted Week 11
Written exercise1M20Profile (750 words plus audio slide show) to be submitted Week 10
Written exercise2M15Speech (500 words plus blog element) to be submitted week 15
Design/Creative proj2A50Extended multi-media feature package (equivalent to 2000 word essay). To be submitted at the end of Semester 2
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessments allow students to demonstrate their ability, skills and knowledge in key areas of journalistic practice: interviewing, researching, reporting and editing text, speech and still and moving images across a range of traditional and digital platforms.
They enable students to demonstrate their ability to identify and engage with audiences through established and emerging journalistic practices and to demonstrate an ability to explore, experiment and innovate in the development of professional practice in the field.

Reading Lists