Postgraduate

Modules

Modules

MCH8163 : News and Journalism

Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

To enable students to gain a critical understanding of the key issues pertaining to news and journalism today and the role of journalism in a democracy and in other societies.

To enable students to acquire the conceptual and theoretical tools to analyse changing journalistic forms, practices and institutions.

To enable students to gain a thorough familiarity with contemporary debates about the forms and practices of reporting and address the quality of news and source dynamics.

To provide students with the critical and analytical tools to study current economic and technological changes in news production, dissemination and use.

To assess the current state of journalism and public communication in a global context.

To develop the capacity to reflect critically on contemporary issues pertinent to journalism and publicity such as sexism and racism in the news, scandals and celebrities, reporting conflict, terrorism and war.


This module examines the role of journalism in western and non-western societies. It provides students with the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the key issues confronting journalism today by examining major debates about the ethics, professional values, forms and practices of reporting and about the quality of news. The module examines source dynamics in news production, sexism and racism in the news; the commodification of news; ‘tabloidisation’, scandals and celebritiesl patterns in reporting conflict, terrorism and war; and the state of investigative journalism. The module places these themes and issues in the context of global media and allows students to draw on concepts and theories addressed in the core module, Media Analysis.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to the module
News and 'objectivity'
Changing news cultures and digital journalism
The reporting of conflict and war
News coverage of race and religion
The tabloids, popular news and celebrity journalism
The role of journalism in civil wars and democracies
News values and global news
The news factory and 'churnalism'
Gendered journalism and news practices

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module aims to advance students’ knowledge and understanding of news and journalism through the study of a range of key concepts theories and case studies. Lectures introduce and develop ideas and case study material and the seminars allow students to consider, assess and debate material in further detail. Seminars will involve small group work, spoken presentations. This is combined with private study and essay writing.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study2A70Individual case study project of 3000 words
Essay2M30Essay of 1500-2000 words, mid- semester
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment 1: 1500-2000 word essay.

For the first assignment, students are required to write an essay of 1500-2000 words, which engages in a sophisticated analysis of a particular contemporary issue or trend in news and journalism. This assessment will allow students to familiarise themselves with relevant theories addressed in the module and to develop a critical understanding of the processes of news and journalism, nationally and globally.

Students are assessed against the following criteria:

A theoretically and analytically rigorous definition of a contemporary issue or trend in news and journalism, informed by engagement with and understanding of appropriate primary and secondary theoretical research (K1; K2; K6; S1);

A balanced and coherent discussion of strengths and weaknesses of methodological and theoretical approaches pertinent to the contemporary issue or trend in journalism under discussion (K3; S2);
A critical and analytical discussion of the context and consequences of the area of news and journalism within changing social, cultural, economic and political structures both nationally and globally (K4; S3);

Coherence of argument and written structure of the research essay, including appropriate academic tone at postgraduate level and effective display of examples and analysis (K5; S5; S6).


Assignment 2: 3,000 word essay

For the second assignment, asks students to produce an individual case study project of 3000, by answering one the questions listed. Students demonstrate a thorough understanding of a specific topic by choosing a relevant case study and by applying appropriate concepts, theories and methods to explain the relevant issue issues. The definition of a ‘case study’ for this purpose is therefore: an empirical news or media-related event.

The assessment criteria are as follows:

A theoretically and analytically rigorous definition of the topic and answer to the question, informed by engagement with and understanding of appropriate primary and secondary research (K1; K2; K6; S1);

Application of research and evidence drawn from an appropriately chosen case study from news media, event or organisation (K4; K5; S2; S3);

Analysis of media text using research methods encountered while studying media in order to make meaningful conclusions (K3; S1);

Coherence and written structure of the research essay, including appropriate academic tone at postgraduate level and effective display of media text and analysis (K5; S5; S6).

Reading Lists

Timetable