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MCH2060 : Multimedia Journalism I

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Murray Dick
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module aims:

•       To instil an understanding of elementary conventions and good practice in telling stories through a variety of media in use within journalism.

•       To assist students in developing skills in clear, concise writing, reporting and editing and in telling stories using the written word, stills photography, audio and video media.

•       To consider and assess the ethics of writing, the aims and objectives of journalism, and to consider the processes that take place within the journalist – medium – audience nexus, that inform the practice of multimedia journalism.

•       To practise, produce, appraise and edit journalistic outputs produced using audio recordings, stills and moving images.

•       To assess the role and significance of multi-platform story-telling in contemporary mass media, and to be mindful of good practice.

This practical, hands-on module will introduce students to those key skills of newsgathering, interviewing, writing and editing for online news production.

You will learn methods for identifying stories for an online community; including online newsgathering, production and editorial in a mix of media forms, and verification of online sources.

You will learn how to tell stories using a combination of text, still and moving pictures and sound recordings in order to bring out the best in any particular story.

You will be introduced to genres, conventions and standards in news practices across multimedia journalism.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module is aimed at students who are new to the field of multimedia journalism; and who wish to develop cutting-edge skills necessary to the field, in addition to a critical awareness of the form, its purpose and its function in the wider journalistic (and social) environment.

The multimedia journalism pathway on our Journalism, Media and Culture BA comprises three modules mapped to the (progressive) stages of journalism practice:

Level 1: Newsgathering: MCH1037 Introduction to Multimedia Technologies for Film and Journalism
Level 2: Production: MCH2060 Multimedia Journalism I
Level 3: Distribution: MCH3079 Multimedia Journalism II

Learning on this pathway is therefore a cumulative process; and so each pre-ceding module in this chain is necessarily pre-requisite.

As MCH2060 is the second stage in our learning process, the syllabus of this module will largely concern those processes and protocols involved in the production of multimedia journalism. The sort of topics covered will therefore draw from the following:

• Journalism for the web: convergence
• Mobile Journalism (MOJO); planning and practice
• Newsgathering and editing in the field
• Styles of online journalism (including copy editing and technical specifications)
• Metadata and information management in online journalism
• Scripting, researching and producing short news items in video formats
• Scripting, researching and producing short news items in audio formats
• Integrating different content into an online platform
• Methods in digital storytelling
• Verifying online resources
• Intermediate video editing and postproduction”

Workshops will enable students to critically appraise the significance of the skills they learn as they go.

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
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion601:0060:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials106:0060:00Online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Online synchronous workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00PiP workshops
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study312:0062:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Learning activities take a range of forms on this module, each intended to enhance the learning experience, and to help students achieve key learning outcomes in a structured and iterative accumulation of skills and knowledge.

Workshops will help students to develop their critical thinking alongside others in their peer-group, allowing for a more collaborative approach to learning. This pedagogic model also involves a reactive approach to understanding and engagement across the cohort, meaning that the pace of delivery may more easily reflect students' technical abilities and rate of learning.

Skills practice will be the dominant feature of this course, and best practice in multimedia journalism will be encouraged both in class time and in independent study.

Directed research and teaching is a minor, but nevertheless crucial component of this module; it is essential that students learn to critique 'best practice'; from its origins at the dawn of the internet, to the present day.

Independent study will allow students the opportunity to develop their own understanding or practice, through the body of literature on 'best practice' across a number of aspects of multimedia journalism.

Teaching on this moduile is supported by voluntary drop-in sessions where students can receive iterative feedback on journalism work and technical support. It is also supported by learning activity as part of the Civic Journalism Lab workshop and guest lecture series, which students are offered opportunity to attend remotely.

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
Design/Creative proj2M100Design/Creative proj 1. Components are: 500 word news article, 800 word news feature, 2 minute video and 3 minute audio
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment methods employed in this module relate closely to key elements in its outline of work. These assessments are designed in order to allow students to develop a grounding in the theory and practice of multimedia journalism.

The assessment components individually refer directly to key skills and practices in multimedia journalism; in terms of the editorial production of written (and image-based) texts; audio and video online. All components contribute to a collective design project assessment. This joined-up nature of assessment will tie ongoing feedback to students' completion of each part of summative feedback, re-enforcing key learning outcomes at each stage.

In terms of the sequence and schedule of assessments, these will be staggered throughout the semester. In turn this will provide the module leader with a better means of gauging students' progress on the module and help identify suitable interventions (and provision of extra skills support) where this is necessary. This is particularly important, as it will help mitigate the disparity in students' understanding of the application of multimedia theory to practice, in a field where some students may start from a more advanced skills-level than others.

The word counts for MCH2060 project components are as follows:

500-word news article
800-word news feature
2-minute video (of no fixed word count)
3-minute audio (of no fixed word count)

In addition, each student must submit 200-300 words of explanatory pitch, which situates the project in its relevant beat/audience/mix of mediums used etc.

Reading Lists