Skip to main content


MCH2089 : Broadcast Journalism 1 (Radio)

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


This module allows students:

To further develop their understanding of the conventions of journalistic writing by introducing unique radio techniques.

To develop skills in radio reporting, both on location and in a studio environment.

To undertake training in broadcast news presentation through voice coaching.

To develop an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of journalists working in a broadcast newsroom.

To manage their time effectively, working to short and long term deadlines.

To further consider the relevance of the audience in broadcast reporting.

To develop an understanding of the ethical and regulatory considerations broadcast journalists face in a modern newsroom.

To develop their confidence in critiquing their own work and the work of others in the field of radio journalism and to further develop their understanding by contextualising that reflection within the media landscape.

This module builds upon the key production skills introduced in COM1031/7 and the journalistic conventions accessed through COM1030 to enable students to make their own broadcast quality radio news packages. Students will consider the ethical and regulatory restrictions put on broadcast journalists and will begin to question their own decisions in practical work, through a radio diary and a discursive essay. They will be encouraged to react to current affairs and apply media theory to what they hear, and what they make.

Students will already have begun to consider the importance of the target audience and this concept will further underpin the practical work they produce in this module. They will hear from working journalists about the many ways the target demographic of the output can affect choices they make about the syntax or choice of words, interviewees, production techniques, music and cultural references.

Students undertaking the module will learn to develop the core skills of a radio journalist, including interviewing, researching, reporting, news reading and editing. They will be given the opportunity to visit a working radio newsroom to see these skills in action.

Students will be given feedback on their work through copy clinics, which are crucial in terms of the journalistic integrity and the pedagogy of the process. The immediacy of the formative feedback enables students to develop confidence in their ability and finesse their writing technique.

This module will provide the framework for further study of broadcast journalism in the field of TV reporting. It will encourage students to engage with social media platforms as a source of newsgathering and distribution and will further develop their understanding and practical application of online newswriting conventions.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will be engaging with current affairs content during the course of the semester, so the nature of the topics will change depending on current trends and news values, however core factors will remain.

These include:

Contextualising the media marketplace; commercial and BBC outputs and the unique pressures facing broadcast newsrooms ‘then and now’.

Roles and responsibilities of the modern broadcast journalist.

The importance of the audience. Who are they and what do they want?

Understanding the codes and conventions of radio package making.

Interviewing for radio.

Writing for radio journalism.

Introduction to the radio studio.

Voice coaching.

Advanced audio editing.


News and current affairs programming, magazine programming.

Visit to a newsroom.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading124:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice140:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching23:006:00Copy clinics where students receive individual feedback on formative coursework
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops103:0030:00Workshops will be practical and may also include visiting a newsroom. They will be a mixture of teac
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity120:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship


Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2M502 radio packages, each 1-2 mins duration. Each package includes 2-3 interviews. And online copy/tweet/equivalent on same story.
Essay2M302000 words
Reflective log2M2025 defined entries, 5 per week for 5 weeks
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Reflective log2MReflective log will be considered after the first week to ensure students are employing effective strategies. Approx 200 words
Portfolio2MGroup package - 1-2 mins, contains 2 interviews, scripted links and additional relevant footage
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students will undertake a combination of formative and summative assessments throughout the semester that are designed to build confidence and capability. The techniques will be new to almost all of them and are quite different from conventional news writing and essay style so the enhancement of learning through formative feedback in copy clinics is crucial.

Summative assessments will be staggered throughout the semester. Students are required to work in a group to make a 1-2 minute radio package on a topic of their choice, demonstrating their understanding of news values and audience. They will receive feedback on this and go on to make two individual packages, implementing the suggestions that were made in the first piece of feedback. The packages will be submitted alongside a written version of the story, which takes advantage of the conventions of online copy writing, and a Tweet.

Throughout the semester students will complete a radio log, which requires them to listen to specific podcasts, stations and programmes. This assessment is designed to consider the international nature of the student body as well as the typical generational predisposition to listen to music on mp3 players or phones rather than speech programming. By listening widely students are better able to contextualise the techniques they learn about in workshops and from books and they are more likely to be able to replicate these skills in their own production work. This log will be submitted after the first week for formative feedback, then at the end of the semester alongside the evaluative report and final portfolio.

The evaluative report will see students reflecting on their progress throughout the semester, the way their listening has impacted on their production and the lessons they have learned. Academic texts will be used to support their observations and explain their methods.

Reading Lists