MCH3079 : Multimedia Journalism II

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module aims:

•       To instil an understanding of convention and best practice in the distribution of online journalism.
•       To assist students in developing skills in audience engagement and to learn strategies in growing online audiences for their online journalism.
•       To encourage students to consider the processes that take place within the journalist – medium – audience nexus, that inform the distribution of multimedia journalism.
•       To edit, publish and maintain journalistic output produced using audio recordings, stills and moving images (at live events).
•       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 in the publication, distribution, maintenance and curation of multimedia news.

You will learn methods for identifying and developing stories using (introductory) methods in data journalism and computer assisted reporting.

You will learn how to tell stories as they break using a range of media, employing standards and cutting-edge best practice in the field of Mobile Journalism.

You will be introduced to theoretical considerations in the form of (for example) interactivity, and apply these theories towards the practices of publication, circulation and consumption in multimedia journalism.
reporting will also be available to students on this module.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module is aimed at students who are familiar with the basic functions in creating multimedia journalism; who now wish to develop cutting-edge skills in the publication, distribution and maintenance (or curation) of multimedia journalism. In addition, this module aims to instil a critical awareness of the form of multimedia journalism, 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 MCH3079 is the third stage in our learning process, the syllabus of this module will largely concern those processes and protocols involved in the publication and distribution of multimedia journalism. The sort of topics covered will therefore draw from the following:

•       Interactivity (theory)
•       Gamification (theory)
•       The wisdom of the crowd and populism (theory)
•       Histories of online journalism (theoretical)
•       Developing an online audience (audience engagement) (practice)
•       Applied online metrics (practice)
•       Live reporting in mobile journalism (MOJO) (practice)
•       Data journalism and data representation (infographics – theory and practice)
•       Pitching multimedia ideas
•       Multimedia curation (and the online archive) (practice)
•       Computer Assisted Reporting (theory and practice)
•       Web design in practice: an introduction to HTML and CSS for improving web usability (theory and practice)

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

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 reading120:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice170:0070:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops123:0036:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study124:0024:00N/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.

Lectures will allow students to explore the material covered during the module, while undertaking their own original research in various theoretical fields of online journalism studies (including for example interactivity, normative theories of data representation, and histories of online journalism).

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.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj1M25Liveblog (regularly updated multimedia liveblog of a 2-hour long event, reported in real-time)
Design/Creative proj1M25Beatblog project (regularly updated beatblog, developed over the course of 6 weeks)
Essay1M50Critical essay (2000 words)
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.

Assessment components one and two refer directly to key skills and practices in multimedia journalism; in terms of live reporting using standards and best practice in professional mobile journalism, in terms of audience development and engagement in the development of an online social ‘beat’, and in terms of niche areas in multimedia journalism, including data journalism and computer assisted reporting. 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.

Assessment three refers directly to applied theory across a range of theoretical domains within the practice of multimedia journalism; across (for example) histories of online journalism, interactivity, and normative theories in data representation. This assessment will help students to reflect both upon the merits of theory and their own praxis in online multimedia journalism; and to more effectively learn from their own praxis as a result.

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.

Reading Lists