module specification

SJ5035 - Advanced Reporting (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Advanced Reporting
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 25%   Three media products showing evidence of reporting skills attained in this module: 2/3 minutes
Coursework 25%   Three media products showing evidence of reporting skills attained in this module: 2/3 minutes
Coursework 40%   2500-word piece of long-form journalism showcasing investigative reporting skills, with multimedia links and options
Coursework 10%   Engagement with class, assessed by online journal and moderated by tutor
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

Continuing on from the first-year core Reporting Skills, students in Advanced Reporting will develop the skills and techniques necessary to succeed in more advanced forms of reporting, including investigative journalism, features, and in-depth interviews and profiles.
Through a combination of workshops, masterclasses and site visits, students learn to identify subject matter and potential readerships; master interviewing and editing techniques; learn how to find original angles; undertake focused, widely sourced research on individuals and issues; and conduct on-the-spot reportage.  They analyse statistics and develop stories based on them.
This module develop students’ skills  in multi-platform journalism. Via predominantly practical workshops, the students will learn the basics of radio journalism, as well as TV/video camera and editing skills, using cutting-edge software and equipment. This will reinforce their understanding of the need for 360-degree journalism in today’s society.

They will work on projects within class with a view to publishing them online via the course website,
Holloway Express, thereby providing an outward-facing portal for future employability.

The module will be assessed by two portfolios of six stories (news and features) in total, comprising one podcast and one video package, both of which must show evidence of professional writing and newsgathering skills learnt in this module, plus a piece of long-form journalism (2,500 words) showcasing investigative reporting. Contributions to an online journal will assess class contribution, moderated by tutors at the end of the year.

Module aims

This module aims to:

• Introduce and consider the value of a broad range of advanced reporting, interviewing and research professional techniques and processes;

• Perfect the task of finding original angles and relevant sources for stories;

• Develop transferable skills needed to write and produce journalism for different media, including radio and TV broadcast, text, audio and web;

• Create original journalism for different platforms, adding to employability portfolio.

• Examine the different types of reporting required for different journalistic disciplines, such as investigative journalism, packages for radio and TV, features, profiles, on-the-spot reportage and in-depth interviews;

• Develop the voice to tell compelling stories;

• Establish an ethical and practical code of practice and form of reference to develop self-reflection when reporting, no matter what the circumstance or expected outcome.


This module focuses on originating stories and developing writing skills for different journalistic audiences and formats across a range of media.
Students learn to identify subject matter for potential readerships; develop research, interviewing and editing techniques for radio, TV and print; practise on-the-spot reportage; and find original angles and relevant sources for their stories.  They will be encouraged to seek professional publication for good stories, which will also be published on the course website.

They learn how to write in different formats, from in-depth profiles to on-the-spot crisis reporting or well-researched investigations, which will be assessed in two portfolios.

They develop the professional techniques and writing disciplines required by the different approaches and styles of the industry, including news and report writing for newspapers, magazines, radio and TV, websites. Writing to precise word-length and deadline will be important, as will original research. Use of mobile technology will be encouraged.

Through discussion and presentation, risk evaluation and ethical concerns arising from collaboration and commissioning practice will be explored.
Constant coaching and feedback from staff and other students will quickly foster students’ development as journalists, publishing work on the course website and outside the university.

The course will include small-group voice training.
Through screenings, visits and guest speakers, students gain personal experience which will deepen their understandings of how journalists work.
Assessment through multi media portfolios, an in-depth final piece and regular writing of an online journal (moderated by tutor) is aimed at developing well-grounded self-confidence in professional skills.s

Learning and teaching

The module will be taught by a programme of weekly sessions, comprising a three-hour block for each of the 30 weeks in which it runs. Learning and teaching strategy will be based on an interactive model.
Sessions will mix tutor instruction with blended learning, in-class writing workshops, discussions and debate, site visits and guest lectures, with students required to do weekly reporting and writing exercises out of class as well as during sessions, where coaching will supplement group work.
Newsdays in the course news weeks will incorporate coaching sessions. Feedback will be given one-to-one, in class and electronically.
Electronic resources, including the university’s virtual environment, will be used by students and staff.
Working in small teams will develop social as well as professional and academic skills.
Voice training will develop professional capacities.
The module will be supported by a VLE site containing notes, readings and extended bibliographies, and weblinks.
Independent, reflective study, including reading, individual reporting exercises and writing, will form the backbone of every session.
Full support will be given for developing pdp.

Learning outcomes

If students read all the required texts, participate in all the class activities and complete the required assessments and assignments, they should be able to:

1) Utilise the techniques and tools required for multi-media news gathering and writing to a level acceptable at professional entry;

2) Reflect upon and be able to explain the rationale for technical choices.

3) Report from and about a wide range of situations, finding and using appropriate sources for stories and developing original angles;

4) Create journalistic products in a variety of platforms – radio, TV, print -- to length and to audience, working to a variety of audience, creating a portfolio of work;

5) Analyse and use in practice the newsgathering skills needed to develop stories from a variety of sources for variety of journalistic disciplines, including packages for radio and TV and investigations;

6) Display the personal and professional skills needed to report a variety of situations;

7) Discuss, codify and evaluate ethical concerns which may arise from collaborative working or risky situations.

8) Use their voices to convey clear, compelling information

Assessment strategy

• Formative assessment will comprise regular reporting and writing assignments, which will demonstrate the students’ understanding of the material and flag up what they still need to learn.  Oral feedback will be given in class, on a coaching model, especially on newsdays.
• Contribution in class, active participation in workshops/site visits and attendance in guest lectures will be self-assessed as well as tutor-assessed, via journal
• Summative assessment will consist of multi-media portfolios of work as well as a piece of long-form journalism demonstrating reporting skills, and contribution to online journals.
All work will be marked individually.
All assessments cover all learning outcomes.



Adams, Sally (2009). Interviewing for Journalists, Routledge
Bradshaw. P.  (2017)
The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to survive and thrive in the digital age. Routledge: London.
Bull, A., 2016 (2nd ed). Multimedia Journalism: A Practical Guide. Abingdon: Routledge. [CORE]
Bradshaw, P & Rohumaa, L (2011) The Online Journalism Handbook. Longman
Conboy, Martin (2007) The Language of the News London: Routledge
Frost, Chris (2001 and subsequent editions) Reporting for Journalists, Routledge [CORE]
Halpern Wenger, D & Potter, D (2011) Advancing The Story…2nd Edition: CQ Press
Harris, Geoffrey and Spark, David (2010) Practical Newspaper Reporting,  Focal Press,
Hicks, Wynford (2006) English for Journalists, Routledge
Mencher,  Melvin (2007) News Reporting and Writing, McGraw Hill
Rich, Carole (2010) Writing and Reporting News - a Coaching Method,   Wadsworth Publishing
Wheeler, Sharon (2009) Feature Writing for Journalists, Routledge
Various (2007) Essential Reporting: The NCTJ Guide for Trainee Journalists NCTJ

Block, M  (2011) Writing for Broadcast, Bonus [CORE]
Fleming, C (2009) The Radio Handbook, Psychology Press (E-book via ‘Library’ in Weblearn)
Starkey, G and Crisell, A (2009) Radio Journalism, Routledge

Andre Boyd, Broadcast Journalism (5th edition), Oxford (2005) [CORE]
Conboy, Martin (2007) The Language of the News London: Routledge
Stewart, P and Alexander, A (2016). Broadcast Journalism. Routledge: London [CORE]
Thompson, R (2004) Writing for Broadcast Journalists. Routledge
Willett, A. (2013) Media Production: A Practical Guide To Radio And TV Oxford: Routledge

Burden, P (2008) Fake Sheikhs and Royal Trappings, Eye
de Burgh, H (2008) Investigative Journalism, Routledge
Lee-Hunter, M (2011) Story-based inquiry: a manual for investigative journalists, unesco ebook
Leigh, D  (1997) The Liar: The Fall of Jonathan Aitken, Penguin
Pilger, J (2004) Tell Me No Lies, Cape  [CORE]
Watson, T and Hickman,M (2012) Dial M for Murdoch, Allen Lane
Winnett, R and Raynor, G (2009) No Expenses Spared, Corgi

BBC College of Journalism

BBC 5 live news bulletins, Breakfast Show, Drive (1600-1900)
PM with Eddie Mair, BBC Radio 4 (1700-1800)
BBC London 94.5 news bulletins