module specification

SJ6033 - Advanced Newsroom Production (2013/14)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2013/14
Module title Advanced Newsroom Production
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Total study hours 300
Running in 2013/14 No instances running in the year

Module summary

Students will work in teams in the multimedia newsroom to research, write and present multi-platform journalism.   Working to specified job descriptions they will take on responsibility for the editorial and production processing and use knowledge to spot and prepare stories for forward planning diaries, with due regard to ethical and professional considerations.

Student will work to tight deadlines and adhere to professional codes and standards during editorial cycles, which will culminate in a series of newsdays.  These will develop employability and include sessions on budgeting and costings.

Students will be given the opportunity to work in specific professional genres (news, features, sport etc) or specific media (audio, video, newspaper, magazine or online).  They will write, subedit and re-version copy for different platforms and purposes.

Students will be encouraged to develop a contacts book and to publish work in professional publications, as well as on the course website.  Language, writing and presentation styles will be developed to match or improve on contemporary industry practice. 

Through tutor coaching they will improve skills such as video, audio and copy editing, writing and editing copy and scripts, headlines and picture captions and learn how to use words, images, graphics, audio and social media, including tweeting, to construct narratives appropriate to stories and platforms.  

Student development will be informed by sessions led by guest speakers from the industry and field trips to working news environments. 
Assessment will involve three portfolios of journalism.  Engagement with class will be self-assessed and moderated by tutors.

Module aims

• Interviewing, listening, note-taking, writing, language and presentation skills;  
• Understanding of ethical, legal and regulatory guidelines and financial constraints;
• Technical and production competencies both individually and as a member of a team;
• News sense, story ideas and development of links, sequels and spin-offs appropriate to multi-platform journalism.


Teaching sessions will take place in the multimedia newsroom where students will be required to produce clear, vigorous and balanced reports in a form that will attract and interest the reader, viewer or listener.  Coaching in class will focus on recognising, substantiating, verifying and telling a good story, and then compiling these stories into an edited media product. 
Students will be taught how to recognise, obtain and select important, relevant and newsworthy content using appropriate skills and techniques. 
Students will need to use social media, reader polls, message boards, forums and reader comments to develop stories and a dialogue with readers, viewers and listeners. 
They will write, subedit and re-version copy for different platforms and purposes.
Through tutor coaching they will improve skills such as video, audio and copy-editing, writing and editing copy and scripts, layout, headlines and picture captions.  They will learn basic budgetary and costing techniques.
In teams, they will unify words, images, graphics, audio and social media to construct distinctive journalistic products for print, online and broadcast. Newsdays will consolidate this learning.
Tutors will help students produce work that is legally safe and adherent to industry codes of practice and/or guidelines.  It will form part of a portfolio, which they can use in seeking employment.

Learning and teaching

Students will work on a self-directed basis in the multimedia newsroom supervised by professional journalists.   Learning and teaching strategy will be based on an interactive model using a combination of supervised three-hour workshop sessions and self-directed writing and research, with summative newsdays.

Tutors will coach students in formulating and developing story ideas, researching and gathering material and writing and presenting work to colleagues. By examining their own work they will be encouraged to develop reflective practice.

In enhancement weeks, newsdays will allow a virtual professional environment to foster team-building and employability.

Electronic resources, including the university’s Virtual Learning Environment, will be used by students and staff.

Feedback will be given one-to-one in class and electronically.   Students will be required to reflect on their own performance in the commentary and in self-assessment of their engagement with the class.

Work created will support pdp.

Learning outcomes

• Research, write and present news items and features to industry standard;
• Work in teams producing journalism which fits ethical and market criteria and is substantiated;
• Appreciate and apply legal, professional and budgetary professional guidelines and regulation to their journalistic work;
• Display competencies in developing, commissioning, costing, editing, writing, producing and publicising multi-platform stories which will make them employable in a professional publishing environment.

Assessment strategy

Summative assessment will involve three portfolios of journalism, and a reflective commentary in which students will be required to provide evidence of how they have fulfilled designated roles and developed their professional practice. 

Tutorials on portfolios will focus on drafting and formative assessment.

Engagement with class will be assessed by a self-assessed grid-sheet, moderated by tutor feedback.


Bull, A., 2010. Multimedia Journalism: A Practical Guide.  Abingdon: Routledge.
Frost, C., 2003. Designing for Newspapers and Magazines.  Abingdon: Routledge
Hanna, M. and Dodd, M., 2012.  McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists.  Oxford: OUP.
Harrower, T., 2002.  The Newspaper Designers Handbook.  New York: Mc Graw Hill.   
Hicks, W., and Holmes, T., 2008.  Subediting for Journalists.   Abingdon: Routledge.
Quinn, S., 2001.  Digital Sub Editing and Design.  Oxford: Focal Press.
Smith, J., 2007. Essential Reporting, the NCTJ Guide for Trainee Journalists. London: Sage.