SJ6P35 - Journalism Project (2020/21)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2020/21|
|Module title||Journalism Project|
|Module level||Honours (06)|
|Credit rating for module||30|
|School||School of Computing and Digital Media|
|Total study hours||300|
|Running in 2020/21||
This module allows students to explore in depth a topic of their own choice, arising out of previous study and subject to supervisor approval. It offers an exciting way to make an area of expertise all your own, whilst developing both journalistic and academic communication skills.
It must be a piece of longform journalism, aimed at a specified audience, not a study of journalism. It can be in any journalistic medium.
Independent but supported learning and sustained research and writing will provide a focus for refining and drawing together a wide range of transferable skills.
These must result in a high quality piece of journalism with an academically rigorous critical and research underpinning.
A synopsis and project management schedule, demonstrating a research strategy submitted at week 8, will provide a signpost for further work. A three-hour refresher session on law will prompt attention to legal constraints.
Prior learning requirements
The project should show evidence of original research, theoretical and/or empirical, as well as critical reflection or analysis on the topic chosen and its avenues of expression.
Its specific content is to be negotiated in advance between the student and the supervising tutor and a working title and specific audience agreed.
Students will plan, research and bring to completion a sustained piece of journalistic work. It should be of a standard that could be submitted for professional publication. It may have images and weblinks, as agreed.
They will also analyse the theoretical, critical or ethical issues such a work could arouse in the audience.
An interim report on progress (approx 1000 words) will be submitted for formative and summative assessment before the end of the first semester.
Topics will always need original research to develop the themes and must be written for a journalistic audience. They should require empirical investigation involving interviews, questionnaires and examination of diverse sources, which must result in a readable and authoritative journalistic piece.
These sources must be properly evaluated in the literature review and in the account given of the research strategy. Students will also need to show evidence of reflective and/or evaluative awareness taking into account theoretical, critical or ethical issues concerning their chosen topic.
Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 6
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
The most important part of this module is independent study and research, assisted by supervisor.
Initial classes will set out expectations and explain methodology, spaced over first 10 weeks.
A refresher law session will be run in semester 2.
Classes will in the second semester help with research methods, interviews and interviewees, language problems, structure and formatting of topics.
Students will also work with six hours of individual supervision, in sessions which will coach students into deeper research -- online, textual and primary -- better structured writing and a deeper understanding of the marketplace and audiences. These sessions will also help with technical aspects of media projects.
The module will be supported by a VLE site containing notes, readings and extended bibliographies, and weblinks.
Opportunities for pdp will be supported, particularly by encouraging publication on students’ blogs.
If students read complete the required assessments and assignments, they will develop professional skills. They should be able to:
1. Plan and sustain independent research, academic and journalistic;
2. Be able to confidently and professionally to conduct interviews and surveys within a variety of contexts;
3. Be able to research and deliver compelling pieces of journalism, at best equivalent to a professional standard.
4. Be able to write academically and forensically.
5. Create journalism that respects ethical and legal constraints.
6. Develop a final profile of personal/professional attributes within the context of professional and transferable skills, necessary for employment and further study or professional development.
This module will be summatively assessed by an extended article of 5-6,000 words, which can be three short articles, or by a 15-20 minutes video, audio or mixed media piece. This must be based on original interviews and research and aimed at a journalistic audience.
Also formatively and summatively assessed by a 1,500 word review of literature and research, by an extended, 2,500 word analysis of ethical and political issues surrounding possible publication. These must be written to high academci standard.
The fiest assessment will be the project management schedule, which will be a schedule of tasks relating to the planning, organisation, execution and submission of the project, agreed with the tutor in advance. This will be handed in for formative and summative assessment and feedback given within one week.
Formative assessment will take place on a coaching model. Formative and summative assessment will be given both electronically and one-to-one, in tutorial sessions and in classes.
Written feedback will be provided electronically for all summative assessments.
In each case of summative assessment, feedback will be given to the student within a two-week period.
All work will be marked individually.
No text books
Banks, David and Hanna, Mark. 2017. McNae’s Essential Law For Journalists. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Barber, Lynn (1999) Demon Barber. Penguin: London
Barber, Lynn (2014) A Curious Career. Bloomsbury. London
Bell, J (2014) Sixth edition. Doing your research project - a guide for first time researchers. Open University Press. Maidenhead.
Brooker, Charlie (2013) I Can Make You Hate. Guardian. London
Dawson, C (2009). Fourth edition. Introduction to Research Methods: A Practical Guide for Anyone Undertaking a Research Project. How to Books. London
Gill, Adrian (2017). Lines in the Sand. W & N . England.
Hicks, Wynford (1998) English for journalists. London : Routledge.
Kerrane, Kevin. .(1998)The Art of Fact: a Historical Anthology of Literary Journalism.
Kumar, R (2014). Fourth Edition. Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners. Sage Publications Ltd. London.
Mills, E and Wolf, N (2012). Cupcakes and Kalashnikovs, Constable: England.
Mitford, Jessica (2000). The American Way of Death Revisited. Virago: London
Moran, Caitlin.(2011). How to Be a Woman. Ebury. London
Moran, Caitlin. (2016). Moranifesto. Ebury. London.
Orwell, George. (2016). Seeing Things as They Are. Penguin: London.
Pilger, John (2004). Tell Me No Lies. Cape: London.
Stott , Rebecca and Avery, Simon (eds). (2001) Writing with style. Harlow : Longman.
Tabibi, Matt. (2017) Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the American Circus. W H Allen: England
Wolfe, Tom (1990). The New Journalism. Picador: London