SJ7035 - Feature Journalism (2020/21)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2020/21|
|Module title||Feature Journalism|
|Module level||Masters (07)|
|Credit rating for module||20|
|School||School of Art, Architecture and Design|
|Total study hours||200|
|Running in 2020/21||
This module allows students to devise, research and write, in a workshop setting and through independent study, feature articles of the type published in magazines, newspapers, online and in other journalistic outlets. Creative activity will be informed by critical reading of published work in feature journalism and texts about feature journalism. Students are required to develop, plan, research and write two or three feature articles with different orientations, based, for example, around a topical issue, travel, or profile.
This is a core module on the MA Creative, Digital and Professional Writing. It inducts students into the professional levels of research, writing and editing that they will need to develop in order to be published. It teaches them how to structure a feature, develop an individual voice, write to length, write feature pitches for different websites and publications and understand their different requirements and imperatives. As such it is a key employability module on the MA.
The module builds on some of the skills developed in the Creative Nonfiction module, and helps develop those that are needed for the Multimedia Journalism module and are valuable in the Digital Storytelling and the Scriptwriting modules. It will enable students to devise, research, write, edit and pitch a variety of different feature articles, and to develop an understanding of the imperatives and constraints exerted by different markets and outlets for feature articles, online and print.
The syllabus will develop students’ ability to identify appropriate subject-matter and markets for feature articles, and to devise, plan, write, edit and pitch them in a variety of forms and orientations.
Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 4
It will introduce them to a wide variety of features, and develop their ability to reflect upon and discuss both published features of different kinds, the work of their fellow students and their own writing in the genre.
Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 4
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
The module is delivered in a three-hour workshop setting. Most sessions will involve students devising ideas for, planning, researching and writing their feature articles. Other elements will include: critical appraisal of published examples of feature journalism; sharing and mutual critical support of each other's work in pairs, small groups and with the class as a whole; discussion of potential outlets and markets for feature journalism, especially in London, and multimedia platforms; individual research activity in the Learning Centre, including the appropriate use of IT. Students will be expected to spend the requisite amount of independent individual effort on all the above activities as well as to conduct empirical research or field visits.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
Subject specific skills
LO1 plan, develop, research, write, edit and pitch attractive and original features, with an understanding of how to structure them appropriately for different print and multimedia platforms and markets;
Knowledge and understanding
LO2 develop advanced knowledge of the different requirements and opportunities arising from different journalistic genres, subjects, print and multimedia platforms and markets, and of how digital and social media can be used as both source, outlet and means of promoting their feature writing;
Cognitive and intellectual abilities
LO3 develop an ability to reflect analytically upon feature writing as a genre;
LO4 learn independently for the purposes of continuing professional development.
Formal assessment will be based on a portfolio consisting of a) two or three feature articles with different orientations; b) a pitch, 250-300 words, to a publication or website for one of the features; c) a reflective and analytical commentary (750-1000 words), with appropriate evidence and reference to critical reading, on the planning and research involved in the development and writing of one of the submitted feature articles - the features, pitch and commentary together totalling 4300 words. The commentary needs to be analytic, drawing on examples from newspapers, magazines and/or online journalism, as well as academic texts about journalism.
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Hennessy, B. (1997) Writing feature articles: a practical guide to methods and markets, Oxford: Focal Press
Pape, S. and Featherstone, S. (2006) Feature Writing, London: Sage
Wheeler, S. (2009) Feature Writing for Journalists, Abingdon: Routledge
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Vice: http://www.vice.com/en_uk/tag/journalism; http://hackshackers.com/