module specification

SJ5034 - Newsroom Production (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Newsroom Production
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Employability e-portfolio [total 1500 words]
Coursework 20%   Journalism portfolio plus InDesign lay-out [total 1000 words]]
Coursework 35%   Journalism portfolio, video pitch and reflective commentary, via online production journal [total 1500 words]
Coursework 25%   JournaJournalism portfolio, individual[total 1000 -1200 words ](Individual)
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Afternoon
Year North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

 Students will work in teams in the newsroom to produce multi-platform journalism consistent with industry practice.  This module is core for journalism students and many allied courses.

Working within tight deadlines and adhering to professional codes and standards, students will write and edit copy and scripts, headlines and picture captions and learn how to use words, images, graphics, audio and social media to construct narratives appropriate to the story and platform. They will develop competencies in the use of audio and video recording and editing, making particular use of smartphones, and learn how to draw traffic to their work by means of social media.

In order to perform these tasks, students will take on a number of roles specified in published job descriptions.  Students will be required to produce CVs, covering letters and portfolio websites displaying their own work, appear before an interview board and pitch story or programme ideas to commissioners.   This will develop their social as well as writing skills.

The development of students’ professional practice will be informed by sessions led by guest speakers from the industry and field trips to working news environments. 

The second half of the course will involve four six-hour long news days, which will offer chances to transform understandings into practice.

Successful completion of this module will involve the preparation of journalism and employability portfolios to be developed for presentation to prospective employers.   

Assessment will involve three portfolios of journalism, and an employability portfolio.
Contribution to news days will be both self-assessed and moderated by tutors.

Prior learning requirements



 Teaching sessions will take place in the multimedia newsroom and include explicit instruction about roles and responsibilities in a modern newsroom, the challenge of working in teams, user generated content and social media in journalism, multimedia storytelling, page design and layout, the power of images and graphics, principles of copy editing, fact-checking, balance and the right of reply, how to write headlines and captions.  LO1,2,4

In enhancement weeks, news days will allow a virtual professional environment to foster team-building and employability, developing social as well as writing skills LO2-4

The second half of the course will involve news days of six hours. These will also involve some recording and editing of audio and video material, using smartphones. LO1,2,4

In addition, students will attend workshop sessions on employers and employability, pitching and interviews, preparation of CVs and covering letters, performing at a job interview, entrepreneurial journalism and working as a freelance. LO3,4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

 Learning and teaching strategy will be based on an interactive model using a combination of supervised three-hour workshop sessions, extended news days and self-directed writing and research.  Teaching will be delivered by professional journalists who will coach students in formulating and developing story ideas, researching and gathering material and writing and presenting work to colleagues.   

Employability and entrepreneurship training will be delivered in conjunction with the University Career Service and Enterprise Development Manager. 

In enhancement and news weeks, additional news days will complement one-to-one tutorial and coaching sessions.

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

Work produced in the module will support development of pdp, via publication on course website.

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. Work in teams producing journalism which fits market criteria;
2. Make flexible contributions to discussion, writing and production within the newsroom and news days;
3. Analyse their own personal strengths and weaknesses in employment contexts, develop strategies and explore opportunities to work in the industry;
4. Discuss and evaluate the elements and processes involved in seeking journalistic employment, with practical application to their own future.

Assessment strategy

 Formative feedback will be provided on an ongoing basis through class and online discussion.  During news days, formative assessment on draft portfolios will be incorporated into practice.

Written feedback will be provided electronically for all summative assessments, reinforced by tutorial coaching. Summative assessments will take place at three intervals during the module, timed to be effective alongside other subject-specific modules. Summative assessment will involve three portfolios of journalism, an electronic employability portfolio and a reflective online commentary.

In each case of summative assessment feedback will normally be given to the student within a two-week period.

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

The employability portfolio will include a CV, covering letter, website portfolio and a reflection of what they have learned, including feedback. The second portfolio will include several pages of a newspaper laid out in InDesign, while the third will have a video presentation pitching a story or programme idea at a commissioner.

Journalism portfolios will include samples of students’ own work and accounts of how they have worked in role.

Contribution to news days will be assessed by an online production journal, moderated by tutor feedback, in which students will be required to provide evidence of how they have fulfilled designated roles and developed their skills.  This forms part of the second journalism portfolio.

Final portfolio will be individual work, on subject agreed with tutor and in line with group projects.

Four assessments in total (see Sec 19) with an indicative mapping of Learning outcomes and the assessment components:
1) Coursework 1 [LOs 3,4]
2) Coursework 2 [LOs 1,2,3,4]
3) Coursework 3 [LOs 1,2,3,4]
4) Coursework 4 [LOs 1,2,3,4]


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