Module UXS-1001:
Intro to Practical Journalism

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Ifan Jones

Overall aims and purpose

This module is an introduction to the skill of journalism. The students will be taught what the difference is between fictional and factual writing, and how to construct a factual news article. They will be given practical experience of interviewing people, how to find stories and how to edit their own work. They will also learn how to research stories and how to prepare for an interview, and how to write that story they are not interested in.

The students will complete a number of assignments all designed to encourage them to step out and find and write their own stories. These will all be written individually, although there will be opportunities in each lecture to contribute to the discussion. They will be strongly encouraged to follow news and current affairs through discussion of news topics which will be feeding directly into their assignments.

By the end of the module students will have been introduced to various publications and their editors and encouraged to try and publish their work.

Course content

  • The Basics of Writing a News Story
  • How to write Intros, Drop Intros, Lively Intros
  • What makes a good news story?
  • Where do stories come from?
  • How to build a contacts book
  • How to conduct an interview
  • Writing for TV and Radio
  • Colour and Feature Writing
  • An Introduction to Shorthand
  • How to deal with breaking news

Assessment Criteria

threshold

D:

  • An appreciation of journalistic writing and researching
  • An appreciation of journalistic values
  • An understanding of the essentials of preparing for and conducting an interview
  • An understanding of the nature of the free press
  • A fair ability to write newspaper articles and news programme scripts

good

B:

  • A sound appreciation of journalistic writing and researching
  • A sound appreciation of journalistic values
  • A good understanding of the essentials of preparing for and conducting an interview
  • A good understanding of the nature of the free press
  • A sound ability to write newspaper articles and news programme scripts

excellent

A

  • An excellent appreciation of journalistic writing and researching
  • An excellent appreciation of journalistic values
  • An excellent understanding of the essentials of preparing for and conducting an interview
  • An excellent understanding of the nature of the free press
  • An excellent ability to write newspaper articles and news programme scripts

Learning outcomes

  1. Be able to research their own stories and develop these for future use

  2. Originate their own stories and construct these with all the necessary elements to enable them to be published

  3. Analyse news events and construct their own independent view of each story

  4. Deal with interview situations, both planned and unplanned

  5. Appreciate the different journalistic writing skills for the press, TV and radio

  6. Appreciate the importance of finding, nurturing and developing contacts

  7. Understand and appreciate the need to write copy to length

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Hard News: one article approx. 500 words 30
Feature: one article approx. 1,000 words 35
Public Relations: press release and summary approx. 1000 words 35

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

Lectures 1-hour each week

11
Seminar

Virtual Newsroom Seminars 1-hour each week

11
Private study 178

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • An understanding of creative and critical processes, and of the wide range of skills inherent in creative writing. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • An awareness of writing and publishing contexts, opportunities and audiences in the wider world (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Artistic engagement and ability to articulate complex ideas in oral and written forms. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to connect creative and critical ideas between and among forms, techniques and types of creative and critical praxis. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Awareness of how different social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning (English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Reflective practitioner skills, including awareness of the practice of others in collaborative learning (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • The ability to synthesize information from various sources, choosing and applying appropriate concepts and methods (English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to formulate and solve problems, anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to engage in processes of drafting and redrafting texts to achieve clarity of expression and an appropriate style. (English Benchmark Statement 3.3; NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Information technology (IT) skills broadly understood and the ability to access, work with and evaluate electronic resources (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).

Resources

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: