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Module UXS-2100:
Digital Journalism & Society

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Vian Bakir

Overall aims and purpose

This module will enable students to appreciate the fast developing world of digital journalism, together with its social, political and economic drivers and impacts. It will map the digital terrain, exploring the impact on journalism of Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and convergence. Students will examine new ways of doing journalism, and will evaluate the impact of digital journalism on political manipulation and social resistance. Throughout, issues of trust, authenticity and immediacy - all issues that are intensified in the digital environment - will be explored.

Course content

The module will map the digital terrain exploring the hopes and fears surrounding Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 technologies; and technological and cultural convergence of old and new media. New ways of doing journalism will examine the phenomenon of citizen journalism, the financing of online journalism when audiences no longer want to pay, and new methods of sourcing information (such as Wikileaks and Twitter). The impact of digital journalism on political manipulation and social resistance will be explored, through examining cultural practices such as sousveillance ('watching from below'). Throughout, issues of trust, authenticity and immediacy - all issues that are intensified in the digital environment - will be explored.

Assessment Criteria


D: • Knowledge of key areas/principles only • Weaknesses in understanding of main areas • Limited evidence of background study • Answer only poorly focussed on question and with some irrelevant material and poor structure • Arguments presented but lack coherence • Several factual/computational errors • No original interpretation • Only major links between topics are described • Limited problem solving • Many weaknesses in presentation and accuracy


C: Good • Knowledge of key areas/principles • Understands main areas • Limited evidence of background study • Answer focussed on question but also with some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure • Arguments presented but lack coherence • Has several factual/computational errors • No original interpretation • Only major links between topics are described • Limited problem solving • Some weaknesses in presentation and accuracy B: Very Good • Strong knowledge • Understands most but not all • Evidence of background study • Focussed answer with good structure • Arguments presented coherently • Mostly free of factual and computational errors • Some limited original interpretation • Well known links between topics are described • Problems addressed by existing methods/approaches • Good presentation with accurate communication


A: • Comprehensive knowledge • Detailed understanding • Extensive background study • Highly focussed answer and well structured • Logically presented and defended arguments • No factual/computational errors • Original interpretation • New links between topics are developed • New approach to a problem • Excellent presentation with very accurate communication

Learning outcomes

  1. Develop a clear understanding of what Digital Journalism is.

  2. Reflecting on knowledge gleaned from the degree programme so far, analyse and appreciate how digital journalism is impacting on traditional journalism.

  3. Analyse and examine digital tools such as Wikileaks and blogs in terms of their reliability, authenticity and trustworthiness as news providers.

  4. Examine how traditional media are adapting new methods of news gathering and dissemination available in the digital age.

  5. Examine how digital journalism impacts processes of political manipulation and resistance.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY essay

See Module Guide for full essay title and guidance.

(The essay will ask you to evaluate the impact of digital journalism on traditional journalism.)

GROUP PRESENTATION Leading the Seminar

This will take place across the semester in specified seminar slots. In small groups you will co-lead a seminar and discuss a set of pre-arranged seminar questions, detailed in the Module Guide. Working in groups, you will receive a group mark. The time length of the seminar is not an indication of how long you should "present", but rather the period of the seminar. The aim is to employ engaging activities so that the entire seminar group debates, explores, creates and develops insight into the issues of the week. The livelier and more engaging the better! Ensure that you are prepared, read around the topic, find good examples to explain ideas simply.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

  1. Lecture, 1 hour per week x 11

Seminar, 1 hour per week x 11

Private study

Read up on the essential readings and some of the extra reading in the Module Guide. Do this on a weekly basis throughout the semester.


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.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • 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
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Extract and synthesise key information from written and/or spoken sources in English / Welsh and/or the target language. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • The ability to organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument in written and/or oral assignments and class discussions. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • Critical skills in the close reading, description, reasoning and analysis of primary and secondary sources in the target language and/or English or Welsh (incl. filmic, literary and other sources). (Benchmark statement 5.13, 5.14, 5.15)
  • Competence in the planning and execution of essays, presentations and other written and project work; bibliographic skills, including the accurate citation of sources and consistent use of conventions and appropriate style in the presentation of scholarly work. (Benchmark statement 5.10, 5.14, 5.15)
  • The ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints and to place these in a wider socio-cultural and/or geo-historical and political and/or socio-linguistic context and to revise and re-evaluate judgements in light of those of the course leader, certain individuals or groups studied and/or fellow students. (Benchmark statement 5.13, 5.15 and 5.16)
  • The ability to write and think under pressure and meet deadlines. (Benchmark statement 5.15)
  • The ability to write effective notes and access and manage course materials including electronic resources / information provided on online learning platforms and library resources. (Benchmark statement 5.15, 5.16)
  • The ability to work creatively and flexibly both independently and/or as part of a team. (Benchmark statement 5.15).
  • The ability and willingness to engage with and appreciate other cultures and to articulate to others (in written and verbal form) the contribution that the culture has made at a regional and global level. (Benchmark statement 5.7)
  • The ability to comprehend, critically engage with and apply relevant theoretical concepts to materials being studied. (Benchmark statement 5.10)
  • The ability to engage in analytical, evaluative and original thinking. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • The ability to organise and present ideas and arguments in presentations, classroom discussions and debates. (Benchmark statement 5.14, 5.16)


Talis Reading list

Reading list

There is no single key textbook to cover the module’s reading, as the topics embraced are diverse. Key book chapters and journal articles that comprise the minimum essential reading for each week can be found via Blackboard. Below are some useful academic journals, which you should browse regularly.
- Digital Journalism
- Political Communication - Journalism Practice
-Journalism Studies -Journalism -Columbia Journalism Review -European Journal of Communication
-Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media -International Journal of Press and Politics
-British Journalism Review - Journal of Transnational Broadcasting Studies - Media, Culture and Society - American Journalism Review - Convergence: the international journal of research into new media technologies - Global Media Journal-Mediterranean Edition - Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

You may also want to browse the following web-sites as they contain discussions of contemporary digital journalism issues.

Pew Research Centre’s Project for Excellence in Journalism

Pew Internet and American Life Project

NMIT Working Papers: Working Papers on New Media and Information Technology in the Middle East

The Online Journalism Review


Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: