MP5034 - Media, Ethics and Current Affairs

What will I learn on this module?

This module considers the legal and ethical expectations and obligations of digital communicators in the modern environment. Examples from news, media and popular culture will be drawn upon in order to a) illustrate the continuing relevance of moral concerns, b) demonstrate the ubiquity of moral concerns in contemporary culture and c) illustrate how journalists operate legally and ethically across a range of media. The module aims to evince the ways in which moral theory can deepen our understanding of contentious issues that impact on our lives and rights as citizens. The module also aims to develop your ability to work with theoretical concepts and the practicalities of legal and ethical digital communication, applicable to journalists, digital marketers, social media influencers, and beyond.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn via a variety of mechanisms. These include lectures, seminars, online activities (where appropriate) and independent learning.
Lectures will provide the contextual and theoretical information you need to understand the module’s themes and approaches. The lecturer will provide examples that will demonstrate how to apply relevant critical techniques, and to stimulate your engagement with the course material (by, for example, presenting various challenges and conflicts raised in the field).
Seminars will provide space for you to interrogate and discuss the ideas raised in the lectures, both with your peers and with the tutor. Seminars are oriented around discussion questions and activities to stimulate your engagement.
Outside of the taught sessions, you will be expected to engage with module-relevant reading in preparation for the sessions. An electronic reading list is supplied via the e-Learning Portal, which will guide you towards appropriate resources, although you are encouraged to explore the wider library catalogue to engage with additional sources too. During your independent working time, it is also expected that you will apply the ideas raised in the reading and the taught content to contemporary media examples beyond those cited in the lectures.
Where appropriate, additional materials will be supplied on the eLearning Portal. These independent activities will facilitate your development as you progress through the module, laying a foundation for your assessed work.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by the module lead; they will introduce the module at the start of the semester and offer advice and guidance throughout. Your learning is mapped out via documentation on Blackboard Ultra, the Northumbria University online electronic learning portal; this is accessible online on and off campus. The e-Learning Portal will include guidance notes and key dates to help you organise and plan your time. It will also include teaching materials, announcements and updates, and detailed information on assessment. You will have a university email that we contact you through.
We support your learning by providing on-going feedback (Formative and Summative) through the range of teaching and learning approaches offered. We ask you to submit your work electronically, and we will supply feedback via Turnitin. You will be able to compare your feedback across modules so that you can assess your development as you progress through the programme.
Formative assessment is offered throughout the module, and summative assignments will receive written feedback within 20 working days of assignment submission. Every tutor has set weekly feedback and tutorial drop in hours, wherein you can seek advice on your academic progress.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Gain detailed knowledge and understanding of contemporary ethical debates regarding issues such as abortion, animal welfare, freedom of speech and behaviour of the press and media
• Gain knowledge and understanding of how these ideas shape media production (accounting for, e.g. defamation, reporting court proceedings, restrictions placed on journalists when reporting on cases involving children)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Demonstrate your ability to critically interrogate cultural events and media texts by drawing on the theoretical paradigms and approaches covered on the module
• Develop your ability to evaluate media regulation – by official bodies and self-regulation – and the ethical frameworks that shape media production

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• The debates covered during the module will encourage you to reflect on your position as a citizen, focusing on your political, social and moral responsibilities in particular

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment is via two discrete elements:
1. A 2000 word essay consisting of theoretically informed analysis of a single issue, exemplified by case studies from contemporary journalism and/or culture. (LO 1-5) (worth 70% of overall module grade)
2. A multiple choice quiz (worth 30% of overall module grade)

You will receive formative feedback from your peers and the module tutor during the seminars throughout the course, allowing you to apprehend how your critical skills are developing. You will receive a detailed commentary and a summative mark on your written work in accordance with the assessment criteria (supplied on the eLP). Under normal circumstances, you will receive written feedback on your summative submissions within 20 working days. The feedback will normally be supplied electronically as part of the ESAF process. This feedback will provide a detailed account of your skills, critical engagement and communicative ability, as well as supporting future learning by indicating areas for development. You can also request additional verbal feedback on your submissions by arranging a meeting with the module tutor.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

This module considers the legal and ethical expectations and obligations of digital communicators in the modern environment. Examples from news, media and popular culture will be drawn upon in order to a) illustrate the continuing relevance of moral concerns, b) demonstrate the ubiquity of moral concerns in contemporary culture and c) illustrate how journalists operate legally and ethically across a range of media. The module aims to evince the ways in which moral theory can deepen our understanding of contentious issues that impact on our lives and rights as citizens. The module also aims to develop your ability to work with theoretical concepts and the practicalities of legal and ethical digital communication, applicable to journalists, digital marketers, social media influencers, and beyond.

Course info

UCAS Code P305

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.

 

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