MP4002 - Practices of Journalism

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What will I learn on this module?

This module examines the historical evolution of journalism, examines its contemporary structures and cultures, and identifies the main issues confronting its future development. It integrates academic and journalistic perspectives to provide a wide-ranging introduction to the critical study of those policies and practices which determine journalistic production and consumption; and it equips those students contemplating a career in journalism with a comprehensive knowledge of its salient characteristics. The second half of the module looks at the role of the media and journalists in the democratic process. It looks at politics, elections and public administration at local, regional, national and European levels. You will learn how to cover political events and have an understanding of concepts of bias, objectivity, fairness and balance in political reporting. It will also look at rules of election reporting. You are also given a basic grounding in media law and the legal structures and environments in which journalists operate as well as newspaper and broadcast regulation.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars and you are expected to complete a research-related activity each week which will be discussed during the seminars. Seminars are opportunities for further discussion of each week’s lecture topic and you will be expected to proactively contribute to each week’s discussion through presenting the fruits of your research task. In addition each seminar will include a current affairs quiz which contributes to the module’s final mark.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported in a variety of manners: the module tutor is available to discuss issues both during and outside scheduled teaching. Tutors can discuss issues during pre-determined Office Hours each week, and also via email. Additionally, information, teaching materials and other support is available through the Electronic Learning Portal system.

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:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

1.Demonstrate an understanding of the significance of a wide variety of journalistic operations and outputs
2.Employ a wide range of theoretical perspectives in the analysis of the journalistic profession
3.Recognise and understand the constraints, and their consequences, within which news is produced and consumed
4.Relate the role of the journalist to that of other key informants and entertainers in contemporary societies
5.Demonstrate understanding of the legal framework in which journalists operate in Britain
Knowledge & Understanding:
• L 1-5

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• L 2,4,5

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• L 2,3

How will I be assessed?

Current affairs quizzes (30% of final mark) run in each seminar session. LO 1
Formative feedback is given by the tutor and, where appropriate, peer review takes place following tasks undertaken in seminars.
A closed book examination take place at the end of each semester (each 35% of final mark). Summative feedback is given via feedback forms. LO 1-5





Module abstract

Practices of Journalism gives students a valuable grounding in how journalists go about their day to day jobs in 21st Century Britain, and an understanding of what pressures reporters are placed under in terms of time, technology and media ownership. They are also taught how journalists interact with local and national government structures and the legal framework of this country. Students research topics for discussion in seminar groups and take part in regular current affairs quizzes which, along with two examinations, form the overall assessment for the module. The foundations laid with this module are a vital component for students’ future employment prospects.

Course info

UCAS Code PP35

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 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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