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Journalism MA (NCTJ accredited)

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  • Objectives
    # To enable students to gain a systematic understanding of the field of contemporary journalism and a critical understanding of the current problems in the field. # To give students a comprehensive understanding of the main theoretical approaches to and techniques of journalism, and to encourage them to use these critically, both in their studies of journalism and their own critical practice. # To enable students to develop journalism skills in a media field of their own choosing. # To provide students with a critical understanding of the journalistic field which will enable them to use most effectively the skills which they acquire on the programme.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements A good honours degree or equivalent in any subject from a recognised university. Candidates without a first degree but with relevant practical experience will also be considered. An IELTS score of at least 7.5 is mandatory for all students whose first language is not English.
  • Academic Title
    Journalism MA
  • Course description
    Course Summary

    MA Journalism is a brand new programme offering a unique combination of cutting-edge skills and contextual knowledge. Devised in close consultation with senior journalists, the syllabus provides a rigorous foundation to a career in this dynamic, challenging and often controversial industry. Students are trained in print/online journalism, with the option to specialise in broadcast journalism in the second term. Throughout the programme, students gain a reflexive understanding of the journalism industry, particularly the ethical, legal, political and other contextual factors that impact upon journalists’ daily working lives. Taught by highly-experienced practitioners and academics, the programme also benefits from input from prestigious guest speakers. Students have the flexibility of completing the course in one year full-time or two years part-time.

    Course Details

    MA Journalism consists of a common core of study in journalism, with an offer of specialist study in print or broadcast journalism in the second term, which will facilitate your entry into different aspects of the industry. This is particularly relevant in the context of a converging media industry requiring multi-skilling and the ability to adapt to new media environments.

    The programme is distinctive in allowing you to develop your own cutting-edge journalistic practice, whether it's exploring 3G news, podcasts or on-screen page make-up. At the same time you learn about the impact of technological change, cultural developments and political issues on different forms of journalism. Particular attention will be paid to factors such as media ownership, the regulation of the media, journalism ethics, and the role of journalism in the political process,

    Students will greatly benefit from the School's excellent links with the journalism, broadcasting and publishing industries, and will be offered the opportunity for work placement. Furthermore, this will be the first London Masters in Journalism to offer NCTJ accreditation as a hallmark of its relevance to and status within the industry.

    Programme content

    The programme will consist of five modules - two that provide cutting-edge journalism skills essential for the new entrant to the industry, coupled with two that offer in-depth analysis of the recent history and political economy of the industry, critical evaluation of the cultural, political, ethical and legal frameworks within which journalism operates, and academic interrogation of current and emerging journalistic issues. The fifth module – a Major Project - requires a synthesis of practice and theory. Through undertaking these modules, you will be enabled to identify and apply the most useful practical, theoretical and contextual approaches to help you to produce “good” journalism. In this way, you can enter journalism confident of your abilities, with highly-developed research skills, ethical judgement, the necessary contextual knowledge and an ability to navigate successfully an increasingly market-led industry.

    Modules (all core)

        * Journalistic Practice I
          Main topics of study: classifications of news: news values, sources and the implied reader; news writing, news language; techniques of news interviewing and research in a new media context; reporting court, local and national government, crime and emergency services; introduction to layout and on-screen page make-up; image, text and design relationships in a print/online media context.

        * Journalistic Practice II
          Main topics of study: feature research, interviewing and investigation for converging media; audience and targetting in the digital journalism context;
          digital manipulation and meaning production; advanced presentation skills and critical strategies in news and feature production.

        * Journalism in Context
          Main topics of study: the structures of the institutions within which journalism is practiced: public administration; the legal framework within which journalism operates; the professional codes governing journalistic practice; the ownership and control of the institutions within which journalism is practiced; professional ideologies of journalism; the political framework within which journalism operates; journalism in a consumer society.

        * Issues in Journalism
          Main topics of study: current debates about journalism and the political process;
          the public sphere; journalism as a 'Fourth Estate'; the impact of new technology on journalism; celebrity culture; journalistic ethics; journalism and its others; freedom of information; journalism post 9/11.

        * Dissertation

    Special Features

        * A broad-based journalism core;

        * Specialist study for informed career choice;

        * Distinguished guest speakers;

        * Journalism practice contextualised within a framework of technological, political and cultural change.

    Teaching Methods

    The Teaching Team

    The programme will be delivered by a combination of academics based at Brunel (who also have considerable journalistic experience) and visiting journalists working in key positions within the media industries.

        * The programme convenor, Dr Sarah Niblock, is a former journalism staff member at City University and London College of Communications, and has worked for the regional press (Birkenhead News, Liverpool Echo, Daily Post) as well as writing for Cosmopolitan and freelancing for national print and broadcast media. She is also a published journalism academic.

        * Celia Brayfield is one of a number of published writers on staff. She is the author of nine novels, including three international bestsellers. She also contributes regularly to newspapers, periodicals and magazines. Her most recent book, Wild Weekend, was published by TimeWarner in 2004.

        * Professor Julian Petley is a former journalist and now an academic specialising in media policy and regulation. His most recent book (with James Curran and Ivor Gaber) is Culture Wars: the Media and the British Left (Edinburgh University Press 2005). He is a member of the editorial board of the British Journalism Review, co-chair of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, and a regular contributor to Index on Censorship.

    Print, broadcast or on-line journalism.

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