Module Identifier MC30220  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Ms Janet Jones  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   270 Hours 8 x 90 minute sessions  
  Seminars / Tutorials   8 Hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Essay - The essay (2500words) will reflect on the students' ability to read widely around the subject area and to produce working examples relevant to their chosen subject. They will be expected to use non-traditional sources such as current media texts to help structure and explain their argument.40%
Semester Assessment Independent Research Project - The independent project work will allow students to consider real cases and studies and hypothetical; scenarios revolving around the central themes. This will culminate in a 1500 word assessed project and oral discussion and presentation. Attendance at seminars will be compulsory so students can effectively engage in debating current case studies.60%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the historical and current journalistic debates surrounding media, democracy and citizenship.
2. Understand how news text varies between media through an analysis of current working practices in newsgathering and the impact this has on issues such as accuracy and the creation of a news agenda.
3. Analyse and evaluate the significance of case studies in the areas of media ethics, related law and self regulation in a market driven economy.
4. Demonstrate a broad understanding of how the information revolution and the effects of convergence have impacted on the practice of Journalism.

Brief description

This module will focus on an analysis of the changing role of journalism in the expanding digital arena and the impact on newsgathering and reporting. It will explore the ways in which `new? media impact on what are considered the traditional skills of journalists divided under the following headings:

Journalism history ? historical debates surrounding press freedom, state and voluntary regulation; democracy and citizenship and the introduction of PSB.
The function of news gathering in a pre-digital age.
The Modern News Room ? The taming of the information tide and what makes news. A case study of BBC 24 hour news gathering serving radio, television, web and BBCi. Is there a mission to explain or a mission to react?
News Text ? discourse analysis across media ? case studies from radio, tv, web/interactive TV online. Linear verses interactive user structure
Ethics and media law (part one and two)? controversial issues in the contemporary media. Covering privacy, intrusion, censorship, investigative journalism and the public?s right to know, freedom of expression, contempt of court, protection of sources, official secrets act. Investigating the effects of a market driven economy on sensationalism and voyeurism and inaccurate reporting.
Media and Democracy ? the relationship between media, democracy and citizenship ? the media?s coverage of general elections and the rise of information management (spin doctoring)
Information revolution ? the effects of convergence on the practice of journalism. Web advocacy and alternative journalism. The minority voice.
War reporting ? the role of propaganda ? a study of the historical relationship between media and government in war time
New communications paradigms -. In the developing broadband market ? do we need to rethink broadcasting policy, are current laws and voluntary regulation sufficient to handle the new technology?


This module explores the relationship between `new? media and core journalism practice, the development of global media and the market that shapes it ? the commercial issues of the e-economy. Focusing on an analysis of the changing role of journalism in the expanding digital arena and its impact on newsgathering and reporting, it will explore the ways in which `new? media impact on what are considered the traditional skills of journalists. This module will support the proposed media and communications degree scheme by providing students with a means to read `new media? journalism texts and become critical users of the converging media while also promoting functional literacy in creating texts in such media.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Background
Bell, A (1991) The Language Of The News Media Oxford: Basil Blackwell
Bromley, M and T. O?Malley (eds) (1997) A Journalism Reader London: Routledge
Carey, P (1996) Media Law London: Sweden Maxwell
Day, L A. (1991) Ethics in Media Communication: Cases and Controversies Belmont CA: Wadsworth University Press
Fallows, J. (1998) Breaking the News New York: Pantheon Books
Hartley, J. (1998) Popular Reality: Journalism, Modernity, Popular Culture London: Arnold
McNair, B. (2000) Journalism and Democracy: An evaluation of the Political Public Sphere New York: Routledge
Schlesinger, P. (1984) Televising Terrorism London: Comedia
United Kingdom Committee (1967) Human Rights London: Heinemann


This module is at CQFW Level 6