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Introduction to Journalism Practice


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 4
  • Assessment: a 350-400-word short news story (25%), 1000-1200-word feature story (25%), 800-word review (25%) and a 400-word news writing simulation test in a computer lab (25%)

Module description

This module is designed to introduce you to the basic skills a journalist requires to work in news, feature-writing and sub-editing. The class will follow the progression of a story from initial idea to printed page. This will include learning how to write successfully for newspapers and magazines. From research and interviewing to writing and editing, you will see how the stories are put together.

The aim is to help you to develop the confidence and competence to work as a professional journalist, and to prepare you for the more specialised practical modules offered at higher levels.

Sessions involve lectures, discussion and in-class activities. Most sessions begin with a handout, which is discussed. This is followed by a lecture, further discussion and debate and sometimes an in-class assignment. Lecture components are posted online after sessions.

Indicative module content

  • Aspirations
  • The media and the market
  • Introduction to news writing
  • The news reporter
  • Good style and bad
  • Introduction to freelancing
  • Research and use of interviews
  • Feature writing: the art of story telling
  • Specialist feature writing and trade journalism
  • Travel writing
  • Opinionated writing
  • Reviews: films, television, books
  • Specialist reviews and sport
  • Introduction to sub-editing
  • Standfirsts, headlines, captions, bills and proofing
  • Layout and design
  • Introduction to web journalism
  • Blogs, websites and writing for the web
  • Media law
  • Making a living from journalism