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Creating Magazines: Content and Context

  • Module code: JO7014
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module aims to provide students with the practical skills necessary to work as successful journalists, underpinned by an understanding of the constraints and tensions inherent in magazine offices, and online operations developing in a changing industry. Students will examine the structure of this fast-expanding sector, with a particular emphasis on the role played by freelance journalists and production staff in generating content.

Students will have the opportunity to acquire the core skills for producing online and print publications which will include the use of social media/analytics/branding/research and interview techniques. They will be equipped with multimedia reporting, production and design skills in demand in the journalism industry and will be confident about telling stories through video and audio as well as the written word.

The module offers valuable opportunities for students to work together to produce and run their own group website, and magazine, developing their teamwork skills and experiencing the reality of different job roles in a multimedia operation. This classroom experience will provide a valuable introduction to the two-week work placement all students will be required to undertake as part of the module.

Aims

  • To develop the core journalistic skills of research, interviewing, writing, analysis, production and editing across a range of media platforms.
  • To equip students with the skills necessary to work successfully in a range of settings across the journalism industry.
  • To introduce students to the impact on practical journalism of economics of magazine publication, with particular focus on advertising, marketing, the role of freelance contributors, sales and distribution, desktop publishing and online magazines
  • To develop effective editorial skills and adapt these to the needs of differing audiences and objectives.
  • To build on students' existing team-work and communications to work together as a group to a specified end.
  • To develop aptitude for professional reflection on past performance and the ability to apply this to future actions in a work setting.

Learning outcomes

  • Produce journalism across a range of platforms to industry standard and work confidently in a journalistic setting.
  • Recognise the constraints involved in producing publications and engage critically with the pressures and opportunities confronting journalists in a changing industry.
  • Display a clear understanding of the day-to-day workplace culture of magazines; the economics of magazine publication; and the crucial relationships between owners, editors, staff commissioning editors, designers and freelance writers and photographers
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of how a magazine develops as a brand, appealing to a target audience - through use of a case study project.
  • Work professionally with colleagues to create journalism online and in print.
  • Reflect critically on their own performance and experience of practical journalism, and on future career possibilities.

Curriculum content

  • Concept design, launching and marketing a new product
  • Targeting publications
  • Editorial strategies
  • Using analytics
  • Branding
  • News gathering
  • Interviewing
  • Effective research
  • Feature writing
  • News writing
  • Using social media for research
  • Using social media for profile raising
  • Website design
  • Magazine design
  • Editing and sub-editing
  • Using pictures
  • Video story-telling for online publications
  • Applying ethics, media law and regulation in real world scenarios

Teaching and learning strategy

The module will be delivered through a series of practical workshops, supported by short sections of whole class teaching to ensure key areas of professional practice are embedded in students' understanding. The emphasis will be on the acquisition and honing of practical journalism skills supported by module tutors but these skills will be developed within the context of changing journalism practices in a digital age.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Workshops 120
Guided independent study Researching, writing and producing journalism and working in the newsroom 180
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy on this module is intended to test students' ability to research and write; to work to deadline; to put together industry-standard portfolios to show employers; and to reflect fruitfully on their own performance through verbal and written appraisals. To this end, summative assessments include portfolios of multimedia production and news writing. Students will also have significant opportunities for formative feedback, both in workshops and when they are working together on their own media products. In addition to Kingston University assessments, students may also cover the syllabus requirements for the course's accrediting bodies.

A  portfolio of 2,000 words, which includes hard and soft news, stories for B2B and consumer magazines. 30%

A portfolio of 4,000 words, which will include features, a timed   writing/editing element, a viva appraisal plus evidence of achievement and an assessed presentation on an in-depth case study of a chosen magazine. 70%

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Produce journalism across a range of platforms to industry standard and work confidently in a journalistic setting. Portfolios of journalism, in-class tests, appraisal of contribution towards the production of the magazine or website, in both summative and formative assessment.
Recognise the constraints involved in producing publications and engage critically with the pressures and opportunities confronting journalists in a changing industry. Portfolios of journalism, in-class tests, appraisal of contribution towards the production of the magazine or website, in both summative and formative assessment
Work professionally with colleagues to create journalism on the web and in print. Portfolios of journalism, in-class tests, appraisal of contribution towards the production of the magazine or website, in both summative and formative assessment
Reflect critically on their own performance and experience of practical journalism, and on future career possibilities. Portfolios of journalism, in-class tests, appraisal of contribution towards the production of the newspaper, magazine or website, in both summative and formative assessment

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Coursework Portfolio 30
Coursework Portfolio 70
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography core texts

Morrish, J & Bradshaw, P (2011) Magazine Editing: In Print and Online 3rd edition London: Routledge

Bradshaw, Paul and Rohumaa, Lisa (2011) The Online Journalism Handbook Harlow: Longman

Stam, D. and Scott, A. (2014) Inside Magazine Publishing. London: Routledge

Bibliography recommended reading

Evans, Harry (2000) Essential English for Journalists, Writers and Editors London: Pimlico

Hanna M, Dodd M, (2012) McNae's Essential Law for Journalists (21st edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press

Harcup, Tony (2009) Journalism Principles and Practice (2nd edition) London: Sage

Hicks, Wynford and Holmes, Tim (2002) Sub-editing for Journalists London: Routledge

Randall, David (2011), The Universal Journalist (4th edition) London: Pluto Press

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