SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1P522884
Module Leader Ken Garner
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Media and Journalism
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)-A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge


Summary of Content

This module teaches students the essential, foundation journalistic skills for writing news reports for newspapers and on-line web news media, in the context of an introduction to the history, context and ideas about the practice of journalism. The practical teaching - drawing largely on prepared real and hypothetical exercises - will be done in labs in the context of introducing students to various theories of approach to news writing; and the consideration and discussion of both past styles and famous examples of reporting, and contemporary practice. A programme of accompanying seminars will be used to discuss and examine collectively theories of news writing and the social role of journalism; introduce critical perspectives on the use of language in the news; historic examples of reporting; and current practice in that day / week's news media. Fortnightly assignments will be written in the style of reports for newspapers and on-line web news media and will be done in lab workshops and in students' own time, and will build from simple short news-in-brief items (50 words), to longer news stories drawing on multiple and complex supplied/hypothetical sources (350 words). GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn to ensure student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is provided within 3 working weeks of submission.


-359 The basics of written news language Theories of clear English for news reporters: such as Orwell, Evans, Waterhouse, Hicks Functions of news stories: the five key questions - who, what, where, why, when, how Specific writing for the web: brevity, links, backgrounders, quotes, sidebars, SEO The social role and functions of journalism Correct order of efficient writing news stories: print and online - the strong lead; the pyramid structure and other approaches Development of news stories from news release to print/downloading online Studies of reporters: eg Dickens, Russell, Cameron, Gellhorn, Fisk Introduction to themes and major events in British journalism history Basics of law for Scottish news writing: defamation, reporting restrictions, contempt of court An introduction to basic ethical issues for journalists Texts of contemporary Scottish press / broadcasting (weekly case studies)

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:" Use some of the routine skills, techniques and practices for writing brief news stories for weekly and daily newspapers and related news websites." Deliver complex news information to a range of newspapers/web readerships in longer stories." Demonstrate some knowledge of historical and current developments, principles, theories and practices in Scottish, British and International journalism in general." Present and evaluate arguments about some of common themes and debates in journalism and news writing.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

22 weeks x 2 hr weekly practical workshop sessions (Tri A and B), held in labs where students work on news writing exercises, with hands-on guidance and advice from tutors, and working journalists; including class online test of core knowledge wk 8 Tri B 11 x 1-hour seminars (Tri A only) on theories of news writing; key concepts in journalism as a social practice (including law, ethics); critical perspectives on the use of language in the news; historic examples of great reporting; and current practice in that day / week's news media.

Indicative Reading

-540 Allan, Stuart. 2004. 2nd ed. News Culture. Maidenhead: Open University Press Conboy, Martin. 2004. Journalism: A Critical History. London: Sage Evans, Harold. 2000 (revised edition by Crawford Gillan) . Essential English for Journalists, Editors, and Writers. London: Pimlico Franklin, Bob, et al. 2005. Key Concepts in Journalism London: Sage Greenslade, Roy. 2004. Press Gang: How Newspapers Make Profits from Propaganda. London: Pan Harcup, Tony. 2009. Journalism: Principles and Practice. London: Sage, 2nd ed Hicks, Wynford. 2008. Writing for Journalists. London: Routledge, 2nd ed Hicks, Wynford. 2013. English for Journalists. London: Routledge, 4th ed Herbert, John. 2000. Journalism in the Digital Age . Boston: Focal Press Kovach, Bill & Rosentiel, Tom. 2003. The Elements of Journalism. London: Atlantic Marr, Andrew. 2004. My Trade: A Short History of British Journalism. Basingstoke: Macmillan -720 McInnes, Rosalind. 2010. Scots Law for Journalists. Edinburgh: Green, 8th ed Randall, David. 2011. The Universal Journalist . London: Pluto, 4th ed. -540 Saunders, Karen. 2003. Ethics & Journalism. London: Sage -540 Ward, Mike. 2002. Journalism Online. Oxford: Focal Press -567 Journals: British Journalism Review Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism Online sources:

Transferrable Skills

-359 By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following areas: Self-confidence -359b7 Self-discipline b7 Awareness of strengths and weaknesses b7 Creativity b7 Knowledge of international affairs b7 Ability to prioritise tasks b7 Time management

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 11.00
Practicals (FT) 44.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Independent Learning (FT) 125.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 60.00 35% coursework 1 - Continuous AB: short written assignments, Tri A wk 6 - Tri B wk 11, totalling 2000 words or equivalent
Coursework 3 n/a 25.00 35% Coursework 3 - Essay of 1500 words, Tri A wk 14
Coursework 2 n/a 15.00 35% Coursework 2 - Class online test of core knowledge, 1 hr, Tri B wk 8