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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM2375 Issues in Journalism

20 creditsClass Size: 48

Module manager: Yuan Zeng
Email: Y.Zeng@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Module replaces

COMM2350

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the role and place of journalism in society. In so doing, it introduces students to the sociological analysis of journalism as a societal practice while examining key perspectives and theories that helps us understand its role. These theoretical approaches include but will not be limited to functionalist, structuralism and Marxist analysis as well as other ones such as gender. The aim is to offer students a holistic and comprehensive understanding of journalism in the context of society.

Objectives

This module examines the relationship between journalism as a social practice and society as a whole. It will acquaint students with the structures and characteristics of how journalism is defined and practiced both in the UK and around the world, while discussing different perspectives on how the news media covers different topics and issues. The module will firstly examine key theoretical issues relating to the sociology of journalism while conducting debates around milestone notions that define journalism practice. In so doing, this module aims at providing students with a critical understanding of the role of journalism in society. The aim of this module is to examine the theoretical background as well as the current issues and debates concerning journalism in the context of society.

Learning outcomes
At the end of the module students should be able to:

1. Explain how journalism as a practice impacts on society, identifying key problems, issues and challenges
2. Draw on a range of theoretical concepts to explain the relationship between journalism and society
3. Devise a research question in journalism studies and carry out a small research project to investigate it
4. Present ideas in a range of forms – both written and oral.

Skills outcomes
Critical thinking; social analysis;


Syllabus

This module builds on the first year module COMM 1320 Journalism, Politics and Society. In this module students will explore a range of contemporary questions in journalism studies. While the content will necessarily change from year to year indicative topics include:
- The impact of new technologies on the work of journalists
- Gender and journalistic work
- Representation of key social issues including: poverty, crime, conflict, race and religion.
- Contemporary research on journalist-source relationships
- The Tradition of sociological and ethnographic research into journalistic practice
theoretical approaches include but will not be limited to functionalist, structuralism and Marxist analysis as well as other ones such as gender.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture101.0010.00
Seminar91.009.00
Tutorial10.200.20
Independent online learning hours180.80
Private study hours0.00
Total Contact hours19.20
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study should be dedicated to:
- Weekly seminar preparation 55 hours
- Research project 75.8 hours
- Research and preparation of the essay 50 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Monitoring will be carried out by means of formative and summative assessment. Seminar exercises will allow students to test their knowledge and to get feedback from the teaching staff and peers.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Literature Review1,200-1,500 words. Students are to identify a research question in journalism studies and present a critical literature review on the topic.30.00
ReportStudents are to identify a research question in journalism studies and investigate it using a suitable methodology. The results of the presentation are to be presented in 3,000-3,500 word research project report70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit information – students are able to resit both components of the module assessment as required. Students can choose a different essay or a different research project and complete the required work independently.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 17/02/2021

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