Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMM5655M Journalism Practice and Policy

30 creditsClass Size: 58

Module manager: Chris Anderson

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module builds on theoretical understandings of journalism gained in COMM5645 to consider journalism practice: how it is journalism shaped by policy and regulation? how do journalists go about researching and producing news in different news environments? What kind of ethical questions are raised in the course of reporting? and how has the practice of journalism been changed in an era of digital media technologies and cultures? The module will be international in its scope drawing on examples from a number of countries.


The module aims to develop students’ understanding of news media production by exploring the ways that journalism is shaped by policy, regulation, culture, and technology. Students will be immersed in the latest research on journalism practice and through international comparison will gain an understanding of the impact of national contexts.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students should be able:
1. Explain key ways that the practice of journalism is shaped by policy and regulation in at least two different news media systems
2. Use scholarly research to discuss the impacts of digital media technologies and cultures on journalism
3. Critique journalistic practice and news outputs in terms of journalisms ‘public interest’ or ‘fourth estate’ function
4. Make an informed contribution to discussions about the ethics of journalism in an international context.


This module addresses four key areas:
- The political role of the press with emphasis on its ‘fourth estate’ function
- News media regulation internationally
- News media ethics internationally
- An overview of research on news media practice with a particular focus on research into the impacts of digital media

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours267.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students should prepare for each seminar using assigned required and recommended readings in combination with additional library and online research (est. 10 hours per week). Students will be required to research and write news stories using professional techniques (est. 10 hours per week). The remaining private study time should be dedicated to researching, preparing and writing the essay and preparing for the examination.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored in weekly seminars where students will have the opportunity to discuss set readings and news content. The first assignment also serves as an opportunity for formative feedback in relation to LOs 2 and 3.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 - 3,500 word essay60.00
Source Analysis1 x 2,500 - 3,000 word Comparative News Analysis40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit information: students failing any component are able to resit (answering a different question or undertaking a different case study)

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 16/09/2021 14:41:47


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019