History of Journalism - JN300

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
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4 15 (7.5) PROF T Luckhurst
Medway Autumn
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4 15 (7.5) PROF T Luckhurst




Closed to exchange and short term students



The development of journalism in the United Kingdom from the fifteenth century to the age of the internet. How and why newspapers were first printed. Whose interests are served by the publication of news? How government has sought to control and censor journalism. The forces propelling the growth of newspapers during the English Civil Wars and the industrialisation of the press in the nineteenth century. The emergence of professional reporters. The era of the Press Barons. The birth of radio. International reporting of the Spanish Civil War and the Blitz. The birth of television. The dawn of the multimedia age.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 24
Private Study Hours: 126
Total Study Hours: 150


Autumn Term

Method of assessment

Essay 2,500 words) – 25%
Essay (3,000 words) – 25%
Examination (3 hrs) - 50%

Indicative reading

Barnett S (2011), The Rise and Fall of Television Journalism, London, Bloomsbury
Calder A (1969), The People's War – Britain 1939-1945, London: Pimlico
Conboy M (2011), Journalism in Britain – A Historical Introduction, London: Sage
Cunningham H (2001), The Challenge of Democracy – Britain 1832-1918, London: Longman
Curran J and Seaton J (2009), Power without Responsibility – The Press, broadcasting and the internet in Britain, 7th ed. Oxford: Routledge
Griffiths D (2006), Fleet Street: Five Hundred Years of the Press, British Library Publishing
Knightley P (2004), The First Casualty – The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker from the Crimea to Iraq, London: John Hopkins University Press
Marr A (2004), My Trade: A Short History of British Journalism, London: Pan Books
Mill J S (1859), On Liberty, Penguin Classics Edition
Paine T (1792), The Rights of Man, Dover Thrift Edition
Plumb J H (1950), England in the Eighteenth Century, Penguin Books
Preston P (2008), We Saw Spain Die – Foreign Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War, London: Constable
Temple M (2008), The British Press, Maidenhead: Open University

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the development of journalism in the United Kingdom from the fifteenth century to the twenty-first.
2. Show a basic understanding of the relationship between government and journalists from the establishment of the first printing press to the advent of blogging.
3. Understand the responsibility journalists have to report accurately and fairly located in a historical, professional and social context.
4. Develop awareness of the relationship between the development of democracy and the growth of the news industry.
5. Engage with the culture of journalism in a UK context, its principles and its practice.

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