Multimedia Journalism

Multimedia Journalism - MA

2018

Postgraduate programmes in journalism at Kent offer you the opportunity to research and learn in an environment that combines excellence in the practice of convergent, multimedia journalism with intellectual leadership in the history, ethics and future of the news industry.

2018

Overview

The MA programme teaches multimedia journalism to graduates who are determined to pursue a career in the news industry. You learn to report for newspapers, websites, radio and television in a live newsroom environment. Using state-of-the-art technology and working to real deadlines, you upload your work to the internet.

Your tutors are award-winning journalists with decades of front-line experience in national and international news. Every day starts with an editorial conference and the programme balances intense focus on journalism as practical reality with intense academic study and reflection.

About the Centre for Journalism

The Centre for Journalism is leading the development of journalism as an academic discipline rooted in professional newsroom practice. It was established in 2008 to achieve top standards in teaching and research.

A lively and welcoming community spirit exists within the Centre. There are regular social events, seminars and masterclasses. Recent visitors have included: Allan Little, BBC correspondent; Sarah Ivens founding Editor-in-Chief of OK! Magazine USA; Gavin Esler, former presenter of Newsnight; Jon Snow, presenter of Channel 4 News, Mark Thompson, former Director General of the BBC, Alex Crawford three times RTS TV journalist of the year, Stephanie Flanders former Economics Editor BBC, Stuart Ramsay Sky News Chief Correspondent,John Humphrys presenter BBC Radio 4's Today Programme and Faisal Islam, Political Editor Sky News.  Thanks to the range of research and professional interests in the Centre, we can offer wide scope for research supervision.

The Centre enjoys strong links with other academic departments including the School of History, Kent Law School and the School of Politics and International Relations. It encourages collaborative and interdisciplinary research and joint supervision.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 97% of the University’s research was judged to be of international quality, with 73% of this judged to be internationally excellent.

Course structure

Compulsory modules in Reporting and Writing, Media Law and Ethics, and Principles and Practice of Convergent Journalism introduce you to the professional challenges of modern reporting and prepare you to pass the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ Diploma in Journalism (this involves passing papers in shorthand, public affairs, law and reporting). You choose academic modules from a range including: History of Journalism; Communication and Humanitarianism; Political Reporting and Propaganda - Media, Manipulation and Persuasion.

You may choose to complete a dissertation.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

Modules may include Credits

The module will give a comprehensive grounding in contemporary British politics, focusing on recent constitutional changes and political development. It will also give an understanding and analysis of the way that democracy has evolved in th period of universal suffrage in the UK. It will assess the key issues facing democratic government and institutions within the UK, analysing the role of Europe, the challenges posed by devolution and recent parliamentary changes. There will also be some discussion of contemporary political behaviour, in particular the issue of political participation. Other areas to be covered:

the design and operation of Britain's key political institutions;

how do citizens make their demands known to policy makers?

to what extent are British political parties responsive bodies?

has devolution of power to Scotland, Wales, London and Northern Ireland improved democracy in Britain?

the structure and operation of local government, its duties, powers and responsibilities;

structure and financing of public services;

role of the Treasury and Bank of England, mechanics of the Budget.

Students will also be prepared for the NCTJ Essential Public Affairs exam in central and local government.

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Different forms of journalism and their structure. Distinguishing between comment, conjecture and fact. Investigative reporting. The reporter's sources. Rewriting a news story for another medium, adding sound, pictures, links and interactive comments. Working with User Generated Content. Following a crime story/court trial through press, online and TV to see how it is covered. Turning contents of official reports into various forms of journalism. Textual analysis of the writing styles of groundbreaking journalists.

Study of common journalism transgressions.

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Concepts of Freedom of Expression

Regulation of the Media and freedom of the press

Contempt of Court

Court Reporting

Defamation

Privacy and Confidentiality

Copyright

Censorship and related topics

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Culture, history and development of British print, broadcast and online journalism.

Professional use of cameras, editing software and TV studio production facilities.

Professional use of audio recording equipment, editing software and radio studio production facilities.

Team working in radio, TV, print and online news production.

Advanced use of multimedia authoring software, image manipulation software and print production facilities.

Impact of online technologies on planning, reporting, producing and disseminating news.

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The module will guide the student through the research process including identifying the original 'problem'; defining a suitable research 'question'; choosing a method; designing the research; the use of research materials and resources; conducting the research; drafting and writing the dissertation and finally submitting the dissertation. As the module is taught by a range of staff with different disciplinary approaches, it will demonstrate how these concepts are used differently in different subject-specific contexts representing the main fields of inquiry, including ethical analysis, legal analysis, political analysis, historical analysis and economic analysis.

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The module engages with aspects of the way conflict reporting has developed from the 1930s to the digital multimedia reporting of the 21st century. The key topics are covered in seminars and lectures. They include the following: Journalism, patriotism and propaganda: war as a severe test of journalistic integrity and independence; Embeds, independents and reporters' security. Reporting terrorism . The political impact of war reporting. A number of seminars cover the events of key conflicts, and the way they were reported. These include wars in Chechnya; Afghanistan; Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Northern Ire-land. Lecture topics are up-to-date with current research but will include: outsourcing of newsgathering to local people in Iraq; the use of video verification in contemporary areas of conflict; and the use of lo-cal aggregators in Ukraine who work with news organisations to cover stories that are difficult to cover by conventional means.

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Linear and non-linear narrative structures.

The use of online and open-source tool research to create journalism projects.

The power of interactivity. Putting the user in control of the story.

Visualisation of data.

Borrowing from Hollywood: quick cuts, split screens and non-traditional video packages.

Using crowdsourced material to develop and augment core reporting.

Techniques for adapting and creating journalism for mobile media.

How social media and reader interactivity is changing journalism and the legal, ethical, technical and editorial implications.

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The changing patterns of foreign news coverage in the post war period with particular reference to the developing world (colonial, Cold War and 1990s).

Case studies of foreign disasters and the media interpretation: Biafra, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Asian Tsunami.

The role of citizen journalism in the coverage of faraway disasters.

The media understanding of types of disaster and complex emergencies, with reference to aid efforts and humanitarian intervention.

The growth and emergence of NGOs, their use of marketing and communication techniques.

The role of the media in raising awareness for charitable fundraising.

Twenty four hour news and the CNN effect.

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History and purpose of sports reporting and its rise in the popular press from the turn of 20th century.

The rise of the tabloid press and its obesssion with sport.

The role of sports journalism in broadsheets and the impact of the internet and rolling news channels on the working practices of sports reporters.

Funding, governing and regulatory structures of sports bodies and the effectiveness of sports journalists at holding them to account.

Produce match reports, analysis and commentary to a professional standad and to deadline.

Use social media to produce minute-by-minute coverage of live events.

Textual analysis of some stars of sports reporting and feature writing.

Produce features on sports issues.

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This module examines the reporting practices of political journalists, the institutional contexts of political journalism, and the interactions between journalists and sources across different forms of political reportage. It assesses the power of governmental communication, and the changing nature of contemporary political journalism. Forms of political reportage that will be investigated include: parliamentary reporting, political commentary, interviews and press conferences, and the role of social media in political reportage.

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The module examines the role of propaganda as a means of communication and persuation. It deals with the definitions, content, intent and methods of propaganda drawn from the historical development of propaganda as a communications tool utilising the mass media. The module will involve study and critical assessment of the role of propaganda in the two world wars, the Cold War, apartheid South Africa, Rwanda and contemporary conflicts and politics.

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The module examines the role and performance of British newspaper and radio journalism from the Abdication Crisis of 1936 until the General Election of 1945. It explores the relationships between government and the press, and government and the British Broadcasting Corporation during the era of appeasement and war. The module assesses the manner in which journalism responded to the challenge of holding power to account in a democracy at war against totalitarianism. It explores leading editors' and titles’ understanding of the difference between security censorship and policy censorship. It examines journalists’ role in creating the myth of the blitz and the concept of people’s war. It assesses the parts played by popular and quality newspapers in speaking truth to power on issues of strategic policy and popular controversy. Journalists in a democracy at war face intense pressure to exercise self-censorship in the national interest. The module explores the extent to which journalists succumbed willingly to this pressure and the extent to which they resisted it in the public interest. It examines the growth of the BBC in wartime and reflects on the relationship between the corporation and increasingly powerful popular newspapers

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The module will introduce students to some of the key issues and debates in the field of travel and tourism and will principally consider:

• how might we differentiate between travel and tourism?

• how does our cultural experience shape our expectations of travel and tourism?

• as travellers and tourists how do we engage with different cultures?

• how does the media influence how we experience and practice travel and tourism?

These issues will be explored in relation to a range of media forms such as newspapers, magazines, television and radio programmes, blogs and social media.

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This module will allow students to gain knowledge of television production from the planning stage through to its execution. During the Autumn term they will learn the language of television, camera work, scripting, organising a production, how to pitch a segment for a broadcaster, filming, editing, organising a crew and directing a live TV programme. They will then produce a TV segment in the genre of their choice (e.g. current affairs, music, arts, cooking etc) with support from their peers and academic staff.

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Teaching and Assessment

The degree is taught by a combination of lectures, seminars, masterclasses, news days, tutorials and editorial conferences. Assessment is by coursework (including essays, reporting exercises and presentations) and examinations. The optional dissertation counts for a third of the final grade.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • teach the professional and academic skills required to practise multimedia journalism to those wishing to pursue a career in the news industry
  • educate you to think critically about the ethics, duties and responsibilities of journalism in democratic societies and in emerging democracies and thus improve the quality of journalism as a profession
  • produce graduates with a courageous and principled vision of the purpose of journalism and its constitutional value in contemporary democratic societies
  • develop a detailed and systematic understanding of particular forms of journalism and their historic and contemporary role in the shaping of culture and society
  • develop a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the impact of new technologies on journalism
  • develop an appropriate range of cognitive, critical and intellectual skills and research skills
  • foster lifelong learning skills that will enable you to work with self-direction and originality and to contribute to journalism and society
  • bring scholarly and critical insights to bear on the subjects, activities and processes associated with multimedia journalism
  • provide teaching and learning opportunities that are informed by high quality research and scholarship from within the Centre for Journalism and elsewhere.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • key principles and practices in the production of multimedia journalism
  • the ethical, regulatory and legal frameworks that govern journalism in the United Kingdom
  • the historical evolution of journalism
  • journalism’s functions and purposes in a representative democracy.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • the ability to gather, organise and deploy information, images and data from primary and secondary sources both systematically and creatively
  • the ability to create and deploy text and images for publication in print, for broadcast and online
  • the ability to carry out detailed research for essays and presentations and dissertations involving sustained independent analysis and inquiry
  • the ability to develop substantive, detailed and critical understanding of multimedia journalism and an appreciation of how it is developing.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • the ability to work collaboratively in teams to commission and produce multimedia journalism
  • the ability to report to deadline in text, audio, video and online
  • the ability to take shorthand notes at a speed of at least 100 words per minute
  • the ability to understand the commissioning and funding structures of the news industry and demonstrate a capacity to work creatively within the constraints imposed by them.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to work in flexible, disciplined and independent ways
  • the ability to communicate very effectively in writing and in a variety of media
  • the ability to use a range of information communication technology skills using web-based technology and multimedia
  • the ability to deliver work to a given length, format, brief and deadline
  • the ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively and communicate their conclusions clearly to a range of different audiences.

Careers

This degree will prepare students for employment in broadcast, print and online media as well as enabling them to take advantage of the new opportunities the awareness of media power has created within campaign and pressure groups, online information providers and businesses.

It was great to have access to such state-of-the-art facilities - better than  a lot of newsrooms I’ve been in!

Ben Kennedy Multimedia Journalism MA

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The Centre is based in state-of-the-art multimedia newsrooms equipped with the latest audio and video-editing technology, a radio studio and broadcast-quality television facilities. A dedicated postgraduate newsroom opened in September 2010. Newsroom computers offer a wide range of software for teaching and research support. Students have access to Press Association news wires, Sky News Radio and Reuters World Television News feeds. They use the Centre’s dedicated multimedia website, www.centreforjournalism.co.uk which offers live publishing facilities in text, audio and video. The site is a forum for debate about issues in journalism and the news industry involving students and practitioners in Britain and abroad.

The resources for journalism research at Kent are led by the Drill Hall Library at Medway. The journalism collection includes a comprehensive range of texts on the history, principles and practice of journalism. Specialist resources include a complete microfiche archive of popular newspapers of the Second World War. Students have access to online full-text journals plus extensive online newspaper resources. The Centre subscribes to all relevant UK journals. Research students have access to the SCONUL access scheme to visit and borrow from other UK libraries. The Drill Hall Library contains more than 250 study spaces, 370 computers and more than 150,000 items.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff regularly contribute to newspapers, magazines, journals and books. These have included: This is Today – a Biography of the Today Programme, The Phone Hacking Scandal: Journalism on Trial, Mirage in the Desert? Reporting the Arab Spring, Face the Future: Tools for the Modern Media Age and Afghanistan, War and the Media (Tim Luckhurst); The Media, Politics and Public Life, Slow Living, Informing Voters? Politics, Media and the New Zealand Election 2008, Politics and the Media (Geoffrey Craig); What do We Mean by Local? (Ian Reeves), Specialist Journalism: Journalism Studies; Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism; Ethical Space; British Journalism Review; Parliamentary Affairs; Journal of Language and Politics; Environmental Communication; The Guardian; Media History; Political Quarterly; The Daily Telegraph; Independent; The Times; Sunday Telegraph; Toronto Globe and Mail; Los Angeles Times; The New Republic; The Word; Prospect.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

Minimum 2.1 or equivalent in a relevant academic subject (eg, politics, history, English, international relations) and demonstrable interest in and aptitude for journalism. Suitably qualified applicants will be invited for interview and will be required to sit an entrance test. In certain circumstances, the Centre will consider candidates who have not followed a conventional education path. These cases are assessed individually by the Head of Centre and/or the Director of Learning and Teaching and the Director of Graduate Studies.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. 

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

History of journalism, political reporting, propaganda, global media, environmental journalism, conflict reporting, journalism technology, democracy, contemporary British and American cinema documentary, regional British journalism in the digital age and travel journalism.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Rob Bailey: Lecturer in Reporting and Writing

Rob is a former news editor and chief reporter of the Kent Messenger in Maidstone, the country’s biggest-selling weekly, weekday newspaper. He is a former KM Group reporter of the year. He joined the Kent Messenger as editorial assistant in September 1999 and took his first reporting job on the first UK paper founded in the new millennium, the Swanley Messenger. He went on to work on titles across Kent, including two stints at the Kent Messenger Group’s flagship Maidstone edition. He also worked as senior press officer for social services at Kent County Council. He is an alumnus of the University of Kent, having graduated with a BA in English and Philosophy in 1999.

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Mr Lee Kenny: Lecturer in Reporting

Contemporary British and American cinema documentary; regional British journalism in the digital age.

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Professor Tim Luckhurst: Professor of Journalism; Head of the Centre for Journalism

Tim is a former editor of The Scotsman and former BBC News and Current Affairs editor. His research interests include the history of journalism and, in particular, the reporting of conflict from the Spanish Civil War to the present day.

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Richard Pendry: Lecturer in Broadcast and Online Journalism

Richard is a BAFTA award-winning television producer with 20 years’ experience as a freelance, working in documentaries, news and current affairs. During most of the 1990s Richard was a member of Frontline Television News, an agency which specialised in reportage from war. A fluent Russian speaker, Richard filed stories for Frontline from all over the former Soviet Union, including Chechnya. His research focuses on how independent reporters gather news in conflict zones such as the Caucasus and Iraq.

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Ian Reeves: Director of Learning and Teaching

A former editor of Press Gazette, he was responsible for developing the Student Journalism Awards, the Magazine Design and Journalism Awards, and the innovative Press Cadets project. He was Weekly Business Writer of the Year in 2003’s Periodical Publishers Association awards. He continues to write about business and media and has a particular interest in how technology is changing journalism. He designed the Centre for Journalism’s live publishing website and built the first iPad app for any UK university department – now available on the Apple Store.

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Fees

The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Multimedia Journalism - MA at Medway:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £8880 £15200

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

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