Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Introduction To Journalism

Main Topics of Study

Journalism as a Profession

  • Practical theory of journalism
  • History of print from Guttenberg to the computer
  • The rise of broadcast journalism
  • New online journalism
  • Ethics, regulations and guidelines

Ethics, Law and Free Speech

  • Journalism ethics
  • Codes of conduct – NUJ etc
  • Freedom of information
  • European convention on human rights
  • Defamation and libel
  • Copyright
  • Court reporting
  • Reporting restrictions
  • Contempt of court

Constraints and Influences on Journalists

  • Ownership and control
  • Audience
  • Advertising and advertisers
  • Regulation and self regulation
  • Codes of conduct
  • Monetising the web

What Is News?

  • Definitions of news
  • News values
  • Objectivity and impartiality
  • Types of news
  • News agendas
  • Agenda setting

News Sources

  • Contacts
  • Calls
  • Primary definers
  • Government
  • Courts
  • PR and spin
  • News access
  • Note taking and record keeping
  • Newsgroups and the web

The Language of News

  • Language in print
  • Language and broadcasting
  • International comparisons – inc US broadcast language and style
  • The soundbite

Comment, Opinion and Conjecture

  • Objectivity and subjectivity
  • Bias
  • Agenda setting
  • Gatekeeping

The Digital Newsroom

  • The modern newspaper newsroom
  • The radio newsroom
  • The television newsroom
  • The digital multi-platform newsroom (Guardian and ITN-on models)
  • Newsroom management
  • Newsroom hierarchies
  • Newsroom negatives

The Digital Reporter

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Types of reporter
  • Research
  • Note taking and record keeping
  • Necessary skills – traditional
  • Necessary skills – digital and multi platform
  • Recording equipment

The Interview – Print

  • Why do you need interviews?
  • Choosing interviewees
  • Interview techniques

The Interview – Radio

  • The role of the interview
  • Types of interview
  • Preparing for the Interview – editorial
  • Preparing for an interview – technical
  • Dealing with the interviewee- putting them at their ease
  • Framing the questions
  • Structuring an interview
  • Vox pops
  • Live interviews
  • Telephone interviews
  • Two ways
  • The soundbite
  • Interviewing for editing and post production

News Writing for Radio and Television

  • Approaches to news writing – conversational style
  • Sentence construction
  • Word choice
  • Elision
  • Punctuation
  • Presentation and layout
  • Cliches and jargon
  • Numeracy and numbers
  • Headlines and links
  • Voice pieces

Presenting News for Radio and Television

  • The television studio
  • The radio studio
  • Location recording equipment – radio and television

Production and Post-production

  • Software editing packages – an introduction
  • Sound and soundscapes
  • Graphics and other visual support material

Film, Video, Still and Other Visual Elements

  • An introduction to video and still photography
  • Matching words and pictures
  • Graphics

Online and Text Journalism

  • Adapting scripts for online
  • Headlines
  • Navigation
  • Adding editorial value
  • Writing for teletext
  • Writing for cellphones and other small mobile devices

Specialist Journalism

  • Public affairs
  • Comment and opinion
  • Profiles
  • Sports reporting
  • Lifestyle
  • Business
  • Environment
  • Music and entertainment
  • Children’s

Example Candidate Response Booklet

Example Candidate Response (ECR) Booklets are a source of crucial information for Centres and Candidates as they use real candidate responses. We ask Senior Examiners to comment on five or more responses in terms of why the mark was awarded with commentary about how to improve the answer (if necessary).

Recommended Reading

Main Text:

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Journalism In The Digital Age – Herbert, John (2000) – (Focal Press)

Journalism – Principles and Practices - Harcup, Tony (2004) – (Sage)

Indicative Text:

Alternative Text and Further Reading:

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The Broadcast Journalism Handbook - Hudson, Gary and Rowlands, Sarah (2007) –(Pearson Longman) – also main textbook for Digital Video and Audio Journalism (level 2 Unit)

Interviewing for Radio – Beaman, Jim ( 2000) - (Routledge)

Flat Earth News – Davies, Nick (2008) - (Chatto and Windus)

Presenting on TV and Radio - Trewin, Janet (2003) – (Focal Press)