Core Module Information
Module title: News Writing

SCQF level: 07:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: JAC07114
Module leader: Allan Boughey
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Media and Humanities


Description of module content:

This module will introduce you to the art of finding an original news story, spotting a good angle and writing it up for different outlets, comparing and contrasting print and online approaches and methods. You will gain experiences in interviewing people and developing a nose for news values that help you target your audience. You will be introduced to core journalistic values including accurate writing, attribution to the source of information as well as impartial and balanced reporting. You will develop an ethical and legal awareness and learn to evaluate different news sources for their strengths and weaknesses. You will gain first experiences in producing well-written copy for different outlets to strict deadlines. This will include progressing story plans to fully finished and publishable news stories. You will also gain an introduction to writing news for the web, and will create content for your own personal website (using WordPress or a similar negotiated platform). This website will be reviewed and can be worked on during some class sessions.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Understand the basics of news journalistic content creation for print
LO2: Generate story ideas and pinpoint angles that show awareness of news values
LO3: Demonstrate interview skills applicable to face-to-face, electronic, online and phone interviews
LO4: Write balanced, accurate and clean news copy for different platforms to deadline
LO5: Demonstrate an understanding of how news functions for online audience

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 2, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Allan Boughey
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Learning & teaching methods including their alignment to Los
This module aims to start the process of transforming you into both an effective and reflective practitioner. During lectures and in workshops, you will be introduced to the basic skills required of a news reporter and you’ll gain first experiences of producing your own copy for print and online (LO1-LO5). You will learn how to identify and create news and other content (LO1); gain experience of different methods of conducting research (LO2); take part in off-campus exercises, for example voxpops / interviewing members of the public (LO3); and experiment with news writing styles appropriate for different audiences (LO4). You will also be required to consider how to create and present news-oriented pieces for online publication (LO5).

Embedding of employability/PDP/Scholarship Skills
This module has a strong vocational slant, offering a newsroom-based understanding of journalism and journalists from an experienced practitioner. In producing copy and in running your own blog, you will be encouraged to develop a self-critical evaluation of your own relationship towards journalism, thus embedding PDP and also critical thinking at an early stage. Writing skills, interpersonal skills (interviewing) and multi-tasking experiences on this unit are transferable.

Assessment (formative or summative)
Formative assessment will be provided in class through feedback from the tutors and from peers as you produce different forms of written copy for different outlets, notably news writing.
Summative assessment centres around two elements.
Assessment One – Source three original news stories for print publication and adapt one in script form for online use (2,250 words total, LO 1-5). The three stories should be original (ideally not having appeared elsewhere) and self-sourced. At least one of the stories should be written in tabloid style while at least one other should be produced in broadsheet style (LO 1-4). Yo

Formative Assessment:
Students will be required to source and write a selection of news stories through the course of the module - three of these stories will be formative-assessment based and act as "trial runs" in terms of the type of content required for the first assessment
There will also be a trial run for assessment two, which is a class-based exam where students will need to rewrite provded information into a news story.

Summative Assessment:
There are two assessments.
The first assessment is a portfolio of self-created stories, submitted on an individual basis, totally 2,000 words (LOs 1-5);
The second assessment is an in-class examination (LOs 1 and 4) where students will have to write a 500-word story from around 1,500 words of provided information

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Supervised time in studio/workshop 60
Face To Face Groupwork (Independent Study) 2
Face To Face Groupwork (Independent Study) 138
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Project - Written 75 1,2,3,4,5 11 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Class Test 25 1,4 14/15 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 500
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
JAC07114 News writing