Module title: Journalism, Information and Society

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: JAC11131
Module leader: Alistair Duff
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Media and Screen
Prerequisites

None

2018/9, Trimester 2, Blended,
Occurrence: 002
Primary mode of delivery: Blended
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner:
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Alistair Duff
Module Organiser:


Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
This module aims for a balance of theory and practice, in particular to inform journalism practice with an underpinning of well-digested research. It also aims to secure exposure to a wide range of established and emerging issues pertaining to the role of journalism and media. The teaching method is standard lecture-tutorial, i.e. a weekly lecture covering a topic such as freedom of information, followed by tutorials for in-depth clarification, application and discussion. LOs 1, 2 and 3 will be achieved through both lecturing and student tutorial discussion, debate and independent reading. An up-to-date reading list, including set readings for certain weeks, will be maintained, with emphasis on high-quality monographs and research journals (e.g. Journalism Studies, European Journal of Communication). LO 4 will be represented not only by FOI being a persistent theme throughout the classes, but also where possible by guest lectures by journalists and/or information commissioner staff, as well as being consolidated through monitored, assessed FOI requests.

Embedding of employability/PDP/scholarship skills
The ability to research topics and to assess the calibre of information sources is essential in journalism and will be strongly developed in the module. The concept of the reflective practitioner, transcending the limitations of craft knowledge, will be inculcated, with a scholarly, ethical and socially-responsible approach to the fore. A scientific or at least thorough approach to issues and their solution will provide the basis for effective PDP and career planning. Modular links with practitioners in information and journalism should help to ensure the relevance of the skills under development.

Assessment (formative and summative)
Formative assessment will be facilitated by 2-hour tutorials, particularly for feedback, discussion and monitoring of ongoing work. Summative assessment takes three forms. A set of real-life FOI requests will be launched by each

Formative Assessment:
The University is currently undertaking work to improve the quality of information provided on methods of assessment and feedback. Please refer to the section on Learning and Teaching Approaches above for further information about this module’s learning, teaching and assessment practices, including formative and summative approaches.

Summative Assessment:
The University is currently undertaking work to improve the quality of information provided on methods of assessment and feedback. Please refer to the section on Learning and Teaching Approaches above for further information about this module’s learning, teaching and assessment practices, including formative and summative approaches.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 13
Face To Face Tutorial 26
Independent Learning Project Supervision 26
Independent Learning Guided independent study 133
Face To Face Centrally Timetabled (Digital) Exam 2
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200


Assessment
Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 25 4 12 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 750
Oral Presentation 25 1,2,3 8 HOURS= 1, WORDS= 0
Centrally Time Tabled Examination 50 1,2,3 14/15 HOURS= 2, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 50
Component 2 subtotal: 50
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

The journalist as reflective practitioner; the research base; information as commodity and natural resource; the information society and its critics; the contribution of Daniel Bell; the journalism of information; freedom of information (FOI), local and international; democracy and the fourth and fifth estates; opinion columns and punditry; Walter Lippmann as exemplar; freedom of the press; the idea of the public sphere; Jurgen Habermas and the theory of communicative action; the nature of power/knowledge; Michel Foucault; the political economy of communication and information; the agenda-setting research tradition; news value paradigms; information and media policy issues; information poverty and inequality; copyright and intellectual property; privacy and surveillance; censorship and its viability in an age of information; the press and the secret state; specialist fields, such as sports journalism and science journalism; international institutions and challenges; social justice and ethical issues; emergent media; forecasting and the study of the future; associated research topics as they arise.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Assess the main schools of thought in the research literature on journalism and the information society.
LO2: Discuss and debate key contemporary issues, such as unequal access to information, the power of newspaper columnists, agenda-setting, privacy and media concentration.
LO3: Apply current thinking to emerging challenges confronting media-information professionals.
LO4: Apply freedom of information rights in a practical context.

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
JAC11131 Journalism, Communication and Society