Undergraduate prospectus

Course Information

Writing for the Media

Module summary

Module code: MEDS1111
Level: 4
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Humanities and Social Sciences
Module Coordinator(s): Simon Hardeman

Specification

Aims

• To equip the student with broad-based writing skills of benefit to creative writing and media students, particularly those who are aiming to be writers and those for whom writing is a key component of their practice.
• To teach the student how to write for a variety of media contexts, including news and features writing, travel writing and digital journalism.
• To demonstrate to the student that writing and reading skills need intensive practice in order to develop key literacy skills.
• To explore a number of practice-based areas of writing, including an essential writing tool kit: self reflective study/ independent writing & reading/ exploring ideas around the self and autobiography, histories of writing and approaches to political writing.




Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1. Develop fundamental skills in writing for the media.
2. Begin to understand differences and similarities between media formats and contexts.
3. Begin to understand practice based systems of writing, be able to demonstrate journalistic skills.
4. Develop skills in working independently as a writer and working collaboratively.
5. Be able to start to write in style, structure and understand the different languages of news and features writing.
6. Understand how text operates as part of the whole output.
7. Be able to write under pressure, to deadline.
8. Understand what it is like to write fully and extensively, each week and maintain a comprehensive log that documents this process



Indicative content

The course will cover the following main areas:
• Writing the Self – explores the essential toolkit; writer’s voice, (auto) biography; remembering as a preparatory tool to write; engaging with personal history. Students will study archives across real and cyber spaces, consider blogging, social networking sites as well as case studies of traditional diaries.
• Structuring Experience – focuses on interviewing strategies and the authority/ style of columnists. The student will learn and engage with magazines, structure and language, specifically looking at feature and travel writing.
• News and Features Writing intensifies study on the news story, the language and structure of news reporting, (particularly in broadcast media), attending the press conference, scrutinising press releases, effective interviewing and clear and focused write ups. It will consider the notion of the target reader and writing for an audience, as well as how to identify those communities around the writer whose voices aren’t necessarily heard.
• Media Writing – the wider context. Students will explore writing for a wider range of media writing than traditional journalism, including contexts and forms such as digital writing, performance writing, creative non-fiction.

Teaching and learning activity

The teaching block will consist of lecture/seminar or a two hour practical workshop (where appropriate). Seminar discussions, writing workshops, presentations and focused text-based work will enable students to explore and develop their writing, ways into writing and writing styles, contexts and formats. Students will keep regular logs to reflect on their development. Writing independently as well as working collaboratively enables students to develop independent research and study and build on team skills.

Assessment

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment: Portfolio 1
Weighting % 40
Pass Mark 40
Word Length 2,500
Outline Details:A range of writings on the self, travel and reflections on learning.
Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Seminar readings of student work

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment:Journalistic interview
Weighting % 30
Pass Mark 40
Word Length 1,500
Outline Details:A journalistic interview piece plus a reflection.
Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Seminar readings of student work

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment: Portfolio 2
Weighting % 30
Pass Mark 40
Word Length 1,500
Outline Details:A portfolio of Comedy writing and reflection. Reflection on group work.
Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Seminar readings of student work