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Visual journalism increasingly drives rather than illustrates stories but whichever field or mediums you aspire to work in, you will be required to produce factual, clear and concise text. The module begins with fundamental news literacy concepts to help you understand and navigate today’s complex media landscape before moving on to reporting the news. You’ll learn how to generate story ideas, gather original first-hand information and combine it with research and contextual information to deliver informed and compelling stories to your target audience. You will be taught how to verify information and ensure that a story is accurate, balanced and fair. Meanwhile, you will develop an awareness of the conventional tenets of journalism and consider the gap between journalistic ideals and real-world norms and constraints. This module will serve as a key building block for future modules and provide solid research and reporting skills for every medium, as well as a grounding in postgraduate academic skills.

JRN7000 | Reporting & Writing News

This module teaches the essentials of visual journalism and storytelling through practical application and critical reflection. You will produce a series of short-form exercises/assignments designed to immerse you in a challenging and creative visual reporting environment. We focus on establishing core practical and creative skills, alongside professional workflows and standards. In addition, you will be introduced to conventional and emerging narrative practices and techniques, and sharpen your understanding of what it takes to create informative and compelling visual stories by deconstructing a wide range of notable works. Individual and group work assignments centred on field-reported journalistic storytelling in contemporary digital-first environments are inspired by real-world industry briefs to allow you to experiment with a variety of conventions, forms, and techniques. Regular critique sessions deliver formative feedback and act as a platform for classroom discussion around current debates relating to theory and practice such as platforms, genre, audiences, representation and ethics. The module focuses on two main areas of practice, photography and videography. During the later stage of the module you will also begin to explore visually-driven multimedia stories.

JRN7001 | Visual Journalism Practice

This module is designed to develop both your craft and your critical understanding of the field of visual media. You will learn how current and emerging trends and technologies are shaping visual journalism and storytelling. You will also explore, experiment and innovate with new tools and techniques across a range of platforms including social and mobile. You will be encouraged to situate your own practice within the field and discover which types of stories you want to tell and how you want to tell them. The module will explore key influential trends in the contemporary visual media landscape such as visual solutions journalism, revenue models, and the impact of 5G on visual storytelling. You will also explore a range of tools, techniques and technologies through hands-on experimentation with contemporary visual storytelling practices such as 360 video storytelling, mobile reporting, and data visualisation.

JRN7002 | Contemporary Currents & Practice

This module is designed to strengthen your core visual reporting and storytelling skills, and allow you to experiment further with emerging tools, technologies and platforms. The focus broadens from journalism to other types of visual storytelling, such as short-form documentary and non-profit storytelling. You will develop your knowledge of advanced and contemporary practice while your own skills will be nurtured via practical engagement. This is an intense and immersive learning experience and you will be encouraged to develop your personal visual style and methods, and to work on topics that you are passionate about. You will be encouraged to experiment with current and innovative digital-first visual storytelling approaches in conjunction with the enduring principles of visual reporting, storytelling, standards and ethics.

JRN7003 | Visual Storytelling Portfolio

This module is designed to consolidate and channel the skills and knowledge gained over the entire course. It provides an opportunity to develop a self-initiated long-form project resulting in a published work of journalism or storytelling, which should serve as a portfolio to launch or elevate your chosen career path. You will develop a proposal document that includes consideration of theoretical and professional issues related to your subject discipline and will apply your advanced skills and knowledge of the specialism to your personal project as agreed with your supervisor. Through an iterative process, you will create a personal style, approach and methods through relevant exploration and prototypes related to intended practice-based work. Throughout the module, you will be encouraged to engage in self-reflective critique of your professional practice with examination of the different stages of production. The module will enable you to demonstrate an advanced understanding of issues, challenges and opportunities encountered by practitioners working in the specialism through the development of a major body of work that meets professional standards and reflects the process, understanding, and application of knowledge.

JRN7004 | Masters Project