Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Meet the Press

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Media and Communications

DESCRIPTION The study-unit is principally designed to coach students on how to cover press conferences and to further develop news writing skills. Due to the experiential nature of the subject, students gain first-hand knowledge of what is expected of a journalist working in a newsroom atmosphere, thus benefitting students who contemplate journalism as a future career.

The credit is introduced by a number of theoretical lectures introducing news values and the practicalities of press conference reporting such as writing styles and structuring news stories.

The bulk of lectures entail guests coming into class to deliver simulation of press conferences on which students are expected to write a news report. 2 hour lectures are then divided equally between discussion of the submitted reports of the prior week’s press conference simulation and a new simulation. Guests are selected as much as possible with a view of current issues in the press so as to expose students to real-life scenarios for which they can prepare and which they can then continue to follow.

Study-Unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is to introduce students to news report writing and the linking of reports to news values considered appropriate by the industry. The study-unit also encompasses other aims such as the development of questioning power and the exposure to knowledge and controversies on a range of social, political, economic and other current affairs issues. Additionally, it provides students with the opportunity to personally meet and engage with decision-makers in a variety of fields. Students are also encouraged to research topics addressed by previously announced guest speakers and are expected to fuse in their weekly reports the research thus gained to the knowledge acquired in class during the simulation.

Learning Outcomes:

Knowledge and Understanding:

The basic objective of the study-unit is to assist students in structuring and writing a news story by providing them with a reflection of a real press conference setting where they learn to select news value by exposure to topical issues and relevant personalities.

- Learn the principles of news value;
- Learn the basic structure of reporting a press conference;
- Acquire knowledge of the problematic of a number of current issues.


- Grasp the dynamics of a press conference;
- Hone writing skills;
- Develop questioning power;
- Develop a system for note-taking which allows for comprehensive reporting;
- Develop listening skills which allow for the reproduction of quotes to enrich reporting.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Rich, C. (2015) Writing and Reporting News: A Coaching method, 8th edition, Thomson.
- Mencher, M. (2010) Melvin Mencher’s News Reporting and Writing, 12th edition, McGraw – Hill Education Publishers.
- Kovach, B. & Rosenstiel, T. (2014) The Elements of Journalism, Prima Publishing.
- Harcup, T. & O'Neill, D. (2016) “What is news?” in Journalism Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2016.1150193.
- Harcup, T. & O’Neill, D. (2001) “What is News? Galtung and Ruge revisited” in Journalism Studies, Vol. 2, Number 2, pp.261-280.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Classwork SEM2 No 15%
Assignment SEM2 No 40%
Report SEM2 No 45%

LECTURER/S Lourdes Pullicino

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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.