Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE MCS3060

 
TITLE Reporting

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

 
ECTS CREDITS 4

 
DEPARTMENT Media and Communications

 
DESCRIPTION How can one come up with headlines that sell? What’s a gripping lead? And how does one go about writing them? How does one bridge the headline with the lead to achieve a good flow in coming up with tight hard news stories? Who’s behind the news? What’s their agenda? Should we bite the hand that feeds us?

Who are the main players that are continually trying to make us think about the themes that will propagate their ideas and line their pockets? Work done at home will encourage students to keep tab of current affairs, keep their nose to the ground to sniff the patterns behind the news and look for possible follow-ups. Who’s behind the news items? Who’s pulling the strings? Who are the owners of the medium presenting the news? Where’s the bias? Various writing genres will be introduced to the students who will carry out exercises to enrich their writing skills. Weekly take-home exercises will involve the writing in a shortened form of extracts from books by international authors as well as historic events that will add to the students’ general knowledge.

Study-Unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to help students get the grips with what goes into coming up with vibrant leading news stories that increase their market share and be the preferred source of news for their intended audience.

Students will hone their writing skills, become wordsmiths who can 'paint' pictures with words. Learn how the right words put together can create 'music' which means tight, gripping stories. The ability to write under pressure without being verbose and be able to analyse political and economic situations in such a way as to ferret out stories and answer questions their audience is asking.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Become smart and savvy news hound able to get stories from the air so to speak;
- Sniff out stories even when the world around them is trying to smother those stories;
- Demonstrate the ability to 'comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable'.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Decide what makes a sexy headline, what to leave out of all the details he/she has about a particular story and how to plan follow-up stories;
- Demonstrate knowledge on how to put personal biases aside and stick to facts he/she has sourced and, where needs be, double source them;
- Demonstrate that as reporters are not there to pontificate but to be the voice of the public.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Missouri Group (2016) News Reporting and Writing. Bedford/St Martins: Boston and New York. Twelfth edition.
- Hargreaves, I. (2005). Journalism: A Very Short Introduction. UK: Oxford University Press.

Supplementary Readings:

- Truss, L. (2005). Eats, Shoots and Leaves. London: Profile Books.
- Johnson, S. (1999). Who Moved my Cheese? An amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life. London: Vermilion.
- Leonard, E. (2000) Pagan Babies. London: Penguin Books.

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Project SEM1 Yes 15%
Classwork SEM1 Yes 15%
Case Study (Take Home) SEM1 Yes 25%
Examination (1 Hour and 30 Minutes) SEM1 Yes 45%

 
LECTURER/S George Cini

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
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 study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

https://www.um.edu.mt/course/studyunit