City University London’s Department of Journalism is the premier journalism school in Britain. The Guardian Media Guide describes it and the Cardiff School of Journalism as “the Oxbridge of journalism schools”. It has developed international prestige, through exchanges with universities in Australia, Canada, Spain, The Netherlands Denmark and Hong Kong. The department has been running highly successful postgraduate courses since 1976. Its first undergraduate course, Journalism and a Social Science, started 18 years ago. The Journalism and Contemporary History course graduated its first students in July 2003 and there is now a single honours BA Journalism.
Alumni of the BA courses are working in regional and national newspapers, including The Guardian, The Sun, and The Sunday Mirror, in local and national broadcasting, including on Tonight with Trevor McDonald, and for international agencies, including Reuters, Associated Press and Bloomberg.
City University London is based in Islington, within a mile or two of many major media bases, including ITN, The Guardian and several magazine publishers.
Islington is one of the liveliest areas of the capital, with many bars, restaurants and clubs. It is three stops or so on the tube to Piccadilly Circus.
The GEJI components are described below. Or find us at www.city.ac.uk.
The GEJI project at City
Students coming to City University through the GEJI project will join the journalism department’s renowned specialism courses. The outline for the course follows. These courses are followed by most of the postgraduate journalism students as well as the final year undergraduates and are taught in small groups of about 15-20.
The courses are regarded by many as one of the jewels in the crown of the department. They are all taught by full time journalists, some of whom are freelance, but most of whom teach for these two hours a week by agreement with their employers. Students attending City for one term will attend half the course (7.5 UK credits). Joining the course half way through will not present problems because these courses do not aim to teach news or feature writing (which are taught in other classes), but to give some insights into some of the issues involved in this area.
In addition the exchange students complete a journalism project on an environmental theme. This could be radio, print or web. The print outline follows. The environmental journalism lecturer will tutor the students through these projects, helping with ideas for research, possibly contacts and with detailed work and feedback on the first draft.
To make up a full time diet of four/five courses, the exchange students can join other courses which are appropriate for them to gain credit at their home institution. These include various practical journalism courses, news or feature writing, print or web design, radio production, international news, British magazines. Students may choose one or two options from the range of social science courses if they have appropriate prior study.
Specialisms (15 UK credits)
Aims and objectives
To provide small workshops led by practising journalists to develop the skills of specialist reporting. By the end of this course you will be able to:
show detailed knowledge of a specialist journalistic area;
develop contacts; use specialist sources in compiling news and features;
show an awareness of the media outlets for copy in a specialist area;
understand the different styles and contents of the media outlets in a specialist area.
The aim of the course is to give students a grounding in how a specialist journalist works. It will not necessarily qualify students to get a first job in these fields.
Two hours x 14 weeks = 28 hours
This is by coursework alone.
Given the environmental crisis facing the planet, most notably climate change, there has never been a greater need for journalists specialising in this area. The environment specialism will aim to give participants an all-round introduction to the main issues in environment and development as well as focusing on subjects of particular interest to students. As well as climate change, subjects covered will include: population growth, pollution, biodiversity, urbanisation, tourism, globalisation, animal rights, “affluenza” (issues relating to wealth, consumption, poverty and happiness), development and its alternatives (e.g. small-scale technologies), green consumerism and corporate social responsibility.
We will also be looking at issues in the news, nationally and globally, as they crop up and examining the themes behind them. Teaching will include a mix of discussion-based workshops, guest speakers and visits. The idea is to ensure that students emerge from the course environmentally literate (ie with a basic grounding in and understanding of the subject) so that they are able to relate the headlines to longer-term themes, express this awareness in their writing/broadcasting and be an effective advocate for environmental coverage in their relationship with news, features and commissioning editors.
Tutor: Bibi van der Zee writes about the environment and has published Rebel, rebel: The Protestor’s Handbook
Print project, 15 credits
Aims and Objectives
The project demonstrates your ability to research thoroughly a subject of your own choice on an original theme, and to write 5,000 words on it. You must demonstrate that you have become an authority on the subject. This will require work over several months, researching, building contacts, gaining access to primary sources, both people and documentary material.
The project should be written as an article or series of articles for a specific newspaper, magazine, website or radio outlet, which should be identified. It should demonstrate ability to assess a problem, plan and carry out investigations and analyse evidence. It should show evidence of the use of printed sources and interviews. The printed sources may include official reports, cuttings, books, academic papers. A minimum of six face-to-face and 12 telephone interviews should be conducted, to check and enhance understanding of the above, to add new information and, where appropriate, to reveal the first hand experience of a person vitally involved in the subject. The place and date of interviews should be shown. The material should be presented in a way which is clear, vivid and comprehensible and which engages the attention of the audience.
If you choose a print project, the final version must be desk top published with appropriate photographs, other illustrations, graphs, charts, maps, etc. If you choose to do a project, further detailed guidance will be given on choice of subject, research required and there will be several tutorials as the work progresses.
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