What is journalism, and why study it at Glamorgan? Click here for formal details and entry requirements, or read on for a general introduction to the subject and the course.
1. What is journalism?
Journalism is about finding and telling topical stories that people want and need to hear, and it has always mattered. From the earliest cave-dweller shouting out warnings about rampaging wild beasts, to Iranian protesters Twittering about their plight to the outside world, the need for good communication has always been up there with the need for food and shelter.
Even when the stories are less compelling, and less urgent, they still need to be told, so that society can know itself. Imagine a world without journalism: you would be left in the dark, about things from big to small and global to local. Is your street safe at night? What do your elected representatives think about climate change? Is the internet everything? Is a pig, wearing red shoes, really art? Should FIFA go digital? What does a Led Zeppelin tribute band eat for lunch?
Journalists try to tell these stories, to answer these questions, and that’s what our students of journalism do. The questions above relate to a sample of stories they have recently written.
But journalism is experiencing what some are calling a revolution. Everyone agrees that the stories still need to be told, that those in power still need to be held to account, and that society still needs to know itself. So we still need journalism, and journalists. But the old ways of doing this are changing.
Now, anyone can research things on the net, engage in online debates with journalists, or just by-pass them and publish their own material on blogs, Twitter, and the rest. So we have the rise of the amateur, collaborating with journalists or even usurping their roles. The ‘people formerly known as the audience’ are also undermining the economic basis of journalism. They expect to get their news for nothing on the net rather than pay for it on paper, and they are using non-journalistic websites to advertise their wares. This could be a very gloomy scenario, but some find it exciting instead. There are new synergies between journalists and audience, new collaborations, and new opportunities for DIY journalism.
And there are, amidst all the bad news about redundancies, still millions of people buying the papers and listening to the radio, and there are signs of new models emerging, new ways of meeting the costs of doing journalism.
2. Why choose journalism at Glamorgan?
- · BJTC accredited
- · Modern, city-centre facilities
- · Dynamic, creative environment
At Glamorgan, we have run successful degrees in print-based and broadcast journalism for several years: recently, we combined them into one new degree, ensuring that our graduates are even more flexible and multi-skilled.
Our BA Journalism covers the basic skills of finding and telling stories – and producing them for the special skills needed to work in print, radio, TV and on the web.
At ATRiuM, you will get to work with the latest kit, including superb broadcasting facilities. You will also meet a wide range of industry professionals both on our teaching staff and as visiting lecturers from the BBC, ITV, magazines and the national and local press.
We co-hold the licence for GTFM, the community station in Pontypridd, and students are encouraged to get involved with the station or with Radio Cardiff with whom we also have close connections. Journalism students helped to develop the Atrium’s student radio station, Tequila Radio, which is an internet station supported by the Students’ Union. We also host the Wales Centre for Radio.
3. Our course outline
Introduction to Journalism, double module
Live news simulations with output for in-house website; classes on story-finding and writing; small amount multimedia of production skills (filming, recording, page layout; web building)
Journalism Law, Ethics and Regulation
What you can/cannot and should/should not do as a journalist; understanding Press Complaints Commission, Ofcom; law (libel and contempt specifically); issues such as privacy, objectivity.
How government works, at all levels. A key journalistic role is holding those in power to account – first you need to know where the power resides.
Introduction to creative and cultural industries
A theory module, getting you to think hard about the media in its widest sense. This is the start of your journey as a critical thinker.
Comparative media histories
Another theory module, looking at how we have interacted with the media (not just journalism) over time. Lectures, workshops and student presentations.
Television Journalism Production/Radio News and Documentary/Print Journalism
On these three modules you continue to report and write, but you also master production technologies to turn your output into print and web pages, radio and TV broadcasts. Includes a work placement.
Individual Multimedia Project
Highly technical module, taught by computer specialists, in which you develop a personal journalistic website using material you have created on other modules. You will also reflect on changes in online journalism.
Researching Media, Culture and Communications
Preparing you for the dissertation in year three. This is about identifying questions that need to be asked about the media; gathering evidence; interpreting it using theory.
Options: Shorthand/Periodical Journalism/Journalism and Society/Writing Non-Fiction
Major Journalism Project
This takes up a third of your time. You produce a substantial piece of journalism in the form of a website and broadcast documentary or print publications. Ten days work placement included.
Further Law for Journalists
No law in year two, but we return to it now to ensure you are ready to work as a journalist. You MUST pass the exam to graduate.
Dissertation in Media and Cultural Studies
A third of your time is spent on this, a major piece of research using theory and hard data to answer an important question about the media. You choose the question, in negotiation with your lecturers.
Options: Press Relations/International Media/Media and Culture in Wales/Radio Project/TV News Production
NB Fifteen days of work experience, to be taken across years two and three, is compulsory.
4. Meet the staff
There are three core full time staff with more to come, and a host of part time staff who are too numerous to feature here. Instead, these are the staff that you will see most often if you study here.
James Stewart, is the BA Journalism course leader and is your first point of contact for any queries about the course. He teaches radio journalism, studied English at Cambridge and trained as a newspaper reporter. He has 30 years’ experience on papers, magazines, radio and TV. He was the BBC’s Environment Correspondent in Wales and was editor of ITV Wales’s investigative current affairs programme ‘Wales This Week’. He has produced and presented numerous radio and TV documentaries and has travelled widely, training journalists for the BBC World Service Trust and other organisations. Email: email@example.com
Rob Campbell, has a degree in History from Exeter and an MA in Mass Communications from Leicester. He trained as a newspaper reporter and spent nearly two decades on regional newspapers, latterly as a features editor on the Western Daily Press, plus short stints as a subeditor on national newspapers. He also worked as a government press officer and a teacher of English language overseas. Rob is Head of the Division of Media, Culture and Journalism. He is studying for a PhD at Glamorgan and writes a weekly newspaper column. Rob is also an external examiner at the University of Northampton, and untiol recently secretary of the Association for Journalism Education. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mind the single L.
Craig Hooper is an experienced journalist, having written for the national newspapers for several years before becoming an on-screen reporter for ITV Wales News. Specialising in crime stories, he then became a reporter and producer for the award-winning investigative current affairs programme Wales This Week. He left ITV to form his own documentary production company, Coolhead, making high-profile music films, which he still runs alongside lecturing in Journalism at the Atrium. Through Coolhead he’s worked with stars such as the late Luciano Pavarotti & George Best, Metallica, Deep Purple, Sir Tim Rice, Black Sabbath and many others. He leads the teaching in both TV Journalism and Law for Journalists. Email: email@example.com
Our part time lecturers bring in a wealth of up to the minute experience from the media organisations where they work the rest of the week. And we have an exciting programme of visiting speakers from all sectors of the industry, plus links with radio and television stations and publications, all of which might provide a platform for your work or a work placement destination – if you grab the opportunities.
For more information on entry requirements and admissions, click here.