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A course for our times.

The MA International Journalism is designed to respond to the various challenges of globalisation and the need for a more internationalised approach to journalism. The degree will challenge those from the UK and beyond to think past their national perspectives, comprehending that to get the ʻfull storyʼ you need to look across both geographical borders and traditional divisions within journalism. Todayʼs big stories are complex, simultaneously political, economic, hyper-local and global. On the course you will learn and critique theories relating to the role of the media and globalisation and will have the opportunity to practice journalism across various media platforms, using our new state-of-the-art digital newsroom.

Why choose this course at Bedfordshire?
• Learn the craft of thorough and effective journalism practice for audiences from the hyper-local to the global, instructed by experienced professionals
• Develop an internationalised approach to journalism beyond specific cultural perspectives, deepening your level of analysis
• Learn and practice the latest academic and journalistic research techniques
• Articulate your journalism across a series of media platforms
• Produce under supervision, a final project of your choice, either in the form of a journalistic portfolio or an academic dissertation
• Attend seminars with top professionals from the BBC, The Guardian and other established media outlets

Areas of study.
The Global Reporter
There is the globalisation that has brought us the internet and the notion of a global audience at the click of a journalist’s mouse. There are also the increasingly contentious roles of global institutional players: the World Bank; the International Monetary Fund; the United Nations. Then there are the multi-national conglomerates, often eclipsing the powers vested in national governments. There is also a global banking
system and its irrefutable role in the world’s economic downturn. To really put the puzzle together today, one has to see the interconnectivity between the hyper-local, global, economic and political. You will be encouraged to draw from your own experience of globalisation. You will be encouraged to get the full picture and find that ‘global story.’ Anything else is often only half the story.

This unit offers an introduction to the various intellectual debates concerning globalisation and its impact on journalism. The unit also scrutinises some of the transnational and global organisations increasingly reported on. The knowledge acquired is utilised by you – the global reporter - to produce: effective and structured analyses of the challenges facing journalism in the global age; informing the writing of wellstructured journalistic pieces.

Journalism Practices Around The World will seek to challenge your acclimatisation to your national vantage point. It will confront the naturalness and common sense of what are often actually assumptions borne of the specificities of the political, economic and media infrastructures within specific countries. The naturalness of the resulting assumptions can be compounded by ethical and regulatory constraints on how journalists work. You will be supported in questioning the values and policies which permeate various formulations of what the media does and is for. The initial vantage point for comparison and contrast are the Anglo-European positions on journalism offered by us – and quite possibly some of you. It is an initial point of reference, which like others, can be challenged. The unit should help make you a more rounded journalist capable of seeing other sides.

On completion of this unit you should be able to: Analyse, evaluate, compare and contrast the debates surrounding ‘what is news, ’including ethical, political and cultural considerations and different media structures.Utilise your analysis and evaluation of what is news and its impact on journalistic output, to produce stories for a series of markets and a critical evaluation of what is news. Research Methods provides an introduction to research methods used by journalists and by academics. You will learn how to look for existing research and information using public sources and specialist academic and journalistic resources. You will be introduced to basic financial and statistical concepts to enable you to assess the quality of such research and the way it is reported. A range of popular methods used to conduct new research will be outlined including content analysis, semiological analysis, text and discourse analysis, questionnaires, interviews and participant observation. You will learn how to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each method explored and how the research context and method can lead to ethical difficulties that you must resolve. You will then work together in groups to plan and execute a research project of your own.

Multiplatform Journalism
Contemporary journalism takes a wide variety of forms. By learning how news stories are produced on radio, on television, in magazines, tabloid or broadsheet newspapers, and in various multimedia digital forms, you will have the opportunity to broaden your professional expertise and to appreciate how the different forms can influence which stories are told and how they are communicated. You will learn some of the key production techniques for each medium, you will compare and contrast how the same news story is treated differently across different publishing platforms, applying insights from academic research on how news is produced, and you will produce your own news across these formats and reflect critically on your own practice and that of your fellow students. At the end of the unit you will connect your understanding of the significance of medium choice and genre expectations to wider scholarly debate about the role of journalism in society.

Research project
You will undertake a major project in one of the theoretical or practical areas covered by the course. This may be a written dissertation (12,000–15,000) or a collection of practical production work suitable for publication (9,000-12,000 words in length or the equivalent) accompanied by a 3,000-word contextual study which explores how this work has been informed by academic work on the course. This unit offers you the opportunity to follow a specialist subject of your choice as a culmination of your Masterʼs study. The term project is used to indicate that the work may be practical – potential examples include a website, a set of news and/or feature articles or a TV or radio documentary – and can be produced on your own or as part of a group.

Career opportunities
The qualification will be of value to anyone seeking to work as regional or national reporters, political, economic and foreign correspondents. In terms of journalismʼs related industries, the qualification would be of value to those seeking work as media regulators, related lobby groups and the creative industries more broadly. The project work on the course provides an opportunity to make contacts and develop specialist knowledge of specific areas of the media and regulation. Typical areas that media graduates could expect to find work include broadcasting, journalism, arts or media administration, governmental regulation of the media and lobbying of governments on behalf of the media, research, marketing, sales and advertising, design, and writing. Students who graduate from this MA course will be qualified to apply for further study at MPhil and PhD research degree level.

Entry requirements
Candidates for the course will be expected to produce a portfolio of journalism work. Requirements include:

  • a news story and a 1,000-word feature article on a given subject. Inclusion of these two pieces is the minimum requirement for portfolio submission.
  • Telephone interview.Candidates will then be interviewed about how they researched and wrote the pieces in their portfolio. Staff will then assess the prospective student’s aptitude and suitability for the course.

Candidates should have a lower second-class first degree or a postgraduate qualification such as a Postgraduate Certificate in journalism or the equivalent. International students will be expected to have the required English language entry qualification (IELTS score of 6 or equivalent with at least 5.5 in each band).

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