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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Journalism Practice: Digital Storytelling
Module Code CM5971
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Colleen Murrell
Semester 2: Colleen Murrell
Autumn: Colleen Murrell
Module TeachersDavid Robbins
Dawn Wheatley
Colleen Murrell
Niamh Sammon
Alice O'Sullivan
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 15
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This is a companion course to CM5969 in Semester 1. It is a similarly intensive, practice-based course focused on the use of digital technologies (video, digital video, radio) to create journalism content and to tell journalistic stories.

Learning Outcomes

1. Record, edit and publish news videos
2. Record, edit, and publish audio content related to the news
3. Locate, download, manipulate datasets related to news stories
4. Produce data visualisations based on large datasets
5. Identify and critically analyse the multimedia content strategies of news organisations
6. Identify story opportunities suitable for reporting in audio or video formats

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture132Lectures take place over three days each week, and last three hours each. In week 13, Newsdays are full, 8-hr working days.
Fieldwork40Students record audio and/or video in the field for use in class editing and discussion exercises
Independent Study203No Description
Total Workload: 375

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Weeks 1-4 - Radio Journalism
Students learn to write, record and edit news stories and current affairs stories and to critique podcasts and news programmes.

Weeks 5-9 - video journmalism
Students learn to examine the context within which television/video journalism occurs and gain an understanding of the basic skills employed by TV journalists. They learn to critically evaluate TV journalism reporting and scheduling, and to explore the relationship of TV journalism to new forms of media.

Weeks 10-11 - Data Journalism
Students will gain a solid basic understanding of the tools available and possibilities of data journalism. Besides learning about the basics of this increasingly vital discipline, students will learn how data is used in the media industry today, where to locate data, how to clean and analyze it critically, and how to optimise the presentation of information for maximum readability and interactivity. This module element also gives students a thorough grounding in the use of common tools including spreadsheets and presentation. The module element focuses particularly on using visualisation to effectively communicate data sets. Students will apply these principles and tools in telling journalistic stories.

Week 12 - Masterclasses
3 x 3hr sessions in which working journalists give presentations and workshops on new trends and practices in newsrooms

Week 13 - Newsdays
3 x full day newsroom simulations in which students work as a newsroom team to produce TV and radio programmes covering the news of the day.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
ParticipationEvaluation of students' participation in class discussions and activities and engagement with VLE resources5%Week 12
In Class TestWritten test to evaluate students' knowledge and understanding of radio reporting strategies and techniques15%Week 4
In Class TestWritten test to evaluate students' understanding of news video production techniques and practices.15%Week 9
In Class TestWritten text to evaluate students' ability to source public datasets, to import and clean up data, to identify story angles from datasets, and to produce data graphics and other visualisations based on datasets.15%Week 11
Digital ProjectStudents are required to produce a substantial piece of journalism which includes video/audio and data journalism elements50%Week 12
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Liliana Bounegru and Jonathan Gray: 2021, The Data Journalism Handbook, Amsterdam University Press, 978946298951
  • Peter Stewart,Ray Alexander: 2021, Broadcast Journalism, Routledge, 9780367460464
  • Siobhan McHugh: 0, The Power of Podcasting, 9780231208772
  • Andrew Boyd: 2001, Broadcast Journalism, Taylor & Francis, 0240515714
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MAJMA in Journalism

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