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Module Title
News Writing

Structure, language, news copy, sources.

SCQF Points15
ECTS Points7.5
CreatedApril 2008
ApprovedJuly 2008
AmendedAugust 2016
Version No.3

This Version is No Longer Current
The latest version of this module is available here
Prerequisites for Module

None in addition to SCQF 11 entry requirements or equivalent.

Corequisite Modules


Precluded Modules


Aims of Module

1. To apply theoretical news values and the language of news in news-gathering and new writing for converging multimedia platforms to a level which meets professional standards.
2. To develop an ability to critically reflect on the role and responsibilities of news reporters, the ethics of news journalism and the relevance to news practice of theoretical paradigms like news selection, framing and gate-keeping.

Learning Outcomes for Module

On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to:

1. Display an understanding of news values and news language and their varying applications to a converging journalistic environment.
2. Demonstrate a critical awareness of how theoretical concepts such as news selection, framing, gate-keeping and gate-watching - and issues around bias and objectivity - apply to the day-to-day practice of news reporting.
3. Show an ability to independently gather news stories in the field by making contacts, evaluating source material, carrying out interviews, and collecting and interrogating data.
4. Demonstrate an ability to translate academic theory into professional practice by writing news for online and print to a publishable standard.

Indicative Module Content

An understanding of the concept of news values applied to the technical mechanics of news-gathering and writing are core skills for journalists working across converging multimedia platforms in print, online and broadcast. This module provides a practice-based approach to developing students' news values and news-gathering skills, through developing contacts, evaluating different types of source material, carrying out interviews, and writing clean, structured news copy to deadlines - with a particular emphasis on print and online. The practical focus is underpinned by an introduction to more academic debates about bias and objectivity, news selection, framing and gate-keeping.

Indicative Student Workload

Contact Hours

Full Time

Directed Study

Directed Study

Private Study

Private Study

Mode of Delivery

This module will focus on practical workshops designed to develop high quality writing and real-world news-gathering in the field. The programme will be supported by a mix of weekly lectures and seminars and visiting speakers from the newspaper industry.

Assessment Plan

Learning Outcomes Assessed
Component 1 1,2,3,4
Component 2 1,2,3,4
Component 3 1,4

Component 1 is a real-life hard news story produced by independent news-gathering and research in the field, and supported by a 500-word research log and critical reflection.

Component 3 is a 1.5-hour timed news-writing exercise to be completed in exam conditions in class.

Component 2 is real-life human interest news story, based on news-gathering and research in the field, and supported by a 500-word research log and critical reflection.

Indicative Bibliography

1.BRIGHTON, P. and FOY, D., 2014. News values. London: Sage. Kindle e-book.
2.CRAIG, R., 2004. Online Journalism: Reporting, Writing and Editing for New Media . London: Thomson Wadsworth.
3.EVANS, H., and CRAWFORD, G., 2000. Essential English for journalists, editors and writers. London: Pimlico.
4.HARCUP,T., 2015. Journalism: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications
5.HICKS,W. et al., 2016. Writing for journalists. 3rd ed. London: Routledge. Kindle e-book.
6.KOLODZY, J., 2013. Convergence journalism: writing and reporting across the news media. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield. Kindle e-book.
7.MCKANE, A., 2013. News Writing. 2nd ed. London: Sage
8.RANDALL, D., 2016. The universal journalist. 5th ed. London: Pluto Press. ebook

Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781