The Journalistic Imagination: Contemporary Issues in Journalism

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
07 June 2024


Requisites for this module


LT144, LT231, LT232

Key module for

BA P500 Multimedia Journalism,
BA P501 Multimedia Journalism (Including Year Abroad),
BA P503 Multimedia Journalism (Including Placement Year),
BA P590 Journalism and Modern Languages,
BA P550 Journalism and Criminology,
BA P551 Journalism and Criminology (Including Placement Year),
BA P552 Journalism and Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
BA P540 Journalism and Sociology,
BA P541 Journalism and Sociology (Including Placement Year),
BA P542 Journalism and Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA P510 Journalism and English Language,
BA P511 Journalism and English Language (Including Placement Year),
BA P512 Journalism and English Language (Including Year Abroad),
BA P530 Journalism and Literature,
BA P531 Journalism and Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA P532 Journalism and Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA P570 Journalism with Human Rights,
BA P571 Journalism with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA P572 Journalism with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA P580 Journalism and Politics,
BA P581 Journalism and Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA P582 Journalism and Politics (Including Year Abroad),
BA P565 Film and Journalism,
BA P566 Film and Journalism (Including Foundation Year),
BA P567 Film and Journalism (including Placement Year),
BA P568 Film and Journalism(including Year Abroad),
BA P595 Journalism and Language Studies

Module description

The module introduces students to the world of journalism, focusing on contemporary debates about the production, distribution and reception of news and the changes being wrought by social media and AI. The module will introduce students to research on disinformation and propaganda. The course will also equip students with a critical understanding of ethical concerns in journalism.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To orient students to the world they’ll be entering. The best journalists are not only curious about the world around them, they are also conscious of the institution they represent, with all its commercial, ethical, and technological challenges.

  • To identify and critique key issues raised by the production, distribution and reception of news, understand the economic, political, cultural and technological factors that shape news, understand news processes and information flow, and prepare for the challenges posed to journalism by propaganda and disinformation.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Identify and critique key issues raised by the production, distribution and reception of news.

  2. Describe and assess the economic, political, cultural and technological factors that shape news.

  3. Develop a critical understanding of news processes and information flow.

  4. Understand the challenges posed to journalism by propaganda and disinformation.

  5. Understand the ethical dilemmas in journalism.

Module information

Essential Reading:

  • Adam & Clark (2005). Journalism: The Democratic Craft. Oxford University Press.

  • Rusbridger, A. (2020). News and How to Use It: What to Believe in a Fake News World. Canongate.

  • Weaver & Willnat (2012). The Global Journalist in the 21st Century. Routledge.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • A weekly two hour session, comprising a lecture and an interactive seminar, and will include film screenings.


  • Hargreaves, Ian; EBSCOhost ebook collection. (2005, 2003) Journalism: a very short introduction, Oxford [England]: Oxford University Press. vol. Very short introductions
  • Seymour-Ure, Colin. (1996) The British Press and Broadcasting Since 1945, Oxford: Blackwell.
  • James Curran; Jean Seaton. (©2018) Power without responsibility: press, broadcasting and the Internet in Britain, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Colin Seymour-Ure. (1975) 'The press and the party system between the wars', in The politics of reappraisal, 1918-1939, London: Macmillan.
  • James Curran; Jean Seaton. (2018) Power Without Responsibility: press, broadcasting and the Internet in Britain, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Cox, Howard; Mowatt, Simon. (2014) Revolutions from Grub Street: a history of magazine publishing in Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hargreaves, Ian. (2014) Journalism: a very short introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press. vol. Very short introductions
  • Derrick Knight. (1971) 'Development', in Scoop, scandal, and strife: a study of photography in newspapers, New York: Hastings House.
  • Peter Chippindale; Chris Horrie. (2013) Stick it up Your Punter!: the uncut story of the Sun newspaper, London: Faber.
  • Knightley, Phillip. (2004) The First Casualty: the war correspondent as hero and myth-maker from the Crimea to Iraq, Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Williams, Francis. (1957) Dangerous Estate: the anatomy of newspapers, [London]: Longmans, Green and co.
  • George Brock. (2013) Out of Print: newspapers, journalism and the business of news in the digital age, London: Kogan Page Ltd.
  • Colin Seymour-Ure. (2000) 'Northcliffe's legacy', in Northcliffe's legacy: aspects of the British popular press, 1896-1996, New York: St. Martin's Press. vol. Contemporary history in context series
  • Greenslade, Roy. (2003) Press Gang: how newspapers make profits from propaganda, London: Macmillan.
  • Linda Melvern. (1986) The End of the Street, London: Methuen.
  • Williams, Kevin. (2010) Get Me a Murder a Day!: a history of media and communication in Britain, London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  • Conboy, Martin. (2004) Journalism: a critical history, London: Sage.
  • Harris, Michael. (1997) 'Farewell to Fleet Street?', in A journalism reader, London: Routledge. vol. Communication and society
  • Joel H. Wiener. (1988) 'How new was the New Journalism?', in Papers for the millions: the new journalism in Britain, 1850s to 1914, New York: Greenwood Press. vol. Contributions to the study of mass media and communications
  • Lucy Brown. (1992) 'The British press, 1800-1860', in The encyclopedia of the British press, 1422-1992, Basingstoke: Macmillan.
  • Matthew Engel. (1997) Tickle the Public: one hundred years of the popular press, London: Indigo.
  • Black, Jeremy. (2002) ''From woodcuts to steam press'', in BBC History Magazine., pp.12-14
  • Ofcom. (no date) News consumption in the UK: 2019.
  • Andrew Crisell. (2002) An introductory history of British broadcasting, London: Routledge.
  • Marr, Andrew. (2005) My Trade: a short history of British journalism, London: Pan Books.
  • Crisell, Andrew. (2002) An Introductory History of British Broadcasting, London: Routledge.
  • Cockett, Richard. (1989) Twilight of Truth: Chamberlain, appeasement, and the manipulation of the press, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
  • Brendon, Piers. (1983) The Life and Death of the Press Barons, New York: Atheneum.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Presentation    30% 
Coursework   Essay (1,500 words)    70% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Idrees Ahmad, email:
Paul Anderson
LiFTS General Office - email Telephone 01206 872626



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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