Journalism and Storytelling
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
16 August 2022
Requisites for this module
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 P595 Journalism and Language Studies
This module is about the theory and practice of narrative. Students will consider the origins and enduring power of dramatic form. Through the comparative analysis of key examples, they will develop an understanding of the core principles of storytelling. They will address this primarily in the context of journalism both as a technique legitimately employed to relay ‘news’ and as a means of distorting the reality of events by interested parties.
We will consider the ethical issues presented both for journalists and those employed in the public relations industry. We will consider the way storytelling techniques transcend specific media and have continued through the digital communications revolution of the past twenty five years. We will look at how some of the best journalistic storytellers have transferred those skills to longer-form writing and to fiction. In practical workshops, we will aim to develop students’ practical storytelling skills.
The module builds on the writing classes offered at levels 4 and 5 of the various Journalism degrees but is self-contained and suitable for any level 6 student with appropriate interests.
The aims of the module are:
1. To explore the theory of storytelling and how it relates to concepts such as rhetoric and metaphor
2. To link classic examples of journalistic practice with techniques used in the most fundamental forms of communication
3. To explore the use of storytelling techniques to distort public discourse
4. To investigate the ethical dilemmas presented by use of storytelling techniques
5. To consider the relationship between factual and fictional storytelling
Students studying this course will:
1. Develop an understanding of the various theories of storytelling
2. Demonstrate a high standard of critical thinking, particularly in regard to storytelling techniques applied both by journalists and those seeking to influence journalists
3. Become conversant with the use of storytelling techniques in key news stories of the modern era
4. Develop the ability to structure their own stories to maximum legitimate effect
5. Develop the ability to recognise and counter the use of storytelling technique by interested parties
6. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the line between acceptable and unacceptable artifice in journalism and non-fiction writing
7. Develop an understanding of the application of storytelling techniques across media and into the era of interactive communications
No additional information available.
Anticipated teaching delivery: The module is taught as a series of seminars/workshops in autumn term.
Weingarten, M. (2005) Gang That Wouldn’t Write Straight. Crown Publishing Group (NY).
Kramer, M., Call, W. and Harvard University. Nieman Foundation for Journalism (2007) Telling true stories: a nonfiction writers’ guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. New York: Plume.
Lopate, P. (2013) To show and to tell: the craft of literary nonfiction. New York: Free Press.
Forché, C. and Gerard, P. (eds) (2001) Writing creative nonfiction: instruction and insights from the teachers of the Associated Writing Programs. Cincinnati, Ohio: Story.
Gutkind, L. (1997) The art of creative nonfiction: writing and selling the literature of reality
. New York: Wiley. Available at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/universityofessex-ebooks/detail.action?docID=7124093
Gutkind, L. (2012) You can’t make this stuff up: the complete guide to writing creative nonfiction--from memoir to literary journalism and everything in between. Boston, MA: Da Capo Press/Lifelong Books.
McKee, R. (1998) Story: substance, structure, style and the principles of screenwriting. London: Methuen.
McErlean, K. (2018) Interactive narratives and transmedia storytelling: creating immersive stories across new media platforms
. New York, NY: Routledge. Available at: http://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781315637570
Seargeant, P. (2020) Art of Political Storytelling
. London: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.5040/9781350107427?locatt=label:secondary_bloomsburyCollections
Orwell, G. (2015) Homage to Catalonia. [United Kingdom]: Will Johnson & Dog’s Tail Books.
Orwell, G. (2000) ‘Politics and the English Language’, in George Orwell: Essays. London: Penguin, pp. 348–360.
Orwell, G. (1984) Why I write. London: Penguin Books.
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
||Long-read feature (2,000-2,500 words) or Multimedia Portfolio
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.
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Idrees Ahmad, email: email@example.com.
Dr Idrees Ahmad
LiFTS General Office – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone 01206 872626
No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 27 hours, 27 (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), module, or event type.
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