Core skills for all journalists

News Reporting/Essential Journalism
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The reporting module is being replaced by a new essential journalism module from September 2016, but candidates may continue to work towards the reporting exam during 2016-17 if they are already working on the module.

Journalists need core skills to work in multimedia news environments found online, in TV and radio, in newspapers and magazines as well as those working in media environments of other sectors, such as PR and communications.

Essential Journalism is designed to teach you the skill-sets needed from finding and telling stories, to harnessing the technologies of the digital age for reporting.

Your learning will focus on:

  • News and how to find it
  • Telling stories for different audiences and platforms
  • Interviewing skills
  • Reporting news events and meetings
  • Interacting with your audience
  • Finding stories in data
  • Working safely
  • Working to high ethical standards

The programme of study teaches the still-vital traditional skills, plus how to be a successful journalist in the digital age. Social media, using smartphones, understanding what the website statistics are telling you, finding buried stories in data are all included. You will also learn the most effective way(s) to tell stories to make best use of the available platforms.

This module is assessed by a two-hour online exam and completion of an e-portfolio of evidence.

Essential media law and regulation
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All journalists must know the legal and regulatory boundaries of what they can and cannot report. This includes both the Editors' Code of Practice and Ofcom code.

The programme of study covers all the media law essentials as well as an introduction to court reporting. Assessment is by one examination which assesses candidates’ knowledge of media law and its practical application in a multimedia newsroom.

There are three different programmes of study and examinations for England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Essential journalism e-portfolio
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E-portfolio for journalists is an assessment that demonstrates the journalistic skills and abilities you will gain when studying the diploma and, in particular, the essential journalism module.

Essential Journalism is designed to teach you the skill-sets needed from finding and telling stories, to harnessing the technologies of the digital age for reporting.

Your learning will focus on:

  • News and how to find it

  • Telling stories for different audiences and platforms

  • Interviewing skills

  • Reporting news events and meetings

  • Interacting with your audience

  • Finding stories in data

  • Working safely

  • Working to high ethical standards

The programme of study teaches the still-vital traditional skills, plus how to be a successful journalist in the digital age. Social media, using smartphones, understanding what the website statistics are telling you, finding buried stories in data are all included. You will also learn the most effective way(s) to tell stories to make best use of the available platforms.

You will have to submit online ten pieces of work adhering to a set of conditions depending on what media sector you are working towards.

Essential journalism ethics and regulation
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Journalists are expected to work to high ethical standards. Students can expect learning from this module to be integrated into much of their practical journalism work.

 This module does not seek to engage in a debate around moral philosophy. It is intended to bring forward ethical issues faced by journalists in their day-to-day work and how they might be resolved.

Assessments will take place within the essential journalism exam, the essential journalism e-portfolio and, to a lesser extent, the essential media law and regulation

Regulation: Much of the learning and assessment of regulation is found in the essential media law and regulation programme of study. However, non-broadcast course students will face an online, multiple-choice regulation test. Broadcast students are tested on regulation in a separate broadcast regulation exam.