2015-2016 academic year

Journalism specialized in Culture (21371)

Degree/study: Bachelor's Degree in Journalism
Year: Third & Fourth
Term: Second
Number of ECTS credits: 4 credits
Hours of studi dedication: 100 hours
Teaching language or languages: English
Teaching Staff: Ruth Rodriguez-Martinez

1. Presentation of the subject

In the current media context is very important to exercise responsibility as a journalist and it involves the achievement of methodological tools to access and interpret information in the public interest. The access to specialized sources of information and specialized methodologies are the best guarantee to properly interpret the cultural and artistic context and communicate to the audience.

This is a course taught in the third or fourth year of the Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. It provides the knowledge, skills and abilities essential to successfully deepen understanding of cultural activity around and in the study of actors and institutions involved in this field of media activity. Also, this course analyzes the concept and role of culture in contemporary society and the role of the journalist in this cultural context.

Firstly, the students will think about the concept of culture, identify the reliable sources of information, learning how to properly assess the impact of culture, analyze and interpret information coming from different cultural agents and discover the functions of cultural reporting. Secondly, the students will see the how to write in a variety of formats about cinema, arts, literature, street art, photography, music, etc. This also helps the students to understand the connections between cultural events and society, the present and the past.

2. Competences to be attained

Multidisciplinary skills:

Being able to work and communicate in the English language

Understand and interpret adequately written texts of an academic level

Being able to work in group, contributing with opinions and achieving consensus

Critical appraisal and reflection skills

Being able to apply and adapt the knowledge acquired in new contexts and situations in a flexible and creative way

Being able to progress in continuous learning and training processes

Being able to back up personal opinions with sound arguments and to defend them in public.

Ability to think autonomously and critically when talking about controversial subjects

Being able to embrace diversity of views and to respect dissenting views as a fundamental ingredient of academic life

Being able to develop a sense of curiosity and the desire to know what is ignored, essential in any learning process and throughout professional activity

Degree specific skills

Knowledge of English as a form of professional expression in the media.

Knowledge of the state of the world and its recent historical development.

Knowledge of the main media debates and events

Being able to identify and analyze information products in any genre, language or format, with a view to engaging in critical study

Ability to look for, choose and organise any source or document (written, audible or visual) useful to elaborate and process information

Ability to understand basic information production or communicative, written or visual, in English.

Being able to read and analyze specialized texts and documents on any relevant topic.

Capacity and ability to use computer systems and resources and interactive.

Specific skills:

Ability to assess the journalistic quality of online media outlets

Developing personal initiative and a sense of responsibility.

Recognition of cultural diversity and international journalistic traditions

Being able to carry out research using documents and newspapers.

Being able to use documentary sources as primary sources for news items.

Ability to define criteria for analyzing journalistic content and to critically apply these criteria to media coverage

Being aware of the main traditions with a bearing on contemporary journalism.

Being familiar with episodes, figures and media of particular relevance to journalistic culture.

3. Contents

Firstly, the students will think about the concept of culture, identify the reliable sources of information, learning how to properly assess the impact of culture, analyze and interpret information coming from different cultural agents and discover the functions of cultural reporting. Secondly, the students will see the how to write in a variety of formats about cinema, arts, literature, street art, photography, music, etc. This also helps the students to understand the connections between cultural events and society, the present and the past.

1. Introduction: The concept of culture

The difficulty in defining culture nowadays

2. Reliable sources of information

Identify reliable sources of information and cultural agents for cultural reporting

3. Functions of Cultural Reporting

Analyze the functions of cultural reporting to understand the connections between cultural events, media and society

4. Traditional and new cultural expressions

Identify traditional and new cultural expressions such as cinema, videoart, literature, street art, photography, music, etc. and the impact of technology

5. Writing styles and formats

Writing about culture in a variety of formats to reach the audience


4. Assessment

Final exam about the subject's theory (50%)*

Individual tasks (40%)

Participation, attendance and collaborative work (10%)**

*Students who do not meet the 80% attendance requirement automatically fail the course and are not permitted to attend the exam.

**Attendance: The course has a minimum attendance requirement of at least 80%.

A second-chance examination will take place within the time period specified by the Faculty of Communication (on Saturday, two or three weeks after the result release date). The second examination will consist in a new final exam or the submission of a final individual essay.

5. Bibliography and teaching resources

BERGER, John (1972). Ways of Seeing. London: British Broadcasting Corporation and Penguin Books

BOURRIAUD, Nicolas, (2009), The Radicant, Sternberg Press, New York

SONTAG, Susan (1977) On Photography", Penguin, London

WOLFE, Tom, (1973), The New Journalism, Harper and Row, New York.

ATHERTON, Carol, (2005), Defining Literary Criticism, Palgrave Macmillan, New York

BARNET, Sylvan, (2005), A short Guide to writing about art, Pearson, New York

BAUDRILLARD, Jean, (1981), Simulacra and simulation, University of Michigan Press

DEBORD, Guy, (1994), The Society of Spectacle. Zone Books edition

HUNT, Todd, (1974), Reviewing for the mass media, Thomas Nelson & Sons, Canada

LYOTARD, J.F., (1984), The Postmodern Condition, University of Minnesota Press,

LODGE, David, (editor), (1972), 20th Century Literary Criticism, Longman, London

TICHENER, Campbell B., (2005), Reviewing the Arts, LEA, London

SAYRE, Henry M., (2002), Writing about Art, Prentice Hall, New Jersey

Mandatory paper readings are provided at Aula Global.

6. Methodology

Learning will be organized as follows:

- Lectures: plenary sessions where the main theoretical contents of the subject will be explained.

- Self-learning: reading and comprehension exercises to learn better the contents explained in the lectures and to assess their usefulness.

- Debate sessions: seminar sessions, in order to discuss theoretical concepts considering the information that the students will have looked up and studied before class.

- Journalistic tasks: elaboration of journalistic products, strictly following the specialized methodology.

- Final exam about the subject's theory: To prove the students' knowledge.

7. Planning of activities

Week

Activity

Type

1

Defining Concept of Culture. Creating a cultural magazine I

Classroom

2

Postmodernism. Creating a cultural magazine II

Classroom

3

Sources of Information. Writing about books

Classroom

4

Review and Criticism and Functions of Cultural reporter.

Classroom

5

Cultural Industries. Writing about Movies

Classroom

6

New Journalism. Writing about Photography

Classroom

7

Conceptual Art. Writing about Art

Classroom

8

Music Documentaries Writing about Music

Classroom

9

Street Art. Interview

Classroom

10

Feature Report

Classroom

11

Exam

Classroom