Dr. Andrew Whitehead
London, United Kingdom
Four quarter credits.
In this course you will examine the practice of international news journalism, and the manner in which it is being remolded by new digital platforms and increasing competition. The key requirement is that you are curious about the world and the way it is changing. You will need to read widely about how the world is reported – and you will have the chance to write and report.
Every week, we will look at a topical news story and the different ways in which it is being reported across countries and platforms (TV, press, websites). We will look at the ethics of news reporting and the difficulties—of safety, balance, authority—in covering war and conflict. Can journalists, should journalists, be impartial in the face of the increase in violence evident in many parts of the world? Is the coverage of the Middle East, and of radical Islam, fair? Is the era of the foreign correspondent, flown in from afar to cover political unrest and insurgencies, now almost over? Do we have too much reporting of violence and political rows, and not enough coverage of the environment, gender issues and lifestyles? Are journalists lazy, relying too much on hand-outs and web searches and not enough on first-hand reporting?
The course will also look at the rise of citizen journalism and the impact this is having on news reporting, and at the growth of social news, everything from Facebook and Twitter to the news and lifestyle websites aimed at the young. We will take a look at how journalism is developing globally, not simply in Britain and the United States.