MPJ Promise of Performance

This is something I am currently working on. It’s part of our Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) accreditation process. We have to have a Promise of Performance, which outlines the recruitment process and what our course goals are. It’s essential information for prospective students and employers.

I filed a first draft on my blog yesterday and have since worked and refined it even further. So here is the latest version.

Promise of Performance Statement

BA Multi-Platform Journalism

The overall aim of the programme is to enable students to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills, which will be required to function effectively in the digital journalism arena.

The specific aims of the programme are:

  • To further high quality learning by developing the students’ interest in and knowledge of the learning process
  •  To ensure students’ develop a sound knowledge and critical understanding of the principles of digital media and the means of communication
  •  To equip students’ with the skills for employment in situations requiring personal responsibility and decision making
  •  To enable students’ to develop a wide range of thinking skills, practical and professional skills and transferable skills

Student journalists will be taught to work within the digital and multimedia industries – as print journalists using video cameras, writing for newspapers, magazines, and the internet (online news, blogs and vlogs), and video/audio journalism as well as the more traditional routes. New media is an industry that is taking advantage of the very latest digital technologies available including those mentioned above.

Recruitment

The course recruits people from 18 years upwards who are enthusiastic and motivated about multi-platform journalism.

All applicants irrespective of entry qualification(s) will be formally interviewed and have to sit two assessments. One to test ability to write and the other for the ability to spot spelling and grammatical errors. Applicants also need to ensure they have a clear speaking voice and voice quality will be assessed at point of interview.

Standard Offer

240 points from A’ Levels, GCE and AVCE Double Award or 60 Access to HE credits (of which a minimum of 45 must be at Level 3); BTEC Level 3 or Advanced Apprenticeship.  Students are also required to hold English & Maths GCSE (or equivalent) grade C or above.

Non-standard Offer

In line with the widening participation brief, the Institute encourages applications from students who lack formal academic qualifications.  All such applicants will be set an appropriate piece of work and a judgement made taking into account their academic potential and relevant experience.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Applicants may be admitted with credit for prior certificated learning (APcL) or work/life experience or other uncertificated learning (APeL) (see section 8.3 – Accreditation of prior learning (experiential and certificated) of the Higher Education Quality Handbook which can be found at http://www.grimsby.ac.uk/About us/section8.html).

International Admissions

The Institute recognises a wide range of entry qualifications as being equivalent to A’ level standard; if students hold a qualification not listed above please contact the HE Manager for Admissions and Administration for further guidance on +44 (0)1472 315528.

International students are expected to achieve IELTS 5.5 or TOEFL (including the tests in written and spoken practice), minimum score of 525 (paper-based test).

Desirable Applicant Qualities

Applicants should also be able to demonstrate no fewer than three of the following desirable qualities:

  • Good general knowledge, especially of current affairs and/or specialist field of journalism
  • Evidence of key skills such as team working, problem solving, flexibility, tenacity, lateral thinking, enthusiasm, willingness, initiative
  • Basic competencies in keyboard skills and internet use for data searching and communication
  • Basic skills in blogging, tweeting or another web-based narrative construction
  • Prior relevant experience
  • Knowledge of British media

Current Students

2010/11

Level 4 – 0

Level 5 – Six students (3 female, 3 male). All students are white, predominantly middle class backgrounds.

Level 6 – 0

2011/12

Level 4 – 10 (4 Female, 6 male) All students are white, predominantly middle class.

Level 5 – 0

Level 6 – 6 (3 female, 3 male). All students are white, predominantly middle class backgrounds.

Duration

The course is an undergraduate programme, which runs for three years with 30 weeks per academic year.

Awarding Institution

The University of Hull

Occupational goals of the course

The BA Multi-Platform Journalism programme provides undergraduates with the essential skills required of today’s journalist working in a multi-platform driven newsroom.

It provides a mix of theoretical study and practical training and puts them in challenging situations as a way of developing their knowledge and skills base.

Throughout their three years, students are taught how to write for different publications and platforms, how to take a good photograph and how to produce radio and TV packages and then translate it into ideas for online.

Embedded into this across the three years is the knowledge and understanding of media law, ethics and health and safety.

In Year 1, students are introduced to writing and interviewing skills for print based and broadcast media. Alongside this they also learn production skills for broadcast media (radio and TV). They undertake exams in media law and politics and learn about global media markets and how to develop story ideas and be creative across the platforms.

Going into Year 2, they are introduced to the multi-platform newsroom, which sees them working for 20 weeks producing news content for the Grimsby Telegraph and local cable station, Seven TV broadcasting on VirginMedia 879 and the internet. News content includes written for print and online, video, audio and photos. They learn digital photography skills and the role of photo-journalism to tell a story. Online skills are further developed by producing regular content for a website and they learn more about the media and the role it plays in reporting global conflicts. To develop their print based skills they undertake production of a magazine and develop advanced writing skills.

It is in their second and third year, that students are encouraged to undertake work placements either in newspapers, TV, or radio. This helps in their final year as part of their professional practice, which sees them develop their networking and interview skills and gives them help and support to enter the market as a freelancer. Also within their final year, there will be a number of specialised workshops to help develop and nurture skills, including PR and Marketing.

The third year also sees students work on a final project, which is geared towards their specialism, but incorporates multi-platform elements. They also undertake the writing of a dissertation, which does not have to be linked to their final project.

Year 1

  • Writing and Interviewing in the Digital Age
  • Production Skills for the Multi-Platform Journalist
  • Global Media Markets
  • Journalism in the Field 1
  • Journalism in the Field 2
  • A Nose For News

Year 2

  • Magazine Journalism and Production
  • Multi-Platform Newsroom
  • News Writing for Print Media
  • Basic Digital Photography
  • Media and Global Conflicts
  • Online Production

Year 3

  • Dissertation Planning for Multi-Platform Journalism
  • Professional Practice for Journalists
  • Final Project Pre-Production for Multi-Platform Journalism
  • Dissertation for Multi-Platform Journalism
  • Final Project for Multi-Platform Journalism

 As part of student learning, students will attend events outside of the timetable to develop their journalistic skills, ie covering music concerts or theatre productions to develop review writing skills; covering a variety of events to develop live tweeting and blogging skills; tasting food to develop food review writing skills, etc.

All of this will encompass the multi-platform elements from writing to taking photographs, producing video or radio packages, podcasts to using and sharing it on social media.

In addition to this the students have access to a radio studio and the intention is to have a radio station to broadcast across campus, thus developing their radio production skills. There is also a soft TV news studio for producing daily news bulletins for broadcast on Seven TV and the internet.

 

From the horse’s mouth – Journalism testimonials

You can read testimonials about the Multi-Platform Journalism programme from our industry partners and graduates here.

Here’s the latest one from Cleethorpes Chronicle Editor, Nigel Lowther. He employed student Sam Blake, while she was she in the second year of her journalism degree and she has now graduated.

“I’m pleased to write a few words about Samantha Blake, who has just completed her journalism degree at Grimsby Institute.

Somehow, she has also managed to juggle a full-time role at the Cleethorpes Chronicle, which has, hopefully, complimented what she has been learning on the course.

Sam is a pleasure to manage and a vital part of a small team. Sam is, actually, our only full-time permanent employee in the editorial team. Those who work with her are experienced, part-time staff.

She has a huge amount of responsibility. She has generated news stories off her own back – an important feature of the job – and is hard working and incredibly reliable.

With the college course and jobs during the evening and at the weekend, she has had to be very organised in her time management and flexible.

Sam’s very much a public face of the Chronicle, representing us with great professionalism in the local community. The course has been important to her development and proved most beneficial.”

For more information on the BA Multi-Platform Journalism visit our website or call 01472 315550 and ask to speak to Emma Lingard, Programme Leader.

 

 

Industry Testimonials

Just thought I would share this with you – a testimonial just in from Michelle Hurst, Deputy Editor at the Grimsby Telegraph supporting the BA Multi-Platform Journalism degree here at East Coast Media.

“I would like to offer my support to the multi-platform journalism degree, students of which have been an integral part of the newsroom during the current educational year.

We have launched a new initiative with the media department this year, which has enabled students to get ongoing quality work experience on the job within our newsroom.

It has led to a number of features and videos being printed in our main publication and on our website, giving students invaluable training as part of their degree course.

It has, however, also been extremely worthwhile for us – with students taking the initiative on a number of leads and supporting our editorial team, particularly where breaking news has taken journalists away to cover other jobs.

The recent tip-off that the Top gear team was filming in Grimsby was one good example of how, trying to cover the entire towns of Grimsby and Immingham, the students were able to join in the search – and gaining invaluable experience of how such breaking news is covered.

We know, from the work they have submitted and what they have told us, that they find this on-the-job training invaluable.

However, from our point of view, it is the first time that we have properly and successfully developed an ongoing working relationship with degree students and I would hope that this is only the start of it.”

Michelle Hurst, Deputy Editor, Grimsby Telegraph

Live Assessment Day

Live Assessment Days are going well. The students are incredibly nervous at being observed, but agree it’s the best way to do it. They are being assessed on not only their professionalism in doing the job, but also how they work as a team and the content they produce.

On arriving in the newsroom, Lucy Wood, news editor, gives them their jobs or in some cases, students have generated their own ideas. I watch and make notes on every aspect. For those who have done NVQ, whereby the assessor observes and questions you, it’s the same process. And it works really well, even on a degree.

It’s the only way to really say the students can do the job, by first hand observation and questioning. To back it up they also produce a portfolio of their work from the year and write an evaluation to critically assess themselves and their colleagues. I know they are capable and this proves it to me and once it’s done, that’s it.

Royal Wedding exclusive

A Royal Wedding exclusive has been produced by Yr 2 Multi-Platform Journalism student, Sam Dent, in today’s Grimsby Telegraph. Sam’s exclusive is about Prince William and Kate Middleton coming to The Pier, Cleethorpes, two days after their April 29th wedding at Westminster Abbey.

Well done Sam! Now what day is it today??

Grimsby Telegraph work experience update

Year 2 students on the BA Multi-Platform Journalism degree  based at East Coast Media, Grimsby Institute have been working in the newsroom of the Grimsby Telegraph since September. As part of the Multi-Platform Newsroom module, which runs for the year, the 7 students have been going into the Telegraph for one day a week.

They each have a patch to cover and also work on diary stories. This semester they will be producing online content – video and podcasts as well as written copy.I oversee them in the newsroom and they get on the job training, alongside sound advice and support from the editorial team.

This year the students have covered a variety of events from dance to Comic Relief and will be covering local events celebrating the Royal Wedding on April 29th (s0 no day off for them!).

Niall McGlone likes the hands-on experience and is especially enjoying the day at the local newspaper, the Grimsby Telegraph.

The BA Multi-Platform Journalism degree was written in light of the National Council for the Training of Journalists report about what industry expected from graduates. East Coast Media has always worked closely with industry. Most of our graduates populate the BBC Hull newsroom as well as Sky and other regionals.

This is exciting for the students as it gives them practical, hands on experience. There are only a few multi-platform degrees out there and we are probably the only one offering this unique experience. Plus we also own a TV station, Seven, broadcasting on VirginMedia 879. Students also work on TV programmes for broadcast here. This is just phenomenal for any undergraduate and puts them leaps ahead.

ECM is also a Skillset Media Academy – one of only four in the north of England.

Year 2 BA Multi-Platform Journalism students, Becky, Sam, Tamsin, Richard. Niall and Kirsty

 

 

CPD – what is it?

As part of my job as a media lecturer I have to ensure I keep up to date with industry professionalism. CPD stands for Continuous Professional Development and I undertake various things to ensure I stay current. It’s something all lecturers need to do in order to keep fresh and in line with what happens in their field of expertise.

Time spent at the Grimsby Telegraph working in the newsroom ensures I keep in touch with what happens within newspapers and the newsroom. I work as a video journalist producing video content for the website and writing the occasional article to accompany it. Last week, as part of reading week, I spent the week there. Check out my YouTube channel to see examples of the videos I have produced. Also for one of my videos I also wrote the article – Mayflower Wood

I have also continued to present programmes for Seven on VirginMedia 879. Check out their website for programmes I have been involved in, namely presenting Lincolnshire Living, but also I recently presented The People’s Jury.

Been involved with Social Media, such as writing this blog and using Twitter (@RoseReiki) also ensures my writing skills and knowledge of what is current and how journalists use SM is kept up to date. I am always looking to undertake various jobs to keep my skills current, including recently beginning a project to record the memories of those who worked at or can remember Waltham Windmill when it was operational.

All of this means I’m in touch with my area of expertise and ensuring I keep abreast of latest changes and movements within journalism.