|Credit Points||4 ECTS|
|Number of Places||18|
All students are welcome regardless of their major or background. You should be interested in journalism and eager to find out more about its current challenges and opportunities. The course is ideal for students majoring in communication, journalism or media studies and students from other subject fields (science and humanities) who aim at pursuing a career in journalism.
This course explores the role of journalism in democratic societies and media systems in order to understand its current challenges and opportunities as a major element of the public sphere. Students get to know the basic principles of journalism, journalism theory and different contexts of journalistic publication practices. They gain insights into relevant journalism research results, e.g. on the continuing discursive negotiation of press freedom and freedom of information. We address issues from production research, content research and audience research.
The course aims to look at current developments in German journalism in its historical and European context, providing an overview of current television, radio, print and online journalism. In addition to that, we will discuss recent findings of international comparative journalism research.
We will combine research-oriented work with sessions on reporting and writing basics, with a focus on news, reports, interviews, features and commentary. As a practical element, students will conduct interviews with Berlin-based journalists in order to learn more about the everyday life in this profession.
After taking the Contemporary Journalism Studies course, students will be able to comprehend the role of journalism in a democratic public sphere, its contexts and its current challenges. They will know different theoretical perspectives and be able to engage critically with current results from the field of journalism studies. They will have a basic knowledge of current developments in German journalism as well as insights into results of international comparative journalism research. Having conducted an interview themselves and having developed an overview of journalistic reporting and writing practices, they will also have taken first steps towards practical journalistic work.
Interest, curiosity and willingness to contribute to the course are the only mandatory prerequisites for this course.
The course uses a variety of teaching formats including lectures, seminar discussions, individual assignments, group work and presentations, combined with field trips in Berlin to help students learn about concepts and contexts of contemporary journalism.
Regular attendance in class is required, as well as active participation. It is imperative that students read the literature and prepare the material assigned for each class in order to be able to fulfil the course work and actively engage in discussions. Students will be assessed on their active participation in class, their own presentation, a journalistic article and a final exam.
A course reader will be provided.