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Bachelor of Communication (Honours) – Journalism Major
International Journalism Concentration

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Curriculum in effect from 2016/2017. For curriculum in effect for the 2013-2015 intakes, please contact the department.

SCHOOL CORE COURSES

FILM2017 Introduction to Moving Image and Sound

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of moving image and sound as interdisciplinary fields with distinct histories and practices. First, the course explains basic film and television concepts through a variety of mainstream, experimental and non-fiction moving image texts. Second, the course provides a comprehensive survey of animation by covering its historical development from early experimentations to contemporary practices in the digital age. Students are expected to learn the fundamental theories and principles of animation as a medium of creative expression. Third, the course emphasizes the institutions of cinema, television, and animation, and how they make sense to audiences, practitioners and theorists. It asks students to critically examine moving image and sound, and consider the ways in which moving image and sound can be studied with scholarly rigor.

JOUR2045 Introduction to Journalism

This course explores both the practical and theoretical dimensions of journalism, which will be presented as both a social process and a professional practice. It will start with a discussion of news patterns and major problems in journalism here and abroad. The course will then introduce various perspectives in understanding the purposes and practices of journalism in Hong Kong and elsewhere. By understanding the principles and practices of journalism through various means, students may expect to learn the intellectual foundations of both the professional duty of a journalist and the role of journalism in society.

PRAD2017 Introduction to Communication: A PRA and ORGC Perspective

This course introduces students the field of communication, its diverse areas of study and its fundamental concepts. It will provide a common foundation for students in the School of Communication by presenting a coherent vocabulary for talking about communication and a comprehensive perspective for approaching subsequent courses within the School’s various majors and concentrations. Students will learn how the field of communication relates to public relations, advertising and organizational communication by looking at their communication practices in different context so that students can become more competent and strategic communicators.

Choose one from the following six courses:

FILM2025 Visual Communication

This course attempts to introduce students the basic knowledge of visual principles and its cultural and originative contexts. Students will identify visual communication as a form of non-verbal communications. The functions of visual design and its cognitive usage and context will be expressed and analysed. Examples of art and design will be employed to illustrate the different ideas and design approaches.
In addition, students need to study and identify the functions and development of visual practices and technological movement and its applications. This course will also facilitate students to express their own findings through visual studies. Eventually students will be able to appreciate good visual practices and understand the aesthetics of visual communication in our everyday lives.

FILM2026 Developing Creativity

The course aims at laying out a foundation for the students to develop their habits for thinking that will enable them to operate at the highest levels of creativity in their chosen field. Students will learn different creative thinking techniques through step by step exercises, illustrated strategies, and inspiring real-world examples. The course will also introduce students to the levels of creativity, styles and creative obstacles and the process of creative problem solving. Students will recognize the above creative dimensions through critical self-evaluation of their own creativity. Exercises, assignments and projects aim to stimulate students’ creative potential, expand their imaginations and idea generation fluency.

JOUR 3097 Current Hong Kong Issues for Communicators

This course aims to equip students with a solid understanding of major social, cultural, economic and political developments of Hong Kong that are crucial to their work as communication professionals. Students will learn to critically appraise the forces that shaped these developments and the policy dilemmas of Hong Kong in the past, present and future.

JOUR 3115 Media Management

The 21st century is the age of the knowledge society. This is an introductory course to study media management in this era of change. Management cases in news organizations will serve as examples for illustration. The main purpose is to examine and analyse the new challenges being posed by political, economic and technological changes in the new millennium to news media management in Hong Kong as well as in other countries. Through the course, it is hoped that students will have a better understanding of the basic principles of media management in a new media environmental context.

The course is divided into four parts. The first lays out the theoretical foundations of media management. The second introduces the students to the contemporary changing media environment. The third part is designed to provide students with theories and basic principles of media management. The fourth part is about important areas of media management activities. The course covers both print and electronic news media.

ORGC 2016 Culture, Society and the Media

This course is an introduction to cultural studies. This new area within the discipline of communication brings social and political analysis to the study of communicative practice. The emphasis is on developing sets of concepts which help to understand communicative power, using examples from film, press, television, popular music, fiction, and so forth.

PRAD2025 Communication, Technology, and Change

This course introduces students to the implications of the information communication technologies (ICT) for individuals, culture, and society as well as the opportunities and challenges for traditional media practices in the contemporary communication landscape. It develops students’ knowledge of ICT innovations influence communication processes and challenges students to critically engage with contemporary debates and concepts around the changes brought about by ICT.

MAJOR CORE COURSES

JOUR2005 Broadcast Reporting and Production

This is an introductory course for students to acquire basic knowledge and skills in news gathering, writing, and production of radio and television news. It aims to train competent broadcast journalists. The broadcast news environment in Hong Kong is also introduced.

JOUR2077 Introduction to Chinese News Reporting and Writing

This course introduces the principles and techniques of selecting and presenting information in a style appropriate to print journalism in Chinese. Emphasis is put on stimulating the students’ interest in social events around them. Reference is made to the local context in the discussion of the news language.

JOUR 2085 Introduction to English News Reporting and Writing

This course introduces students to the basic journalistic principles and the skills and techniques of news and feature writing in English to form the foundation upon which the professional four-year journalism programme is built. The course prepares students for more advanced forms of journalism taught in later classes and for their future work on student publications, their internship and honours project.

JOUR 2086 Multiplatform Journalism

This course aims to equip students with the tools needed to create works of journalism across platforms. Students will report and create story packages using text, audio, video, photos and graphics and also edit stories using relevant software for distribution online, including websites and social media. This course will foster students’ story-telling and critical-thinking skills as they learn to choose appropriate platforms, integrate multimedia content and apply traditional reporting methods to new technology. Students will also create an online portfolio of original journalism work to be used throughout their four-year studies, in particular when applying for internships in year three.

JOUR3007 Media Law and Ethics

This subject provides some basic knowledge of laws affecting the practice of journalism. It will also cover major ethical issues faced by local journalists. Its emphasis is on current developments and trends in Hong Kong.

JOUR3137 Communication Theory

This course examines various theoretical perspectives and practices regarding the performance, role, functions, and effects of journalism and media in modern society. It has three primary tasks: 1) to provide a basic understanding of journalism and mass media as social institutions; 2) to give students an ability to critically evaluate the interplay between journalism and the larger socio-political environment; and 3) to enhance students’ knowledge about the production, content, meaning, and impact of news.

JOUR4007 Research Methods in Communication

As a communication professional, you may have to conduct research yourself, commission research from others or evaluate the methods and results of others’ research. These needs mean that you will need to understand not only how research is done but also what distinguishes good research from bad. A practical way to think about research is to assume that based on research findings you will be recommending that your organisation launch a million dollar communication campaign, or a new magazine or social media initiative. What would you want to know about the research on which you are basing your recommendation?

This course is designed to introduce you to the basics of communication research and to develop your ability to conduct and evaluate research. We will look at the methods commonly used in human communication research and the assumptions that underpin research design. There will be an opportunity to design and implement research projects, to analyse data and to report results in the professional format expected of scholarly researchers.

JOUR4015 Journalism Internship

All Journalism students are encouraged to undertake a non-graded and zero-credit professional internship. The internship is normally of at least two months full-time employment or professional practice during the summer between the third and fourth years but it can be a minimum of 160 hours of work. Students are required to conform to all reasonable requirements of their internship employer. Both the employer and the student file reports with the Journalism Department after the internship. Chinese Journalism students are expected to take their internship in the Chinese-language media or broadcast news organizations and International Journalism students to take theirs in the English-language media. The department will do its best to help students who wish to intern overseas but cannot promise help with travel or other expenses.

FINANCIAL JOURNALISM CONCENTRATION REQUIRED COURSES

JOUR2037 Journalism Laboratory (Reporting) I (English)

Prerequisite:
JOUR 2085 Introduction to English News Reporting and Writing
JOUR 2086 Multiplatform Journalism

Students learn to report for The Young Reporter, an experimental newspaper in English, and its associated digital news platforms. Reporting will be for print, sound, video and internet media.

JOUR2096 Advanced News and Feature Writing (English)

Prerequisite:
JOUR2085 Introduction to English News Reporting and Writing

This course builds on the first professional English news writing course and aims to provide advanced skills in the principles and techniques of finding, gathering and presenting information in English for news and feature writing and reporting. Students are also introduced to specialized reporting and covering beats, with special attention paid to the local context to establish the knowledge required for the journalism profession in Hong Kong and the skills needed to localize an international issue. Students are also introduced to more complex forms of news writing including longform stories. The course is designed to provide information and support for students in their concurrent work in their Journalism Laboratory reporting work, as well as to help prepare students for their internships and honours projects.

Journalism Laboratory (Editing) I (English)

Prerequisite:
JOUR 2037/3227 Journalism Laboratory (Reporting) I/II (English)
JOUR 3225 Convergence Editing (English)

Students edit and produce The Young Reporter, an experimental newspaper in English, and manage its associated digital news platforms.

JOUR3136 International News in a Globalized World

The aim of this course is for students to understand how international news has developed into its current form, how it is practised today and its role and meaning in international society, politics and economy. Students will also critically analyze in-depth media coverage of current events of international interest and examine how they are reported by international media and consumed by a global audience. Students will research, background and examine selected current events with a view to appreciating the diversity of coverage and approaches.

JOUR3146 Investigative Reporting (English)

This course aims to introduce students to advanced levels of newswriting and reporting as it applies to investigative and in-depth journalism. Students will apply investigative tools and techniques to their own reporting as they develop a systematic approach to uncovering a story. The course’s objective is to stimulate critical and creative thinking and cultivate a critical mind regarding the form as well as the content of investigative reporting. This course will also look at how investigative and longform journalism work together. The class aims to prepare students for JOUR 4885 Honours Project in International Journalism. Reference to Hong Kong content is emphasised.

JOUR3225 Convergence Editing (English)

This course provides the skills necessary to see written copy from submission to publication, including the organization and improvement of written material as well as the technical processes through which writing is transferred to the printed page and online. Editing, packaging and integration of multimedia elements, including audio, video, photos and infographics, is introduced. Exercises in digital production and design are provided.

JOUR3227 Journalism Laboratory (Reporting) II (English)

Prerequisite:
JOUR 2085 Introduction to English News Reporting and Writing
JOUR 2086 Multiplatform Journalism

Students learn to report for The Young Reporter, an experimental newspaper in English, and its associated digital news platforms. Reporting will be for print, sound, video and internet media.

HONOURS PROJECT

JOUR4885 Honours Project in International Journalism

In this course students integrate theory and practice by either producing a substantial piece of individually produced Journalism/Broadcast Journalism; or an academic dissertation. In either case the Honours Project is a means of engaging the student in a piece of independent research that provides an analytical and critical evaluation of an idea. The course tests research and professional skills as well as the ability to apply theoretical insights.

MAJOR ELECTIVE COURSES

Major electives for the International Journalism Concentration must be in English

JOUR2076 Data Journalism

With vast amounts of data now openly accessible online, and the new infographic technologies available to visualize data, news media are increasingly making use of these valuable mines of data to source and produce their stories. Data journalism – the use of numerical data in the production and distribution of news – is an emerging subarea in our field. This course is not just about dull statistics or dreary numbers. The aim of the course is to examine data journalism at its core through case studies and hands-on practice of data skills. Throughout the course, students will learn how to conceptualize, design, visualize, and produce data-based news stories using visualization tools. Students will end the semester by creating an interactive piece of data journalism.

JOUR2095 Advanced Broadcast Reporting and Production

This course introduces the style, formats and production techniques of the more complex types of broadcast journalism including major event coverage, overseas coverage and unplanned event coverage. It also helps students develop knowledge about selected “news beats” in broadcast journalism by exposing students to relevant news sources, policies, and key issues of the beats. The course also aims at enhancing students’ ability in research, interviewing, writing, and editing broadcast news stories, particularly in the context of the new media environment in Hong Kong. This course is a core for Broadcast Journalism students while an elective course for other journalism concentration students.

JOUR2097 Advanced News and Feature Writing (Finance)

This course equips students with the basic knowledge of investment vehicles to prepare them for working as financial journalists. After acquiring the basic investment knowledge, students are taught how to write different financial news, such as corporate financing, company earnings and economic stories.

JOUR2105 Visual Journalism

To enhance student’s awareness of the possibility as well as the limitation of images in news reporting, and to develop their ability in producing multi-media report of news events independently. In response to the digital technology that has become widely used in today’s news business, this course will equip students with basic knowledge in handling, transmitting and preserving the quality of image files captured by digital imagery devices as well as mastering the basis of multi-media news presentation.

JOUR2106 Data Visualization for News

Data journalism draws on a wide variety of skills – from simple data collection to statistical analysis to graphic design to coding and programming. It is impossible to fit everything that ambitious data news projects might need into one semester. Further to the introductory course of data journalism (JOUR2076), this advanced course emphasizes a higher level of understanding of data, including more sophisticated visualization tools for news production. The aim of the course is to examine data journalism at its core through case studies and hands-on practice of data visualization skills. Throughout the course, students will learn how to conceptualize, design, visualize, and produce more sophisticated data-based news stories. Students will end the semester by publishing an interactive data-driven news project.

JOUR3016 Political Economy for Journalists

This course provide a comprehensive study of the economies and polities of greater China, that is, the basic political and economic frameworks of the mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and how they interact with one another and other global powers. With these areas becoming challenging hotspots for journalists to address nowadays, some journalistic skills and insights will also be introduced/shared in the course.

JOUR3046 Critical Comparative Studies of News Media Systems

This course aims to broaden students’ knowledge of the outcomes of different kinds of politics, economics, history, culture, social organization and technology on the format of the news media in any one country at any given time. It introduces students to the development and current status of a variety of national (and territorial) news media systems and to the major concepts and theories that have been articulated to explain their individual natures and the differences between them. The course encourages students to critically analyse and compare different news media systems using the theories and concepts taught and to examine the key idea of freedom of the press in order to deepen their understanding of the news they are getting and compare it to news in other places round the world.

JOUR3057 Finance and Investment

This course introduces students to the basic business and finance theories and issues to prepare them for working on The Young Financial Post and the local and foreign media when they graduate. The course emphasizes practical knowledge that will equip students to work for print media and multimedia. It also examines basic ethical issues in journalism. This is a core course for Financial Journalism major students.

JOUR3075 Economics for Financial Journalists

This course introduces students to the basic economic theories and issues to prepare them for working on The Young Financial Post, and the local and foreign media when they graduate. The course emphasizes practical knowledge that will equip students to work for print media and multimedia as financial journalists.

JOUR3077 Magazine Design and Editing

This subject introduces students to the concepts, skills, practice, and art of designing and editing a magazine. The focus is on designing and editing techniques appropriate for various types of magazines, practical experience, and creativity. The subject will also examine the social, economic and cultural role of magazines in the Hong Kong context. This is an elective subject available to all Journalism Option students.

JOUR3085 Media Transformation and Institutional Change in Historical Perspective

This course provides a scrutiny of the interactions between the media and society in different stages of development in Chinese history. It examines how institutional settings have shaped and transformed media operations and their social objectives since the emergence of modern newspapers in mid-nineteenth century China. It also assesses the value and functions of the media in achieving institutional change in both mainland China and Hong Kong. Through an understanding of history, students will become aware of the significance of the press to societal progress as well as it limitations.

JOUR3095 Business and Financial News Reporting

This course focuses on business news reporting through a comprehensive survey of the principles and techniques of newsgathering and writing. This course aims to support students’ concurrent work on The Young Financial Post, taking them into a greater variety of styles and techniques. Special attention is paid to the local context to establish the knowledge required for business journalists in Hong Kong. Students will also be introduced to the basic elements of copy editing for print and multimedia and ethical issues are addressed.

JOUR3096 Current Affairs and News Analysis

This is a course to help students develop news literacy. News is essential to people’s everyday lives. It informs people about the world and helps them make decisions and take action. Reading news wisely and consuming news effectively is a life skill that requires proper training. For journalism students, understanding current affairs and developing good news sense is vital for their career development. The aim of this course is to cultivate students’ news reading habits, enhance their knowledge about current affairs and build up their news analytical skills so that they can better understand, analyse, use and monitor news in their daily lives.

The course is divided into six parts. The first and second parts address the importance of news literacy and the necessity of cultivating a daily news reading habit. While the third part discusses current affairs, the fourth part introduces news analysis skills. The fifth part is about theories and key concepts of news. The sixth part is concerned with active news audience and their role in news criticism and news monitoring.

JOUR3097 Current Hong Kong Issues for Communicators

This course aims to equip students with a solid understanding of major social, cultural, economic and political developments of Hong Kong that are crucial to their work as communication professionals. Students will learn to critically appraise the forces that shaped these developments and the policy dilemmas of Hong Kong in the past, present and future.

JOUR3105 Current Issues in Journalism

The aim of this course is to involve top journalists and senior news executives to examine the challenges and problems Hong Kong news media are facing. The outstanding journalists are also expected to share their experiences and crafts of making good news stories. The course will cover current issues of the news industry and controversial cases in journalism. It provides a good opportunity for journalism students to get in touch with outstanding practitioners in the local news industry as the practitioners will discuss their mission and vision concerning the news profession.

JOUR3106 Images of Media in Popular Culture

This course will explore and analyse the varied and conflicting images of media in global popular culture, with an emphasis on depiction on film, and their impact on public perception of journalists and other media practitioners. Through applying historical context and critical analysis of the roles, topics and messages portrayed, students will gain a critical understanding of the popular representation of media and its complex relationship with the public.

JOUR3107 Media Development in Global Perspective

Each epoch has a dominant medium and develops a group of dominant media institutions. This course examines the development of media and communication technologies in contemporary society and explores their socio-cultural impacts. It also introduces the major media institutions in various media ages.

It has several tasks: (1) to provide a basic understanding about media and communication technologies in historical and global perspectives; (2) to guide the students to evaluate the socio-cultural impacts of these communication media, help them to understand the relationships between communication systems and social change; and (3) to familiarize students with representative media institutions and media organizations in contemporary society.

JOUR3115 Media Management

The 21st century is the age of the knowledge society. This is an introductory course to study media management in this era of change. Management cases in news organizations will serve as examples for illustration. The main purpose is to examine and analyse the new challenges being posed by political, economic and technological changes in the new millennium to news media management in Hong Kong as well as in other countries. Through the course, it is hoped that students will have a better understanding of the basic principles of media management in a new media environmental context.

The course is divided into four parts. The first lays out the theoretical foundations of media management. The second introduces the students to the contemporary changing media environment. The third part is designed to provide students with theories and basic principles of media management. The fourth part is about important areas of media management activities. The course covers both print and electronic news media.

JOUR3117 News Translation

This course aims at enhancing students’ ability to handle information for news purposes in the bilingual context of Hong Kong. Emphasis is put on developing their sensitivity to the differences between the Chinese and English languages and awareness of the cultural role of the news translator. Principles and methods of translation applicable to the news industry are introduced. This is an elective course for all Journalism Option students.

JOUR3125 Strategic Television Communication

As the television industry has undergone great changes in recent years, the course is designed to introduce students to what constitutes “television” as a strategic, economic, political, cultural set of practices and experiences and its profound effects on all walks of life. Students will be guided to study the history of television development in Hong Kong, contemporary television programming, for example in television news, infotainment programming and entertainment programming from a critical perspective. Students will gain an overview of the television industry in Hong Kong.

JOUR3126 Visual Literacy: Critical Appreciation of Photos

More and more photos are around us nowadays in newspapers, magazines, posters, outdoor ads or on the Internet. It is important to learn how to analyse these visual images. The course has several aims: (1) understand the aesthetic study of photos/learn how to appreciate good photos; (2) understand software for modifying photos and acquire the skills needed to modify photos; (3) learn how to distinguish real photos from fake/artificial constructs of photos and to criticize/critically analyse them; and (4) explore the social and cultural values of photos.

JOUR3135 Analytical and Opinion Writing

This course builds on the basic news writing courses and aims to enable students to distinguish the two genres of professional journalistic writing: analytical and opinion writing. The emphasis for analytical writing is on taking an objective view to provide as much information as possible to the public, including behind-the-scene stories and the interactions of relevant parties. The focus of opinion writing is on the reasoning process, which effectively helps convince the audience to accept, support and take action for certain ideas, proposals or arguments that the author advocate.

JOUR4005 Theory and Practice of Journalism in China

This course provides a systematic interpretation of the structure, performance and problems of the press in China since 1949. It offers theoretical and historical analyses of major issues related to the press and news reporting. While institutional constraint and inertia IN the development of journalism are accounted for, the agents and dynamics of change are identified and discussed. It will enable students to understand the role of the press and its potential changes in the context of China’s continuing development.

JOUR4017 China Reporting

This subject will acquaint students with important events in the PRC since its founding in 1949, with heavy focus on changes and continuity since 1978. Understanding of and ways to report China’s economic reform, political reforms, the “three Nong” (Peasants, Agriculture and Countryside), social stratification, corruption and media reform constitute the meat of the course. The course also aims to advance students’ analytical and critical examination of Hong Kong media’s coverage of mainland China. This is an elective subject available to all Journalism Option students.

JOUR4025 Critical Studies of Media

The purpose of the course is to enhance students’ awareness of media roles in personal life and social development. It aims to develop students’ critical ability and media literacy to enable them to understand the political economy of media production, deconstruct media messages, and explore the cultural impact of the media.

This course provides a systematic scrutiny of critical theory and its application in studies of media and culture. The first part provides the historical contour of critical theory from the emergence of the Frankfurt School in the 1930s to the theoretical advances of Jurgen Habermas after the Second World War. The second part looks into how critical theory is extended to apply to the analysis of media and cultural productions in the contemporary capitalist world. The third part assesses its value and limitation in explaining and interpreting media developments and their implications. Special attention will be given to news media and journalism.

JOUR4045 Entrepreneurial Journalism

The arrival of the internet has opened up the practice of the news to many non-journalistic actors, ending control over journalists’ employment by the traditional mass media – newspapers and broadcasters run by tycoons and governments – and opening up the way for small, independent news businesses. In this changing milieu, journalism entrepreneurship, once represented by the precariously employed freelance minority, is becoming a mainstream career choice. This course aims to prepare students at undergraduate level with the basic knowledge and skills needed to negotiate this new digital media space while upholding journalistic standards and ethics, as well as working in a collaborative environment.