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The MA Journalism Project provides you with an opportunity to create an original and intellectually critical extended writing. You are expected to produce a dissertation of 12-15,000 words or an appropriate project in print/broadcast/online format or other acceptable platforms together with a shorter dissertation, on a topic relevant to your specialist interest and mutually agreed with course staff. The topic should be worthy of sustained in-depth inquiry. Both types of dissertation should take the form of a properly academically written and referenced piece of work following accepted conventions.

 

This description is intended to engage and excite an MA Journalist student into the final project of the year. We discussed this at great length with Fred and Andrew today and it opened and closed many avenues not previously thought of.

The idea that had been floating around my brain for a few weeks was looking at journalistic training over three very different countries with the aim to discover the best journalistic practice and who teaches their journalists best.

I began explaining my idea and shortly was interrupted by my lecturers explaining that this task would be tough and I would have to simplify the whole thing. Each country’s definition of journalism is different. Journalists perform different roles in different places around the world; some inform, others direct or manage, it can even protest and demonstrate. So ultimately good journalism would be determined on how well each country adheres to its law and purpose.

I would have to essentially look at what journalism actually is in each country, but I imagine this idea has been done to death.

I then thought of my secondary idea that came up during the preparation of my M40MC essay. Here is my written proposal:

How does a dramatic, culture-changing event affect media policy and the role of journalists?

My intention is to view three countries with differing cultural heritage and examine how the aftermath of each event causes change in national policy. I will also investigate the changes in journalistic practice.

To do this I intend to analyse a national newspaper with the highest rate of circulation from three countries; The United States of America, The Czech Republic and [arab league country after arab spring]. This analysis will include measuring the volume of news stories – both local and national, international content, cultural reporting and framing of political news stories.

I also intend to interview a reporter from each of the national newspapers who has worked both before and after the traumatic event. This will provide a level of first-hand qualitative research that will have not been featured in previous texts.

By combining both the qualitative and quantitative research, I will then be able to answer how an event with a global impact changes views and policy in the media. This will ultimately become the definition of ‘Post-Traumatic Journalism’.

 

I think this is ultimately what the Final Research Project will be so I have opened up a new Category under ‘My Course’ titled Final Project Journal.

When I research anything, or contact anyone regarding my Final Research Project I will update it in this. It may not be that often quite yet, but hopefully a little bit every once in a while over the next few months will mean I’m on top of things when next summer arrives.

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I have been doing this course for 8 weeks now. I have done more reading in the past 8 weeks than I did in my entire three years studying Creative Writing. This either says a lot about how seriously I’m taking this course or very little about how seriously I took my previous course.

The truth is I knew what I was capable of as an undergraduate and perhaps I took it a bit lightly and I spent my time at Marjon growing as a person and getting involved in plenty of extra-curricular activities.

This course I haven’t got involved in basketball or many side-projects, I am reading so much and focusing on my work each week. It has definitely led in a slower development of bonding with friends but feel I’m slowly getting there with my course-mates.

My first piece of major coursework is due in pretty soon and I think I am pretty prepared for it, not quite entirely, but nearly. Of course what I have realised in doing so much work is that I was never ready to complete any piece of coursework in my previous course, I didn’t even take the time to learn how to construct my academic essays.

This past Friday’s session allowed us to look at this subject a little bit. We did spend the first hour discussing this past weeks readings, but after this we looked at other journal articles and how they are set up. I’ve never thought about it before but for this academic essay I think I’m going to ‘plan’ it. Bizarre. At least it feels so. I’ll start this week as we don’t have any essential reading to do so I can spend the time I’d usually commit to that looking at how I’m going to put together the essay.

The introduction needs to adhere to these brief points.

  • The title – has to explain what country I’ll be talking about, what media system and the theory I’ll be attaching to it
  • The 1st sentence – should tell the reader something about how the system is affected by political, social or economic structures.
  • The 1st paragraph – will propose the current situation in the country regarding the media system discussed and it’s pros and cons.
  • Before beginning the analysis, the intention of the article should be set out and the system should also be put into context in the global marketplace

So that’s the first paragraph planned. It only took two days…

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