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Birmingham City University

Online Journalism

Journalism is changing - and the news industry is changing with it. Established publishers and broadcasters are adapting to gathering and publishing news across a variety of platforms, while new players, from MSN and AOL to hyperlocal websites, are recruiting for new businesses built around online journalism. Competition for jobs in journalism is fiercer than ever, even experienced journalists are taking the opportunity presented by new technologies to establish new media businesses. The MA in Online Journalism puts you at the cutting edge of these developments, building multimedia newsgathering and production skills, along with enterprise skills and an understanding of data journalism, of the management of user generated content, and of online communities. Also available as a Distance Learning MA.
Duration Full-time (Sept start): 12 months Full-time (Feb start): 15 months Part-time (Sept start): 24 months Part-time (Feb start): 27 months. Distance Learning: Full time: 1 year; Part time: 3 years
Level MA
Cost UK/Home Tuition Fees Full Time: 2012/2013: £6,500. (Part-time): £3,250 per year. (International): £10,300 per year. (Distance Learning) 2012/2013: £10,300 per year. (Part-time): £3,430 per year.
This course is aimed at graduates with some production experience, whether that is in journalism, media or programming, and you will benefit from learning alongside students with a range of skills, from those with backgrounds in print and broadcast journalism to bloggers and online community founders, and web developers. One of the distinctive features of the course is this ‘peer to peer’ learning, as students combine forces to build innovative live online news operations. In addition, you will be introduced to a range of journalists working in the field, and a large part of the course involves working on a professional journalism project with a live client. Past clients have ranged from the Financial Times to music promoters and the course leader has extensive contacts in media organisations both in the UK and internationally. The course also benefits from the internationally recognised blogging, social media and open data scenes in the Midlands.
Applicants must have proven experience in journalism or media production (for example, video, audio, web production or print). Good spoken and written English are vital. IELTS level 6.5 is a minimum. You should have evidence of your passion for new forms of journalism, along with a strong and inquiring mind and a tendency not to take no for an answer!
The emphasis of the course is in learning by doing, and you will be launching a journalism-driven website within two weeks of beginning the course. This can be anything from a hyperlocal news project to an international online magazine. You will also explore potential business models for a journalism enterprise. Online journalism is a broad field, and you will learn about: Writing and producing multimedia for the web, including search engine and social media optimisation (SEO and SMO), Mobile journalism and liveblogging, Using social media for effective newsgathering and distribution, Mapping, visualisation and interactivity, Computer Assisted Reporting (CAR) and data journalism, Organising a virtual newsroom, Blogging and content management systems, Law and online journalism, Managing user generated content, Podcasting and audio slideshows, Online video and streaming. All students on the course will be expected to undertake an ongoing 'consultancy-style' role with a news organisation, which must amount to at least 15 days of work. A number of major broadcasters, national and regional news organisations in the UK and internationally have already expressed an interest in working with students on this course.
Contact Information
Institution Birmingham City University
Birmingham School of Media, City North Campus
Perry Bar,
B42 2SU

Tel: +44 (0)121 331 6618
Fax: +44 (0)121 331 6501
Department: Faculty of Performance, Media & English
Contact Name: Course Director: Paul Bradshaw
Contact Email: /