King’s College London Journalism

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King’s College London Journalism

King’s College London Journalism

6AAVC402 Digital Journalism

Module convenor: Dr Paolo Gerbaudo
Credits: 15
Pre-requisites: only available to BA Digital Culture students and incoming Study Abroad students
Teaching pattern:
Ten one-hour lectures and ten one-hour seminars
Module description:

This module will examine the transformation of journalism in the digital age. It will look at how the normative roles of journalism – as news provider, opinion former, watchdog, representative voice and public sphere – have altered as a consequence of digital forces. This will involve explaining how the business of journalism has changed, leading to fundamental shifts in the way news is financed and organized, and raising new questions about the values of journalism. It will mean showing how the practice of journalism has shifted, away from ‘beat journalism’ and briefings from official sources, towards online research and engagement, digests of reports, digital verification, and entrepreneurial journalism. The module will chart the decline of local and specialist journalism, and the rise of hyperlocal news and social media. It will examine the nature of digital campaign journalism and the role that NGOs and new organisations like Avaaz, and 38 degrees play in campaigning. It will look at the role of major digital platforms like Facebook and Google, and the extent to which they are taking over the functions previously associated with the Fourth Estate. The module will address questions about the extent to which the problems of plurality and diversity are solved, or just changed, in a world of information abundance. Finally, it will ask who ‘guards the guardians’ in the transformed era of digital journalism.

Please note that this an an academic not a vocational module.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module the student will be expected to have developed:

  • A fundamental grounding in the theories and concepts relevant to the study of journalism in a digital age;
  • A much greater understanding of the political economy of news and information and how it is changing;
  • Extensive knowledge and critical awareness of the evolving practice and roles of journalism in 21st century society.

Core reading

  • Brock, George (2015) Out of Print: Newspapers, Journalism and the Business of News in the Digital Age, London: Kogan Page
  • Chadwick, Andrew (2013) The Hybrid Media System: Politics and Power. New York, Oxford University Press
  • McNair, Brian (2012) An Introduction to Political Communication, Abingdon: Routledge
  • Schudson, Michael (2008) Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press, Cambridge: Polity Press
  • Stanyer, James (2007) Modern Political Communication, Cambridge: Polity Press


Assessment pattern: 2 x 2000 word essays (50% each)

Reassessment method: Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.