Last week, I wrote about being thrown in at the deep end. The reason for this was Journalism Practices, a module which I’d finished after only four days at Kingston. Finished in terms of teaching anyway, I still have a case study to write and some on-line discussion to engage in before I can be properly assessed, but in terms of contact time, those four days were all we got.
It felt more like an induction week than a module too, consisting as they did of a series of taster sessions for the different modules which we will study for the rest of the year as well as giving us a brief introduction to the media industry and the problems which will face us when we come to enter it. We also spent a couple of hours each day preparing a presentation and seminar on a journalism-related topic, which we all delivered on Thursday. My group chose the Leveson Inquiry and its potential impact on regulation, and despite a minor technological hiccup (thank you YouTube, it’s not like we really wanted that video to load anyway) I think that it went well. The well-deserved class binding session in the pub afterwards certainly went well, somehow beer tastes better after a hard working week. And so the alcohol dependency begins…
One thing that did strike me about this module was how little reading I had to do for it. Having always measured my academic effort in the number of books and journalism articles which I managed to read, this was slightly disconcerting. This is a professional practices course though, and many of the assignments reflect that – though reading is definitely still required, as my unopened copy of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists would no doubt like to remind me.
If we did all of our modules like this, our lecturer told us, our course would last only seven weeks. Wouldn’t that be an interesting experiment, she asked. But given that Journalism Practices is specifically designed to fit within a week, as well as the fact that we’ve already been told that this course will move at the speed of light and take over our entire lives, I fear that it would be an experiment doomed to failure.