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BACHELOR OF ARTS IN

JOURNALISM & NEW MEDIA GRADING CRITERIA, ASSESSMENT & STANDARDS September 2012 REVISION


LM039  BA  Journalism  and  New  Media  

    ©  2012  Journalism  Section   School  of  Languages,  Literature,  Culture  and  Communication   Faculty  of  Arts,  Humanities  and  Social  Science   University  of  Limerick,  Limerick,  Ireland

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TABLE  OF  CONTENTS 1.  INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................................... 4   1.1  Module  outlines.......................................................................................................................................... 6   1.2  Plagiarism ..................................................................................................................................................... 6   1.3  Attendance.................................................................................................................................................... 7   1.4  Freelance  submission .............................................................................................................................. 7   1.5  Feedback........................................................................................................................................................ 7   1.6  Deadlines....................................................................................................................................................... 7   1.7  Assessment  submission .......................................................................................................................... 8   1.8  Re-­‐sits ............................................................................................................................................................. 8   1.9  Social  media ................................................................................................................................................. 8   2.  GRADING  CRITERIA ................................................................................................................... 9   2.1  Print  Criteria................................................................................................................................................ 9   2.2  Print  production  criteria ......................................................................................................................10   2.3  Radio  reporting ........................................................................................................................................10   2.4  Multimedia  criteria .................................................................................................................................11   2.5  Television  assessment  criteria  (adapted  from  BJTC) ..............................................................12   2.7  Individual  module  grading  criteria..................................................................................................13   2.7.1  First  year  writing  modules  (JM4021/12) ................................................................................. 13   2.7.2  First  year  production  modules  (JM4001/JM4002) ............................................................... 13   2.7.3  Second  year  writing  (JM4003)....................................................................................................... 14   2.7.4  Second  year  writing  (features)  modules  (JM4014) .............................................................. 14   2.7.5  Second  year  radio  (JM4013)........................................................................................................... 14   2.7.6  Second  year  magazine  modules  (JM4004)  (major  project).............................................. 15   2.7.7  JM4007  Advanced  Practical  Journalism  (broadcasting) ................................................... 16   2.7.8  JM4017  Group  Projects ..................................................................................................................... 16   2.7.9  JM4008  Investigative  Journalism ................................................................................................. 17   2.7.10  JM4018  Individual  Journalism  Project  /  Portfolio ............................................................. 18   2.7.11  JM4028  Current  Issues  in  Irish  Media...................................................................................... 19   2.8  Radio  production  (documentary)  and  television  assessments ...........................................20   2.9  Other  minor  assessments.....................................................................................................................21   2.9.1  Journal  entry  /  reflection ................................................................................................................. 21   2.9.2  Presentation .......................................................................................................................................... 21   2.9.3  Blogs.......................................................................................................................................................... 21   2.9.4  Book  review............................................................................................................................................ 22   2.9.5  Class  discussion  /  debate  /  contribution................................................................................... 22  

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1. Introduction Journalists, through their work, hold crucially important positions in society. Good journalism acts to hold those in power to account, to expose wrongdoing and corruption, to act as professional citizens in an informed society, as watchdogs on democracy. The work of journalists is recognised and protected (albeit implicitly) by founding documents throughout the world including the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, Article 40.6 of Bunreacht na hÉireann, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on Civil and Political Rights. With such power comes great responsibility, a responsibility to be fair and accurate, to report verifiable facts obtained from reliable sources, to quote people accurately and honestly, and where possible to hear both sides of a story and give an opportunity to both sides to comment. As an institution of journalism education the responsibility of University of Limerick faculty to ensure that these standards are met, and that trainees have the capacity to meet them through the training they receive, is paramount. At the heart of journalism is the ability to recognise, investigate, substantiate, verify and tell a good story within the standards framework established in law, industry regulation and professional guidelines. The goal of any piece of journalistic writing should be to produce a story that is simultaneously interesting and trustworthy. The BA in Journalism and New Media aims, at its core, to produce the highest standard of journalism graduates who have the professional practice skills, critical thinking and cogitative reasoning abilities to slot seamlessly into any newsroom. Essential skills are outlined below. As the degree program is semesterised and modular, modules aim to build, over time, a complete range of these skills rather than any one module encompassing all of them. Modules should aim (with due regard to module outlines approved by APRC) to instil required skills in trainee journalists. These essential traits are as follows: a) Origination and development of story ideas, drawing from traditional and novel news agenda and showing due sensitivity to what the audience may reasonably expect; b) Writing, subbing or revision of copy for different news organisations, platforms and purposes. In particular, being able to write short form (i.e. tight, explanatory headlines and clean, punchy copy) is becoming increasingly important with the advent of social media. c) Writing in a manner that is accurate, fair, simple, non-jargonised, succinct, informative and stimulating. For online reporting this is even more essential because it's more difficult to read on-screen than on paper and, for many in the global audience, English may not be the first language. d) Compiling and working from the news diary, and contributing to forward planning; e) Developing personal contacts and compiling a contacts book; 4  |  P a g e  


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f) Identifying, assessing, using and, where necessary, protecting the anonymity of informants; g) Exploiting news sources such as raw news feeds, archive material, blogs, other usergenerated content, and other media; h) Newsgathering, researching, investigating and confirming the factual accuracy of material; i) Ensuring the compliance of stories and their treatment with legal/regulatory requirements with in house guidelines and with the ethical specifications entailed in professional codes of conduct; j) Interviewing face-to-face, by telephone, in studio and on location, live and recorded, including two-ways; k) Note-taking in a form which is contemporaneous, accurate, comprehensive and legible to scrutinising authorities; l) Functioning as an individual journalist and as a leader and a member of a team; m) Assessing and avoiding unnecessary risks in studio and location activities. * These criteria have been adapted from documentation on journalism education compiled by UNESCO, the World Council on Journalism Education and the British Journalism Training Council. Assessments for JM modules should be in the main formative and should be designed to provide for assessment as learning (Race, 2009) and encourage deep, as opposed to a strategic or surface approach to learning (ibid, 2009). As JM modules are professionally focused task based assessment is an important part of student learning, and as such is encouraged. Lecturers should have regard to APRC approved module guides when deciding on assessment and should discuss assessment with the course director if they have any concerns.

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1.1 Module outlines The module guide should contain the following: Introduction; syllabus; aims and objectives; and learning outcomes (as detailed in the APRC approved module form). In addition module guides should include details of assessment (including due deadlines and criteria under which assessment will be measured); plans for feedback; a reading list; and a weekly lecture / tutorial guide and should include details of how feedback will be communicated. The plagiarism and source misrepresentation policy must be included in its entirety in a prominent position. This is now standardised for all JM modules on the BA degree (and across all LLCC modules). In addition the guidelines on freelance submission are important and ought to be included in a prominent position. The following paragraphs detailing policy on various issues common to all JM modules should be referred to.

1.2 Plagiarism Incidents of plagiarism, misrepresentation of sources or cheating in assessments will be awarded zero marks and can lead to the award of an F for the whole module. Incidents of such behaviour may be reported to the University Advocate, who can instigate disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. See the University Code of Conduct for further details. 1.2.1 Fatal errors Mistakes happen, but in journalism they can be costly. So-called ‘fatal errors’ are mistakes which may include (but are not limited to) libel, incorrect names or other important details of a story, which can lead to media organisations being held in contempt, or being sued for defamation. Such errors should not occur, but where they do they will be awarded an F grade. Students may have an opportunity to re-submit work, but will have their grade capped at a C3. 1.2.2 Sourcing policy Trainee reporters are required to quote on the record sources at all times. Students should identify themselves as a trainee reporter and inform their source how the information they obtain will be used. Students should use judgment to assess the news value of comments attributed to sources. Contact details for sources should be filed at the end of assignments (print) or in an attached Word doc (broadcast). MISREPRESENTATION OF SOURCES IS AN IMMEDIATE FAIL.

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1.3 Attendance Trainee reporters are expected to be highly motivated and understand the importance of the newsroom and team working culture associated with the media industry. Given the fluid nature of journalism not all class contact hours will take place in the newsroom. Lectures will start promptly and trainee reporters are required to be punctual. For first years: Lecturer discretion whether or not to impose a penalty for non-attendance. A maximum penalty of 10 per cent is allowable. If a lecturer decides to impose marks for attendance a sign in sheet must to used so as to record attendance / non-attendees. For second and subsequent years: Regular attendance at both lectures and tutorials is highly recommended, however the decision to do so is vested with the individual trainee journalist. Ordinarily no marks are awarded for attendance, or deducted for non-attendance, although the decision to do so is vested with the lecturer in consultation with Course Director.

1.4 Freelance submission As its core, journalism is centred on publications. In that vein, journalism trainees are encouraged to seek publication of their work in local and national media. Before doing so however it is advisable to seek advice from a member of the journalism faculty. This advice does not take from trainees’ express right to freedom of expression granted under Bunreacht na hÉireann; the European Convention on Human Rights; and the United Nations Convention on Civil and Political Rights.

1.5 Feedback Results of continuous assessment feature articles, in as far as is practicable, should be communicated to students within 10 working days of submission, so as to ensure adequate and timely feedback. First year writing feedback may need to be detailed so as to provide specific pointers to students on improving. Similarly for broadcasting, specific and detailed feedback may be required on techniques used etc in order for students to learn appropriately. Results should include a detailed breakdown, using a marking sheet if desired, of the quality of student reporters’ work as well as comments and suggestions on how to improve. Feedback should be based on grading criteria. Face to face feedback is also acceptable and may be advisable on occasion, however written feedback should accompany any face-to-face feedback meeting. Opportunities for resubmission for assessment as learning through feedback (Race, 2009) may be considered by individual lecturers. Audio feedback is also acceptable.

1.6 Deadlines

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Deadlines are mandatory and no extensions will be granted except under circumstances (such as illness, bereavement etc) laid down in the University of Limerick student handbook. A 10 per cent deadline penalty will be imposed for any trainee reporter who fails to submit their work by the due deadline without valid reason. As per University policy, there will be a penalty of 3 percentage points for each day or part of a day that your work is late (to begin 24 hours after deadline). Lecturer discretion is allowed on the imposition of such penalties.

1.7 Assessment submission Trainee reporters are required to submit assignments via SULIS (or other agreed means) by the due deadlines. Assignments should be original works – i.e. they should not have been published previously in any publication (students are free, and encouraged, to seek publication of their articles once submitted for assessment). Written articles should be submitted via SULIS (or other agreed means) by the date and time allocated. Articles should normally be submitted as a Word document, should be in 12pt Times New Roman text, and single-spaced. Articles should conform to usual journalism conventions of style, be typo and grammar mistake free, and follow a news/feature writing structure. A contact number for all sources quoted should be included as an appendix. Print production material should be submitted as a PDF file. Radio assessments should be submitted as a MP3 file and scripts should also be included. A contact number for all sources quoted should be included as an appendix. New media assessments should submitted to agreed online presence (*index.html file) with the source files uploaded to the JM Dropbox folder or other server as appropriate.

1.8 Re-sits Students who fail a module must re-sit in the normal way. Please refer to School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communications policy for information on re-sits.

1.9 Social media Social media is an invaluable tool for journalists and trainees will, in the course of their studies, use such technological tools widely professionally as well as personally. It is likely that trainees may engage in informal social discussions with peers, including classmates, and that upon occasion these discussions will refer to university activities. It may be that social media page sites are set up explicitly for such activity. Trainee journalists are entitled to do so. However trainees should be explicitly aware that in using social media, it is entirely inappropriate to engage in discussions likely to bring themselves, the journalism programmes or the University into disrepute; or to make comments of a negative or derogatory nature about a member of the faculty, a fellow student, any member of the campus community, a cooperative education 8  |  P a g e  


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employer, or any other person. Trainees are reminded that engaging in such behaviour may be an academic offence under the University’s code of conduct; and it may result in suspension or termination of enrolment. Such behaviour may also be defamatory, and trainees may be liable to a civil suit.

2. Grading Criteria The following are general guidelines to be followed by all lecturers when assessing trainee work: o Due Impartiality: Note that absolute neutrality in any piece is, in reality, impossible. Reporting should not breach fundamental democratic principles. Due partiality is a question of judgement which must reflect such considerations as the significance of the story, the conditions of its making, its potential consequences, and its place within the context of other temporally proximate coverage. o Accuracy: Facts should take priority and should be reliable and verifiable. If sources or initial research provide material, which is controversial and/or sensitive, that material should be confirmed from elsewhere. In general, speculative material should not be used unless crucial to the story, in which case it should be clearly identified as speculative. Journalists should not be the originators of speculative material. o Diversity of Opinion: It is unlikely that a news piece will be able to reflect every possible opinion. It is therefore important to make a judgement as to the main differences of opinion, and as to the most suitable people to represent them. Trainees should be able to demonstrate selection criteria, which are not limited to the ease of availability of the interviewee. o Independence: In the context of a culture of journalism as a public good, the journalist must not demonstrate in his/her news material any partiality towards a political or commercial interest. This extends to the general principle of not paying sources. o Specific grading criteria for modules are further detailed in the following pages.

2.1 Print Criteria 1. Reporting: To attain first class honours (A1, A2) the trainee reporter will have demonstrated a full understanding of what is required in terms of the set assignment and deliver that assignment appropriately and by the due deadline. The news gathering and presentation techniques used by the trainee reporter will be of an excellent standard, the quality of the story (news value) will be high and the judgment used by the student in sourcing the story will demonstrate a full understanding of the requirements of news journalism: in P a g e   |  9  


LM039  BA  Journalism  and  New  Media  

other words the story will be publishable. The language used will be precise and clear; the text will adhere fully to appropriate conventions and will be largely free from error in spelling and grammar. A student who attains the higher level of first class honours (A1) will, in addition to the above, demonstrate excellence in terms of the quality of writing and the production quality of the work. Trainee reporters who produce work in which the news value of the story is of rare and exceptional quality, but who are otherwise lacking in some or all of the standards required for an A grade, may be considered for such an award. An answer below the first class honours standard (B1, B2, B3) will display the characteristics required for that standard but not as comprehensively or as effectively. Such answers will display high qualities of news value, judgment and a high standard or writing, but will not be consistently excellent. In contrast with an honours assessment, a pass assessment (C1, C2, C3) will demonstrate clear and concise writing that conforms to usual writing conventions, but may offer little in terms of news value. Fail: A student who falls short of performing at the level required for a pass will be deemed to have failed.

2.2 Print production criteria To attain first class honours (A1, A2) the trainee production journalist will have demonstrated a full understanding of what is required in terms of the set assignment and deliver that assignment appropriately and by the due deadline. The technical and presentation techniques used by the trainee will be of an excellent standard, the quality design will be o a high standard and the judgment used will demonstrate a full understanding of the requirements of print production. The language used will be precise and clear; the placed text will adhere fully to appropriate conventions and will be free from error in spelling and grammar when subbed. A student who attains the higher level of first class honours (A1) will, in addition to the above, demonstrate excellence in terms of design creativity and production quality of the work. An answer below the first class honours standard (B1, B2, B3) will display the characteristics required for that standard but not as comprehensively or as effectively. Such answers will display high qualities of design and a high standard of sub editing, but will not be consistently excellent. In contrast with an honours assessment, a pass assessment (C1, C2, C3) will demonstrate clear and concise layout that conforms to usual writing conventions, but may not be comprehensively subbed (and vice versa). Fail: A student who falls short of performing at the level required for a pass will be deemed to have failed.

2.3 Radio reporting To attain first class honours (A1, A2) the trainee reporter will have demonstrated a full understanding of what is required in terms of the set assignment and deliver that assignment appropriately and by the due deadline. The presentation techniques used by the trainee 10  |  P a g e  


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reporter will be of an excellent standard, the technical quality of the audio will be high and the judgment used by the student in sourcing the story will demonstrate a full understanding of the requirements of news journalism: in other words the story will be ready for broadcast on air. The language used will be precise and clear and reports will be presented with a strong radio voice. A student who attains the higher level of first class honours (A1) will, in addition to the above, demonstrate excellence in terms of the quality of radio voice reporting and the production quality of the work. Trainee reporters who produce work in which the news value of the story is of rare and exceptional quality, but who are otherwise lacking in some or all of the standards required for an A grade, may be considered for such an award. An answer below the first class honours standard (B1, B2, B3) will display the characteristics required for that standard but not as comprehensively or as effectively. Such answers will display high qualities of news value, judgment and a high standard of technical production and voice presentation, but will not be consistently excellent. In contrast with an honours assessment, a pass assessment (C1, C2, C3) will demonstrate clear and concise voice presentation and a good standard of technical production that conforms to usual radio conventions, but may offer little in terms of news value (or vice versa). Fail: A student who falls short of performing at the level required for a pass will be deemed to have failed.

2.4 Multimedia criteria To attain first class honours (A1, A2) the trainee reporter will have demonstrated a full understanding of what is required in terms of the set assignment and deliver that assignment appropriately and by the due deadline. The presentation techniques used by the trainee reporter will be of an excellent standard, the technical quality of the multimedia will be high and the judgment used by the student in sourcing the story will demonstrate a full understanding of the requirements of news journalism: in other words the story will be ready to be published online. The elements (text / images / audio / video) used in the report will be precise and clear and reports will be technically excellent. A student who attains the higher level of first class honours (A1) will, in addition to the above, demonstrate excellence in terms of the quality of the story (news value) and the production values of the work. Trainee reporters who produce work in which the news value of the story is of rare and exceptional quality, but who are otherwise lacking in some or all of the standards required for an A grade, may be considered for such an award. An answer below the first class honours standard (B1, B2, B3) will display the characteristics required for that standard but not as comprehensively or as effectively. Such answers will display high qualities of news value, judgment and a high standard of technical production and presentation, but will not be consistently excellent. In contrast with an honours assessment, a pass assessment (C1, C2, C3) will demonstrate clear and concise presentation and a good standard of technical production that conforms to usual

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conventions, but may offer little in terms of news value (or vice versa). Fail: A student who falls short of performing at the level required for a pass will be deemed to have failed.

2.5 Television assessment criteria (adapted from BJTC) To attain first class honours (A1, A2) the trainee reporter will have demonstrated a full understanding of what is required in terms of the set assignment and deliver that assignment appropriately and by the due deadline. The personal presentation techniques (voice and television presence) used by the trainee reporter will be of an excellent standard; the production standards (including but not limited to shots; lighting; camera operation and post production output) will be high. The judgment used by the student in sourcing the story will demonstrate a full understanding of the requirements of television news journalism: in other words the story will be ready to be published. The elements (lower thirds / images / audio / video) used in the report will be precise and clear and reports will be technically excellent. A student who attains the higher level of first class honours (A1) will, in addition to the above, demonstrate excellence in terms of the quality of the story (news value) and the production values of the work. Trainee reporters who produce work in which the news value of the story is of rare and exceptional quality, but who are otherwise lacking in some or all of the standards required for an A grade, may be considered for such an award. An answer below the first class honours standard (B1, B2, B3) will display the characteristics required for that standard but not as comprehensively or as effectively. Such answers will display high qualities of news value, judgment and a high standard of technical production and presentation, but will not be consistently excellent. In contrast with an honours assessment, a pass assessment (C1, C2, C3) will demonstrate clear and concise presentation and a good standard of technical production that conforms to usual conventions, but may offer little in terms of news value (or vice versa). Fail: A student who falls short of performing at the level required for a pass will be deemed to have failed.

2.6 Grades awarded and marks attained Single written print and radio, multimedia and TV/web assignments are usually scored using the G1 marking system. Professional skills and group newspapers projects are usually scored using the G2 marking system. You should explicitly inform students the grading system you intend to use, and insofar as possible only one grading system should be used across the module (where this is not possible this should also be explicitly communicated to students in the module outline). Check with the course director if you are unsure which grading scale to use / is in use for a module. Grade Mark (G1) G2 Comment (adapt as necessary) A1 75 88 Exceptional writing and news value A2 12  |  P a g e  

70

84

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Grading  Criteria,  Assessment  and  Standards

 

B1 B2 B3 C1 C2 C3 D1 D2 F

65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 >30

80 76 72 68 64 60 56 52 >52

Very good writing and strong news value Very good writing and news value Good writing and news value Good writing but ordinary news value Ordinary writing, news value Ordinary writing, little news value Poor writing or no news value Poor writing and no news value Severely incompetent or plagiarised

2.7 Individual module grading criteria 2.7.1 First year writing modules (JM4021/12) General guidelines are as detailed above. For first year the focus should be on news writing structures including the inverted pyramid, the use of quotes, journalism writing conventions and excellent style and grammar. Marks for judgement and news worthiness of a story may be included in second semester if students are required to source their own stories. However as many of the stories they will write will be based on material given to them, news worthiness cannot easily be assessed. A typical set of grading criteria is as follows but individual lecturers may adapt these to suit individual needs: Criterion marks (out of 100) Intro: 10 Use of inverted pyramid: 20 Writing structure (incl balance): 30 Use of quotes: 20 Grammar and style: 20 2.7.2 First year production modules (JM4001/JM4002) General guidelines are as detailed above. For first year the focus should be on basic grammar and punctuation, house style and presentation for subbing copy; in addition the cut copy to fit, use paragraph styles and write headlines for subbing on screen; and the ability to follow commands and draw a logical news page following appropriate conventions for news design (similarly assessments should measure the ability to use appropriate software for editing pictures). Marks for creativity in design and headline writing may also be awarded. A typical set of grading criteria is as follows but individual lecturers may adapt these to suit individual needs: Criterion marks (out of 100) Design (guides, lines, folio) 20 Design (text and picture boxes; columns) Body (text, style guides followed)

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Subbing (errors, isolated text, fitting) Headlines (appropriate and flair) Images (placement, cropping, colour correction)

30 10 10

2.7.3 Second year writing (JM4003) General guidelines are as detailed above. For second years the focus should be on the value of the news story as well as the news writing structures including the inverted pyramid, the use of quotes, journalism writing conventions and excellent style and grammar. Marks for judgement and news worthiness of a story should be included as an important component of all assessments, and students should be required to seek their own stories, angles and sources rather than press releases or other organised assessments. Assessments may include (but are not limited to) court and council meetings, inquests and off-diary news. A typical set of grading criteria is as follows but individual lecturers may adapt these to suit individual needs: Criterion marks (out of 100) Intro: 10 News structure 10 Judgement (news line, structure): 30 Reporting (quotes, sources, balance): 30 Writing (grammar, spelling, style): 20 2.7.4 Second year writing (features) modules (JM4014) General guidelines are as detailed above. For second years the focus should be on the value of the story as well as the writing structures. For feature writing this includes an appropriate intro (drop or delayed etc), the use of a series of quotes, a logical and engaging structure, journalism writing conventions and excellent style and grammar. Marks for judgement and news worthiness of a story should be included as an important component of all assessments, and students should be required to seek their own stories, angles and sources rather than press releases or other organised assessments. Marks for literary flair can also be included. A typical set of grading criteria is as follows but individual lecturers may adapt these to suit individual needs: Criterion marks (out of 100) News value / worthiness of story: 30 Introduction and opening paragraphs: 20 Writing (line and structure, literary flair): 20 Evidence (sources, facts, quotations, balance): 20 Layout, spelling and grammar: 10 2.7.5 Second year radio (JM4013) 14  |  P a g e  


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General guidelines are as detailed above. For second years the initial focus should be on technical and voice. Marks for judgement and news worthiness of a story can be included as an important component of assessments, and students should be required to seek their own stories, angles and sources rather than press releases or other organised assessments. Initially lecturers may wish to award marks for radio writing (scripting) for news. Trainees are expected to understand the importance of balance and evidence. A typical set of grading criteria is as follows but individual lecturers may adapt these to suit individual needs: Criterion marks (out of 100) News value / worthiness of story: 30 Intro, structure: 10 Voice (presentation, pace): 25 Evidence (sources, facts, quotations, balance): 10 Technical (sound quality, editing): 25 2.7.6 Second year magazine modules (JM4004) (major project) General guidelines are as detailed above. For magazine journalism and group print projects there are a number of specific tasks involved, some students may be involved in production and write little or no material for print. Other students may be involved in a senior editorial role, while others may work as reporters or sub-editors. All of these roles in a task based learning environment are important and capturing them in a set of grading criteria can be difficult. Rather than introducing criteria that aims to capture all of these criteria individually (which may, for example, unduly penalise a chief sub or designer who wrote little; or a reporter who was not involved in editing) criteria should be flexible and aim to assess student learning. Elements of criteria from production and writing can be drawn upon. Marks for teamwork may be appropriate. For magazines marks may need to be awarded throughout the period of production for set tasks rather than on the final product. A typical set of grading criteria is as follows but individual lecturers may adapt these to suit individual needs (based on a short written reflective submission by student; and on evidence of work completed): Criterion marks (out of 100) Quality of work: 40 In the case of reporting the number of stories, news value and techniques used will be important. In the case of subbing and design the quality of pages, headlines, use of appropriate conventions and level of error-free copy will be important. Students who demonstrate strong new values in their journalism or design flair and creativity may, for example, score highly. Team work: 40 Interpersonal and communications with other team members in designing, reporting and editing. In the case of students with editorial roles, their team leading and communications skills are of most importance. Students who demonstrate a high level of productivity in team working may, for example, score highly. P a g e   |  15  


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Professional practice: 20 Students will be required to attend production meetings, make a presentation; apply for positions; demonstrate a professional working standard when dealing with external agencies such as photographers; meet set deadlines and complete set tasks on schedule. Lecturers are free to adapt these criteria to individual needs. A group mark may be appropriate but in general a large proportion of marks should be awarded individually on individual effort. However in certain cases a teamwork group mark may be appropriate and should be considered (it may be appropriate to build it into the team working criteria). 2.7.7 JM4007 Advanced Practical Journalism (broadcasting) General guidelines are as detailed above. For fourth years the focus should be on perfection of production, technical elements and voice. Marks for judgement and news worthiness of a story can be included as an important component of assessments, and students should be required to seek their own stories, angles and sources rather than press releases or other organised assessments. Lecturers may wish to award marks for radio writing (scripting) for news, however at this stage trainees are expected to be able to perform this psychomotor skill competently. Trainees are expected to be understand the importance of balance and evidence. A typical set of grading criteria is as follows but individual lecturers may adapt these to suit individual needs: Criterion marks (out of 100) News value / worthiness of story: 30 Intro, structure: 10 Voice (presentation, pace): 25 Evidence (sources, facts, quotations, balance): 10 Technical (sound quality, editing): 25 Where long form (documentary) or other group projects are used as an assessment, lecturers can refer to section 2.8 below for appropriate criteria. 2.7.8 JM4017 Group Projects General guidelines are as detailed above. For group print projects there are a number of specific tasks involved, some students may be involved in production and write little or no material for print. Other students may be involved in a senior editorial role, while others may work as reporters or sub-editors. All of these roles in a task based learning environment are important and capturing them in a set of grading criteria can be difficult. Rather than introducing criteria that aims to capture all of these criteria individually (which may, for example, unduly penalise a chief sub or designer who wrote little; or a reporter who was not involved in editing) criteria should be flexible and aim to assess student learning. Elements of criteria from production and writing can be drawn upon. Marks for teamwork may be appropriate. Criteria that may be appropriate to consideration are as follows: 16  |  P a g e  


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o Quality of work: In the case of reporting the number of stories, news value and techniques used will be important. In the case of subbing and design the quality of pages, headlines, use of appropriate conventions and level of error-free copy will be important. Students who demonstrate strong new values in their journalism or design flair and creativity may, for example, score highly. o Team work: Interpersonal and communications with other team Design, reporting, editing. In the case of students with editorial roles, their team leading and communications skills are of most importance. Students who demonstrate a high level of productivity in team working may, for example, score highly. o Professional practice: Students will be required to attend production meetings, make a presentation; apply for positions; demonstrate a professional working standard when dealing with external agencies such as photographers; meet set deadlines and complete set tasks on schedule. Lecturers are free to adapt these criteria to individual needs. A group mark may be appropriate but in general a large proportion of marks should be awarded individually on individual effort. However in certain cases a teamwork group mark may be appropriate and should be considered (it may be appropriate to build it into the team working criteria). A typical set of grading criteria is as follows but individual lecturers may adapt these to suit individual needs (based on a short written reflective submission by student; and on evidence of work completed): Criterion (where no group mark is awarded) marks (out of 100) Meets deadlines; quality and judgment of work 40 Editorial standards 20 Production standards 20 Demonstrates competent technical ability (in various roles) 10 Demonstrates excellent team working ability 10 Criterion (where group mark is awarded) Marks (out of 100) Meets deadlines; quality and judgment of work; editorial standards 40 Demonstrates strong ability to work in a pressurised environment 20 Demonstrates competent technical ability in production role 10 Demonstrates excellent team working/leading ability 10 Group mark 20* * (Zero mark awarded where no input was observed / trainee did not show up) See below 2.7.8 for a typical set of criteria that may be applied to broadcast group projects. 2.7.9 JM4008 Investigative Journalism General guidelines are as detailed above. For fourth years the focus should be on the value of the news story as well as the investigative techniques used in obtaining the story. Conventional P a g e   |  17  


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writing structures including the inverted pyramid, the use of quotes, journalism writing conventions and excellent style and grammar are expected, and while marks may be applied they should be a major component. Marks for judgement and news worthiness of a story should be included as an important component of all assessments, and students should be required to seek their own stories, angles and sources rather than press releases or other organised assessments. Assessments may include (but are not limited to) FOI; human-interest investigations; planning; CRO; public records and archive material. A typical set of grading criteria is as follows but individual lecturers may adapt these to suit individual needs: Criterion marks (out of 100) Judgement (news value): 40 Evidence of investigative techniques: 40 Reporting (standards, sources, balance): 10 Writing (grammar, spelling, style): 10 2.7.10 JM4018 Individual Journalism Project / Portfolio The portfolio is the culmination of four years of journalism training and as such is a signature piece of work produced by the trainee, to be used to secure employment once he/she graduates. As such, a standard of excellence shall apply throughout the work. The content should demonstrate an investigative element, have a range of material (including outside freelance material) and across a range of platforms in order for an A grade to be considered. It is assumed that usual journalism conventions of clean copy, balance, impartiality and due regard to ethical standards are applied throughout the work.  The portfolio content must be an original contribution to journalism.   Trainees must use evidence – records, documentary material, oral testimony, credible sources, economic or statistical data, academic research, and FOI documents – to support a coherent argument.  In matters of public controversy, trainees must demonstrate a genuine attempt to present a full account of conflicting viewpoints. The human-interest angle – the human impact – should be examined where relevant.   The finished work must be a fully competent professional and accurate piece of journalism that could be published or broadcast as one piece or as series of articles or programmes for a target publication/broadcast organisation.   The portfolio must include a minimum of 4,500 words of long form print journalism – which may be broken into a number of news / and or feature articles with other supporting material (or broadcast equivalent). Other content may include, but is not limited to, a short radio documentary and/or a package for television/TV for web.   Trainee reporters are free and indeed encouraged to include their best samples of freelance material as part of the overall portfolio. Grading of the portfolio will be via the JM4018 grading sheet (see appendix for example). The trainee’s supervisor shall make a provisional grade recommendation, and the trainee will be examined orally by a panel of at least two faculty members (one to include the supervisor) before a grade recommendation is forwarded to the external examiner. Where a consensus on a 18  |  P a g e  


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grade is forthcoming this shall be the grade forwarded. Where a discrepancy arises between the grade recommendations of the two faculty members, the course director shall in addition review the portfolio and make a grade recommendation. The three grade recommendations shall be forwarded to the external examiner who shall make a determination on the grade award. Where the course director has been a member of a panel in which no consensus is forthcoming, the section leader shall in addition review the portfolio and make a grade recommendation. Again, the three grade recommendations shall be forwarded to the external examiner who shall make a determination on the grade award. Where a student is dissatisfied, School, Faculty and University procedures on appeals shall apply. Trainee reporters will be graded on the following basis: Criterion Marks awarded Editorial standards, including 75 per cent o News values and editorial standards o Judgement demonstrated o Depth of long-form work o Technical standards of broadcast and/or multimedia o Voice and/or presentation skills for radio/TV/TV for web o Quality of writing; literary flair demonstrated; production value o Use of investigative techniques Range of material 20 per cent Design (news and/or feature pages minimum three) 5 per cent In addition to the above, trainees are required to submit an initial proposal during semester one, a progress report by week one of semester two, a reflective journal and meet final deadlines. Grading for these elements is on a pass/fail basis. 2.7.11 JM4028 Current Issues in Irish Media This module is designed to challenge perceptions and encourage critical thinking among trainees. As such, while it is inappropriate to either reward or penalise attendance/nonattendance, marks for participation in and contributions to the various debates and discussions throughout this module are entirely consistent with the learning outcomes. A range of assessments may be used, such as (but not limited to) a traditional academic essay; a learning journal, presentations, blogs, class discussions/debates/contributions, organisation of seminar speakers and/or a mini conference. Learning journals, presentations and blogs encourage self-directed, self-inquiry and independent learning, and when done in pairs or small groups encourage team working. Class discussions and debates encourage develop communications skills, opinion and analytical, and critical thinking skills may also be enhanced. Communications skills may also be enhanced through the use of presentations. Any or all of the follow criteria may be used. Common or specific weighting may be applied to each, as appropriate. P a g e   |  19  


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Criterion o Evidence of original research/depth of analysis o Clarity of points/question answered o Communication and presentation skills o Insight and creativity in relation to chosen topic o Other criterion, such as the following, may be substituted for any of the above as appropriate o Evidence of consumption and understanding o Opinion, analysis and discussion/argument o Writing, creativity and flair o Technical (hyperlinks; social/multimedia) o Evidence of understanding of issues o Discussion of wider implications /sets issues in comparative framework

2.8 Radio Week; documentary; television assessments (Criteria adapted from material supplied by BJTC) General guidelines are as detailed above. For radio programme production and documentary work marks for judgement and news worthiness of a story can be included as an important component of assessments. For minor television presentation focus may instead be on clarity of presentation. Production and research standards as well as technical standards are important learning outcomes and should be assessed. A typical set of grading criteria is outlined below but individual lecturers may adapt these to suit individual needs: Criterion Marks Journalistic standards 30 (40 for radio) o A high quality of journalistic writing, evidence of research, news values if appropriate, showing clarity of language, correct terminology, strong narrative structure; an avoidance of clichés, etcetera; Presenting /Production 30 (40 for radio: 20 voice plus 20 production standards) o Good articulation of words by the presenter/reporter; correct tone of voice for the piece; correctly paced delivery; Technical (sound) 10 (20 for radio) o Good audio composition, e.g. a diversity of voices, use of clips; use of sound effects; an avoidance of auditory clichés; sound levels which are consistent across the piece, and neither too soft nor too loud; no hiss or intrusive background noise; 20  |  P a g e  


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Technical (visual) 30 (n/a for radio) o Picture composition which reveals good sequencing such that there is minimal reliance on the spoken word to tell the story; an avoidance of pictorial clichés; use of single, two-shots and group shots which are appropriate to the story and which provide a good visual balance of the participants; good lighting, neither too bright nor too dark unless for some considered special effect or to protect the identity of an interviewee. 2.9 Other minor assessments Lecturers may ask students to conduct minor assessments such are presentations; journal entries; book reviews; and blogs as minor elements of module assessment. The following are typical proposed grading criteria for such minor assessments (usually assessed out of 10): 2.9.1 Journal entry / reflection Learning journals can be an important part of student learning, where self-inquiry and learning are encouraged. Criterion mark (out of 10) Grammar 2 Evidence of original research / reflection 3 Clarity of points/question answered 3 Referencing (academic or journalistic) 2 2.9.2 Presentation Student presentations encourage self-directed, self-inquiry and independent learning, and when done in pairs or small groups encourage team working. Communications skills may also be enhanced through the use of presentations. Evidence of original research/depth of analysis Clarity of points/question answered Communication and presentation skills Insight and creativity in relation to chosen topic

3 3 2 2

2.9.3 Blogs Blogs encourage opinion, analytical and critical thinking skills, and when done in pairs or small groups encourage team working. Multimedia and communications skills may also be enhanced through their use. P a g e   |  21  


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Evidence of consumption and understanding Opinion, analysis and discussion/argument Writing, creativity and flair Technical (hyperlinks; social/multimedia)

2 3 3 2

2.9.4 Book review Book reviews encourage opinion and analytical, and critical thinking skills. Literary flair can also be encouraged. Evidence of reading Evidence of understanding of issues Discussion of wider implications / sets issues in comparative framework Writing, creativity and flair

2 2 4 2

2.9.5 Class discussion / debate / contribution Class discussions and debates encourage self-directed, self-inquiry and independent learning, as well as encourage team working. Communications skills, opinion and analytical, and critical thinking skills may also be enhanced. Evidence of original research/clarity of points Opinion, analysis and discussion/argument Communication and presentation skills Insight and creativity

3 3 2 2

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Appendix Sample mark sheets (for guidance only – can be adapted as needed)

JM4003/S1

Journalism Mark Sheet - for individual written assessment

LECTURER Tom Felle ASSESSMENT:

NAME

Mark (%):

Mark (letter grade):

ID

MODULE CODE JM4003

Section A Scale: 5 = excellent, 4 = good, 3 = satisfactory, 2 = poor, 1 = very poor 1 2 3 4 5 INTRO (10 per cent) Weak Strong Poorly structured (style, Ws) Well structured (style, Ws) Section B Scale: 10 = excellent, 8 = good, 6 = satisfactory, 4 = poor, 2 = very poor 2 4 6 8 10 STRENGTH OF STORY (30 percent) Poor news judgment Strong news judgment Weak news line Strong news line Weak structure (or package layout) Strong structure (or package layout) REPORTING (30 per cent) Poor use of quotes / interviews Poor use of facts Poor attention to accuracy TECHNICAL / STYLE (30 per cent) Unclear reporting (written / audio) Grammatically incorrect Poor spelling Other comments:

Good use of quotes / interviews Good use of facts Good attention to accuracy Clear reporting (written / audio) Grammatically correct Good spelling

Marker: TOM FELLE

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U NIVERSITY of L IM ERICK O LLSCO IL L UIM N IGH ©  2012  JOURNALISM  SECTION   SCHOOL  OF  LANGUAGES,  LITERATURE  CULTURE  AND  COMMUNICATION   FACULTY  OF  ARTS  HUMANITIES  AND  SOCIAL  SCIENCE   UNIVERSITY  OF  LIMERICK,  LIMERICK,  IRELAND   24  |  P a g e  


Grading Criteria