The MA in International Multimedia Journalism develops practical skills and critical thinking for journalists and storytellers so they can deliver both short-form and long-form projects on digital platforms.
The course is based in Beijing, and is a collaboration between the Beijing Foreign Studies University and the University of Bolton in the UK, with the degree awarded by the University of Bolton. For each annual cohort we aim to recruit 10 International students and 10 Chinese students each year to work together.
The course is one year long, begins in the third week of September, and is divided into three terms.
In the first term, through workshops, seminars and short assignments students develop core multimedia skills needed to deliver short-form journalism stories on digital platforms. We teach technical proficiency without losing sight of fundamental news gathering skills. Writing, photography, audio, video, infographics and social media, as well as a critical understanding of contemporary trends in the new media economy, are all covered. At the end of the term, students complete a practical assignment to deliver a news story within 24 hours, using multiple media formats and social media on a digital platform.
In the second term, students undertake two long-form multimedia journalism feature stories or projects that require both an in-depth understanding of new technologies and a willingness to apply them in the context of entrepreneurial journalism. Half of the term is given to researching and developing the project ideas, taking into account – methodology, audience engagement and impact, ethics, risk assessment, as well as logistics before in depth reporting. At the same time students develop written proposals for the projects that can be used for professional pitches and grant applications.
In the third term, aided by course staff, students individually develop one of their second term projects into a 15-week major assignment that is accompanied by a 5,000-word dissertation that reflects critically on the production and distribution of their story. We place value on channeling students in the directions they choose. This facilitates them to fine tune skills and to produce a professional-grade journalism project or story that should serve as a portfolio to launch or elevate their chosen career path.
The teaching is delivered by two sets of instructors. The course has three permanent lecturers, all of whom are also practicing multimedia journalists or storytellers. Between them they deliver the core training for all the practical skills and conceptual analysis in the course. Working alongside them are a number of highly regarded international journalists who are adjunct lecturers teaching specialized skills and discussing project ideas and editing decisions with the students.