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Essentials of Journalism


Admission requirements



This introductory course seeks to give students a critical understanding of the core principles of journalism. Students explore what news is, how news values have developed through time, and they gain insights in the specifics of reporting, news writing, and interviewing. They also learn to critically reflect on these specifics in light of current debates about what journalism is and should be in a digital and global age. Students develop journalistic skills, by actually going out, get and write news stories, while critically self-reflecting on the journalistic principles that guide their practice.

Course Objectives

After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of what journalism entails in today’s digital mediatized world

  • show insight in how journalism have changed and contested over the past few decades

  • grasp discussions among scholars and practitioners about (global) journalism ethics

  • report and write news stories and features – by actually going out, practice interviewing, making choices in covering news

  • critically self-reflect on journalism theory, ethics, and practices


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2021-2022 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction


Assessment Method


Reading list



Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Aernout van Lynden,