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Visual Communication: Journalism for Television




Admission Requirements

Essentials of Journalism. Students that do not meet this prerequisite should contact the instructor regarding the required competencies before course allocation.


This is an introductory course in producing, filming, editing and writing television news reports – in telling a story visually, always accompanied by a spoken script. Lectures will concentrate on the various craft skills needed for television news reporting.

The main emphasis will be on the students doing it themselves – filming, editing scripting their own reports, working in teams, on a weekly basis. The reports will be shown and discussed in class.

Course Objectives

  • To give an understanding of what is required to produce quality television news reports – in terms of filming, getting natural sound, editing and writing and the ability to produce such reports

  • To give an understanding of the strengths, and the weaknesses, of visual communication and of the medium of television

Mode of Instruction

There will be weekly lectures – illustrated with reports from seasoned television correspondents – on the various skills and crafts needed to produce quality television news reports.

On a weekly basis the reports students have produced will be shown and discussed in class.

There will be a lecture and a class discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of television using Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death as a basis.


Assessment: In-class participation
Percentage: 20%
Deadline: Ongoing Weeks 1 – 7

Assessment: Weekly news reports
Percentage: 5% each
Deadline: Weeks 2 – 3

Assessment: Weekly news reports
Percentage: 10% each
Deadline: Weeks 4 – 7

Assessment: Essay on Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death
Percentage: 10%
Deadline: Week 5

Assessment: Final news report
Percentage: 20%
Deadline: Week 8


Amusing Ourselves to Death – Neil Postman
Broadcast Journalism – Andrew Boyd
Television News Handbook – Vin Ray

Contact Information


Weekly Overview

  1. Introductory lecture and lecture on filming
  2. Lecture on writing to pictures and seeing 1st student reports
  3. Lecture on interviewing for television and seeing 2nd reports
  4. Lecture on the organization of television news rooms and seeing 3rd reports
  5. Lecture on Postman’s book and seeing 4th reports
  6. Class discussion of Postman’s book and seeing 5th reports
  7. Lecture on making documentaries and seeing 6th reports
  8. Watching final reports

Preparation for first session

Students should at least have begun reading the books by Boyd and Ray.