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Visual Communication: Journalism for Television




Admission Requirements

Third-year students will be given priority as this is their only chance to take this course.


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, interviewing, editing, 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.


To be confirmed in course syllabus:

In-class participation: 20%
Four news reports: 10% each
Essay on Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death: 20%
Final news report (incl first version to be shown in week 7): 20%


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

Preparation for first session

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