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Essentials of Journalism




Admissions 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


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

Each week contains of two sessions.

Tuesday sessions will focus on the theoretical elements of journalism. These classes will be either in the form of interactive lectures or student-led: students prepare short presentations on their readings and discuss weekly literature (schedules will be distributed on Blackboard).

Thursday sessions will focus on practicing and discussing journalistic skills, such as writing news reports and developing interview formats (indivual or in small groups). Students will discuss each other’s stories, ask critical questions, and mutually reflect on how journalism theory is put into practice.
The course includes three writing assignments – initially based on articles handed out by the lecturer, later on the basis of reporting each of the students has personally done – in the form of a news report, an interview, and a background article, accompanied by a self-reflection on each assignment.

In addition to their participation in class discussions, students will be graded both on the quality of and the reflections on these assignments. At the end of the course, students will write and hand in an academic essay on journalism principles and practice.


  • In-class participation: 10%

  • news report + reflection : 15 %

  • interview + reflection: 15%

  • background article + reflection: 20%

  • academic essay on journalism: 40%


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

  • Harcup T (2015). Journalism: Principles and Practice (3rd edition). London: SAGE.

Additional articles will be made available via Blackboard.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact