MCT542: Digital Investigation
|School||Cardiff School of Journalism, Media & Cult'l Stud|
|External Subject Code||P500|
|Number of Credits||20|
|Language of Delivery||English|
|Module Leader||Dr Aidan O'Donnell|
Outline Description of Module
The aim of this module is to allow students to develop skills in inquiry-led digital investigation while working as a team. It will allow them to gather and interrogate information, to build “stories as a service” or newsroom tools, delivering interactive projects along the lines of Trinity Mirror’s schools site, the work of Propublica and the BBC’s house prices app, which go beyond storytelling with supporting visualisations or data explainers.
Its focus is on real-world issues and investigating issues that matter to communities.
The module will build on the more technically-demanding skills of data journalism in a team setting, allowing students to develop and build on ideas from the first semester. These skills will be explored in practical and taught sessions to allow students to develop skills which will be of use in the modern newsroom.
On completion of the module a student should be able to
Demonstrate an understanding of the story-based inquiry method and hypothesis driven research
Apply data journalism storytelling skills
Work with data as a component of a product/story development
Produce publishable or releasable content
How the module will be delivered
The module is mostly taught through a practical team-based project supplemented with lecturer support sessions and additional material as required.
The students will be expected to engage in self-directed project work, with weekly progress meetings with lecturing staff, and a weekly whole group supervised session which will allow tutors to support students with clinics in both coding and journalistic elements of the module, to encourage problem solving within the assessed projects.
Skills that will be practised and developed
Team working and communication
Tools for effective team management and shared working
‘Product’ development for a defined audience
Individual reflection in practice
How the module will be assessed
1. Group investigation project 70%
This is an opportunity for small teams to develop and instigate a real-world product around an agreed topic, such as a data story, a newsroom tool, or a story service. The teams will be expected to record their progress as they use both data and community interviews to source information. Links to the substantive project will be submitted to the course team alongside a report detailing and evaluating the report.
2. Reflective report 30%
Each team member will be expected to keep a reflective journal of their learnings from formal sessions and from the project, which will be submitted as part of a reflective report into the project and its outcomes.
You will receive detailed written comments regarding each assignment. All assessed coursework will be returned within 4 weeks.
|Written Assessment||30||Reflective Report||N/A|
|Written Assessment||70||Group Investigation Project||N/A|
Projects will be reviewed weekly by module leaders during bi-weekly workshops and any journalistic or technical support provided. The main interim points are as follows:
Week 1. Formation of groups. Presentation of module brief and technical methodologies
Week 2. Project pitching in groups and review.
Week 5. Mid-way crit with group presentations of project progress
Week 11. Final presentations and submissions.
Essential Reading and Resource List
The course will use github for individual project repositories and a reading list will be made available in the module handbook.