Nijmegen, Netherlands

Know the (Hi)story, Make the Future: Journalism in the 21st Century

when 5 July 2021 - 16 July 2021
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 4 EC
fee EUR 950

Journalism is a crucial aspect of modern society for its informative function and the role it plays in gaining democratic goals. At the same time, journalism and journalistic products are highly and inevitably embedded in the socio-cultural contexts in which they are produced and used, meaning that the linguistic and visual choices represent the social structures and cognitive interpretation of their producers; in return, they can help re-shape or change the social structures through the cognition of the audiences.

Furthermore, being able to write different journalistic genres is an art and skill for which a knowledge of the background and ability to analyze journalistic texts is complementary; similarly, being able to produce texts and images for different journalistic genres is imperative in analyzing other journalistic products better. In this course, we aim at providing the participants with a rather comprehensive overview of journalism in its social context.

To reach the proposed goal, the course is divided into three main parts. In the first part, we will overview different theories of journalism looking at the history of journalism with a cross-cultural perspective. Further, we will briefly introduce some of the main topics in the sociological and anthropological studies of mass communication in general and journalism in particular including studies on journalism professionals (journalists) and audiences. Second, the participants will be introduced to and discuss different approaches of analyzing (news) stories communicated through media texts as well as images. This will be done with a particular focus on social semiotic, critical and cognitive approaches. The main approach will be qualitative. Cross cultural studies and news genre will be focused. Finally, after getting familiar with theories and history of journalism and approaches toward the analysis of journalistic products, participants will be introduced to a number of different journalistic genres as well as how to produce texts and visuals for each.

The latter includes the use of language and visuals in journalistic products, science journalism and new media. The participants will have to work on (and present) their own analysis of a journalistic product as well as producing first version of their own journalistic text/visual. They can choose which aspect they want to do as their main and which as their marginal task. Applying an inclusive approach, this course offers a unique opportunity where potential journalists and (potential) researchers of media studies meet and discuss journalistic products and (ideal) journalism functions achieved through those products. After completing this course, you will have learnt the main issues from journalism and mass media communication in its social context and the role of verbal and visual choices in conveying journalistic messages.

You will be able to do a (preliminary) analysis of a journalistic text, to distinguish between the use of language and visuals in different genres and to produce (a first version of) your own journalistic product with regard to your medium and genre.

Course leader

Afrooz Rafiee, PhD candidate
Teacher Department Modern Languages and Cultures (MTC)
Radboud University

Target group

Advanced Bachelor

This course benefits general audiences interested in journalism, those who wish to continue their studies in the field of journalism studies and media discourse as well as those interested in choosing journalism as a profession.

Course aim

After this course you will be able to:

1. Sketch the history of journalism and the function of journalism; distinguish between different theories of journalism
2. Relate semiotic choices to social and cognitive function of the journalistic product
3. Distinguish between linguistic and visual choices of different journalistic genres, practice preparing first draft of your journalistic texts/images

Fee info

EUR 950: The fees includes the registration fees, course materials, access to library and IT facilities, coffee/tea, lunch, and a number of social activities.


We offer several reduced fees

Register for this course
on course website