Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Learning by Doing in Journalism

Students at Leiden University College (LUC) gain an understanding of journalism ‘from the inside out’ through innovative teaching methods in the courses Multimedia Journalism, Investigative Journalism and Gender, Media and Conflict. By simulating the actual daily tasks of journalists, they are exposed to journalism from the makers’ perspective.

2019 - 2023
Robert Chesal

Dutch Broadcasting Organisation NOS

This project aims to teach journalism practices by means of ‘real world’ assignments, interaction with professional practitioners, and exposure to state of the art broadcast and published journalism within the context of the LUC Global Challenges theme of Innovation in Education. The lecturer in journalism and media studies at LUC Robert Chesal uses a ‘learning by doing’ method for his courses ‘Multimedia Journalism’, ‘Investigative Journalism and Gender’ and ‘Gender, Media and Conflict’. In each course, students gain an understanding of journalism ‘from the inside out’ by simulating the actual tasks completed by journalists in their daily work life. This means leaving the LUC bubble, exploring ‘real world’ problems, speaking to people affected by those problems and the people responsible for resolving them. The students have to identify suitable sources for their investigative reports and multimedia stories, pitch their stories in a simulated news environment, interview their sources and gather all other elements to complete their stories. Students also take part in a series of live conversations with working journalists, for example from the Dutch Broadcasting Organisation NOS. Students are exposed to numerous investigative reporting publications and news broadcasts which exemplify a wide repertoire of methodological and aesthetic tools they learn to use. They are also given practical training in interviewing techniques, journalistic writing, copy editing, online layout and page design and other journalistic skills. Field trips to the NOS newsroom in Hilversum are also part of the curriculum.

Read more about the published stories that result from these final assignments for the Multimedia Journalism course.

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