News, Truth & Power | Abertay University

News, Truth & Power


This module unpacks the ways in which news stories are put together; focusing in particular on how news agendas are framed, set and defined.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with an understanding of: 1. The processes by which events become newsworthy. 2.How the news is constructed through a sociological examination of journalism and journalistic practice.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Demonstrate an awareness of the historical, cultural and social processes leading to the establishment of professional journalism.

2.  Demonstrate, knowledge of values, ethics and practices of journalism as a profession, and how they contribute to the ideology of the news.

3.  Understand the role agenda setting plays in the construction of news stories.

4.  Demonstrate an understanding of the political economy of the mass media.

Indicative Content

1 Modern Press

The rise of the modern press in Britain and the construction of the fourth estate.

2 News, Ideology and News Work

The development of journalism as a profession; professional practices and their ideological implications.

3 Agenda Setting and News Discourse

The language of the news, agenda setting and the logic of the story.

4 Race, Ethnicity and the News.

The framing of race and ethnicity as part of news discourse.

5 Crime Reporting

The construction and reporting of crime stories.

6 Gender in the News

Discourse and the framing of gender in the news.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Students are taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars. Tutorial and seminar classes are based around reading for, and preparing, a discussion paper for the subsequent class. Students are required to come to the class with a set of notes based around a prior series of questions which will be distributed online. Classes then proceed on the basis of discussion and dialogue framed by the tutor, but led by students. Seminars seek to develop students research skills, critical skills, oral and communicative skills, listening and reasoning skills. The promotion of these skills seeks to enhance and develop those attributes of intellectual, professional and active citizenship.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 24
Tutorial/Seminar 10
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 20
Assessment 40
Independent 106

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2018/19 , and may be subject to change for future years.