Checking date: 28/04/2023

Course: 2023/2024

Social Journalims
Bachelor in Journalism (Plan: 383 - Estudio: 212)

Coordinating teacher: LUENGO CRUZ, MARIA

Department assigned to the subject: Communication and Media Studies Department

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
News reporting Interpretative journalism Investigative journalism
The subject Social Journalism pursues the following objectives: a) Knowledge 1. To introduce the field of journalism specialising in social issues and approaches to information, its themes, perspectives, sources and main actors. 2. To critically reconsider this field in order to detach it from a set of topics and to reformulate it as a proposal for revitalisation and improvement of the journalistic profession. 3. To bring students closer to the recent social history of journalism in order to point out the main milestones that have marked journalistic activity in close association with organised civil society, the needs of vulnerable groups for reasons of identity, gender, class or dysfunctionality, and recent citizen sensitivities. 4. To become familiar with basic sociological concepts in order to understand the implications and scope of journalistic coverage of realities that more directly involve citizens and social movements. 5. To become familiar with the main professional codes that regulate pluralistic news coverage of social groups and vulnerable collectives. 6. To discover new trends in the renewal of professional conventions that intensify the social commitment of journalists, while at the same time preserving a rigorous and honest professional approach to the facts. b) Skills 1. Develop the analytical ability to recognise and describe the relationships that journalists establish with the different agents interacting in the social sphere, from an organised civil sphere to unstructured social collectives and individual citizens. 2. Apply perspectives that open up journalistic work towards the recognition of new and varied social communities. 3. Know how to apply the professional criteria and journalistic techniques necessary to approach stories with social sensitivity. 4. To foster habits of planning, organisation and teamwork oriented towards the journalistic production of content with social empathy and high quality standards. 5. Encourage journalistic curiosity and stimulate creativity to discover and tell relevant and original stories with social sensitivity. c) Learning outcomes 1. Knowledge of trends and good practices of journalism with social identity. 2. Analytical ability to assess content and social approaches in the different platforms and formats in which journalism is done today. 3. Assimilation of the informative keys that make it possible to capture significant stories, interpret them and narrate them in different forms of journalistic discourse. 4. Creation of stories in the context of a journalism with a social identity, which is struggling strongly among the many new initiatives that are currently leading the digital reconversion of the journalistic profession. 5. Experimentation with new concepts and methods for the design of news coverage that connects people's lives with macroeconomic structures, and proposes journalistic forms that promote solidarity and equality between groups.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
INTRODUCTION I. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND CURRENT CONTEXT 1. Background: Muckrakers. New journalism. Civic journalism. 2. Milestones in Spain, Latin America and other countries. 3. Current context: service journalism, solutions, committed journalism... II. THEORIES AND CONCEPTS 4. Proposals for journalism reform. 5. From the public sphere to complex civil spheres. 6. Rethinking journalistic conventions. 7. News media coverage of citizenship and social movements. III. METHODS AND TECHNIQUES 8. Approaches and purposes. Transversality of social journalism. The perspectives of human rights, equality, inclusion, SDGs... 9. Tools for observing, documenting and analysing social reality. 10. Interpretation and capturing meaning: the interview in context. 11. Journalistic coverage of vulnerable groups. Codes of good practice. CONCLUSION
Learning activities and methodology
The course combines theoretical (3 ECTS) and practical (3 ECTS) teaching. The former, lectures, focus on conceptual development and critical reflection on the content of the programme. The practice sessions consist, on the one hand, in the analysis of case studies based on academic publications and journalistic content related to the syllabus, and, on the other, in the construction of informative and interpretative stories on social issues, according to the basic principles to which the different contents of the course respond. During the different weeks of the course, the teaching staff will combine the explanation of topics in the syllabus aimed more at theoretical conceptualisation with sections of the same aimed at practical learning and the application of techniques. Throughout the four-month period, students will have to complete the following assignments, which will count towards the final mark for the course: - Journalistic documentation - Interview with social content and/or focus - Podcast or video - Written or transmedia feature These activities will be carried out in groups of three to four students, and will revolve around a social journalism research project involving all the students on the course. In addition to actively contributing to the classes, students are required to carry out various exercises in the analysis and production of journalistic materials that will be proposed during the practical classes. Students will also receive individual attention from the teacher through tutorials. As this is a 6-credit course, students will dedicate at least two hours per week, at least according to the regulations of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Finally, students will have to participate in social journalism workshops with specialised journalists. These workshops are included in the weekly plan of training activities. The journalists invited may vary according to the academic year, the current agenda of social issues or other logistical factors such as the availability of the speakers.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 40
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 60
Calendar of Continuous assessment
Basic Bibliography
  • Barranquero, Alejandro. El Periodismo Social como área de especialización, perspectiva de reforma y cultura profesional. Una revisión de conceptos y debates. . Estudios del mensaje periodístico, 25 (2). DOI: 2019
  • Belda, L.M., Maíllo, J. E. y Prieto, J.M. . Periodismo social. El compromiso de la información. Servimedia. 2006
  • Cytrynblum, Alicia . Periodismo social. Una nueva disciplina. La Crujía: Buenos Aires. 2009
  • Diezhandino, María Pilar. Periodismo de servicio. Bosch.
  • Gallego, Juana, Luengo, María. Periodismo social. Síntesis.
  • Kovack, B. y Rosentiel, B. . Los elementos del periodismo. Aguilar: Madrid. 2003
Recursos electrónicosElectronic Resources *
(*) Access to some electronic resources may be restricted to members of the university community and require validation through Campus Global. If you try to connect from outside of the University you will need to set up a VPN

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.