Teaching Public Affairs – The Cinderella Subject of Journalism Courses
Public Affairs: Even the name of the serious part of Journalism courses is problematic. For years this absolutely essential, but often maligned, part of so many university Journalism courses, has been taught by ‘a guy from Politics’ and hated, or at best endured, by its students. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The plan was to revitalise a university’s ‘Public Affairs’ module. The aim was simple – to help students learn about politics by getting them interested in it. The result: confident, motivated students who went on to study more Politics at university – and a rise in the associated professional qualification (National Council for Training Journalists) Essential Public Affairs exam pass rate from 35% to 80%. This paper will explore the strategies undertaken by the teaching team with regard to the ways in which they engaged the students, and the delivery of the module as a whole. As it is a ‘must pass’ component for the professional qualification, the engagement levels were seen as key. Finding that important ‘hook’ for each of the components of the compulsory syllabus was phenomenally important. It was the success in doing so that resulted in the improved pass rates.
Citation : Clark, T., Jones, A. (2019) Teaching Public Affairs – The Cinderella Subject of Journalism Courses. European Consortium for Political Research annual conference, University of Wroclaw, Poland, September 2019