In all media – our Master of Journalism
The Master’s Program in Journalism teaches and reflects the fundamentals of journalistic work and practices in all media genres and playing methods: Texts, sounds, images. Whether in newspapers and magazines, on radio and television, or on social media platforms, what counts is relevance, substance, and originality—and this has been so for forty years. The program is open to applicants from all fields of study. An aptitude test determines admission. Our graduates work in numerous newsrooms nationwide.
The first semester begins with the basics of journalism. The lecture course Introduction to Journalism conveys the theoretical and practical fundamentals of the subject. In addition to the function of journalism for society, its legal and ethical foundations, you will cover strategies, working methods and techniques of agencies, print and online editorial offices. The Fundamentals of Journalism seminar also teaches you basic journalism tools such as news selection, research, language and the structure of the presentation forms of news, report, commentary, interview and cultural criticism. You will practice the journalistic craft in small groups in the editorial teams. You will research, attend appointments, write and edit print-ready articles for print and online.
To reinforce the practical training in the first semester, various workshops are also offered, and one of them must be taken. The workshops deal with topics from the areas of design & working techniques. Here, courses are offered, for example, on desktop publishing, layout, image design, press photography, research and fact checking, or interview techniques. The professional handling of figures, data, statistics and scientific studies is becoming increasingly important for journalists, which is why you will also hear a lecture on Communication Science and Data Journalism.
Journalistic practice is a high priority at the Department of Journalism and takes up a lot of space. However, the media theoretical perspective should by no means be left aside. The lecture Introduction to Journalistic Science, which you will attend in the first semester, conveys basic concepts and theories in the field and introduces you to areas such as communicator, utterance, media, recipient, and impact studies. It deals with classical studies, central questions, methods and research results. In addition, you will attend a lecture optionally from the fields of media law, media policy, media economics, journalism or investigative journalism. In the second semester, the lecture course Media in a European and Global Context (conducted in English) will present the institutional and political working conditions of media in Europe and worldwide as well as the history and development of media research and media in a global context.
The second semester is all about writing, writing, writing for print and online media. The Magazine Journalism seminar introduces the long forms of newspapers and magazines such as magazine report (news story), portrait, feature and reportage. In the associated editorial team training, sophisticated print pieces are researched, edited and written. To do this, you will visit different places, such as Frankfurt’s train station district or the small Rhine town of Rüdesheim, and you will have the opportunity to talk to politicians, artists, scientists and other interesting people who will be guests at the Department of Journalism. You will also go on a four-day excursion in Germany or abroad. At the end of the semester, you will produce your own print magazine and also test its implementation online as part of the Digital Formats editorial team training. This also provides an insight into the daily working methods and routines of online editorial teams.
In addition to print and online training, the second semester is also dedicated to radio journalism. Under the guidance of experienced radio journalists, you will learn the theory and practice of auditory journalistic publications and formats in the Radio Journalism editorial team training. You will learn about organizational requirements and technical working methods of radio editorial departments and receive training in sound recording, editing and cutting. In addition, you will attend the Speech workshop, where you will learn speech, moderation and interview techniques specifically for radio.
Starting in the third semester, you will learn to work with moving images—both for television formats and online platforms and social media. The lecture course conveys the theoretical basics of audio-visual and television journalistic work. It also provides insight into innovations and current developments in the rapidly changing field of journalism. In the editorial teams, it is then a matter of producing things yourself. After an introduction to camera work and editing techniques, you will independently create audio-visual contributions—from news formats to formats for social media offers to a longer TV report. Depending on the playout path and format, you will produce with your smart phone or professional equipment. In the seminar, audio-visual contributions are analysed, for example, using film analysis techniques.
In the third and fourth semesters you can specialize according to your inclination and interests—you will deepen your journalistic knowledge in the field of radio journalism (3rd semester), audio-visual journalism (4th semester) or in workshops (3rd and 4th semester). Those who choose radio journalism or auditory journalism will, for example, participate in the production of a live radio broadcast during a field trip to Berlin. Those who take workshops can focus on other areas such as data journalism, statistics, documentary work, mobile reporting or investigative journalism. Students who opt for the AV Lab in the fourth semester have a wide range of opportunities to expand the knowledge they have acquired up to that point in the field of audio-visual productions—from web documentary to on-reportage to social media work. Those who choose workshops can, like in the third semester, choose between a variety of topics, for example podcasting, intercultural communication or journalistic self-organization.
In the project lab, your ideas take centre stage: Here you come together in teams to carry out and reflect on non-fiction projects of any media design over the course of one or two semesters—short films, multimedia webdocs, data journalistic projects, graphically designed science communications, documentaries, animated films and much more. You can make your own proposals or get the help of the teaching staff to get in contact with the media practices. The project lab takes into account current trends in multimedia, nonlinearity, transmedia storytelling, and genre and media convergence, and offers a previously unavailable space for testing, learning, and experimenting with new forms of research, conceptualization, and implementation.
In order to deepen and consolidate the knowledge and skills acquired during your studies, you will complete three journalistic internships of at least four weeks each during the semester break. Depending on your level within the program, internships are planned at news agencies, newspaper and magazine editorial offices, online editorial offices, radio or television editorial offices. There, you will generally be involved in the editorial processes. You will make suggestions for topics, conduct research and write or produce your own articles. The Department of Journalism will assist you in finding suitable internships.
The Master’s thesis is your masterpiece, so to speak: a practice-oriented examination paper in which you show what you have learned in two years with us. It essentially consists of a journalistic practical work, in which you can co-determine the medium and topic, as well as a scientific discussion (including form of presentation, target group, and research plan). In the colloquium, you will prepare your practical work in terms of content and methodology. In addition, we will here discuss current issues in journalism as well as in the media and their markets with guests from the professional practice, so that you can start your career optimally prepared after graduation.
Please note: The downloads offered (module handbook, examination regulations) are preliminary versions and are subject to approval by the JGU committees.