Theory and Techniques of Journalism Genres

Number of credits: 6 ECTS Price: 840 €
Price for UAB students*: 200 €
*Max. 5 places
Teaching Language: English Place: UAB Campus

Teaching Period: 15 July to 2 August


Professor:  Ezequiel Ramon

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Ezequiel Ramon is a professor at the Faculty of Communication Studies in the UAB. He teaches Communication Theories, among others subjects, and supervises Bachelor degree projects. He is interested in the role of journalism in modern society, new journalistic formats against traditional ones, and in the development of new narratives articulated in new technologies. His research topics are Social Media, Journalism and citizenry mobilization


Contents overview

During the past century, new practices of journalistic styles in the press had arisen, at the same time that the role of media in the society was reconfigured. This subject analyses the course of journalism through its various genres, interviews, chronicles, and reports.

By reading prominent texts in class, the aim will be to understand the structure that articulates them. What were the intentions of those who conceived them? Which effects do they have on the audiences? We will also work with resources that can be used in order to optimize writing, by polishing it, brightening it, and making it more effective.

We will also explore the new digital narratives evolution, from an analytical and descriptive perspective, avoiding normative parameters and catalogs. A social perspective will be considered too. What do we talk about when referring to 'quality journalism'? What is its contribution to a critical democratic society?

Students are expected, after the course, to be able to identify the different genres, their main features, and to understand what strategies the authors have used and which effects they sought to provoke in the audience.


Week 1
  •     Introduction to journalism as a discipline. Importance and function
  •     The Interview: typologies, aims and tips

Week 2
  •     The myth of ‘objectivity’ and the positivist paradigm
  •     The Linguistic turn and the journalist role as ‘reality constructor’
  •     Chronicles: the importance of the writer and time

Week 3
  •     The ‘watchdog’ paradigm vs. ‘journalist as echo’
  •     Report: framing, a good starting and a better ending

Teaching / learning activities

Week 1
  •     Identify different journalistic articles, similarities and differences
  •     Printed press, radio, television and social media.

Week 2
  •     Writing precisely, but also clearly and directly at the same time
  •     Distinguish different strategies of communication in front of the support (printed vs. audiovisual)

Week 3
  •     The New Journalism: Tom Wolfe, Truman Capote, Gay Talese readings
  •     Recognize rhetoric/linguistic resources in order to achieve an effect on the audience


Daily evaluation: following the professor explanation, journalistic articles (interviews, chronicles or reports) will be given to groups of three students in relation to the topic. After that, a general discussion will take place within the full class.
The evaluation will be: 30% interviews analysis, 30% chronicles analysis, 30% reports analysis, and 10% class participation.

Links and references
  •     Adams, Sally and Hicks, Wynford. Interviewing for journalists. London ; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, 2009.
  •     Biagi, Shirley. Interviews that work: a practical guide for journalists. Belmont: Wadsworth, 1986.
  •     Call, Wendy and Kramer, Mark. Telling true stories : a nonfiction writers' guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. New York: Plume, 2007.
  •     Culham, Ruth. Teach Writing Well : How to Assess Writing, Invigorate Instruction, and Rethink Revision.
  •     Harris, Geoffrey and Spark, David. Practical newspaper reporting. Oxford: Focal Press, 1993.
  •     Johnson-Cartee, Karen S. News narratives and news framing: constructing political reality. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.
  •     Thompson, John B. The Media and modernity: a social theory of the media. Cambridge: Polity, 1995.
  •     Tredinnick, Mark. Writing Well: The Essential Guide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  •     Zinsser, William. On writing well: the classic guide to writing nonfiction. New York: Collins Reference, HarperCollins, 2005.

Articles and audiovisual material will be provided in class.