Public affairs reporting can include almost anything that deals with public and quasi-public agencies, organisations and institutions. It also includes reports on the community organisations affected by public institutions, as well as, the private sector that deal with the public in any form.
Built on the belief that the purpose of journalism is to serve the community and to give citizens the information they need to participate in civic affairs, the journalist, in a very real sense, is the public’s eye on government and public affairs. Without a tenacious press, much that is “public” would never see the light of day.
To this end, the media is also one of the most powerful influences on how an election runs inside the country, and how it is perceived from the outside. Elections are a mix of rules and chaos, predictable events and surprises. Hence, journalists and editors have to stay above the 24-hour newsroom and social media when reporting on an election campaign. The focus is to limit their coverage on issues of importance to society and not just daily “spin”.
The emphasis of this course, therefore, is on understanding how public issues get onto the media agenda and into the news, as well as, to hold those in power accountable to the citizens through accurate, insightful and analytical reporting. You will also be encouraged to explore the use of social media to cover and explain campaigns and policy.
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
Demonstrate critical thinking skills about the state’s public affairs and its dynamics
Pursuit good political stories and operate effectively in deadline situations
Ask the right questions and apply various journalistic and investigative research techniques to source for information
What you will learn
The Power of the Press to Inform and Shape Popular Opinion on Public Affairs
Covering Public Affairs from a Civic Perspective
Storytelling for the National Audience
Three Elements of an Elections
The Media as Election Watchdogs
The Election Process
Social Media as a Source of News
This course is for you if
You’re a media enthusiast who wants to have a deeper context and understanding of about the system and civic affairs
You are a media practitioner who wants to add depth to spot news coverage and explore the use of social media to cover and explain campaigns and policy
You are a fresh school leaver who wants to pursue a career in journalism learn the “nuts and bolts” of how public issues are researched, analysed and reported to serve the community