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School of Communications, Arts & Social


Course: Advertising, Public Relations and Journalism in Context

Semester: Fall 2016
Simon Goldsworthy
Class Location: Asa Briggs Hall, Room B108
Class Meeting Time: Thursdays, 15.00-17.50.
Asa Briggs Room 302
Office Hours:
Thursdays 2pm 3pm or email for appointments
Phone: 7368 8404
VLE (Virtual Learning Environment: Blackboard is accessed via
the portal (
This syllabus should be read in conjunction with the Course
Specification Document from which it is derived; the University
Catalogue; and the relevant Programme Specification (all
accessed via the admitted students section of the Universitys
Course Description:
This course explores public relations, advertising and journalism,
examining their history and evolution and how they relate to each other,
as well as investigating the political, economic, social and cultural
contexts in which they practice and reviewing their relationships with the
media industries. It relates the practice of PR, advertising and journalism
to international events and contemporary issues and developments,
including criticisms of the industries role and a range of ethical debates.
Aims and Objectives:

Learning Outcomes:
Aims and objectives
To explore critically the characteristics and evolution of the PR,
advertising and journalism and how they relate to each other.
To examine and investigate the political, economic, social and cultural
contexts in which PR, advertising and journalism are practiced. To
evaluate the role the advertising, PR and journalism play within the media
industries and their relationships with each other.
To analyse current international developments and debates about the
practice of advertising, PR and journalism.
To develop academic skills in research, critical analysis, and written and
oral presentation skills.
Programme Outcomes
At the end of this course successful students will be able to: A, B, E, G:
A. Demonstrate a deep and systematic understanding of key issues,
themes and debates in Advertising, PR and Journalism, while reflecting on
their relationship to empirical evidence and to other relevant disciplines.
B. Show critical and innovative responses to theories, methodologies and
practices in Advertising, PR and Journalism and their impact on how the
knowledge base is interpreted. E. Engage with and evaluate complex,
incomplete or contradictory evidence while critically reflecting on the
different theoretical and methodological tools used
G. Show the ability to gather, organise and deploy complex and abstract
ideas and diverse information in complex and specialised contexts, while
reflecting upon and improving the skills required for effective written and
oral communication
Programme outcomes are listed in the programme specifications found at
Teaching Methods:
The course will consist of lectures and seminars, together with other
interactive elements, which will follow the structure set out within the
course syllabus. After some introductory sessions, the lectures will normally
precede seminars by a week or more to enable students to prepare
themselves properly for the seminars. Seminars rely upon active student
participation, mediated by the instructor. All students are required to
participate. There will also be guest lectures and other forms of external

involvement. Tutorial opportunities will also be available for the final paper
and other academic support.
Assessment Criteria:
Assessment Criteria:
Assessed Coursework
1. Seminar presentation and paper (1500 words plus oral
sign up
2. Final paper (3000 words)
due week 13


Seminar presentation and paper (1500 words plus oral

sign up
Everyone will give a seminar presentation of up to 10 minutes on one of
the listed seminar topics, using electronic aids as appropriate. These are
deliberately broad subject areas, and you will need to focus on a specific
area of the subject, using specific examples. You are welcome to discuss
your plans with the course leader. The aim of these presentations is both
to inform your colleagues and to stimulate a discussion which you will
lead you will be expected to have questions to put to the seminar, and
points to raise. Clear, compelling presentations are important: you should
not simply read out your paper.
You will submit via
Blackboard/SafeAssign a final 1500 word version of your paper which
does not have to follow your presentation exactly within one week of
your presentation.
Final paper (3000 words)
due week 13 (5 Dec)
An essay on an agreed topic relating to the course and referring to specific
examples of both advertising and/or PR and/or journalism. A list of
suggested questions and topics will be provided, but you are also free,
with the prior agreement of the course leader, to write about other topics.
Time has been set aside to discuss your essay plans in individual tutorials.
This essay should be submitted via Blackboard/SafeAssign by 5 December.
Please keep a back-up electronic file of all work.
You should allow a maximum of two weeks from the time of submission to
the return of the graded essay or paper with comments and feedback on
SafeAssign. It will be included in the student portfolios of coursework
which are reviewed at the end of the academic year by the External
Examiner. All written work is subject to moderation by the MA faculty and
all marks may be subject to change at the Exam Board.

All assessment criteria conform with Assessment Norms (University at

level 7) found at
Grade Assessment Criteria
These grading criteria are disseminated to MA faculty and students to
ensure parity of marking and transparency of criteria.
Criteria (where relevant): Note that while all criteria are required for an A
grade, these criteria are listed in order of importance:

Quality of research: creativity (independent thinking), strength of

topic, appropriate use of primary (where relevant) and secondary
sources, depth and breadth of reading, extent of thorough analysis
Critical engagement: with and understanding of material; selection
and application of relevant bodies of knowledge and method.
Ability to follow specific briefs
Presentation and Scholarly apparatus: coherency of argument,
clarity of expression (both oral and written), language use, structure
(e.g. introduction, conclusion), referencing, bibliography.

This class follows the Late Submission of Coursework Policy and

Feedback Norms outlined below and found at

Marking Scheme:
A 4.0 EXCELLENT work In relation to all five criteria.
Clear evidence of sophisticated creativity, critical engagement, clarity;
impressive and alert analysis and synthesis; adherence to brief; a vigorous
and exciting read
A - 3.7 VERY GOOD deployment of skills in all five areas of assessment.
Sustained evidence of creativity, critical engagement, clarity, analysis and
synthesis; adherence to brief; no errors, inaccuracies or typos.
B+ 3.3 GOOD Deployment of skills in all five areas of assessment
Addresses the question; clear understanding of text and some sense of
issues presented; moving towards critical evaluation; reasonable
adherence to brief; predominantly clear writing and coherent argument
B 3.0 SATISFACTORY: acceptable satisfaction of criteria but little or no
creativity, synthesis and analysis, or critical engagement; some
understanding of text and of issues presented; some clarity of writing and
presentation of argument; some attempt at analysis bit mainly

descriptive; some attempt to answer the question; occasional typos only

B - 2.7 POOR (redeemable fail): difficulty satisfying assessment criteria,
especially regarding critical engagement with the sources and critical
visual analysis; some clarity of writing and of presenting argument; failure
properly to adhere to brief; lack of overall coherence
F: FAIL: Non-submission or late submission of work; work which fails to
make proper use of named references and quotations /uses un-attributed
material; submission of unauthorised, third party work or own work
submitted elsewhere; poorly presented work with serious weaknesses in
written English; work which is irrelevant (i.e. does not address the
requirements of the assignment)
Required Texts:
Required Reading
Davies, N, Flat Earth News: An Award-winning Reporter Exposes
Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media (Random
House, 2009). A real best-seller, which shaped the debate about the
relationship between journalism (about which Davies is very pessimistic)
and PR.
Fletcher, W, Advertising: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short
Introductions, 2010). Winston
Fletcher was unusual in being
simultaneously a key figure in the advertising industry, having a sharp
academic mind and writing very clearly.
Powell, H et al, The Advertising Handbook (Routledge, 2009) (The previous
edition, Brierley, S, The Advertising Handbook, Routledge, 2005 is also
very good in its own way and is probably a better read.)
Ogilvy, D Ogilvy on Advertising (Numerous editions) All-time best seller by
one of advertisings greats.
Marr, A, My Trade: A Short History of British Journalism (Macmillan, 2005)
Top journalists account.
Morris, T, Goldsworthy, S, PR A Persuasive Industry? Spin, Public
Relations, and the Shaping of the Modern Media (Palgrave, 2008) plus
relevant chapters of PR Today by the same authors.
Stauber, J & Rampton, S, Toxic Sludge is Good for You? (Constable &
Robinson, 2004). Classic critical book about PR by the people who set up

Trade magazines
Press Gazette
PR Week
See course schedule for weekly list of readings which will be augmented
during lectures. Keeping up to date with the media is essential at least
as important as other reading. You can sign up to a useful and free daily
email about media matters from the Guardian.
Further Reading
Hegarty, J, Hegarty on Advertising (Thames & Hudson, 2011)
Jackall, R, Hirota, J, Image Makers: Advertising, Public Relations, and the
Ethos of Advertising (University of Chicago Press, 2000)
Kitchen, P. Public Relations: Public Relations Principles and Practice
(Thomson Learning, 1997)
Moloney, K. Rethinking PR: Public Relations, Propaganda and Democracy
(Routledge 2005)
Williamson, J, Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in
Advertising (Marion Boyars, 2010)
For help and advice, approach the instructor. All the required reading
listed below and under seminar headings is available in the library along
with an extensive range of electronic resources please inform the
relevant staff immediately if texts are missing. Students can also make
extensive use of Londons rich library resources.
Indicative Full Course Schedule (well try to keep changes to a
(Seminars will normally relate to topics covered in previous weeks
sessions to give students time to prepare. For full book details see the
required reading above more details of specific readings will be given in
the lectures and lecture notes will normally be posted on Blackboard.)
Week 1, 8 September:
Introduction to course.

Lecture: What is advertising? What is PR? What is Journalism? Definitions

of advertising, PR, journalism and the media. Advertising, PR and the
Media how do they relate to each other?
Newspaper exercise.
Introduction to first-hand accounts of advertising, PR and journalism.
Assign topics for individual non-assessed book reviews (500 word review
and 2-3 minute presentation in Week 3).
Week 2, 15 September:
Guest speaker: Mary Davoudi, PRCA member benefits and getting jobs
in the industry.
Lecture: Historical background - Men from the Agency; Century of the
Establish seminar programme for remainder of course and allocate topics.
Tips on speaking and presenting
Reading: continue reading for book review
Week 3, 22 September:
Introduction to library services, 3pm, in Basement Computer Room,
Asa Briggs
Individual presentations of about 3 minutes each and discussion of book
reviews. Hand over hard copies of non-assessed book reviews (normal
Required Reading:
Each student will have read one book from an agreed list of books about
advertising, PR and the media (see Week 1).
Week 4, 29 September: Individual tutorials in my office, Room 302,
times to be assigned no classes
Week 5, 6 October: Guest Speaker, Will Gore Deputy Managing Editor
Independent, Evening Standard
Reading: Independent, Evening Standard newspapers; Davies, N, Flat
Earth News

Seminar 1: What is advertising/PR/journalism and how are they seen by

Week 6, 13 October:
Lecture: Criticisms of advertising and advertising regulation
The Advertising Handbook (2009), Chapter 5.
Decoding Advertisements, preface, foreword and introduction
Seminar 2: Aspects of the History of Advertising, PR and the Media
Week 7, 20 October:
Lecture: What communications professionals need to know about the law
PR Today, Chapter 9
Seminar 3: The relationship between PR, advertising and the media
Briefing for Final Paper
Week 8, 27 October: Reading/tutorial week no classes
Week 9, 3 November: Guest lecture - PR: current trends and issues:
Professor Trevor Morris
PR A Persuasive Industry, Chapter 14; PR Today, Chapter 15 International Communications Consultants Association
Seminar 4: Criticisms of advertising; advertising regulation
Week 10, 10 November:
Lecture, PR Ethics: Guest speaker, Francis Ingham, Director General

PR Today, Chapter 2
Toxic Sludge is Good for You, Introduction and Chapter 1.
Seminar 5: The impact of the law on communications professionals
Week 11, 17 November:
Lecture: Advertising: current
Professor James Best






Advertising Handbook, Chapter 16 Advertising Association World Advertising Research Centre
Seminar 6: PR, Advertising and the Media: current trends and issues
Week 12, 24 November:
Tutorials to discuss written essay plans for final papers times to be
Week 13, 1 December:
Lecture and videos: PR, advertising and the media in popular culture
Submit final paper/essay by 5 December
Week 14, 9 December: Tutorial week no classes although I am available.
All grades being used for OU-validated degrees are subject to
confirmation at the University Examination Board.

Academic Policies (see also the University Catalogue and the

policies detailed at:

Students must read and comply with all the requirements of the
regulations and policies listed at the weblinks below. Students are
expected to make themselves aware of the requirements of the
Attendance Policy, the Lateness to Classes, Examinations Policy, the Late
Submission of Coursework Policy and Exceeding Word Limit and Question
Choice policy at the beginning of the semester.
Academic Dishonesty:
Academic dishonesty is any action by which a student in any academic
exercise seeks to: claim credit for the intellectual or artistic work of
another person; or uses unauthorized materials or fabricated information;
or engages in an unauthorized editing process.
You can find a list of the actions that might lead to you committing
academic dishonesty on the web pages. If you are not sure about what
would constitute dishonesty after reading the full policy details you should
ask for more information from the course instructor, your academic
advisor, another member of academic staff, the Writing Centre, or Student
Full details of Richmonds Academic Dishonesty policy are found at:
Students who are academically dishonest will receive a penalty for the
work in question or the course as a whole (which may in turn impact upon
their degree classification), depending on the importance of the work to
the overall course grade and the judgment of the instructor and the
relevant exam board.
The Richmond Attendance Policy
Full details of Richmonds attendance and lateness policies are found at:
The policy of the University is that absence from more than six classes
[adjusted for course length and size as per the table below] is not
permitted and the student will receive a fail after the 6th missed class from
the point of enrolment. The six permitted absences are built-in to allow for
times when making it to class it not possible. It is up to students to
manage their time responsibly and to allow for unforeseeable
circumstances (such as hospital appointments that cannot be
rescheduled, the common cold).

Frequency of classes in the



Permitted absences

Courses that meet twice a


No more than six absences

Courses that meet once a


No more than three absences

Courses that meet three times

a week

No more than nine absences

Summer courses

No more than two absences

(due to the intensive nature of the

Any absence from a class session does not exempt a student from the
completion of all required work for a course. The student is responsible for
taking the initiative to make up any missed academic work, and for
covering the material delivered in any missed class session.
A student whose exceeds 6 absences from class will receive an FA (failure
attendance) which cannot be revised on the basis of learning outcomes,
but which may be appealed based on mitigating circumstances. A student
who exceeds 6 absences may withdraw from the course before the last
day to withdrawal in order to receive a W on the transcript. Students
who have received an attendance grade of FA for a course may continue
to attend the class, submit assignments and sit the final exam.
Absence Recording:
Attendance is taken by instructors in on-line registers within the
University's student records system during each course session and
entered into the Self-Service record within 24 hours of each class.
Registers are updated as students add and drop courses, and attendance
in all courses is taken from the first day the student registers for that
course, including Add/Drop week.
Attendance is recorded at the beginning of the class session (see the
University policy on Lateness to Classes). Any student not present in the
class when attendance is taken is officially late for the session and must
be marked as absent.
A student who enters within the first 20 minutes of a teaching session, but
after attendance has been taken and an absence has been registered, is
responsible for alerting the lecturer to their presence and negotiating a


change to an attendance entry. Changing an entry is entirely at the

discretion of the instructor, and such a change will not be considered at
any other time than on the actual date of the class.
Students may review their attendance record for their courses at any time
in their Self-Service accounts and are expected to remain alert to the
dangers of exceeding the permitted absences from their courses.
Every absence from class, regardless of reason, is recorded as Unexcused.
Students do not need to provide instructors with medical evidence of
illness or absence since the instructor will be assessing only the students
ability to complete the work academically.
The University is obliged to report to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) any
student who is in the UK on a Tier 4 visa but who is not attending classes.
Late submission of academic work:
Any item of work submitted late will be subject to an automatic deduction
of one increment on the letter grade scale (e.g. the grade will be reduced
from B to B-, or from C- to D+) per day.
Any coursework submitted more than one week (seven days) after the
original deadline will receive a grade of F.
Where there may be mitigating circumstances for the late submission the
instructor must be informed in advance, by email, and evidence provided
to the instructor in writing when the course work is submitted.
See the full late submission policy at:

Exceeding Word Limit and Question Choice:

The word limit is defined as the uppermost word limit in a range given to
an assignment. Assessments are designed to enable the student to
answer the assignment without going over the word limit. Penalties will
be given for work that excessively exceeds the word limit. There is a 10%
leeway before penalties apply.
See penalties and full policy at:
Feedback Norms:


The university has defined expectations as to the nature and timeliness of

feedback on assigned work. Students should make themselves aware of
these norms, and they are located on the portal at:
Examination Regulations:
Guidance on examination regulations and expected behavior for students
is on the Academic Registry page of the Student Portal
( However,
please note particularly the following University Policies:
Midterm exams are normally held during the designated weeks published
in the academic calendar found in the relevant University Catalogue.
Any faculty member wishing to hold a midterm on a different date
requires the approval of the Dean, and will inform students accordingly.
Final exams are held over a five-day period following the last day of
classes in the Fall and Spring semesters. Exams are not held in the same
timeslots as class sessions. The dates of the official exam period are
published in advance in the official academic calendar (see link above).
Students are responsible for remaining in London until the end of the
official examination period the university reserves the right to make any
necessary changes to the schedule. Any such changes to the schedule
will be centrally-administered by the Academic Registry and reported to
Students and instructors may not make private arrangements to
reschedule any University exams. Requests for an opportunity to re-sit
must be made by petitioning the Academic Progress Committee .
Final examinations in summer sessions take place on a single day
following the last day of classes.
Students must bring their Richmond student ID card to every examination.
Academic support for studies:
The University Writing Center and Language Workshop are available to all
students who want help with academic tasks. The University Mathematics
Workshop is available to all students who need help with academic
mathematics. Venues and times for these workshops are posted towards
the end of the first week of the semester, and can be found under
Support for your studies at


Library staff can help students with questions about research and/or
accessing information. Book an appointment with a librarian
Students with Disabilities:
The University makes a variety of special provisions in exams and
assessment for students with a diagnosed learning disability. Students
must follow the requirements outlined at for these arrangements to be made,
and it is important that this is done in good time. The student and their
instructors are informed of the provisions after they are approved, and
reminders are sent to students and invigilators shortly before the