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Distance Learning Masters in Film Journalism

written by: Sonal Panse•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 11/30/2009

A look at how to get a film journalism distance learning masters. Knowing how to write well and a definite interest in films are necessary for taking this course. You can work as a self-employed writer or as a staff writer with a publication.

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    A film journalism distance learning masters is ideal if you are interested in a journalistic career that covers films, film history, the people involved in film-making, and all the cultural and social aspects of cinema.

    For a distance learning masters in film journalism, students will also need to know how to write well. The course will take you through what you need to know to turn out film reviews, film essays, film magazine articles, film press releases and promotion pieces, film marketing, film online writing and many other types of film related writing. You will become acquainted with journalistic practices, about the media culture, how the film business works, how to write to a particular audience, how technology works, legal aspects related to cinema, etc.

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    The Process

    Before going for the film journalism distance learning masters, it might help to evaluate if a career in this field is what you really want -

    • You need to have, as mentioned, good writing skills. You can learn the basics of writing in the course, but good writing is something you'll need to develop on your own, with much and regular practice. You must be able to express yourself well and in clear terms to make your writing accessible to your target audience or to different types of audiences.
    • You will need to be really interested in movies. Not just the 'Oh, it was great, I was entertained' part, but the 'how was it made', 'why was it made parts', 'why it works' and 'why it appeals to a wide demographic audience' parts too. That is, you must have analytical skills and an understanding of how the film world works. A bit of a financial acumen to understand film-related finances will also come in handy.
    • It will also help if you are well-read and are able to understand the different contexts - political, historical, national, social and cultural - that may be mentioned or alluded to in a film.
    • You will need to have a bit of an extrovert streak, good communication skills and excellent people skills to interact comfortably with different film industry people.

    Here is a school offering a distance learning masters in film journalism -

    Film Journalism (Master of Letters)

    University of Glasgow

    Glasgow, United Kingdom

    The film journalism program at the University of Glasgow is a 12 months long course, starting in September. To be eligible for admission, you need to have -

    • An Honors degree
    • English Language Proficiency Certificates, if not a native-English speaker, like TOEFL, IELTS, etc.
    • Academic transcripts
    • References
    • Submission of written sample work or personal statement

    Some of the courses offered -

    • Screen Bodies
    • Screen Animation
    • History of Critical Writing on Film and Television
    • Music and the Moving Image
    • Screen Adaptations
    • Aspects of European Cinema

    The annual tuition fees for this program is 3,900 pounds for students from the UK/EU, and 9,800 pounds for international students.

    Please see How To Choose A Film School here on Bright Hub.

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    Benefits

    The benefits of taking a distance learning course are as follows -

    • You learn from the comfort of your own home.
    • You use the latest learning technologies to complete the program.
    • You develop independence and excellent online research skills.
    • You get to interact with other would-be film journalists from around the world.
    • You get the opportunity to pursue a career in a glamorous, creative and exciting field.
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    Career Prospects

    Given that films fascinate and will continue to fascinate us, career prospects in this field are excellent. It is a competitive industry, however, and there will be a keen competition for jobs. It might help to take some foreign language courses in addition to the film journalism distance learning masters, as films are made all over the world and if you know the languages. In addition to being an excellent writer, communicator and personal organizer, you will never be out of a job. With the phenomenon of blog writing, both freelance writers as well as staff writers may be able to thrive in the business. Salary varies and depends on whether you are a freelance or a staff writer, the publication you're writing for, the type of writing, the quality of writing, where you're located, your experience and contacts, and whether you're a known or unknown name in the game. The U.S. Bureau of Labor gives the annual median earnings for journalists as between less than $19,180 to more than $73,880.

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    Sources

    Film Journalism (Master of Letters)

    University of Glasgow

    Glasgow, United Kingdom