Saturday , August 13 2022

Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Photojournalism (JMS 203)


With the unbundling of Mass Communication programme in Nigeria, the face of communication education in the country has changed. The programme has transited into a full college/faculty while individual courses have adapted to the change. While several new courses now exist in the seven new departments, some of the courses you used to know before have also taken a new shape. We have done a thorough research on what these courses offer in universities across the world; and we have provided prototype syllabus for students to study ahead. This is also to assist lecturers who might be facing new challenges with several new courses to have an idea of what the syllabus of each course offers.


Faculty: Communication and Media Studies                          Department: Journalism & Media Studies

Course Code: JMS 203                                           Unit(s): 2          Semester: First

Course Title: Photojournalism

Lecturer:                                                       Programme: B.Sc.


This course will introduce students to the practice of news photography and professional photojournalism. It is designed to teach students to approach situations with an eye toward comprehensive, in­depth and authentic photo documentation. Students will also learn Visual Variety in the Photo Story, with focus on image content and effective composition. This includes photo-reporting skills with emphasis on pictures that communicate with aesthetic as well as technical expertise. They will also be exposed to how to edit images thoughtfully and present them on the page. The course will also cover industry expectations for professional photojournalists. Students will receive solid grounding in basic Camera and dark room techniques but with emphasis on the development of the emerging photojournalist’s sensitivity to people, circumstances and events to which he will be expected to take pictures that communicate. Students will be taken through the processes of collecting, editing and presenting news materials for publication with the help of photographs. The course will also teach students how to write captions for the pictures they produce. At the completion of this course, students would have learned fundamentals of photography, operation of different cameras, photography processes and the use of standard photographic equipment and materials in the photo-laboratory. This includes techniques of photograms and photo-Easy. This course can be divided into two segments and taught in two semesters.


By the end of this course, students will have learned:

Definition of basic concepts (photographs, photography, photojournalism, journalism etc.)

Theory and practice of news photography

Photo-reporting skills

Kinds of photographs

Basic camera and dark room techniques

Meaning, kinds and how to make photo essays and photograms

Visual variety in photo essay

How to write captions for pictures

Fundamentals of photography

Operation of different cameras

Photography processes

Use of standard photographic equipment and materials in the photo-laboratory

Ethics of Photojournalism


  1. Lectures
  2. Quizzes
  3. Assignments
  4. Practical Classroom Sessions


1. Introduction

Definition of key concepts (journalism, photojournalism, photographs)

Brief history of photography and photojournalism

Importance of photojournalism

Course overview

2. Photography

What is photography?

Difference between photography and photojournalism

Types of photography

Photographic techniques

Photography processes

Understanding ISO, shutter speed and aperture

Using exposure compensation

Conquering low light and fast action

Autofocus and metering modes

Controlling your pop-up flash

Shooting RAW vs. JPEG

Basics of composition

Choosing lenses

3. The Camera

Different types of photo camera

Parts of the camera and their functions

How the camera works

Basic camera techniques

4. Photo Editing

What is photo editing?

Photo editing techniques

Photo editing software, programs and mobile App

Photo editor

  • as a tool
  • as a person

Pixel editing and parametric image editing

How to write captions for pictures

Dark room techniques

5. Photo Essay and Photograms

What is photo essay?

Kinds of photo essay

How to create a photo essay

What is photogram?

How to make a photogram

6. Laws and Ethics of Photojournalism

What is ethics?

Ethical philosophies and practice of photojournalism

Ethical obligations of the photojournalist

Issues in photojournalism ethics

  • Posing Vs Accuracy
  • Staging Vs Truthfulness
  • Recreating, Altering and Objectivity
  • Faking Reality and Professional Integrity
  • Hidden Cameras, Privacy and Public Interest
  • Tragedy, Grief and Gruesome Photos: Professional Vs Humanity Role
  • Indecent Photos, Stereotyping and Human Dignity

Introductory overview of photojournalism laws

How mass media laws apply to photojournalism

7. Making a career in Photojournalism

Career options in photojournalism

How to choose a career in photojournalism

8. ICTs and Photojournalism

Understanding the concept of ICTs

How ICTs have impacted photojournalism

How digital technology has impacted photojournalism

ICTs, photojournalism and citizen journalism

Audio journalism

9. Class Activities

Practical exercises and field work


Kobre, K. (2017). Photojournalism? The Professional Approach, 7th Edition. New York:



Photojournalism in the Age of New Media

Brief History of Photography and Photojournalism

The life magazine formula for visual variety in the photo-essay

5 types of photos that make for strong photo essays, audio slideshows

What is a Photo Essay? 17 Examples and ideas

Step by step guide on how to make photgram

What is photogram?

Quick Guide to Understanding the Different Parts of a Camera

What is Photo Editing?: A Definition

Introduction: Photojournalism and Citizen Journalism

How to become a professional photojournalist

Camera; Darkroom Techniques for More Interesting Prints

Essential Guide to Darkroom Printing

Basic Camera Techniques

Photojournalism Code of Ethics

Issues in Photojournalism Ethics (We the People)


READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Intro to Communication I (CMS 101)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Introduction To Communication II (CMS 102)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: History of Nigerian Media (CMS 103)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Traditional African Communication Systems (CMS 105)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Editing & Graphics of Communication (CMS 203)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Foundations of Communication Research (CMS 205)

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About Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a writer with passion for cutting-edge news

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One comment

  1. Thank you guy for this syllabus shared. I have read and appreciated your blog idea .

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