During their core studies, students learn the fundamentals required to work as a journalist. The curriculum is continuously adapted to keep pace with current developments and trends: systematic research methods, interview technique, matching text to image, dealing with Internet and mobile-phone films, magazine reports, journalistic ethics, crisis and war reporting, history of journalism.
Training is focused on practical exercises, allowing the students to deal creatively with a variety of forms – from news item, magazine report and moderation, to reportage and documentary. The creative work is followed by an in-depth analysis of each project by professors and assistants, as well as by well-known editors and authors from the industry.
Central elements of the subdepartment study program are two extensive projects:
Film and film criticism is current news reporting in the area of art and culture. In close collaboration with the Munich Film Festival and experienced editors, our students produce magazine reports – from initial topic idea to finished film. The results are evaluated on the Internet and in the HFF screening room – one of the Munich International Film Festival venues.
Mexico, Hong Kong, Iceland – those are but a few of the destinations the subdepartment Television Journalism has visited for the international news magazine Close Up. During their main studies, this project offers highly qualified students the opportunity to produce a magazine report or reportage abroad. All part of an exchange with other film and journalism schools worldwide. The films have been shown on the public television channels Bayerisches Fernsehen and ZDF, as well as at various international festivals.
In addition to craft, we convey to our students a knowledge of politics, business, culture and society. The subdepartment offers regular discussion rounds on topics of current interest, where experts and experienced journalists talk with students and answer questions. Some of the focus issues so far were: the conflicts in Iran, Syria and North Korea; demographic change; the media world in transition; and the 2012 US election.
In HFF Television Journalism our interest goes beyond the teaching of journalistic fundamentals: we are concerned with the continuous debate about the possibilities and future of television and information transmission – in a battle for ratings, clicks and quality. What is at stake is the future of journalistic films that can actually reach an audience. In this context, comprehensibility, new formats, approach and visual presentation, play nearly as great a role as the selected topics themselves.
Our course offerings can be seen as complementary, one element within a more freely structured program to become a fiction or documentary film director – or they can be chosen as one’s major. It is possible to produce one’s graduation film in the subdepartment Television Journalism. The knowledge of television journalism acquired here can pave one’s way to newsrooms.
Adapting a quote from Loriot: Studies without Television Journalism are possible but not expedient.