News and Politics - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP3
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Community/Social News Story (30%) , Assignment 2 - Political News Story (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

Students are expected to keep across current affairs on a daily basis and to challenge yourselves by reading news and current affairs in a critical fashion within the theoretical and practical framework supplied in News and Politics. You will combine development of practical news writing skills with study of politics and the media. This unit provides an overview of news writing, and news gathering practices, media ethics, Australian political institutions, the Constitution and citizenship, pressure groups, lobbying and elections. News and Politics assists students to build journalistic writing skills and develop an understanding of the interaction between politics and the media. These skills apply to jobs in journalism, media relations, communications, public relations, community engagement, external relations, government relations, politics, policy and other roles where media and communication skills and an understanding of politics are essential.

NOTE: Required texts are supplied through Griffith University as online resources for OUA students.

At the completion of this unit you will be able to:

  1. write in a journalistic style
  2. produce a news story
  3. navigate  your way through Australian political institutions
  4. understand and think critically about how the mass media relates to political institutions
  5. understand the ethical requirements of journalism and news production
  6. draw on theoretical framework for the production of news in a democracy
  7. appreciate your own biases and consider them rationally.
  • Assignment 1 — Community/Social News Story (30%)
  • Assignment 2 — Political News Story (30%)
  • Essay (20%)
  • Online Discussion (20%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1What is news: professional definitions
2What is news: democracy and the public sphere
3What is news: business and political economy
4What is news in the 21st centry
5News writing: news values, inverted pyramid, writing leads
6News gathering: research and the interview
7News ethics and media law
8Public relations spin and responding to media releases
9News and social media
10Reporting crime, justice, health and mental health
11Reporting on the environment, energy and natural disasters
12Reporting politics and social justice
13Building your professional portfolio

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Online Assessment
  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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