News and Politics - 2018

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

2018 Fees
Domestic 820.00
HECS 820.00
International 1,043.00

CMM18 News and Politics introduces you to the conventions of news writing and journalism and challenges you to read news and current affairs critically. This unit combines an overview of Australian political systems and the media with a broad theoretical framework on the role of the media in a healthy democracy. You learn the principles and practice of news and politics though Weekly Learning Modules containing a short lecture and Weekly Learning Activities (WLAs) including multi-media options to Read, Watch, Listen and Explore each weekly topic, and take part in weekly discussions on the Discussion Board. You 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.

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. research and produce a news story
  3. navigate Australian political institutions
  4. understand and think critically about how the mass media interacts with political institutions
  5. understand the ethical requirements of journalism
  6. draw on a theoretical framework to examine news in a democracy and
  7. appreciate your own biases and consider them rationally.

In order to build the skills required by the professional journalist, this unit requires you to deliver assessment on deadline and exercise initiative when applying methods of research and information gathering to news story assignments.

  • 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 century
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).

Enquire online

Need to ask a question that's best put down in words?
Make an online enquiry.

Enquire now

Ready to enrol?

Start studying this unit now.


Got a question?

Get an answer from one of our friendly Student Advisors.