News Writing and Ethics - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP1 , SP3
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - News Story (Community) (25%) , Assignment 2 - News Story (Indig. Affairs) (25%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

Learn about the different ways that information and news is gathered and reproduced. You will learn about the range of print and electronic media professions that exist in today's information society and explore global trends and issues arising from the growth of information media. The unit introduces news style, exploring how to gather information and write on a range of key topics across news genres. You will also examine ethical issues faced by journalists and consider such issues in connection to your own stories using the framework of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) Code of Ethics. These issues will be analysed and discussed in essay form.

The unit includes an introduction to the skills of news style, gathering information and writing on a range of key topic areas, for a variety of news genres. The unit introduces you to the ethical issues faced by journalists and requires you to consider stories in an ethical context, against the framework of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) Code of Ethics. You will also have to analyse various theories and implications of journalistic ethics in a fully referenced essay.

At the completion of this unit students should have an awareness of:

  1. styles and techniques of news writing
  2. writing for a variety of print media
  3. personal judgement in information gathering
  4. the nature of narrative construction
  5. cross-cultural and gender related aspects of journalistic research and writing
  6. ethical issues and considerations; vii. the MEAA code of ethics
  7. the relationships between the mass media and other social institutions
  8. critical reflection on journalism practice.
  • Assignment 1 — News Story (Community) (25%)
  • Assignment 2 — News Story (Indig. Affairs) (25%)
  • Essay (30%)
  • Online Discussion (20%)

Mandatory prerequisites

You must have successfully completed the following unit(s) before starting this unit:

If you have completed equivalent study at another university, please contact a Student Advisor for advice.

Recommended prerequisites

You are recommended to have completed the following unit(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:

Not suitable for incarcerated students.

  • Broadband access

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Journalism ethics
2Newsgathering and writing
3Community news
4Reporting Youth affairs
5Reporting Indigenous affairs

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission

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.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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