MDIA 2333 - Reporting: Principles and Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

This course covers essential knowledge and skills required for journalists to function in the contemporary media environment. It explores how news stories are researched, effective use of sources and source material, interview techniques and elements of professionalism that impact on how journalists conduct their work. It examines news production in the context of news rooms and in the public domain and the influences of factors such as changing technology and the requirements of ethical practice.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MDIA 2333
    Course Reporting: Principles and Practice
    Coordinating Unit Media
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 undergraduate study
    Assumed Knowledge Completion of at least 6 units of Level I MDIA courses
    Restrictions Available to BMedia students only
    Quota 100
    Course Description This course covers essential knowledge and skills required for journalists to function in the contemporary media environment. It explores how news stories are researched, effective use of sources and source material, interview techniques and elements of professionalism that impact on how journalists conduct their work. It examines news production in the context of news rooms and in the public domain and the influences of factors such as changing technology and the requirements of ethical practice.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Kathryn Bowd

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Understand the requirements of research for news stories
    2 Gather material for news stories using a range of primary and secondary sources
    3 Understand the relationship between source material and news reporting
    4 Understand the role of journalism in society and the impact of change on this role
    5 Understand the need for professional ethics in journalism and apply these in practice
    6 Understand the different kinds of sources commonly used in sourcing news and the contexts of this sourcing
    7 Be familiar with current issues in the news and the professional contexts surrounding these
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Sheridan Burns, L. (2013). Understanding Journalism (2nd ed.). London: Sage.
    Recommended Resources
    A number of texts focusing on key journalism concepts and skills can be found in the Barr Smith Library. These texts are recommended additional reading rather than essential resources. They include:

    Bainbridge, J., Goc, N., & Tynan, L. (2011) Media and Journalism (2nd ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

    Tanner, S., & Richardson, N. (2013) Journalism Research and Investigation in a Digital World. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

    Ricketson, M. (2012) Australian Journalism Today. South Yarra: Palgrave Macmillan.

    King, E., & Chapman, J.L. (2012) Key Readings in Journalism. New York; Routledge.

    Allan, S. (2010) The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism. Abingdon: Routledge.
    Online Learning
    This course makes extensive use of MyUni and external websites. All assignments are to be submitted through MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Most lectures for this course will be delivered face-to-face, and will also be recorded using the MyMedia system. Lecture recordings will be automatically loaded to MyMedia following delivery.

    Some lecture material will be provided online through MyUni. These topics will be noted in the course timetable. In these weeks, students will be required to access the material through MyUni, and must complete an online quiz or quizzes that will count towards the grade for participation.

    Workshops are held in a Media Lab to ensure students have access to appropriate technology including Word and online resources.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Lecture attendance: 1 hour per week
    Workshop attendance: 2 hours per week
    Workshop preparation: 3 hours per week (including engagement with news)
    Assignment preparation: 3 hours per week

    This is an approximation of the likely time required in an average week to complete all elements of the course. Actual workload is likely to vary depending on assignment deadlines.

    Students are expected to attend workshops having completed the set reading for that week and any preparatory exercises.

    As this is a journalism-focused course, students are also expected to engage in watching, reading and listening to news on a regular basis throughout the semester. This engagement with news will form part of the basis for discussions and activities in workshops.
    Learning Activities Summary
    A detailed schedule of course learning activities will be posted on MyUni.

    Each week's class preparation will include a combination of readings from the textbook (Sheridan Burns), engagement with news, online reading, workshop preparation exercises and online exercises/quizzes.

    Students are expected to complete the class preparation work before either the workshop or the lecture (see MyUni for details of each week's required preparation).

    Week 1 Introduction
    The role of the news media
    Week 2

    News definitions and values
    Gatekeeping and agenda setting

    Week 3 Models of the press
    Globalisation and localisation
    Week 4 News sources
    Week 5 News research and networks
    Week 6 Interviewing skills and strategies (SGDE)
    Week 7 Interviewing across news media
    Week 8 Communicating with audiences
    Week 9 Producing news to deadline (SGDE)
    Week 10 The changing newsroom
    Week 11 Fair and ethical reporting
    Week 12 Ethical challenges in news
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Small Group Discovery Experience activities will take place in Weeks 6 and 9 where students will work closely with the Course Coordinator.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    This course has four assessment items: two completed primarily out of class, one completed partly to deadline during class time and partly out of class, and a participation mark recorded through continuous assessment of class work and engagement (including completion of online quizzes and workshop preparation exercises).

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students MUST make themselves available to complete the first part of Assignment 4 (in-class writing to deadline) during the Week 11 workshops. Any student who - for documented reasons such as illness - is unable to attend their regular workshop may be able to negotiate to attend another workshop during that week.
    Assessment Detail
    More information about assignments will be provided through MyUni and in lectures and workshops.

    Assignment 1: Online quizzes

    Assignment 2: News research and interview planning

    Assignment 3: News inquiry and presentation

    Participation and engagement (including news quizzes)

    All assignments must be submitted electronically through MyUni.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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