MDIA 2334 - Writing the News

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2022

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of writing for a range of news media platforms. News language, news story structure and news values are key elements of writing for news media, and the course focuses on practical application of these principles across online, print, audio, video and social media platforms. The course incorporates exploration of both `hard? and `soft? news, and introduces students to a range of news forms.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MDIA 2334
    Course Writing the News
    Coordinating Unit Media
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Restrictions Available to BMedia, BCtveArts, BMus and DipMus students only
    Course Description This course introduces students to the fundamentals of writing for a range of news media platforms. News language, news story structure and news values are key elements of writing for news media, and the course focuses on practical application of these principles across online, print, audio, video and social media platforms. The course incorporates exploration of both `hard? and `soft? news, and introduces students to a range of news forms.
    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 and be able to apply principles of news language and news story structure
    2 Understand and be able to apply news values and concepts of newsworthiness
    3 Understand principles of news story structure and writing across print, audio, video and online platforms
    4 Apply principles of news story structure and writing to writing for print, audio, video and online platforms
    5 Be aware of some common sources of news and how information from these can be incorporated in news writing
    6 Understand key differences between hard and soft news and be able to apply this in writing news stories
    7 Understand influences on news writing such as audience
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.

    3, 4

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    5, 7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    A program of weekly readings will be made available through MyUni. Students are expected to complete each week's readings before attending the workshops.

    Recommended Resources
    A number of texts focusing on key journalism concepts and skills, such as news writing, can be found in the Barr Smith Library. These texts are recommended additional reading rather than essential resources. They include:

    Lamble, S (2016) News as it happens (3rd edition). South Melbourne: OUP

    Grundy, B., Hirst, M., Little, J., Hayes, M., & Treadwell, G. (2012) So You Want to Be a Journalist? Unplugged (2nd ed.). Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.

    Whitaker, W., Ramsey, J., & Smith, R. (2012). Media Writing: Print, Broadcast and Public Relations (4th ed). New York: Routledge.

    Additional reading and examples of news practice will be posted in the weekly modules on MyUni.
    Online Learning
    This course makes extensive use of MyUni and some external websites. It includes elements of blended learning. All assignments are to be submitted through MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is taught using a combination of recorded lectures and applied workshops. Each week's lecture recording will be made available
    ahead of the weekly workshops.Workshops will be a mix of face-to-face and online (through Zoom) - see timetable for details.
    Students enrolled in face-to-face workshops are welcome to attend the Zoom classes in any week if they are unable to attend their face-to-face class (e.g. because of minor illness or isolation/quarantine).
    Workshops will focus on journalism theory and practice, with an emphasis on application of skills and understandings.

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

    Workload for this course totals 156 hours. This is made up of:

    Lectures: 12 hours
    Workshops: 20 hours
    Assigned reading: 50 hours
    Assignment preparation: 30 hours
    News engagement: 44 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week-by-week course content is available on the MyUni site.
    Specific Course Requirements
    No specific course requirements.
  • 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
    Print and broadcast news stories: 20%
    Sourced news story and reflection: 30%
    In-class writing to deadling: 20%
    Hard/soft news writing: 30%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    All assessment items must be submitted in order to be eligible pass the course.
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.

    All written/recorded assignments must be submitted 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
  • Fraud Awareness

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