MDIA 3328 - News in the Digital Age

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

This course examines how new digital technologies are transforming journalism and news media through new modes of production, new types of data analysis and research capabilities, as well as changes in the wider media environment. The course will provide students with a theoretically informed critical understanding of the news and journalism environment in the context of digital media. Students will develop a wider understanding of the restrictions and opportunities of the digital news environment, as well as some of the central debates within journalism and media studies.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MDIA 3328
    Course News in the Digital Age
    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 MDIA 2333
    Course Description This course examines how new digital technologies are transforming journalism and news media through new modes of production, new types of data analysis and research capabilities, as well as changes in the wider media environment. The course will provide students with a theoretically informed critical understanding of the news and journalism environment in the context of digital media. Students will develop a wider understanding of the restrictions and opportunities of the digital news environment, as well as some of the central debates within journalism and media studies.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr John Budarick

    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 changing nature of news media in a digital media environment
    2 Gain a critical understanding of key debates within the field of journalism, particularly within the context of changing media technologies
    3 Understand the impact that digital technologies have had on journalistic ideals of objectivity and professionalism
    4 Understand the need for professional ethics in journalism
    5 Gain a critical understanding of the nature and function of digital technology in news dissemination
    6 Understand news values and the way digital technology has affected them
    7 Work to deadlines individually or as part of a team.
    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)
    1 2 3 4 5 6
    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
    2 3 5 7
    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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    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
    4 7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Students will be required to purchase a hard-copy course reader, available from the University of Adelaide ICC, Hughes Building.
    Recommended Resources
    Information on recommended learning resources will be provided through MyUni.
    Online Learning
    This course makes extensive use of MyUni and some external websites. Some lecture content may be provided online through MyUni. Assignment submission is generally 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 after delivery.

    Some lecture material may be provided online through MyUni. Tutorials will expand upon the lectures and course readings. Tutorials will include a mixture of individual and small group work, including a series of in depth class debates in which key issues will be discussed in a productive manner.

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

    A guide to workload for this course is:

    • Lecture attendance: 1 hour per week
    • Workshop attendance: 2 hours per week
    • Workshop preparation: 3 hours per week
    • 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 any required preparatory exercises.
    Learning Activities Summary
    A detailed schedule of course learning activities will be posted on MyUni at the beginning of semester.

    Week       LECTURE TOPIC
    1             Introduction to the course
    2             Emergence of news and journalism in the western world
    3             Impacts of new technologies on journalism: telegraph, radio and television
    4             Impacts of digital technology on journalism part 1: Professionalsim and citizen journalism
    5             Impacts of digital technology on journalism part 2: Digital Utopianism
    6             Democracy and digital media
    7             Politics and digital news
    8             Interactivity and the online audience: The myth of audience involvement?
    9             Social media and the news
    10           News values in the digital age
    11           The future of digital journalism and news
    12           Course summary

    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no specific course requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    This course will incorporate small group learning through group workshop activities. These will include class debates, wherein students will work in small groups to engage with key debates in the fields of journalism and news.
  • 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
    Assessment in this course will measure students' ability to recall, interpret and critically analyse key learning themes, theories and tools. Assessment tasks will incorporate written assignments that demonstrate achievement of course learning outcomes. The course will consist of 4 assessment tasks: three written assignments and a tutorial participation and attendance mark.

    Extensions: extensions for assessment tasks will only be granted within university guidelines. Extensions of more than 2 days will require sufficient documentation as evidence. Extensions will not be granted for more than 10 working days.

    Extensions WILL NOT be granted for the following reasons: Other assessment pieces from other university courses due at a similar time as an assessment task from this course; external employment pressures or extra work from an employer; personal reasons without documented medical/counselling certificates. 

    Late penalties will be applied - details in Course materials.

    Assessment Tasks
    Minor Essay (1500 words)  Essay requiring students to engage with key debates on media professionalism      25% LO 2567
    Online Quiz                         Quiz testing students' knowledge of course material                                             20% LO 123456
    Major Essay                        Critical essay drawing on course material                                                              45% LO 123456
    Participation and attendance Measuring students' participation in tutorials                                                      10% LO 7
    Assessment Related Requirements
    The final assignment (assignment 3) is a hurdle requirement and must be SUBMITTED to pass this course
    Assessment Detail
    Information about assignments will be provided through MyUni and in lectures and workshops. Information about assignments can also be found in the assessment summary part of this document.
    Assignment should be submitted only through the Turnitin link provided on the course MyUni site
    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

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.