Writing Journalism

Subject MECM30010 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture and a 1.5-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170-hours across the semester, including class time.





Recommended Background Knowledge:

MECM20009 Introduction to Media Writing

Non Allowed Subjects:

670-302 Writing Journalism

Must not be taken concurrently with MECM20009 Introduction to Media Writing without Coordinator’s approval.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Mr Douglas Hendrie



Subject Overview:

This subject teaches the craft of writing hard and soft news stories for a range of digital and print mass media news publications. With an emphasis on news writing, students learn what news is and how (and why) news priorities and story treatment may differ between print, broadcast and online. The subject also looks at how traditional news writing differs from other forms of journalistic writing such as blogs or opinion/comment pieces. Students learn how accuracy, as well as clear and concise language, is vital to all kinds of journalistic writing as well as the critical differences between creative writing, public relations writing (PR) and journalistic writing. The subject introduces the core skill of interviewing with students provided with ample opportunity to put into practice what is covered in both lectures and classes. The subject also looks at professional codes of ethics and editorial policies. On completion of this subject students should have a strong grasp of current journalistic practices and required skills.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • the ability to understand pathways to the workforce and professional life in contemporary news media writing (or continued study), and journalists’ codes of ethics;
  • demonstrate a detailed knowledge of current journalistic practices, editorial policies, and required skills, including for online publishing ;
  • the skills to write effectively in the genre of news media, and to make editorial assessments about peers’ writing;
  • demonstrate a general understanding of current media law and how it directly impacts on journalists.

Assessment equivalent to 4000 words in the form of four news media pieces for a range of online, broadcast and print formats, due respectively in weeks 4, 7, 10 and end of semester 65% (equivalent to 2800 words), a report and practitioner profile due in the examination period 25% (equivalent to 1200 words), participation in tutorial workshops, assessed throughout the semester 10%.

This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

An online subject reader will be available.

  • Lamble, S., 2011, News As It Happens, OUP
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • understand the imperatives of contemporary journalism;
  • be able to demonstrate competence in writing for the media, including optimum communication techniques and methodology;
  • be able to make editorial assessments of how effectively a story has communicated facts and concepts.

This subject is not available as Breadth. This subject is available to students enrolled in the BA (Media and Communications), BA (Media and Communications)/Bachelor of Commerce, and BA (Media and Communications)/Bachelor of Laws. Students who have completed 100-105/100-205 Writing Journalism are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Certificate in Arts - Media and Communications
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Media and Communications
Media and Communications

Download PDF version.