Journalism: Practice and Theory

Subject 100-420 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture and a 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 3 contact hours/week, 7 additional hours/week. Total of 10 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours in Media and Communications OR another MA/Honours degree that has gained approval to offer this subject as an elective OR approval from the subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr David John Nolan


David Nolan

Subject Overview: This subject aims to provide students with an informed understanding of news organisation and professional practice, their informing determinants and impact on news representations. The course reviews and evaluates a wide range of theoretical frameworks and research studies and invites students to apply competing models to news materials and ethnographic and journalistic accounts of professional practice. This discussion of journalism as practice is then contrasted to normative liberal and professional views of journalism as 'fourth estate', 'independent watchdog' and provider of 'factual' information and neutral conduit of political opinion. Changing genres of journalism and news epistemologies ('ways of knowing') including tabloid TV news, current affairs programming as well as popular, serious, advertorial and online forms of newspapers are all consulted and related to wider debates about journalism in late-modern and so-called 'post-journalism' societies.
  • be able to demonstrate a familiarity with, and critical understanding of, political-economic, social-organisational and cultural approaches to understanding journalism;
  • be able to understand how journalism may be approached as a cultural field of practice, and how forces both within and outside the field impact upon it;
  • be able to consider developments in journalism formats and practices, in terms of the challenges they pose to practitioners, and their broader social implications;
  • be able to draw on a critical understanding of existing research approaches to critically explore the relation between practices and theories of journalism and textual representations.
Assessment: A media report of 2500 words 50% (due mid-semester) and an essay of 2500 words 50% (due at the end of semester). Students must attend at least 80% of classes to be eligible for assessment.
Prescribed Texts: A Subject Reader will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • possess the capacity to critically reflect on the relations between social structures and practices
  • possess the capacity to conduct research and apply knowledge to develop informed critical arguments
  • possess the capacity to articulate knowledge and understanding in oral and written communication
  • possess the capacity to design, conduct and report original research
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts (Honours)(Media and Communications)
Master of Arts (Science, Communication and Society)
Master of Global Media Communication
Master of Publishing and Communications
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Editing and Communications)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Media and Communication)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Media and Communications

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