Journalism Studies

Subject MECM40007 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, Parkville - 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

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment: 120
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma or fourth year honours in media and communication, postgraduate diploma publishing and communications, Master of Global Media Communication, and Master of Publishing and Communications
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Students who have previously completed 100-420 Journalism: Practice and Theory are not permitted to enrol in this subject.
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:


Dr David 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.


Students who complete this subject will:

  • 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; and
  • 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 are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject.
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:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • 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; and
  • possess the capacity to design, conduct and report original research.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts (Honours)(Media and Communications)
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 Communication
Media and Communications

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