Writing Journalism

Subject MECM30010 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture and a 1.5-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 102-hours across the semester, including class time.





Recommended Background Knowledge:

MECM20009 Introduction to Media Writing

Non Allowed Subjects:

670-302 Writing Journalism

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/


Dr Carolyne Lee


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.


On completion of the subject students should have:

  • the ability to understand and work to professional codes of ethics;
  • a strong grasp of current journalistic practices and required skills;
  • the ability to understand the nature of editorial policies;
  • a fundamental 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, worth 65% (equivalent to 2800 words), a report and practitioner profile due in the examination period, worth 25% (equivalent to 1200 words), participation in tutorial workshops, worth 10%, assessed throughout the semester. This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% 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.

  • News As It Happens S Lamble OUP, 2011
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 Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Media and Communications
Media and Communications
Media and Communications

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