Introduction to Media Writing

Subject MECM10006 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture and a 2-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

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

Prerequisites: None
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:


Mr Douglas Hendrie


Subject Overview:

This subject aims to enhance students’ writing in general by introducing them to the fundamental skills used by professional writers within the Media and Communications industries. Through a workshop format, students will work on their own news stories in order to enhance their mastery of written communication. Students will be made familiar with strategies for planning, editing and revising their work, as well as that of others. Students will also become familiar with various styles and contexts of media writing and develop an introductory understanding of the various writing skills required to communicate effectively to mass audiences. In addition, through the lecture format, students will be introduced to ways of viewing media prose critically by way of theoretical considerations such as rhetoric, the relationship between print media and democracy and between journalism and public relations, editorial constraints, and audience analysis. Introduction to Media Writing is theoretically complementary to Media and Society (MECM10003), and also functions as preparation for those students who may wish to go on to Writing Journalism (MECM30010) in third year.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject will:

  • be able to evaluate the rhetorical effectiveness of a range of different examples of media writing;
  • be able to demonstrate in their own work competence in producing a general prose style appropriate for media communication across a range of prose genres;
  • understand, at an introductory level, theoretical considerations such as rhetoric, the relationship between print media and democracy, the ethics and practice of public relations, and audience analysis;
  • be able to incorporate in the execution of their writing some evidence of a basic awareness of audience, and of theoretical considerations of print media.

A total of 2000 words comprising three mass-media articles targeted at current media forms such as newspapers, student publications and magazines 50% (due in week 3, 4 and 8); participation in tutorial workshops and 500 words of contribution to online reading forums 20% (assessed throughout the semester); a total of 1500 words comprising three redrafted media articles 30% (due in the examination period).

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:

Word Bytes: Writing in the Information Society (C Lee) MUP

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 be:

  • familiar with planning, editing and revising their own and others’ writing in order to enhance and develop written communication skills;
  • able to prepare, present and discuss their own ideas in both oral and written mode, and in conformity with the conventions of academic oral
  • presentation;
  • able to participate constructively in discussion and group activities.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Media and Communications

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