Course Title: News and Communication Theory

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: News and Communication Theory

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


335H Applied Communication


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014

Course Coordinator: Michael Webster

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3155

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 9.5.43

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment , via email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course examines the phenomenon of news, in particular the functions of news in society, how news is gathered, and how news is processed and communicated. During the course you will examine the journalistic processes which lead to the selection and presentation of news - the role of news media in the lives of individuals and communities; and the Australian news media as an industry, including issues such as patterns of ownership, government regulatory debates and the changing nature of media publishing brought about by new technologies and the growth of the electronic media.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program capabilities:

  • critically analyse and respond to issues and trends in the nature of news, including the impact of technologies and globalisation;
  • reflect on social and policy issues in news and communication industries and the effects of mass communication on society; and
  • communicate knowledge through situating the practice of selecting and presenting news in the context of the literature and best practice.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • compare and contrast current practice in news and communications throughout the world;
  • examine the production of news and how organisations process it;
  • identify and analyse the different theories of news and communications;
  • explore and describe issues of media ownership, government regulatory debates and the changing nature of media publishing.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course will take a blended approach in its delivery with learning activities that involves a range of activities including lectures, tutorials, group and online class discussion, group activities, peer review and individual research.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources.You will be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning. 

A Course Reader is available for purchase from the RMIT Bookshop.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities.

Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. You will be able to develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in your professional practice.

Assessment will occur during the course and at the end of the course. Methods may include any combination of assessment tasks such as reports, reflective papers, group work and presentations.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

An assessment charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document.