Course Title: Reporting and Writing the News

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Reporting and Writing the News

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,
Sem 1 2015

Course Coordinator: Maree Curtis

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2907

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will develop the knowledge and skills needed to find, research and write effective news stories. You will also explore the issues faced by reporters when gathering and writing news, such as ethical considerations, identifying sources and generating and pitching newsworthy ideas. You will be able to understand the importance of and apply professional writing skills, including the journalist’s most basic tools - syntax, grammar, spelling and punctuation - to give you the foundations to develop your journalistic practice. You will also examine and apply the structures and styles used in newswriting.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • practise core news gathering, writing, production, presentation and technical skills to a professional standard across all media platforms
  • employ appropriate technical skills and theoretical knowledge to solve problems associated with creative work
  • effectively and professionally communicate your ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • critically reflect on your own work to demonstrate autonomy, good judgment and ethical responsibility





Course Learning Outcomes

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

  • Compare and contrast hard and soft news writing structures and styles
  • Produce professionally written, balanced news reports including seeking comment from appropriate and diverse sources
  • Critically engage with news and current affairs
  • Generate newsworthy ideas and pitch and produce news stories
  • Analyse and apply editorial feedback







Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of activities such as workshops, project work, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, individual and group activities.

Journalism students are expected to be keen consumers of news media. As well as set readings, you will be expected to read daily and weekly newspapers – The Age, Herald Sun, The Australian, Sunday Age, Sunday Herald Sun - and watch and listen to a variety of radio and television news programs.

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 also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The University Library has extensive resources for journalism students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies:

The Library provides guides on academic referencing:  and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include reports, reflective papers, creative projects and presentations, individually and in groups. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning.

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.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: