Course Title: Literary Journalism: The Art and Craft of Telling True Stories

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Literary Journalism: The Art and Craft of Telling True Stories

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


335H Applied Communication


Sem 2 2006


City Campus


335H Applied Communication


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014

Course Coordinator: Dr Judy Burnside-Lawry

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3128

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 9.5.32

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment via email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study

For Honours students: None
For MC080: Successful completion of COMM1132 Writing for the Media.


Alternatively you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course. Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning. Further information:;ID=x94or0ccuu7k

Course Description

This course examines the methods of reporting and writing that encompass elementary and more sophisticated feature stories, as well as the debates surrounding literary journalism (or advanced feature writing). You will investigate how literary journalists now offer some of the most vibrant and challenging texts available today and how these texts, whether literary or documentary, provide fresh insights into major issues of the day and evoke powerful public and critical responses. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program capabilities:

  • critically analyse issues and respond to trends in media and communication, including the impact of technologies and globalisation;
  • identify social and policy issues in the media and communication industries and interrogate issues in practice;
  • reflect on your own and others’ professional communication practice, in relation to professional responsibilities and ethical principles of literary journalism.


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

  • critically appraise relevant journalism theory and literary theory to define the elements of literary journalism;
  • describe the nature of two branches of literary journalism, namely profile writing and participant or undercover journalism;
  • analyse the benefits and problems inherent in the use of fictional techniques in journalism;and
  • interview people and gather material (factual and otherwise) for feature articles and literary journalism.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course will take a blended approach in its delivery with learning activities include lectures, seminars, practical exercises, group and online class discussion, group activities 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.

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.