Course Title: Journalism Ethics, Law and Power

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Journalism Ethics, Law and Power

Credit Points: 24


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019

Course Coordinator: Dr Josie Vine

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3596

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 9 Level 4 Room 56

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study

Successful completion of COMM2657 Understanding Journalism.


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: Credit at RMIT

Course Description

This course examines the theory, ethics and regulatory systems that underpin journalistic practice and influence the way journalists operate. It will also introduce you to the laws and regulations that govern journalists and media organisations. Through critical examination and analysis, you will develop knowledge and skills how to apply these concepts and regulations to different aspects of journalistic practice.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


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

  • Analyse and apply the key regulations and legislation governing journalism to your practice.
  • Apply critical thinking with an ethical framework to gather and report on news.
  • Critically examine the restrictions key laws and regulations impose on the news media and journalists.
  • Produce a wide range of stories that satisfy ethical and legal restrictions and are suitable for publication across multiple platforms.
  • Produce stories, particularly for journalistic rounds such as police, court and politics, that satisfy ethical, legal and government policy requirements.

Overview of Learning Activities

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

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.