Course Outline

CMN130 News and Reporting

Course Coordinator:Jane Stephens ( School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2024Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course introduces basic journalism skills employed in the dynamic world of news. It examines different types of journalism and the different professional roles journalists occupy. You will consider what makes news, and why. You will also learn how news reports are prepared for radio, the web and print products, along with essential skills for capturing images for journalistic storytelling. You will encounter interviewing, consider the importance of professional ethics, and learn how to write in journalistic style. Accurate spelling, grammar, punctuation and house style will be reinforced.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Self-directed online pre-workshop asynchronous learning materials 1hr Week 1 12 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus scheduled face-to-face workshop 2hrs Week 1 12 times
Learning materials – Self-directed online pre-workshop asynchronous learning materials 1hr Week 1 12 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Interactive scheduled online workshop (recorded) 2hrs Week 1 12 times

Course Topics

What is journalism and news?

Ethics in journalism

Finding stories and sources

Interviewing for journalism

Writing news for the web, radio and television


Pitching for success

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

*Adult themes that MAY be covered depend on the news of the day.


What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Identify news values and apply them to news writing. Knowledgeable
2 Apply news writing theory to construct a news story. Empowered
3 Independently plan and write a news story of publishable standard. Ethical
4 Create engaging and newsworthy, visual components. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
5 Understand and apply journalistic ethics in newswriting. Ethical

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Formative feedback relating to Assessment Task 1 will be provided through tutorial activities in Weeks 3 and 4. Assessment Task 2 provides an opportunity to undertake journalistic writing and explore news value theory under authentic conditions. Significant written feedback is provided on all assessment.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Written Piece Individual 20%
Up to 500 words
Week 5 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Written Piece Individual 35%
500 words
Week 9 In Class
All 3 Artefact - Professional, and Written Piece Individual 45%
300 words + pic, 25 seconds
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Story Pitch
Demonstrate an understanding of what makes an effective news story and how to find appropriate sources for interview.
Product: Written Piece
Professional format. Details and exemplar will be provided in Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
News values - quality and newsworthiness of the story idea
1 4
Interviews - appropriateness of sources and interview suggestions
1 3
Organisation - the pitch itself and the information included
1 4
Content - the pitch covers the required elements and includes quality ideas for stories and visual components
1 4
Adherence to house style, spelling, punctuation and grammar
All - Assessment Task 2:Breaking News Story
Demonstrate the ability to write news under industry conditions. This task has been designed to replicate the pressures of working in a newsroom while requiring students to produce a news story.
Product: Written Piece
Students will be required to write a developing, breaking news story using information provided in class or online in Week 9. Students must be present IN PERSON during workshops (on campus or online) to submit this component of the task.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrated understanding of news values
1 2
Quality of introduction and headline
1 2
Demonstrated understanding of the online medium
Quality of writing and structure
Adherence to house style, spelling, punctuation and grammar
All - Assessment Task 3:Multi-platform news story
Demonstrate student's ability to produce a multi-media news story for online platforms and radio using professional standards of story construction; appropriate writing styles; and production and selection of images. Journalism ethics must be followed.
Product: Artefact - Professional, and Written Piece
Multi-platform news story and photograph
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrated understanding of news values and angles
Quality of interviews and sources as evidenced through direct and indirect quotes
1 3 5
Effectiveness of news writing style - overall quality of story
3 4
Effectiveness of photograph production - content, composition and quality
1 4
Demonstrated application of the conventions of radio news writing
Adherence to house style, spelling, punctuation and grammar

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

This course requires some commercial software or hardware which is provided at USC campuses for student use. If you elect to do this course online, you may either: attend a campus at which it is available, discuss alternative open source solutions with your course coordinator that would enable you to demonstrate the learning outcomes, or if you prefer, you may acquire this software and/or hardware at your own expense.

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all field activities and a low level of health and safety risk exists. Some risks concerns may include working in an unknown environment as well as slip and trip hazards. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%.
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale.
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

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General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
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