Course Outline

CMN150 Digital Journalism

Course Coordinator:Peter English ( School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2023Semester 2

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?


The digital world is constantly changing and this course is dynamic. It delivers an introductory understanding of multimedia journalism and factual storytelling. You will learn about the value of news and how to write it, as well as theoretical debates around online delivery, including journalism ethics. The course provides you with an understanding of digital media, teaching you skills for writing and producing content. It encourages you to recognise the value of social media and video. Participating in the online publishing process and building a portfolio of content is a key element.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Self-directed, online, pre-workshop asynchronous learning materials 1.5hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On-campus, scheduled, face-to-face workshop 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Seminar – Live, face-to-face seminar 1hr Week 4 Once Only
Learning materials – Self-directed, online, pre-workshop Asynchronous learning materials 1.5hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Interactive, scheduled, online workshop (Will also be recorded) 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Seminar – Online seminar 1hr Week 4 Once Only

Course Topics

Module 1 – What is news? Reporting and news values

Module 2 – Digital publishing and ethics

Module 3 – Multimedia reporting

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 Produce content and video as a communication tool and consider their impact on the audience Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
2 Create content for the online medium that adheres to professional and ethical standards Empowered
3 Create web-based content incorporating the use of digital and video elements Knowledgeable

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

In-class feedback in Weeks 1 to 3 on appropriate usage of news writing and news style. 

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 250 words
Week 4 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece Individual 35%
Approximately 400 words using the instructions provided.
Week 9 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece Group 45%
Around 300 words of text and a video of around 1 minute.
Exam Period Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Identifying news values and writing intros
You will be given information to write the start of a series of news stories. You will also identify the primary news value in your hypothetical news stories, and select a copyright-free image to support one of these stories.
Product: Written Piece
Professional/Industry format. You will write these stories in line with news style outlined in class.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Correct news-style sentence construction
Correct, accurate, engaging and appropriate intros
Appropriate news value identification and digital photographic usage
All - Assessment Task 2:Digital production
To create web-based journalism, and critically engage with contemporary journalism issues
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece
Professional/Industry format. You will be required to plan, research and complete a blog post and an interactive social media post, written and produced to deadline in class or online, about a journalism or media issue.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Evidence of analytical reporting and engaging content
Demonstrated use of the online medium and understanding of the Content Management System
Demonstration of journalistic style and grammar usage
All - Assessment Task 3:Digital news package
To collaborate and demonstrate your ability to produce a multimedia news package for the web.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece
Professional/Industry format. In groups* organised in class you will research and produce a digital news package on a topical issue. The package includes three components: a text-based element; interactivity and audience engagement; and an audio-visual story. Each component is based on the group's own newsgathering. All visual and audio elements must be taken and recorded by the group members. This is a digital package using text, social media, visual and audio aspects to tell the story. The audio-visual component must include at least one grab from a source who you have never met before. Grabs should be the original
recordings as recorded by your group. The finished audio-visual product must be published on YouTube and embedded into a blog post along with the story text and other digital publishing elements. 

*These requirements can be modified for those studying online-only.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Organisation, structure and journalistic inquiry of news package
Use and cohesion of visual and audio recording, mixing and editing, and appropriate
Clarity and newsworthiness of text component
Use of interactivity and audience engagement features

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

To participate in this course you must have a working digital camera and a device for capturing video. HD quality smartphone, DSLR, or compact cameras are acceptable. Your camera should have some manual control functions and have an accompanying instruction manual. For video, you can use HD quality smartphones, compact digital cameras with video capacity, DSLRs or handycams. You must have an accompanying instruction manual and relevant memory cards and cables for connecting to a computer. You will also be required to cover any associated camera costs (e.g batteries, power cords, memory cards etc).
Students undertaking the workshops ONLINE will require a mobile phone or video recording device and will require a cable to transfer images and video footage from the device to a computer. Access to a tripod and microphone is highly recommended.  This course requires some commercial editing 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?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. 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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The SafeUniSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

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

Wellbeing Services

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

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

For more information, visit

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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
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
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    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
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  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890