Credit points


Campus offering

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Unit rationale, description and aim

The written word remains central to a range of industries across print and other media outlets. This unit examines a range of written discourses that are employed by the media professions. Students will learn how to source and evaluate material and will develop a clear and coherent written style that is consistent with the industry expectations for the particular genre in question.

The aim of this unit is to develop student skills in understanding and critiquing writing across media as well as researching and composing examples of industry-specific written genres across a broad range of contexts (for example, news, current affairs or entertainment features, media releases; speeches, online writing or blogs).

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe modes of writing designed for different audiences and industry-specific written genres (GA4, GA5, GA9)

LO2 - Gather information from a variety of sources and assemble it coherently for publication/distribution (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10)

LO3 - Apply knowledge of industry expectations to conduct themselves in an ethical manner when researching and writing about the community (GA1, GA3, GA5)

LO4 - Construct logical and well-ordered examples of writing following the relevant conventions for that genre of written discourse (GA5, GA9, GA10).    

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include:

  •  Media writing genres
  • An investigation of the formats and techniques used in writing for news; current affairs, media releases, and online writing genres.


  • Researching
  • Research techniques, such as interviewing
  • Evaluating and using sources, from one-on-one interviews to social media
  • Researching and writing ethically and sensitively.


  • Writing for publication
  • Writing news, current affairs or entertainment features for a range of communication outlets
  • Professional writing

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit will engage students in active learning activities, such as reading, writing, discussion and problem-solving to promote analysis, synthesis and evaluation of class content. This unit features a practice-led exploration of a range of written discourses that are employed by the media professions. In an active learning environment, the students will have the opportunity to engage with published texts in a variety of genres and then engage in writing activities which experiment with these. Assessment tasks will allow students to apply these newly acquired skills.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The schedule provides scaffolded learning with opportunities for students to practice their skills and receive feedback. The media analysis allows students to reflect on and develop the knowledge required of media professionals. The two major written tasks allow students to apply the skills of media professionals and ensure that students experience a representative sample of writing genres and practices.

  1. Media analysis is an important first step in understanding how writing across media works.
  2. Students begin with two short writing tasks in professional writing. This will enable them to develop good industry practice relevant to genre, an important writing discipline. 
  3. The final assessment requires students to demonstrate their capacity to research a topic and apply knowledge and skills in the context of an extended piece of writing. This exercise will see students apply their knowledge of industry expectations and practices to conduct themselves in an ethical manner and to deliver an extended piece of professional writing.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Media Analysis 

Students will examine writing in the media and develop a strong critical understanding of writing for a range of industries.


LO1, LO2

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Professional writing tasks

Students will study and then draft two media/professional writing outputs that meet industry standards for the genre.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Extended written piece

Students will complete a major writing task, such as a written feature.

This assessment requires students to apply knowledge and skills developed in assessments 1 and 2 to an industry-based writing genre. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Bradshaw, P. (2018). The online journalism handbook: Skills to survive and thrive in the digital age (2nd Ed.). London: Routledge.

Carol, B. (2014). Writing and editing for digital media, Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Eugenia, S. & Andreas, V. (2012). The handbook of global online journalism, Hoboken: Wiley.

Friedmann, A. (2014). Writing for visual media, Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Hennessy, B. (2015). Writing feature articles. New York: Focal.

Lamble, S. (2016). News as it happens: An introduction to journalism (3rd Ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Pearson, M. & Polden, M. (2019). The journalist’s guide to media law: A handbook for communicators in a digital world (6th Ed.). Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Ricketson, M. & Graham, C. (2017). Writing Feature Stories (2nd Ed.). Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Stovall, J. G. (2016). Writing for the mass media. Boston: Peason.

Tanner, S., Kasinger, M. & Richardson, N. (2012). Feature writing: Telling the story, 2nd Ed., South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Wheeler, A. (2019). Writing for the media, Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.

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