Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Producing online features is an advanced unit in the Communication sequence in the Bachelor of Arts.  

In order to operate in the contemporary media industry, practitioners must be able to conceptualise, research and produce long-form online content.  

This unit introduces students to long-form online journalism. The unit will examine a range of styles, as well as considering the practical skills involved, including interviewing, researching, writing, editing and choosing suitable multimedia elements. Students will gain knowledge in how online publications target a particular audience and publish material relevant to that audience. This unit aims to provide you with the skills to produce a range of feature styles (critical or review essay, observational feature story, themed-blog posts, immersion story, gonzo reportage, historical journalism, digital storytelling or audio slide show to name a few possible styles and formats) that are suitable for online publication, as well as how to write a pitch to a publisher. 

The aim of this unit is to build the practical skills and knowledge to write and pitch a long-form online feature. 

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 the range of online publications, with attention to audience and distribution (GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10); 

LO2 -  Define the professional, ethical and legal considerations regarding interviewing, researching and publishing material (GA1, GA4, GA5); 

LO3 - Target a feature story to a chosen media outlet or format using appropriate style (GA4, GA5); 

LO4 - Research a story, conduct interviews and gather appropriate research and audio-visual elements (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10); 

LO5 - Write in a clear, concise, accurate and engaging way using a variety of narrative conventions with audio-visual support in a coherent package (GA4, GA5, GA8, 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: 

  • Writing techniques for a variety of online feature styles  
  • Interviewing and editing techniques  
  • Choosing multimedia elements  
  • Ethical and legal considerations  
  • Understanding the market and targeting chosen media outlets 
  • How to pitch an idea to a publisher. 
  • Different technologies used to create online features.   

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit engages students in active learning activities, such as reading, writing, discussion and problem-solving to promote analysis, synthesis and evaluation of class content.  


The three-hour workshop per week allows students to develop practical knowledge and skills in writing online features. Students will undertake practical learning and assessments that focus on real world problems and challenges with the goal of developing their problem solving, decision making and investigative skills with regard to writing in a variety of styles, interviewing skills, and ultimately selling their work to a publisher. 


This unit comprises 150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. The balance of the hours becomes private study. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The practical assessments in this unit allow students to engage with the process of writing online features for publication. Students will be guided as they develop the skills necessary to conceive, develop, write and produce online features. The schedule provides scaffolded learning with opportunities for students to monitor their own progress, practice their skills and receive feedback. 

  1. Students will begin with a market report and brief pitch to develop their knowledge of the media market. Students will be required to 2-3 publishers and outline their target audience, distribution, as well as submission guidelines. 
  2. The formative article will allow students are required to write a feature (eg Profile, News Feature, Review etc) with multimedia elements (video, audio, images, graphics etc where relevant) added to gain practical experience in the field. 
  3. In the final task, students will choose one feature style (that they have not previously used) with the aim of submitting the article for publication. Students are required to submit a polished feature with multimedia elements, along with a publication proposal. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

1.Market report and pitch 

This assessment develops knowleged around industry norms related to online content. 


1, 2 

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10 

2.Formative Article  

This assessment develops skills around researching and writing up a feature. 


3, 4, 5 

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10 

3.Feature Article and Publication Proposal 

This assessment allows students to apply ‘work ready’ skills and knowledge to the production of a complete online feature.  


3, 4, 5 

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Benson, C. D., & Whitaker, C. F. (2014). Magazine Writing. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.  

Bradshaw, P. (2017). The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Digital Age(2nd ed.)  London: Taylor & Francis. 

Filak, V. (2014). Convergent Journalism: An Introduction (2nd ed.) Burlington, MA: Focal Press.  

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

Kolodzy, J (2014). Practicing Convergence Journalism: An Introduction to Cross-Media Storytelling.New York: Routledge 

Levenson, E. (2015). Creativity and feature writing: How to get hundreds of new ideas every day. New York: Routledge. 

Ricketson, M. and Graham, C. (2017).  Writing Feature Stories (2nd ed). Sydney: Allen & Unwin. 

Sumner, D. E., & Miller, H. G. (2013). Feature and magazine writing: Action, angle and anecdotes. Malden: Wiley Blackwell.  

Tanner, S., Richardson, N., & Kasinger, M. (2017). Feature writing: Telling the story. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. 

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs