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JRN3001 Online Journalism

Semester 2, 2013 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities and Communication
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Rebecca Te'o
Moderator: Dianne Jones


Pre-requisite: JRN2003

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.
This course should be completed during the student's last year in the program.


Modern journalists need special skilling to cater for contemporary audiences and contemporary newsrooms. Today, they have only seconds to file news alerts and just minutes to send out stories to keep readers informed and up to date. Yet they still need to take the time to tell the story behind the story to analyse, educate, inform and entertain.


This course prepares students for work in the modern newsroom, where the newsgathering process is in flux but the responsibilities of journalists remain firm. Within this framework, students will develop an advanced understanding of online storytelling by thinking creatively about multimedia and examining the impact of the Internet on news values and ethics. The use of web-based information to research and write news and features will also be explored. Students should come to his course equipped with knowledge of the principles and practice of journalism, and with established skills in reporting, writing and editing.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate advanced level written communication skills through having acquired knowledge and techniques of writing for journalistic practice;
  2. demonstrate ethical research and enquiry skills by being able to identify the information and resources needed to complete publications in the journalistic media of print and online;
  3. be able to prepare a project of professional standard for publication in two journalistic styles;
  4. demonstrate academic and professional literacy skills by critically evaluating and applying to publication a range of ethical and current issues involved with the practice of journalism;
  5. demonstrate management, planning and organisation skills by preparing and submitting a set project of professional standard for publication.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Planning and resources 15.00
2. Interviewing 15.00
3. Writing 15.00
4. Editing/production 40.00
5. Research 15.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Lieb, T 2009, All the news: writing and reporting for convergent media, Pearson Education Inc, New York US.
  • Wilkinson, JS, Grant, AE & Fisher DJ 2012, Principles of convergent journalism, 2nd edn, Oxford UP, New York, USA.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Bruns, A 2005, Gatewatching: collaborative online news production, P. Lang, New York.
    (Newspaper layout - typography.)
  • Craig, R 2005, Online journalism: reporting, writing and editing for new media, 2nd edn, Wadsworth, Belmont, CA.
    (Newspapers - social aspects - history - layout and typography - electronic newspapers.)
  • Flew, T 2007, New media: an introduction, 3rd edn, Oxford UP, Sydney, NSW.
  • Quinn, S 2001, Newsgathering on the net: an internet guide for Australian journalists, 2nd edn, MacMillan publishers, South Yarra.
  • Rich, C 2005, Writing and reporting news: a coaching method, 4th edn, Thomson Wadsworth, Belmost, California, USA.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 20.00
Project Work 66.00
Tutorials 13.00
Workshops 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 30 14 Aug 2013 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 35 25 Sep 2013 (see note 2)
ASSIGNMENT 3 100 35 23 Oct 2013 (see note 3)

  1. This feature must be of a publishable standard in every respect, including legal and ethical requirements. All assessment items must be submitted by the due date and time. This feature must be of a publishable standard in every respect, including legal and ethical requirements. It must include original interview material, correctly sourced information and a contacts' list detailing names and contact information for interviews conducted.
  2. This feature must be of a publishable standard in every respect, including legal and ethical requirements. All assessment items must be submitted by the due date and time. This feature must be of a publishable standard in every respect, including legal and ethical requirements. It must include original interview material, correctly sourced information and a contacts' list detailing names and contact information for interviews conducted.
  3. All University policies in regard to appropriate use of websites and web materials must be followed. Blog posts which contravene these policies will be removed and a penalty percentage deducted from the allocated grade. The Blog must be submitted with the Critical Evaluation, but completed in SEVEN weekly instalments to be posted online by the end of the indicated weeks. All entries must be submitted in hard copy with the Critical Evaluation by the due date. Evaluations without accompanying Blog posts will not be accepted.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Students may be assigned an "Incomplete" grade to signify that all the requirements of the course have not yet been met. Students who are graded "I" can pass the course by successfully completing such additional work as prescribed by the examiner by a given date. Students who have been awarded an IM, ISM, IDM or IDB grade must access information regarding further work to be completed, in the Student Centre of U Connect. The Grades Page in the Student Centre contains information about further work to be completed. Students who have not completed the additional work to the satisfaction of the examiner by the given date will receive the appropriate Failing grade.

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  2. The journalism course maintains high standards of spelling, grammar, syntax and style. Faults in any of these areas could render a project or proposal unacceptable.