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The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at //www.usq.edu.au/course/specification/current.
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JRN1010 News Literacy

Semester 1, 2015 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Arts and Communication

Contents on this page

Staffing

Examiner: Dianne Jones
Moderator: Rebecca Te'o

Other requisites

Formerly JRN2010: Students who have successfully completed JRN2010 should not enrol in JRN1010.
Students will require access to e-mail and must have internet access to UConnect for this course.

Rationale

At a time when the digital revolution is spawning an unprecedented flood of information and disinformation each day, we need to be able to judge the credibility and reliability of news reports, and we need to understand why that matters.

Synopsis

This course is designed to teach students how to become more discriminating news producers and/or consumers. The course will seek to help students recognise reliable information and teach them how to apply their critical-thinking skills so they can act on such information. As part of their instruction, students also will learn how the journalistic process works and how professional journalists make decisions.

Objectives

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

  1. define news literacy and describe why it matters to them
  2. recognise the differences between news and propaganda, news and opinion, bias and fairness, assertion and verification, and evidence and inference in news reports
  3. apply their emerging critical-thinking skills to judging the credibility and reliability of news reports
  4. demonstrate emerging skills in academic literacy by describing why there is a need for the free flow of information
  5. apply written and/or oral communication skills to describe the journalistic process and how journalists make decisions
  6. communicate in writing by preparing and submitting assignments.

Topics

Description Weighting(%)
1. News literacy: the credibility and reliability of news reports 15.00
2. The power of information: the function of news 10.00
3. Key values in the journalism neighbourhood 20.00
4. The role of the press: ?watchdog? or ?lapdog? 5.00
5. News drivers, news values and the news process 10.00
6. News and opinion: what?s the difference? 10.00
7. Deconstructing the news story 25.00
8. News consumers in the digital age 5.00

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). (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/bookweb/subject.cgi?year=2015&sem=01&subject1=JRN1010)

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/contact/)

  • Kovach, B & Rosenstiel T 2014, The elements of journalism: what newspeople should know and the public should expect, 3rd edn, Three Rivers Press, New York.

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.
  • Other readings for this course will be drawn from the various news media and academic sources, with access via URL listings (for online reading).

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assignments 60.00
Directed Study 11.00
Lectures 13.00
Private Study 55.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSESSMENT 1 100 15 31 Mar 2015 (see note 1)
ASSESSMENT 2 100 30 09 Apr 2015 (see note 2)
ASSESSMENT 3 100 15 21 May 2015 (see note 3)
EXAMINATION 2 HOURS 100 40 End S1 (see note 4)

NOTES
  1. This assignment must be completed and submitted online. Students must complete and submit all items of assessment in order to be considered for a passing grade in this course. The use of another person's work as the student's own, without appropriate acknowledgment and according to USQ's academic conventions, is plagiarism. Where such a breach of ethical conduct occurs, the assignment may receive a mark of zero.
  2. This assignment must be submitted via EASE. Students must complete and submit all items of assessment in order to be considered for a passing grade in this course. The use of another person's work as the student's own, without appropriate acknowledgment and according to USQ's academic conventions, is plagiarism. Where such a breach of ethical conduct occurs, the assignment may receive a mark of zero.
  3. This assignment must be completed and submitted online. Students must complete and submit all items of assessment in order to be considered for a passing grade in this course. The use of another person's work as the student's own, without appropriate acknowledgment and according to USQ's academic conventions, is plagiarism. Where such a breach of ethical conduct occurs, the assignment may receive a mark of zero.
  4. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students? responsibility 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.

    On-campus
    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.

  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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure http://policy.usq.edu.au/documents.php?id=14749PL (point 4.2.4)

  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:
    Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the Closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  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 http://policy.usq.edu.au.

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 and punctuation. Faults in any of these could render an assignment unacceptable.