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JRN3005 Journalists and Power

Semester 2, 2019 Online
Short Description: Journalists and Power
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 100703 - Journalism
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Caryn Coatney

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


This course focuses on the influential role of the news in different political systems. It provides practical skills and a theoretical foundation for fulfilling the journalist’s role in working for the public interest.


Students will examine journalism's influence in politics, society and the economy. This course emphasises journalism's role in the functions and forms of power. Students will extend their skills in higher order analysis and competencies essential for the industry.


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

  1. extend their knowledge of relevant journalism theories and the interactions between the news and different power structures
  2. analyse the impact of journalists on social change and media representations of marginalised groups including Indigenous populations
  3. communicate in writing about diverse social issues and how these have affected past and current journalism practice
  4. critically reflect about their present and future role and the journalistic practices required to bring about societal change
  5. apply advanced journalistic research, reporting and ethical decision-making skills that will enable them to report on government policy agendas.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction: the role of the press 10.00
2. Journalists, political agendas and the power play 20.00
3. Peace and conflict: how non-state actors can control news agendas 20.00
4. Follow the money: journalists and economic power 20.00
5. Diverse voices: citizen influence in the news around the world 20.00
6. Looking ahead: the future of journalism, the news and power. 10.00

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. (

As directed by the Course Examiner.

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.
As directed by the Course Examiner.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 39.00
Private Study 126.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 20 20 15 Aug 2019
ASSIGNMENT 2 40 40 19 Sep 2019
ASSIGNMENT 3 40 40 24 Oct 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities 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 for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (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 items for the course.

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  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. Referencing in assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. This guide can be found at

Other requirements

  1. Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. 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 this 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 the same grades as those students who do possess them.