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JRN1020 Introduction to Professional Journalism

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: Intro Professional Journalism
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 100703 - Journalism
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 4 August 2021


Examiner: Kylie Douglas

Other requisites

Students who have completed JRN1000 should not enrol in JRN1020.
Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


JRN1020 Introduction to Professional Journalism is the foundation practice course in the journalism major. In this course, students learn the principles of quality journalism, as well as how to make sense of and write about what is going on in the world, thus beginning the journey towards competence in journalism.


This course is designed to introduce students to writing for the news media and the theoretical models underpinning their practices. Emphasis will be placed on the need for students to identify newsworthy information and achieve accuracy, fairness and balance within the constraints imposed regularly on journalists. Students will be introduced to news values, journalism research, interview skills and the elements that make up news stories. They will be given considerable practice in writing effective introductory sentences, handling attribution and quotations, and structuring complete news stories.


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

  1. identify and examine news history, values, style and relevant theory and ethical concepts in local and global contexts;
  2. identify, incorporate and attribute appropriate sources and original information, and make judgements based on news values and ethical decision-making;
  3. apply news values and conduct interviews to identify and obtain newsworthy information;
  4. communicate in a journalistic-style using journalistic conventions and appropriate technology;
  5. manage their journalistic practice by locating sources, competing interviews and submitting assessments by the given deadlines.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The Profession of Journalism 15.00
2. Journalistic Platforms and Practices 20.00
3. News Sources 15.00
4. Interviewing 15.00
5. News Writing 35.00

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. (

Lamble, S 2016, News as it happens: an introduction to journalism, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary.
(For International students if Macquarie not available.)
The Macquarie Dictionary.
(Any edition.)
Writing style guide (provided by 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.
Grundy, B 2012, So you want to be a journalist?: unplugged / Bruce Grundy ... [et al.], Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.
Holmes, TAD, Hadwin, S & Mottershead, G 2012, The 21st century journalism handbook: essential skills for the modern journalist, Pearson.
A thesaurus.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 77.00
Independent Study 88.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
MOODLE QUIZZES 100 15 28 Jul 2021
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 20 17 Aug 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 25 05 Oct 2021
ONLINE EXAMINATION 100 40 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. This will be an online exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule 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.

    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 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 assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    An Online Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  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

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

Date printed 4 August 2021