Journalism Practice II

Study practical journalism at home by distance education, learning practical writing from a mentor who is a professional writer.

Course Code: BWR304
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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This module gives you hands-on experience in writing for a publication as a feature writer. You are assigned a mentor (member of our academic staff) who will oversee your role as a feature writer for an online publication, for one edition of that publication.

 

Course Aim:

Write feature articles for a publication

 

How the Module Works

1st You become familiar with a current edition of the publication

2nd You learn to use an online management system for a publication

3rd You plan content for a publication

4th You write content for an online edition of the publication

5th You submit the product to your mentor for comment

6th You make adjustments as needed

7th Your work is authorized to go live on the internet.

 

Value of this Module

It is not easy to get your work into print, yet many publishers will only consider a journalist or freelance writer who has already been published. This module gives you a unique opportunity to demonstrate your ability to write well, and to tailor your writing to the particular needs and requirements of a prospective employer.

You will also learn first-hand what it takes to get a publication from original inception to print. There is more involved than many writers realize, and a successful publication requires the cooperation and expertise of a team of individuals who work together to achieve a common goal. On graduation from this module, you will not only be a published writer, but you will have gained valuable experience as part of a publishing team. This is a marvelous opportunity for kick-starting a career in journalism, freelance writing, or in the publishing industry.

 


While there are many similarities between writing for print and electronic media, there are also some significant differences.

The most obvious difference is the need for a good working computer, a modem, and a dependable service provider. Less obvious is the need for writers to compete with an already saturated market of web-surfing readers, and a enormous amount of written material, a market in which the brightest and easiest-to-access, or those that come up first (are ranked highest by search engines) are likely to catch the readers’ attention. To compete in such a market, a writer must continually keep abreast of trends, changes, innovations – anything that will keep his or her writing topical, catchy, and at the forefront of new information.

Writing ability alone might be enough to get some writers published online, but writers with good computer skills will have more opportunities. HTML coding experience, knowledge of webpage design, expertise with a browser, skill with using different software, and other IT skills are valuable tools in the online writer’s repertoire. 

Another factor affecting online writers is the difficulty of maintaining a presence and developing loyalty among readers who have so much material at their fingertips competing for their attention, and with publishers who generally can invest less time and effort into selecting and supporting writers. Online publishing is a very fluid, fast-paced industry, and writers must establish relations with many different publishers.

Also consider the readers’ needs and interests. Reading online can be tiring, and ties the reader to a particular place and chair. The reader may quickly lose interest in articles that are more difficult to read, or too long, especially given the plethora of items available online. Writers for online publications report that must not only consider the quality and content of their submissions, but also how readers might respond to them. To counteract the boredom and discomfort of reading on screen, writers tend to write more for ‘punch’ than quality than for print media, with shorter paragraphs and sentences (more like those used in advertising). Their articles tend to include more stimulating variations on straight text, with colour, sidebars, interactive elements, links, animation, images and audio.
 
 

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How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
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Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

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If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

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This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Rachel Syers

Rachel has worked as a newspaper journalist for the past 15 years in a range of roles from sub-editor and social columnist to news reporter, covering rounds such as education, health, council, music, television, court, police, Aboriginal and Islander affa

Rosemary Davies

Businesswoman, Journalist, Editor, Broadcaster, Teacher, Consultant for over 30 years.

Tracey Jones

Widely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience.
Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Lear





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Lachlan Allan

BA (Hons) Business Administration, BEng (Hons) Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Lachlan has experience in the hospitality, banking and utilities sectors in managerial positions in the UK. Following a career change after moving to Australia, he is also experienced in the medical engineering field where he was an engineer responsible for devices at hospital sites and laboratories

Julia Mayo-Ramsay

PhD (University of Tasmania), Graduate Certificate in Maritime Safety (AMC) LLM (Environmental Law ANU), GDLP (ANU), LLB (SCU), BL&JS (SCU), MAppSc (Hawkesbury), Graduate Diploma Agriculture (Hawkesbury), Certificate IV Training & Assessment, Certificate IV Frontline Management.

Dr Julia Mayo-Ramsay is a practising environmental and agricultural lawyer. She holds a PhD in International Environmental Law, LLM, BLJS, GDLP, LLM (Environmental Law) and a Master of Applied Science (Agriculture).
Julia started out in agriculture working on various dairy farms in the 1980s before working as dairy manager / tutor at Hawkesbury Agricultural College Richmond NSW. Julia then went on to work at Riverina Artificial Breeders at Tabletop (Albury) NSW as an embryo transfer technician assisting vets with artificial breeding and embryo transfer in cattle, sheep and deer. This was followed by two years as a herd manager for a very large commercial dairy herd milking 3,000 cows over three dairies on the outskirts of Sydney before heading overseas. In 1994 Julia accepted a position in NE Thailand at the Sakhon Nakhon Institute of Technology (now a University) training farmers and students in cattle breeding and dairy farm management. On returning to Australia in late 1996 Julia completed a Master of Applied Science in Agriculture at Hawkesbury Agricultural College (UWS) as well as law degrees and maritime studies. Julia now works as a Lawyer in the area of environmental and rural law.
Currently Julia teaches a variety of maritime subjects for Marine Rescue NSW.
As well as teaching Julia is working on a number of environmental research projects.

Rosemary Davies

B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing

Originally from Melbourne, Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Burnley, a campus of Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer.

She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe.

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