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JRN2910 - Journalism Ethics

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Elizabeth Hart


Berwick Second semester 2007 (Day)
Caulfield Second semester 2007 (Day)
Gippsland Second semester 2007 (Day)
Gippsland Second semester 2007 (Off-campus)
Singapore Second semester 2007 (Off-campus)


This unit covers the areas of professional ethics that govern journalism in Australia and in other countries. Topics include fairness and accuracy, media bias, invasion of privacy, conflict of interest, media stereotypes, self-regulation, and reporting on minorities. Students learn the extent of ethical constraints and freedoms and the tensions that arise among media owners, media regulators, journalists, and the public in reporting of news. The challenges of globalisation and of rapid technological change provide a framework within which to consider trends and dilemmas in journalism ethics in the 21st century.


Students who successfully complete this unit should be able to demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge of and practice in applying the Australian Journalists Association code of ethics and the Australian Press Council Statement of Principles and knowledge of comparative codes of ethics from other countries;
  2. Knowledge of the journalist's rights and responsibilities as defined by the Australian Journalists Association Code of Ethics and where appropriate various codes of ethics applying to other countries;
  3. Strategies to communicate in a professional way with employers and the public about ethics issues in the workplace;
  4. Ability to debate the ethics conflicts that arise between governments, the public, and the media in various press systems;
  5. Skills in news gathering, interpretation, and writing to enable students to carry out the duties of the profession of journalism in a way that honours and includes all groups in society and recognises the rights of people from various socio-economic and cultural backgrounds;
  6. Ability to critically analyse self-regulation of the media in Australia and elsewhere and to compare self-regulation with other forms of regulation of media;
  7. Understanding of trends in globalisation of the media and the implications for journalism ethics.


On-campus - Essay (1500 words): 30%
Oral presentation and written paper (1000 words): 30%
Examination (2 hours): 40% Off-campus - Essay (1500 words): 30%
Research paper (1000 words): 30%
Examination (2 hours): 40%

Contact hours

2 hour seminar per week


JRN1902 and JRN1903 or equivalents


GSC3903, GSC3910, GSC2910, JRN3910