Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitJournalism
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2015 (Day)
Caulfield Second semester 2015 (Online)
Coordinator(s)Dr Johan Lidberg


This unit provides students with an opportunity for a critical engagement with contemporary scholarship on the legal and ethical contexts of news and long format journalistic production. Legal topics covered include the historical and geographical development of doctrines such as freedom of the press, the laws of defamation and contempt, professional confidentiality, freedom of information, copyright, censorship and freedom of expression and racial vilification. Examples of ethical concepts covered are; media accountability, cheque book journalism, codes of ethics and relationship to sources.


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

  1. Demonstrate a satisfactory knowledge and capacity to make effective usage of the academic literature covering law and ethics relevant to journalism;
  2. Demonstrate an ability to research, discuss and analyse relevant scholarly issues in a clear, concise and rigorous way;
  3. Collaborate constructively with fellow students in learning and discussion processes, including online forums;
  4. Produce their written work to deadline making effective use of the conventions of scholarly presentation (references, bibliography, etc);
  5. Work independently and in groups to achieve their learning outcomes;
  6. Reflect critically on one of the core questions in journalism studies: what is journalism for?


Within semester assessment: 80%
Exam: 20%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units. It is highly recommended that students only take this unit after they have completed two first-year level units in Journalism.