ALJ222 - From the Fourth Estate to Fake News

Unit details


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Online
Trimester 3: Burwood (Melbourne), Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Thaera OBrien
Trimester 3: Kristy Hess


Incompatible with: ALJ304
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the trimester undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - on-campus unit enrolment:

1 x 2-hour seminar per week and extensive online activities equivalent to 1 x 1-hour lecture per week

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - online unit enrolment:

Online independent and collaborative learning activities x 3-hours per week.

This will include a range of activities including recordings, and synchronous and asynchronous participation in online lectureroom activities.


Explore the functions of journalism in liberal democratic societies and how it connects — or divides — communities, from the local, national and global. You will critically examine the history of the news media, and analyse how changing business models, reforms to media regulations, and news consumption and production habits are simultaneously enriching, complicating and challenging the established values, conventions and boundaries of journalistic practices. Through critical reflection on a range of pressing issues facing working journalists, you will build your professional identity in a dynamic communication landscape to better understand and serve your communities.  

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes
ULO1 Synthesise and explain the social, economic, political and cultural factors that shape the production, distribution and consumption of the news media at the local, national and global levels

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO8: Global citizenship
ULO2 Distinguish and critically assess different approaches to journalism and evaluate the ethical challenges that arise for journalists practicing different forms of journalism

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking
ULO3 Critically analyse policy and regulatory debates, solutions and suggestions to support different approaches to journalism, drawing upon scholarly and practice-based research and media sources, government inquiries, submissions and/or activist initiatives

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO5: Problem solving


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Journalism reflection 1200 words
or equivalent
30% Week 4
Assessment 2 - Presentation 3–5 minutes presentation plus
300 word supporting documentation
30% Week 8
Assessment 3 - Explainer 1600 words
or equivalent
40% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

There is no prescribed text. Unit materials are provided via the unit site. This includes unit topic readings and references to further information.

Unit Fee Information

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