Siren Watcher

Siren Watcher Researcher Writer - Macleay College

Diploma of Journalism

Institution: Macleay College

Course Description:

Develop valuable skills in long-form journalism, MOJO (mobile journalism), social media journalism, video, audio and visual storytelling. Learn how to question, research and report as you cover breaking news and trending topics both individually and in teams.

Designed and taught by experienced industry professionals, the Diploma of Journalism course focuses on the latest digital trends in journalism and newsroom practice. Small classes (25 or fewer students) encourage participation and allow for unprecedented personalised teaching and one-on-one guidance.

Course Outcome:

You’ll be studying in an accelerated creative learning environment where everyone has the opportunity to weigh in on story ideas, filming and editing. Together with your peers, you’ll dive deep into the art of reporting on the topics that interest you, like politics, economics, fashion, sports, music and more. You’ll also work on real stories across all media platforms, both individually and in teams, and contribute to the national award-winning student-run journalism website Hatch.

  • Potential job opportunities
  • Digital Journalist
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Investigative Reporter
  • Radio Presenter
  • Digital Producer
  • News Reporter
  • Social Media Editor
  • Sports Journalist
  • Travel Writer

Completed Units:

Broadcast Research and Production

  • Researching stories for radio and television.
  • Analysis of formats within each medium.
  • The role of researchers and producers.
  • Writing newsbreaks, breaking stories.
  • 30 second voiceovers for television news and current affairs.
  • Preparing research briefs.
  • Compilation of news and current affairs.
  • Structuring a bulletin.
  • Comparing commercial and non-commercial news.
  • Identifying target audiences.
  • Roles and responsibilities of production staff.
  • Producing television programs.
  • Story presentation for television.
  • Terminology and style guidelines.

News Reporting

  • Source of news stories:
    • News rounds and contacts.
    • Media releases and contacts.
  • Freedom of Information Act.
  • Writing news sentences and introductions.
  • News styles – numbers, dates, spelling, punctuation, grammar.
  • Structure of news stories.
  • News interviews.
  • Reporting information.
  • Reporting speech.
  • Political and court reporting.
  • Council reporting.
  • Reporting from news releases.
  • Journalistic ethics.
  • News rounds.
  • The news conference.

Media Presentation

  • Voice presentation skills.
  • Techniques for improving enunciation, pace and projection.
  • Developing a professional media persona.
  • Projecting the voice and conveying personality on radio.
  • Researching and understanding your content.
  • TV presentation skills.
  • Grooming, body language and facial expression.
  • Analysis of TV talent and role models.
  • On-camera techniques.
  • Writing, shaping and timing the script.
  • Presenting pieces to camera.
  • News and lifestyle – how they differ.

Radio Journalism

  • Radio news, current affairs and features.
  • Writing for radio.
  • Writing radio news copy.
  • Voice development.
  • Developed interview skills.
  • Interviewing for news and interviewing for current affairs.
  • Familiarisation with portable and studio equipment.
  • Recording and using actuality.
  • Preparing and recording voice reports.
  • MiniDisc editing and dubbing.
  • Computer audio editing – ProTools LE.
  • Preparing carts from various sources.
  • Compiling a news bulletin.
  • Preparing air shifts.
  • Understanding radio demography.
  • Program planning and production.
  • Professional replay of programs.


Certificate course taken at the University of Technology Sydney.

Television Journalism

  • Writing for television news:
    • Scripting of news stories.
    • Writing links for stories.
    • Picture selection/shot lists.
  • On-camera presentation:
    • Stand ups.
    • Reversal questions.
    • Cutaways.
    • Studio presentation
    • Reading autocue
  • Interviewing for television.
  • Editing/post production.
  • Basic voice production.
  • Story research.

Feature Writing

  • Magazine and newspaper styles.
  • Feature story leads.
  • Structure of feature stories.
  • Interviews for features.
  • Personality profiles.
  • Writing opinion.
  • Writing features for publication.

Professional Practice

  • Professional conduct.
  • News judgement.
  • Practical grammar and punctuation.
  • Writing styles.
  • Ethics.
  • Current Affairs.
  • Major Australian news events and personalities.
  • Research skills.

Media Law

  • The Common Law System.
  • Law of defamation.
  • Intellectual property – Copyright, Trademarks and Patents.
  • Confidentiality.
  • The Broadcasting Act.
  • Broadcasting standards and ‘Codes of Practice’.
  • Contempt of court and Parliament.
  • Media self-regulation – The Press Council.
  • The Federal Privacy Regime.
  • Trespass to land the Law of nuisance.
  • Anti-discrimination law.

Video Journalism

  • Understanding of the new media environment with a focus on online video journalism.
  • Multiskilling techniques including:
    • Filming overlay sequences and interviews.
    • Recording sound.
    • Video Editing using Final Cut Pro.
    • Writing videojournalism scripts, specialising in short packages.
    • Presenting techniques, including pieces-to-camera and voiceovers.

Print Editing and Production

  • Designing a page layout using templated typography and dimensions.
  • Importing copy and pictures into an InDesign template.
  • Copy fitting.
  • Writing headlines, intros and captions.
  • Selecting and inserting pull quotes.
  • Selecting, sizing and positioning picture illustrations.
  • Layout.
  • Correcting page proofs.
  • Electronic file management.

News Research and the Internet

  • Web based tools for reporters.
  • Useful websites for reporters.
  • Learning to search and not surf.
  • Online pitfalls for reporters.
  • Traditional reporting resources on the internet.
  • New and emerging internet resources.
  • Evaluating website reliability.
  • Adopting efficient, online research routines.
  • News monitoring on the internet.
  • Awareness of media manipulation.


  • Single Lens Reflex Camera (film) operation and practice.
  • Editorial photography – theory and practice.
  • Introduction to visual literacy.
  • Questions of ethical practice.
  • Composition and lighting/flash.
  • Film types and digital cameras.

Career Planning / Job Seeking Skills

  • Career goal setting.
  • Planning and decision-making.
  • Strategic job searching:
    • Networking.
    • Organisation research/exploration.
    • Self-organisation.
    • Self-marketing/presentation.
  • Resume preparation and presentation.
  • Letter writing.
  • Job interviews.


  • Checking stories for accuracy.
  • Correcting grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  • Re-writing copy.
  • Writing headlines.
  • Writing introductions.
  • Writing captions.
  • Fitting copy to page layout.
  • Proof-reading.
  • Using the Internet as a research tool.

Public Relations

  • Understanding of Australian public relations practice.
  • Pitching to Journalists.
  • Identifying publics.
  • Examples of public relations activities and programs.
  • Media relations.
  • Writing media releases.
  • Planning PR Campaigns.
  • Issues management.
  • Managing interviews.

Computer Layout and Design

  • Enter and import text.
  • Character and paragraph formatting.
  • Creating and using styles.
  • Manipulating images.
  • Wrapping text.
  • Lines and colours.
  • Inserting and deleting pages.
  • Master pages.

Computer Studies

  • Powerpoint
    • Create slide and presentations.
    • Add graphs, tables, pictures and word art.
    • Format and animate text.
    • Present a slide show.
    • Prepare notes and handouts.
    • Insert action buttons and hyperlinks.
  • Photoshop
    • Various selection methods.
    • Image retouching.
    • Colour.
    • Cloning to remove unwanted objects.
    • Cropping.
    • Contrast brightness and levels.
    • Image sharpening.
    • Changing image modes.
    • Layers and layer properties.
    • Resizing images for print.

Word Processing

  • Creating, editing, saving and retrieving documents.
  • Formatting, moving and copying text and paragraphs.
  • Paragraph and text styles.
  • Headers and footers.
  • Searching, replacing and sorting text.
  • Creating newspaper columns.
  • Spelling and proof reading.
  • Inserting breaks, symbols.
  • Importing and manipulating graphics.
  • Designing newsletters.
  • Page setup and printing.
  • Mail merge.
  • Tables.
  • Styles.


  • Typing Speed: 75 words per minute
  • Accuracy: 100 percent.
  • Completed a course in Keyboarding.

… leave Education: Diploma of Journalism

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