BMA0J303 – News Practice 1

Module code
Module title
News Practice 1
This module concentrates on students' news gathering skills in a variety of realistic situations. Students will meet the requirements of legal, ethical and industry codes in producing news reports suitable for external publication.
  • BM9601
NZQA Level
Level 7
NZQA Credits
Delivery method
  • Web-Based
Learning hours
Directed hours
Self directed hours
Total learning hours
Resources required
Students will attend court sittings, council meetings, and carry out a variety of other news gathering activities.

3.1 Media law, police, court, emergency services and local government reporting
Court stories
Police stories
Emergency stories
Local government stories
Defamation - civil and criminal law
Newspaper rule
Human Rights Act
Broadcasting Act
Hierarchy of the courts
Summary jurisdiction
Defended cases including depositions, jury trials
Name suppression
Sub judice and contempt of court
Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act
Resource Management Act

3.2 General reporting
Spot news
Legal pitfalls
Respecting confidence
Interviews-face-to-face, telephone
Local media
Supplied information
News contacts list

3.3 Local government
Legal background and structure
Administration and governance
Committee and full council meetings
Standing orders, agendas, minutes
Qualified privilege
Previews and follow-ups
Conflict of interest

3.4 Contextual Research
Contextual research into contemporary domain values and constructs
Case studies and selected readings
Research strategies and reports

3.5 Communicating with a range of cultures
Content of interest to a Mori audience
New Zealand cultural identities
Content from at least one other culture
Modes of address appropriate to the audience
Learning Outcomes
2.1 Understand a process for resolving problems in news gathering
- discuss, identify and evaluate the issues within assignment briefs
- show evidence of applying skills and knowledge acquired from previous courses in assignments
- develop an individual work process for identifying and refining news ideas

2.2 Understand issues relating to media law
- demonstrate judgement in applying media law to realistic news gathering situations
- analyse and discuss the doctrine of breach of confidence
- demonstrate detailed knowledge of court proceedings in written material
- generate news reports from a range of court proceedings
- critically discuss the role of emergency services organisations as sources for news reporters

2.3 Analyse strategies for news gathering
- show evidence of planning for interview subjects
- distinguish between 'on-' and 'off-the-record' comments
- explore issues surrounding the use of confidential sources
- develop personal contacts as news sources
- generate news stories from personal contacts
- examine critically the performance of news organisations

2.4 Understand news gathering from local government organisations
- apply knowledge of meeting procedures and relevant laws to generate a range of news stories
- demonstrate knowledge of the law regulating conflict of interest
- critically evaluate the reporting of local government activities and issues
- describe the law governing disclosure of information by local authorities

2.5 Understand a process of assessment
- demonstrate the ability to extend a brief with individual, negotiated criteria
- consider and reflect upon the relationship between the news gathering process and the final product
- continuously self-evaluate performance
- initiate and participate in self/peer critiques for ongoing formative assessment
- critically consider, discuss and document self and peer performances in regular summative assessment
- actively participate in and facilitate group and class critiques

2.6 Understand the values, methodologies and strategies which inform current professional practice in a selected domain
- compare, analyse and evaluate selected texts identifying issues relevant to a specific contemporary practice
- analyse a selection of current works and identify the specific methods used in their production
- compare significant changes in methods of practice and strategies for production relevant to a specific contemporary practice
- develop and implement a strategy for the production of work which explicitly applies the analysis of values from a domain
- evaluate self practice using normative criteria derived from a current domain
- plan and implement a conventional presentation of own works
- develop critical synergies between representative texts, examples of work and self practice
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Lecturer prescribes industry or professional focus in project brief.
Students negotiate criteria.
Lecturer monitors students' progress through the time management of individual projects.
Students contribute to research of course content.
Students research briefs to extend and individualise projects.
Students identify problems with their process and adopt strategies to address those problems.
Lecturer prescribes issues, students identify specific questions in relation to those issues.
Students initiate times for critiques.
Students participate in formal assessed presentations of their work.
Students contribute to the delivery of course content.
Students negotiate and define criteria and procedures for graded assessment.
Graded assessment performed by self, peers and tutor.