Bachelor of Communication Arts (Journalism)

BA (Journalism)

Requisites to complete the award

Achievement of 320 credit points or 40 credit points each semester

Duration of Study

The main program of the Communication Arts Department is the four-year Bachelor of Communication Arts (Journalism). Students learn print media, radio, television, internet and publishing skills using modern electronic facilities.

Study Mode and Location

Students can apply for a Full time study (4 years) and live on campus or they can also apply for full time study and live off campus.

Entry Requirements

•    An ‘A’ or ‘B’ in English at Grade 12 level
•    A letter outlining the reasons for wanting to study Communication Arts at DWU
•    Good references

First Year

Semester One

CA121       Communication Skills
CA122       Introduction to Journalism
CA123       News and Current Affairs Awareness 1
IS117         End-User Computing and Word Processing
RS234       Christian Ethics

Semester Two

CA124       PNG Infrastructure
CA125       PNG History
CA127       Basic Reporting
PG107       PNG Literature
PG131       PNG Politics and Public Administration

Second Year

Semester One

CA221       News and Current Affairs Awareness 2
CA222       Community Reporting 1
CA223       Layout and Design
CA224       Broadcast Journalism 1
CA225       Media Law and Ethics

Semester Two

CA226       Introduction to Politics
CA227       Media and Society
CA228       Community Reporting 2
CA229       Broadcast and Journalism 2
CA230       Family and Social Issues

Third Year

Semester One

CA323       Publishing
CA324       Television News
CA327       Communication and Development
CA328       Feature Writing

Semester Two

CA329       Public Relations Theory & Practice
IS209         Internet Applications
BS317        Human Resource Management
CA321        Asia- Pacific Development Issues (E)
PG307        Issues in Oral History (E)
PG308        Gender Issues (E)
IR304         Diplomacy & Negotiation (E)

Fourth Year

Semester One

CA421       In-Depth Reporting
CA422       Applied Research for Social Sciences
CA423       Communication Skills for NGO Workers (E)
PG405       Leading and Managing a Major Change Project (E)
PG458       Globalisation in the Pacific (E)
IR432        Geopolitics in Asia-Pacific (E)

Semester Two

CA424        Research Seminars and Dissertation
CA426        TV Current Affairs Programs (E)
PG407        Film Studies for Development (E)

Reserve Units

CA126   Tok Pisin - 8 Credit Points

CA325    Radio News - 10 Credit Points

CA425    Radio Programs - 10 Credit Points

Certificate in English Language Arts

The curriculum is based on the language text Cutting Edge, modules 1-15. This text has graded editions: beginning, intermediate, advanced intermediate and advanced. The text has both teacher books and student work books, a CDROM and supplementary digital resources for each level. Specific topics, language focus, grammar, vocabulary and activities in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are outlined. For example:


Module 1 (Beginner):  Nice to meet you
Real life: Saying hello and good-bye
Grammar: Personal pronouns / question forms
Vocabulary: The alphabet, jobs, numbers
Reading: Personal information / profile of famous people
Writing: Capital letters, punctuation marks

Module 2

Module 2 (Beginner): Around the world
Real life: Phone numbers, filling in a form
Grammar: Pronouns in affirmative and negative questions
Vocabulary: Countries and nationalities
Reading: Living in the Antarctic / You’re amazing
Writing: Filling in a form, writing about oneself

Module 3

Module 3 (Pre-Intermediate): Leisure and lifestyle
Real life: Questions you can’t live without
Grammar: Revision of question forms, present simple
Vocabulary: Leisure activities
Reading: Unusual ways of keeping fit
Writing: Write a fact file

There are no formal academic requirements for entry into this program. Those who might want to use the program as part of a matriculation program would need either PNG Grade 10 achievements or other achievements in lieu of this basic educational level.


Unit Descriptions


CA121 Communication Skills- 8 Credit Points

Students in the communications field in PNG must become good communicators both verbally and in writing. In this unit students develop skills in speaking effectively and in writing clear Standard English. Students make short speeches, engage in debates, conduct interviews and participate in group drama in order to improve their skills and confidence in communicating with people. They practise different forms of writing, including news reports, summaries, critical responses and academic essays with attention to succinct sentence construction, verb tenses, spelling and vocabulary.


CA122 Introduction to Journalism- 8 Credit Points

In this unit students appreciate the key concepts in the study of journalism and discuss issues related to the role of journalists in society. All topics are treated within the PNG context. Although most students will not become journalists within the mainstream media in PNG, all students develop transferable journalism knowledge and skills in order to find their place in the wider communications sector.


CA123 News and Current Affairs Awareness 1- 8 Credit Points

The News and Current Affairs Awareness unit explores the PNG mainstream media and the ways in which issues are reported in the news each day. Students learn to take an interest in the news and to critically analyse the information and opinion presented in all forms of PNG media through seminars and group discussion. Students compile news logs for print, radio and television and present case studies.


CA124 PNG Infrastructure - 8 Credit Points

It is essential that journalists have a good understanding of how their country works. In the PNG Infrastructure unit students broaden their understanding of news stories and learn how to identify appropriate sources of information. Students gain a basic knowledge of how their country works, including national and provincial government, courts and the law, health and other essential services, tourism, business and industry, churches and religions, charities and aid organisations, NGO’s, sporting associations and leisure providers.


CA125 PNG History - 8 Credit Points

In this unit students examine and discuss the achievements of their ancestors, the colonial experience and most recent developments of the post-independence period. The unit puts emphasis on the experience of being colonised. Students explore the ways in which villagers who became ‘Papuans’ and ‘New Guineans’ responded to the ideas, images and institutions imported by the colonisers. Students are encouraged to appreciate the cultural and historical context through which PNG became a Sovereign Nation State.


CA126 Tok Pisin - 10 Credit Points

Tok Pisin is the second language of media communication in Papua New Guinea. Journalists need to be able to accurately translate spoken Tok Pisin into written English and vice versa. Translation is not possible on a word-by-word basis, so students study the principles of good translation. Students will analyse both Tok Pisin and English media presentations and learn the skills required to write stories in Tok Pisin.


CA127 Basic Reporting - 8 Credit Points

This unit covers the fundamental skills required to write news story. Students learn to write stories that are clear, logical and accurate. They examine the role of the reporter in the structure of news organisations, news values and news judgment, newsgathering, interviewing and news writing techniques. Students demonstrate competence at developing story ideas and writing a basic news story, using correct grammar and style.


CA221 News and Current Affairs Awareness 2 - 8 Credit Points

This unit focuses on international media and international news issues. Through observing, discussing, describing, comparing and analysing news media outlets from around the globe, students develop media literacy skills. Students develop the skills to critically engage with various news media outlets. They compare and contrast various international news media outlets with equivalent outlets in PNG. Students approach the media critically through concepts such as ownership models, local content, the use of news as a commodity and as a concept when analysing the way PNG and international news media address issues.


CA222 Community Reporting 1- 8 Credit Points

In this unit students consider news reporting in the context of PNG as a developing country and realise the significance of journalism in national development. While emphasis is on the daily newsroom context, students explore issues-based reporting. Students use their own initiative to find, develop and write stories that are suitable for publication in the national media and the department’s training newssheet Liklik Diwai. They develop individual specialist knowledge of issues of importance in Papua New Guinea as the basis for gathering and writing news stories.


CA223 Layout and Design- 8 Credit Points

The Layout and Design unit integrates the theory of design for print media with the practical application of this knowledge using PageMaker desktop publishing software. Students learn the technical computer skills required to create page layouts using PageMaker and edit images using Photoshop, through practical instruction, supervised practical application of skills, and practical exercises. They learn the principles of typography and graphic design through theory lectures, group work and practical exercises. This knowledge is put into practice by producing the department’s newspaper, Liklik Diwai.


CA224 Broadcast Journalism 1- 8 Credit Points

The Broadcast Journalism unit introduces the skills needed to succeed in today’s radio news environment. It also provides an introduction to radio news and current affairs production. Using equipment in the Department’s Electronic Media Training Facility, students gain the skills needed to produce radio news and current affairs. Students practise digital recording and editing through the use of mini-disc recorders and Pro Tools editing software. The skills students learn include newsgathering, interviewing skills for radio, writing radio scripts and editing recorded materials.


CA225 Media Law and Ethics- 8 Credit Points

The Media Law and Ethics unit examines the ethical demands on today’s journalists and looks at the role of the PNG Media Council and its proposed Complaints Tribunal. Codes of Conduct are considered and their strengths and weaknesses explored. Issues such as accuracy, balance, fairness, privacy, harassment, discrimination, taste, decency, confidential sources and misinformation are also examined. Students become familiar with essential laws for journalists, including defamation and restrictions on the reporting of crime and courts. High ethical standards are of increasing importance to PNG’s media.


CA226 Introduction to Politics- 8 Credit Points

The Introduction to Politics unit encourages students to be aware of issues which form the basis of politics and governance in society. Political theories, perspectives and concepts of power, governance, provincial government reforms, electoral reforms, political accountability, corruption and sustainable development are explored and discussed. Students describe and discuss the dominant concepts and theories in politics, analyse factors influencing political decision-making and recognise political constrains and evaluate their importance in national development contexts.


CA227 Media and Society - 8 Credit Points

This unit explores the role of the media in contemporary society, the main communication concepts and a range of theoretical approaches for analysis of media. It defines media studies, the relationship between media and society, communication in traditional and modern societies, the use of language, gender, ethnic and social representation in the media, media ownership, power and advertising, and media in developing societies. Students learn how to view critically the role of media in their society and use appropriate concepts and approaches in their analysis. The coursework develops students’ academic reading and writing skills.


CA228 Community Reporting 2 - 8 Credit Points

Building on Community Reporting 1, this unit emphasises issues-based reporting while reinforcing the routines of daily news reporting. Students visit the courts and learn the correct procedures for court reporting. They examine reporting issues in the PNG context and write feature articles as well as news reports. Students again provide news copy for Liklik Diwai and selected copies will also be forwarded to the national news media and other organizations.


CA229 Broadcast Journalism 2- 8 Credit Points

The first module of this unit extends the basic skills learnt in Broadcast Journalism 1. In the radio module students script and produce news stories and a twenty-minute radio program featuring news, current issues and profile interviews. In the second module students are introduced to the basics of television, including what TV pictures are, how TV stations work, how programs get on air, the components of television language and the visual grammar of motion pictures that help to tell a story visually. Students conduct and shoot an interview and write the script for TV news packages.


CA230 Family and Social Issues- 8 Credit Points

In the Family and Social Issues unit, students develop the skills to examine contemporary social, community and development issues. Communication specialists need to understand the range of issues impacting on families and communities in our rapidly changing society. Students identify social issues, such as traditional and church marriages, polygamy, HIV/AIDS, violence, gender inequalities, corruption, poverty and development and explore their impact on society. Students creatively apply their news story and feature writing skills, as well as layout and design skills, by producing material suitable for publication.


CA299 Work Experience - 8 Credit Points

In the Communication Arts program, students undertake work experience in a media organization or a communications workplace. Work experience provides students with exposure to the daily routine of newsrooms and the requirements of media offices in an organization. Students undertake a range of duties according to the requirements of the particular organization and apply a range of relevant skills and knowledge. Students record, review and evaluate the work performed under supervision in the workplace.


CA321 Asia-Pacific Development Issues- 10 Credit Points

This unit provides an overview of political, economic and social theories and how they can be put into practice in PNG and other developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Issues such as population, poverty, concepts of democratic rule and globalization are discussed. Case studies of various ASEAN countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia are studied as comparative analysis of the development challenges impacting the life of the people and the countries of the region.


CA322 Creative Writing - 10 Credit Points

The Creative Writing unit gives students the opportunity to explore experiences, ideas, emotions, and images in their own words. They develop language skills, vocabulary, sensibility, and confidence in their own creative, literary and imaginative skills through intense writing exercises. The unit includes lectures on literary techniques, and various forms of poetry, short stories and prose.


CA323 Publishing - 10 Credit Points

The Publishing unit has two main elements: editorial skills (reporting and sub-editing); and production skills (layout and design). For design and production, students use QuarkXPress and Photoshop software, putting their creative skills into practice by planning and producing a publication as a team. Students submit their own ideas for this publication project, which could be a one-off magazine or a book. The publication will be sub-edited by all the students, demonstrating how sub-editing improves copy, thereby producing professional-looking publications.


CA324 Television News - 10 Credit Points

In this unit, students learn the practical aspects of television news journalism. Students identify, shoot and produce items of broadcast quality for television news. Analysis of broadcast news provides a foundation for students to undertake pre-production, production and post-production of two-minute news items.


CA325 Radio News- 10 Credit Points

The Radio News unit develops skills for in-depth reporting on radio. Students gather quality audio for broadcast and become comfortable with the technology required to produce radio news. They learn how to communicate effectively to the listener, paying attention to the details and complexity of the day’s news. Students research stories, check facts and complete work within tight deadlines. This unit enables students to individually produce a 4-5 minute radio news or current affairs story in one day and to have the ability, as part of a team, to produce a half-hour current affairs program.


CA327 Communication and Development - 10 Credit Points

Can the media influence change? Should the media try to influence change? What is the role of the media in a developing country? The unit approaches the issues of communication and development through the study of various theories of development and differing models of communication. It explores people’s right to information, access to information, participation and empowerment. Students critically analyse the role of the media as an agent of nationalism, the relationship between the media and government in developing countries, and the role the media plays in formal and informal education.


CA328 Feature Writing - 10 Credit Points

Students analyse features in print and examine the role of television and radio documentaries. The unit concentrates on the fundamentals of feature writing and explores how true features differ from in-depth news reports and shorter articles. The unit covers the ground rules for successful features: focusing on an idea, different types of introductions and endings and how to structure a feature. It looks at the importance of getting good quotes and anecdotes. Students apply the ground rules to write features such as travel, social comment, human interest and first person.


CA421 In-Depth Reporting - 10 Credit Points

The In-Depth Reporting unit concentrates on the skills required to research and prepare material for publication. The emphasis is on finding material, developing research strategies and problem solving. Students are encouraged to evaluate their own work and to devise strategies for self-improvement. Students produce two research reports and one in-depth news background feature article.


CA422 Applied Research for Social Science- 10 Credit Points

This unit is an introduction to applied social research methods with an emphasis on communication research. Students gain competency in the processes and skills of social and cultural (communication/media) inquiry. They learn about quantitative and qualitative types of research, steps in the research process and the use of standard data-gathering instruments. They learn to present their findings within the genre of discursive writing, paying special attention to logic and argumentative skills. This unit is a prerequisite to the main research project that fourth year students undertake in their final semester of studies.


CA423Communication Skills for NGO Workers- 10 Credit Points

There is increasing demand for professionals with communication and publishing skills to work within NGOs and small organizations. Students learn how these organizations work and develop skills to meet their needs. They produce publications such as leaflets and newsletters, and the stages of planning media campaigns that promote the work of organisations. They learn how to attract publicity for organisations through writing press releases and giving interviews. The issues involved in working in public relations in a developing country, and crisis management are also covered.


CA424 Research Seminars and Dissertation- 10 Credit Points

Students proceed through the stages of an extended research project from the formulation of an original hypothesis, through a literature review, multiple modes of data collection, data analysis and expressing the findings and recommendations for further study. Each project requires a tailored social research method and extends over the full academic year, in the production of an 8000 minimum word document.


CA425 Radio Programs -10 Credit Points

The Radio Programs unit develops students’ skills in planning and producing a substantial work for radio. Students plans, research, produce and deliver radio features of industry quality. The unit requires students to be self-motivated learners and producers. Students work individually on their features, completing them to a deadline before presenting them to their peers. Students extend their digital audio production, scripting and planning skills. Teaching is by tutorials, oral presentations, intense practical work, self and peer evaluation.


CA426 TV Current Affairs Programs- 10 Credit Points

Television journalists need to be able to produce more than simple news stories and need to be able to develop segments for current affairs programs by introducing context, background and analysis. In this unit students concentrate on producing 5 minute current affairs programs.


IS117 End-User Computing & Word Processing (Service Unit)- 8 Credit Points

This unit provides an introduction to the PC including its structure and place in the home or small office environment. It seeks to develop basic computer literacy and typing skills. Included is an understanding and facility with the use of a graphical user interface. Students are also provided with skills to use an Office suite of software, email, Internet and an intranet. Word Processing is an essential skill in the home and the small office and for student assignment writing. Students are given a comprehensive introduction to the basics of text formatting using word processing software.


RS234 Christian Ethics - 8 Credit Points

Ethics is a systematic, critical study concerned with the evaluation of human conduct to help male decisions about the future. It is concerned about what is right, fair, just or good; about what we ought to do, not just what is the case or what is most acceptable or expedient. Christian ethics is the critical evaluation of human conduct from a Christian perspective. In this course, students will explore the understanding, sources and importance of ethics in everybody’s personal and professional life.


IS209 Internet Applications (Service unit) - 10 Credit Points

The Internet is a worldwide interconnection of networks. It has no single central file server nor does a single computer control it. One of the software Internet applications is the World Wide Web (WWW). The WWW consists of a huge collection of hypertext-linked documents (HTML documents) stored on computers around the world. Students study and explore the dynamics of World Wide Web and how it can be used as a research and communication tool that would lead them into making informed decisions about the impacts the Internet and World Wide Web have on our changing society.


PG107 PNG Literature- 8 Credit Points

This unit introduces students to Papua New Guinean oral literature and contemporary literature. Students collect myths and legends to explore PNG’s oral literature and traditions. Contemporary Papua New Guinean literature is studied, in the form of poems, short stories, novels and drama. Students analyse, discuss and synthesise the issues raised. They also study and critique writing styles. The important issues of literacy, readership, authorship, and the historical development of PNG literature are also discussed. In this unit students acquire critiquing skills, oral presentation skills and referencing skills.


PG131 PNG Politics and Public Administration - 8 Credit Points

In PNG Politics and Public Institutions, students explore concepts and ideas about politics in general with particular emphasis on politics in Papua New Guinea. Students analyse theories in politics and apply these theories to PNG society. Students study the nature of public institutions in PNG; what they are, their administration, functions, roles, problems and implications on society. Students investigate policy, particularly theories about policy and policymaking in Papua New Guinea.


PG307 Issues in Oral History - 10 Credit Points

This unit surveys current and recent writings on the aims, methods and varieties of oral history, particularly, as these deal with issues such as: relationships between oral history and oral traditions, oral histories and indigenous people, women’s voices, ‘Holocaust’ histories, life histories, myths and oral histories, memory and history. Students explore a range of issues to do with the practice of oral history, through hands-on experiences in interviewing, recording, transcribing, translating and reflecting on oral testimonies; and ethical issues, like ownership, rights, and privacy for informants. Students prepare for field projects in their ‘home’ regions.


PG308 Gender Issues- 10 Credit Points

In this unit, contemporary gender issues are explored with sensitivity to cultural settings, awareness of change and a recognition that equal participation of men and women is fundamental to national development. Cultural perspectives, changes in women’s roles, the need for women’s education, issues in defining identity, educational and career opportunities, gender equity, the challenge of being mothers and professionals, the management of family priorities and professional goals, and equal participation are all addressed. Underlying philosophical, social and political theories are examined with specific case studies. Women in literature and media images of women are examined.


BS317 Human Resource Management - 10 Credit Points

The unit introduces students to the functions and practice of Human Resource Management (HRM) in organisations seeking to deliver quality service and achieve performance improvement. The unit will explore the relevance and adaptation of HRM concepts in the context of work and culture in Papua New Guinea companies.


IR304 Diplomacy and Negotiation- 10 Credit Points 

This unit explores specific theories in the art of diplomatic tact, skill and negotiations. It focuses on specific methods of strategising, negotiating and leading a delegation to international or regional conferences. Negotiation is the tool of diplomacy and students will develop various skills essential to their work environment and life as a whole.


PG405 Leading a Major Change Project - 10 Credit Points

This unit draws together the major skills learned in the management stream. Students work on processes of managing change and innovation, organisational change and renewal, the resistance to change, managing a change program; and processes of designing and implementing a change program in communities and other organisations such as companies, non-government organisations, and churches. There is a review of contemporary thinking on the meaning of development and change, leadership, facilitation and negotiation. Students undertake a project in consultation with the lecturer.


PG407 Film Studies for Development - 10 Credit Points

This unit guides students to become critical viewers of film as a medium of communication for development. The viewing of films, both fiction and documentaries, allows for analysis and discussion of style, language, theme, plot, character, pictures and soundtrack, in the context of time, space and message communicated by the particular film. Students will work on the making of a film, documentary or fiction: basic idea, development, plot, characterisation, writing and drawing of script, technical description of shots and scenes, costumes, make-up and props.


PG458 Globalisation in the Pacific - 10 Credit Points

This unit begins with the growth of the global system of social, economic and political power stimulated by the spread of European institutions and control through the structure of imperialism. Once this context is established, the unit focuses upon themes relevant to modern times. Themes include: growth of resource and manufacturing industries; globalization of banking and finances; population change and mass migration; emergence of global warfare, Cold war and nuclear armaments; rich nations and poor nations; globalization of transport, communication and media; ideologies, values, beliefs and religious movements; island nations in a world system; development, dependency; trans-national corporations and national sovereignty.


CA329 Public relations theory and practice                  10

CA424 Research Seminars and Dissertation                   20
CA426 TV Current Affairs Programs                                  10
PG407 Film Studies for Development (E)                         10

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