ALJ722 - Investigative and Narrative Journalism


2025 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Online
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125


Corequisite: Nil
Incompatible with: Nil
Study commitment

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

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 2 hour online seminar per week 

1 x 2 hour on-campus seminar per week (recordings provided)

Scheduled learning activities - online

Approximately 2-hours of online learning tasks and discussions per week


Investigative and narrative journalism differ from news in their aim to not simply report the day's news but to dig into events and issues. They diverge in emphasis and presentation. Investigative journalism’s primary aim is to scrutinise those in positions of power and authority; narrative journalism’s primary aim is to tell a true story exploring events and issues in their complexity and people in their full humanity. The power inherent in investigative and narrative journalism throws up important, knotty issues. Is investigative journalism’s role simply to expose problems, or suggest solutions, or both? How do investigative journalists overcome obstacles like restrictive defamation and national security laws? How do they manage the fallout when they get something seriously wrong? For narrative journalists: how do they balance their need to maintain editorial independence with the closeness to key sources that comes from gaining the deep level of trust required to construct a work of narrative journalism? Are there limits to the kinds of narrative approach journalists can take when representing actual people and events? If practitioners present their long-form journalism in a narrative style, is it read as non-fiction or, because it reads like a novel, is it read as a novel?

Unit Fee Information

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