Communication, Media and Journalism: COMM 1062 Journalism: Principles and Practices: Topic 3

Assignment Help


COMM 1062 Journalism: Principles and Practices


This help page will get you started in finding material to include in Assessment 2 - Essay.

You will need to choose one of the topics provided. The essay must be based on your wider academic research and reading on your chosen topic. 

Always read the assessments information in your course website and outline to understand exactly what you need to do.

Developing your search strategy: Topic 3 - Journalists, sources and voices

Begin your search plan by breaking down your topic into keywords.

For example, lets' look at topic three - Journalists, sources, and voices

Last year, 2021, marked the 30th anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. As Indigenous imprisonment rates and deaths in custody continue to increase, to what extent has the media done its job of holding governments to account for their implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations? Use the academic literature, deaths in custody reports and reviews, and either several examples or a single case study from contemporary news media to support and illustrate your analysis. 

1. Find the common instruction word(s) in your question. For example:

  •  to what extent has the media done its job of holding governments to account for their implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations?

Tip: To what extent?....Consider both sides, make a judgment and defend it. Similar to evaluate or discuss.

2. Find topic words or keyword(s) 

Tip: Topic words (or keywords) are usually easy to locate. They tell you what you have to write about. 

  • royal commission, Aboriginal deaths in custody, media, 
Main Concepts

Concept 1

Royal Commission


Concept 2


Concept 3


Synonyms (similar concepts

government officials 

public enquiry/investigation





Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

First Nations

First Peoples



media/news coverage






How to search the Library Collection and Google Scholar

Example Library Collection search

"royal commission" AND Aboriginal death*" AND custody

Use the Refine my results menu to limit your results to:

  • Peer-reviewed Journals
  • Resource Type 
  • Publication Date

Tip: As you search The Library Collection, add concepts and synonyms (similar words) you discover to include in your searches for Google Scholar.

Example Google Scholar search

 "royal commission" AND ("Indigenous OR Aboriginal OR "First Nations" death") AND "media coverage" AND government*

Example ProQuest Social Science Premium Collection

TIP: Use the Advanced Search in ProQuest to combine your key concepts

1. Select the Advanced Search option (top). Add a different concept (keyword) in each new line using the connector AND.

2. Add any synonyms (similar concepts) to each line using the connector OR. This will broaden your search

3. Focus your search further by using the options to the left of the results:

  • Peer reviewed 
  • Publication date

Understand types of information

Information comes in many different forms and depending on your assessment requirements, some types of information are more appropriate than others. You may even be asked to use specific types of information, such as peer-reviewed articles. When planning your search, it is important to consider what type of information you will need. Explore the diagram below to discover different types of information.  

News Media Guide

Take a look at the New Media Guide where you can find news in various formats such as print, online and video content. This guide will assist you to find News content through Library subscribed resources and online. 

You can also search news in some of the key databases.

This guide will help locate "actual examples from the news media to argue a particular position". You can search for relevant case studies using different news media selecting the links below.


Evaluating Information

Once you have evaluated the different types of information you will be using for your essay, start to think about the writing process. Look at Writing and Academic Language where you will find useful resources on developing your critical thinking skills as well as demonstrating critical thinking in your writing. 

Study Support

The Student Engagement Unit has created a suite of resources called Study Help that can help you understand different assignment types and study skills.

There is also a Writing your assignment page that can also assist you with interpreting your topic and planning your search

  • Referencing Roadmap (Harvard)
    Help with the Harvard UniSA referencing style. Find in text-citations and reference examples, from different sources such as articles, books & chapters, websites, and more.
  • Referencing hub
    Information around what is referencing, paraphrasing, referencing rules, referencing styles and Academic Integrity. Also includes a link to the Harvard Referencing Guide UniSA (pdf).
  • Referencing forum
    Discuss referencing, exchange advice and post questions and answers about referencing (facilitated by Student Engagement Unit).
  • EndNote
    What do you do with all those references you have found? Use a bibliographic management software to store, organise and cite your references. The Library supports the bibliographic management tool, EndNote. There are also many free systems available.

Ask the library

Ask the Library for help via live chat, phone, email, or access our suite of self-help resources.