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Unit of study_

MECO1004: Introduction to Media Production

This unit provides an introduction to the theory and practice of media production. It combines a holistic investigation of contemporary media practices with an exploratory first-hand account of media production techniques. Students will have the opportunity to create mixed media production using a variety of technologies. They will create a major media piece by the end of the semester and will also reflect critically on their practice.


Academic unit Media and Communications
Unit code MECO1004
Unit name Introduction to Media Production
Session, year
Semester 1, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Jonathon Hutchinson,
Lecturer(s) Jonathon Paul Hutchinson ,
Tutor(s) Christopher Hall ,
Milly Stilinovic,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Weekly discussion reflective journal posts
Weekly discussion submissions
10% Ongoing 500wds
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO5
Assignment Design and create personal website
0% Week -03
Due date: 13 Mar 2020

Closing date: 20 Mar 2020
Three-page website
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3
Assignment Audio slideshow
One minute audio slideshow
20% Week -05
Due date: 27 Mar 2020

Closing date: 03 Apr 2020
1 minute
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO5
Assignment Online video
20% Week 08
Due date: 24 Apr 2020

Closing date: 01 May 2020
2 minute video
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO5
Assignment Major media production
50% Week 12
Due date: 22 May 2020

Closing date: 29 May 2020
2500wd equivalent
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

High distinction projects demonstrate outstanding levels of creativity, storytelling, technical competency and publishing ability. These productions have a sophisticated approach towards creativity and storytelling by understanding their audience and drawing on outstanding engagement techniques. The technical capacity demonstrates outstanding skills by correctly recording, capturing, manipulating and exporting the production that adheres to industry standards. The work exceeds the requirements of this assignment and could be commissioned by existing media publications. 


75 - 84

Distinction projects demonstrate excellent levels of creativity, storytelling, technical competency and publishing ability. These productions have a sophisticated approach towards creativity and storytelling by understanding their audience and drawing on excellent engagement techniques. The technical capacity demonstrates excellent skills by correctly recording, capturing, manipulating and exporting the production that adheres to industry standards. The work exceeds the requirements of this assignment. 


65 - 74

Credit projects demonstrate good levels of creativity, storytelling, technical competency and publishing ability. These productions have a well-rounded approach towards creativity and storytelling by understanding their audience and drawing on satisfactory engagement techniques. The technical capacity demonstrates good skills by correctly recording, capturing, and manipulating the production, which may have a few minor problems. The work demonstrates the requirements of this assignment. 


50 - 64

Projects that pass demonstrate minimal levels of creativity, storytelling, technical competency and publishing ability. These productions have some understanding of creativity and storytelling but have been masked by errors and problems in comprehensive produciton. The technical capacity demonstrates some skills by correctly recording, capturing and manipulating the media, but also demonstrates some technical problems and errors. The work minimally meets the requirements of this assignment.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.


For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 The medium is the massage – contemporary media practice and industries Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 02 The decisive moment – introduction to the still image Lecture (1 hr) LO3 LO5
Online portfolio (website & social media) and photography basics Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 03 Noise toys - audio production & design Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3
Microphones and solid state recorders & introduction to Adobe Audition Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 04 “Always make the audience suffer as much as possible” – introduction to storytelling and editing Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Introduction to Adobe photoshop/editshare Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 05 Audio, meet image – duo media texts Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Create audio slideshow Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 06 Introduction to video principles Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Video principles Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 07 Documentary/feature production principles and audiences Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Adobe Premier Pro I Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 08 If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead - online publication Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Creating media for online Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 09 Media logics and algorithmic media Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Coding & analytics Seminar (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Audio and lighting techniques Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Microphone techniques, lighting design, Adobe Photoshop II Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 11 Video Editing Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Adobe Premier II & Audition II Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 12 Ethical and regulatory frameworks Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Social media platforms Seminar (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 Preparing for podcasting Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2
In-class presentations Seminar (2 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: students are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board which will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed on the Library eReserve link available on Canvas.

Textbook: Costello, V. (2017). Multimedia Foundations. New York: Routledge

Week One                    The Medium is the Massage – Contemporary media practice and industries


McLuhan, M. (2003). The Medium is the Message. In W. Terrence (Ed.), Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (pp. 18-35): Routledge.

Costello, V. (2017). Understanding Multimedia, Multimedia Foundations (pp. 3-38). New York: Routledge.

Week Two                    The Decisive Moment – Introduction to the still image


Croteau, D., Hoynes, W., & Milan, S. (2012). Media and the Social World. In D. Croteau, W. Hoynes, & S. Milan (Eds.), Media/Society: Industries, Images, and Audiences. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Costello, V. (2017). Photography, Multimedia Foundations (pp. 293-328). New York: Routledge.

Week Three                   Noise Toys – Audio Production & Design


Williams, R. (1989). Communications, Technologies and Social Institutions What I came to say (pp. 172-192). London: Hutchinson Radius.

Costello, V. (2017). Audio Production, Multimedia Foundations (pp. 371-402). New York: Routledge.

Week Four                    “Always Make the Audience Suffer as much as Possible” – Introduction to storytelling and editing


Burton, G. (2010). Audiences and Effects Media and Society: Critical Perspectives (pp. 82-107). New York: Open University Press.

Costello, V. (2017). Project Planning and Evaluation, Multimedia Foundations (pp. 77-106). New York: Routledge.

Week Five                    Audio, Meet Image – Duo media text


McCombs, M., & Valenzuela, S. (2007). The Agenda Setting Theory - La teoría Agenda Setting. Cuadernos de Información, 20, 44-50.

Costello, V. (2017). Recording Formats and Device Settings, Multimedia Foundations (pp. 331-370). New York: Routledge.

Week Six                      Media Users and an Introduction to Video Principles


Dijck, J. v. (2009). Users Like You? Theorizing agency in user-generated content. Media, Culture & Society, 31(1), 41-58.

Costello, V. (2017). Video Production, Multimedia Foundations (pp. 403-440). New York: Routledge.

Week Seven.               Documentary/Feature Production Principles and Audiences


Long, P., & Wall, T. (2009). Investigating audiences: What do people do with media? In P. Long, T. Wall, V. Bakir, & A. McStay (Eds.), Media Studies: Texts, Production and Context (pp. 240-272). Harlow, England: Pearson Education Limited.

Week Eight                   If it Doesn’t Spread, It’s Dead - Online Publication


Wiggins, B. E., & Bowers, G. B. (2015). Memes as Genre: A structural analysis of the memescape. New Media & Society, 17(11), 1886-1906.

Youngblood, S. A., & Youngblood, N. E. (2017). Web Design. In V. Costello (Ed.), Multimedia Foundations (pp. 201-232). New York: Routledge.

Week Nine                    Media Logics and Algorithmic Media


Dijck, J. v., & Poell, T. (2013). Understanding Social Media Logic. Media and Communication, 1(1), 2-14.

Hallinan, B., & Striphas, T. (2014). Recommended for you: The Netflix Prize and the production of algorithmic culture. New Media & Society, Online First, 1-21.

Week Ten                     Advanced Audio and Photography Production


Bradshaw, P., & Rohumaa, L. (2017). Online Audio. The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to survive and thrive in the digital age. New York: Routledge. 

Week Eleven                 Editing Beyond Basics


Costello, V. (2017). Time-Based Editing, Multimedia Foundations. (pp. 441-475). New York: Routledge.

Mascelli, J. C. (1963). Cutting The Five C's of Cinematography (pp. 146-171). Los Angeles: Silman-James Press.

Tu, D. L. (2015). Post Production Feature and Narrative Storytelling for Multimedia Journalists (pp. 167-194). London: Focal Press.

Week Twelve                Ethical and Regulatory Frameworks


Dwyer, T. (2012). Introduction Legal and Ethical Issues in the Media (pp. 1-21). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Phillips, A., Couldry, N., & Freedman, D. (2010). An Ethical Deficit? Accountability, Norms, and the Material Conditions of Contemporary Journalism New Media, Old Media: Journalism and Democracy in the Digital Age. New York: SAGE.

Week Thirteen               Preparing for Podcasting

No Readings this week

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate proficiency in theories of communication, media production, audience and connectivity
  • LO2. identify the foundational principles of media design and participation
  • LO3. demonstrate basic skills in conceptual media production (audio, video, design, writing, social media and publishing) across multiple platforms
  • LO4. demonstrate the basic skills for social media production
  • LO5. demonstrate the capacity to identify and apply ethical standards in producing media texts, forms and environments.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
We have slightly changed the assessment based on student feedback and will be introducing ethics earlier in the semester.

This unit involves a weekly 1 hour lecture, a 2 hour tutorial, reading and online activities on our Canvas e-learning site and blogs.

Lectures are compulsory, but will be in part run like discussion/demonstration sessions. You are required to do the readings and look at the suggested websites BEFORE the lecture and will be called on to discuss your analysis of the readings in the lecture. 

There will be occasional guest lecturers — people with extensive academic or industry background in media production. As these people may be your future employers (and we often refer students to job opportunities on the basis of their participation in class) it’s worth turning up to these events and asking intelligent questions.

Tutorial workshops will be in a number of production labs. Due to equipment and resources there is an absolute cap of 24 placed on the number of students in each workshop. To gain entry to the lab outside class times you must use your student swipe access card. If you haven’t already done so, please apply for and activate your swipe card at the Security building G12, Darlington Campus. To use lab computers outside class times you need to book them through the booking system. This is very important after week 5 as many groups are sharing the same production resources.

All your e-learning activities will take place on Canvas or your personal online portfolio space blog. 

All your class handouts and other support materials will be posted on Canvas. If you have any difficulties logging in or using the system, visit the Student Help area of the Sydney eLearning site

Your software demonstrator will be available in class and for one hour of other consultation on your feature project. Please be polite to, and patient with them, especially if you want help to realise your creative vision.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.