The honours program is based around a dissertation, which you can do in scholarly mode, which is a 15,000 word piece of original research and analysis. You can also combine it with a piece of investigative or journalistic research, where you generate both the research material and a reflexive analysis of the relationship with what you’ve done to, for example, other media output on the topic. So it combines the best of both worlds.
Honours prepares you for a higher degree by research, such as a Masters or a Doctorate. Journalists in Australia, after a few years in the workforce, are increasingly undertaking further study. Journalists have traditionally written books, or made documentary films, perhaps. These days they can combine those activities together with a scholarly program into a PhD, for example. That approach is going to become much more common in journalism.
Study at honours level also provides a competitive advantage. Undergraduate journalism programs in Australia and internationally are very popular, with huge numbers of undergraduates. An honours degree provides an extra edge when it comes to competing for available jobs in journalism. It gives some extra high-end journalism for the portfolio and provides an in-depth chance, in a one-to-one relationship with a supervisor, to develop skills to a much higher level than would normally be achieved through a straight undergraduate pass degree.