Journalism: Conflict and Society

Subject MECM40002 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment: 120
Prerequisites: Students should be eligible for study at the 4th or 5th year level.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr David Nolan


David Nolan

Subject Overview:

This subject examines the diverse roles that journalism plays in communicating conflicts in different national and international contexts. It focuses mainly upon the news media, both broadcasting and the press, though occasionally other forms of journalism and media such as TV current affairs and selected documentary programs as well as online news and the Internet will also be examined. The subject aims to engage with a wide range of scholarly studies of different mediatised conflicts, their informing theoretical frameworks and methodologies. Case studies of media reporting will include, for example, demonstrations, riots and civil unrest, war (from the Crimea to Iraq and beyond), international terrorism and the events of September 11 2001, deviance, crime and criminal justice, 'race', racism and ethnicity, political scandals, and the environment and 'risk society'. Through this case study approach, the subject opens up a sophisticated theoretical understanding of production processes, professional practices, political contingencies and media performance and how these impact on the representation of major public issues and concerns. Students will also be invited to engage in detailed analysis of current mediatised conflicts as they arise throughout the course and reflect on their own findings and research strategies. On completion of this course, students should be able to demonstrate critical understanding of the forms and dynamics of conflict reporting, appreciate the role of theory and methodology in academic media analysis, and have deepened their understanding of the role/s performed by journalism in conflicted societies both past and present.


Students who complete this subject will:

  • be able to demonstrate understanding of key studies and major theoretical frameworks deployed in the analysis of journalism and representations of war and diverse conflict situations;
  • be able to identify how changing frameworks of analysis prompt different questions and forms of analysis deployed in the study of journalism, conflict and society; and
  • be able to deploy frameworks and methods of analysis in their own studies of mediatized conflict and reflect on the adequacy of these for improved understanding of media performance.
Assessment: A written media report of 2500 words 50% (due after the mid-semester break) and a written essay of 2500 words 50% (due at the end of semester). Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will be able to:

  • demonstrate competence in advanced library searches and information retrieval;
  • demonstrate proficiency in the application of selected methods of media analysis;
  • demonstrate conformity to academic protocols of presentation and research procedures; and
  • critically analyse journalism's representation of current conflicts.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts (Honours)(Media and Communications)
Master of Criminology (CWT)
Master of Global Media Communication
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Media and Communication)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Media and Communication
Media and Communications

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