Representation and Advocacy

Subject MECM90016 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2014:

February, 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

Intensive taught subject: 3-6, 10-11 February 2014 (inclusive).

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24
Total Time Commitment:



Admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth year honours (media and communication), Master of Global Media Communication, Master of Arts (Media and Communication) Advanced Seminar and Shorter Thesis.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


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:


Prof Nikos Papastergiadis


Nikos Papastergiadis

Subject Overview:

This subject addresses the challenges of representing and speaking on behalf of others in the context of communication programs dedicated to social justice and social inclusion. Civil society organisations, public policy initiatives, non-governmental organisations and advocacy groups face challenges different to those of both the news industries and the commercial sector. They must respond to news values, and they need to promote, but they are also devoted to telling often unpalatable truths in hostile or apathetic environments. At the same time, they have ethical obligations to their causes which make demands on their communications strategies in many respects more challenging than those of commerce and the public sector. This subject studies case histories of a variety of campaigns from the non-profit civil society sector, and addresses the different ways in which campaigns may be said to succeed or fail, for example economically, ethically, or in terms of effecting desired and undesired social change.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject should be able to:

  • apply their knowledge of the politics of representation to advocacy media;
  • recognise and explain the differing communication strategies available for advocacy;
  • identify and critically engage with the distinctive ethical obligations associated with speaking on behalf of others; and
  • demonstrate a capacity for critical thinking in relation to local and global processes of communication in the digital era.

A 1500 word detailed essay plan and annotated bibliography 25% (due two weeks after the end of teaching), and a 3500 word case study 75% (due two months after the end of teaching). Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Any student who fails to meet this hurdle without valid reason will not be eligible to pass the subject. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Essays submitted after the due date without an extension will be penalised 2% per day. Essays submitted after two weeks of the assessment due date without a formally approved application for special consideration or an extension will only be marked on a pass/fail basis if accepted.

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 :

  • prepare and present their ideas in both verbal, written and where appropriate visual form, and in conformity to conventions of academic presentation;
  • reflect on their own learning and take responsibility for organising personal study;
  • participate in discussion and group activities and be sensitive to the participation of others; and
  • combine ethical and strategic aspects of communication in an effective and professional manner.
Related Course(s): Master of Arts (Media and Communication) Adv.Seminar & Shorter Thesis
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Development Studies (CWT)
100 Point Master of Development Studies (Gender && Development)
100 Point Master of Global Media Communication
150 Point Master of Development Studies (CWT)
150 Point Master of Development Studies (Gender && Development)
150 Point Master of Global Media Communication
150 point program - full time over 18 months
200 Point Master of Development Studies (CWT)
200 Point Master of Development Studies (Gender && Development)
200 Point Master of Global Media Communication
200 point program - full time over 18 months
200 point program - full time over 24 months
Media and Communications

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