Global Crisis Reporting

Subject MECM90009 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours: a 1 hour lecture and 1.5 hour seminar per week throughout semester.
Total Time Commitment:



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



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:


Dr David Nolan


Subject Overview:

Global Crisis Reporting examines studies and approaches to global communications and the reporting of crises, including disasters and humanitarian relief. The course examines the extent to which, how and why forms of coverage have changed in recent years, and considers how these changes have impacted on the way in which "crises" are constructed, mediated and communicated. It considers the possible impacts of such changes on national and international public opinion and political leaders, as well as on those immediately involved. Amongst the themes addressed are: the rise of digital technologies of news production and distribution and their impact on the nature of crisis reporting, arguments for and against a "journalism of attachment", the communication strategies of humanitarian organisations and the degree to which coverage of human suffering raises questions about the moral responsibility of news-makers. The subject also examines issues regarding the political impacts of contemporary crisis reporting, the nature and direction of communication flows, the rise of emergent practices of crisis communications and media activism and the degree to which transformations in the field may, or may not, serve to positively address the relations underpinning global crises.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject will:

  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of key studies and major theoretical frameworks deployed in the analysis of global disaster, humanitarian relief and crisis reporting;
  • be able to identify how changing theoretical frameworks and forms of analysis prompt particular questions and forms of analysis deployed in media analysis of global disaster, humanitarian relief and crisis reporting; and
  • be able to deploy frameworks and methods of analysis in their own studies of mediated global crisis reporting and reflect on the adequacy of these for improved understanding of media performance.

A 2500 word media report 50% (due mid-semester) and a 2500 word essay 50% (due in the examination period).

Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Recommended Texts:
  • S Cottle, Global Crisis Reporting, Open University Press, 2009.
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;
  • be able to demonstrate proficiency in the application of selected methods of media analysis; and
  • be able to demonstrate conformity to academic protocols of presentation and research procedures.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Global Media Communication
100 Point Master of Journalism
150 Point Master of Global Media Communication
150 Point Master of Journalism
200 Point Master of Global Media Communication
200 Point Master of Journalism
MA (AS&&ST) Media and Communications

Download PDF version.