Communicating Conflict: War and the Media

Module code: ML3012

Module co-ordinator: Dr Christian Morgner

Module Outline

The module aims to examine factors shaping media coverage of war and other armed conflict. Students will be introduced to major theoretical perspectives within mass communication studies that have been applied to the coverage of war as well as the dominant practices of war journalism. Topics to be examined will include agenda setting, media bias, embedded reporting, information control etc. While the emphasis will lie on investigating the mediation of war and armed conflict within news coverage employing traditional and new media, the relation to representations in popular culture will also be probed. The issue of ethical media and communication practice in times of war and the role it may play in the management of conflict will be engaged with.

Teaching and Learning Methods

  • Weekly lecture sessions and follow up seminars involving guided reading.
  • Private study comprising guided reading and preparation associated with classes; student self-directed reading; preparation and production of assessed work.
  • As well as selected reading, video, audio and other materials are used for illustration.

Assessment Methods

  • Short class tests to be administered during seminars to evaluate assimilation and application of conceptual knowledge (20%)
  • 10 minute group-based multi-media presentation examining a media case study (30%)
  • 2,500 word essay examining the role played by the media in conflict management and resolution (50%)

Set Texts

No set texts. Readings will be prescribed in line with the requirements of the lectures/seminars. 

Recommended Background Reading and Additional Resources

War and the Media: Reporting Conflict 24/7 (Thussu and Freedman 2003)

A Century of Media, a Century of War (Anderson 2006)

War, media, and propaganda: A global perspective (Kamalipour, Snow, Bagdikian, 2004)

Virtuous War: Mapping the Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment-Network (Der Derian 2009)