Communication and Humanitarianism - JOUR5080

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2022 to 2023.


Indicative topics are:
• The changing patterns of foreign news coverage in the post war period, with particular reference to the developing world (colonial, cold war and 1990s)
• Case studies of foreign disasters and the media interpretation; Biafra, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Asian Tsunami.
• The role of citizen journalism in the coverage of faraway disasters
• The media understanding of types of disaster and complex emergencies, with reference to aid efforts and humanitarian intervention.
• The growth and emergence of NGOs, their use of marketing and communication techniques
• The role of the media in raising awareness for charitable fundraising.
• 24 hour news and the CNN effect


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 24
Private Study Hours: 126
Total Study Hours: 150


BA (Hons) Journalism – optional module

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Essay 1 (2500 words) (35%)
Presentation (30%)
Essay 2 (2500 words) (35%)

Reassessment methods

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Indicative reading

Allen, Tim and Seaton, Jean. "Introduction", in Tim Allen and Jean Seaton (eds), The Media of Conflict: War Reporting and Representations of Ethnic Violence, London: Zed Books, 1990
Cottle, Simon. Global Crisis Reporting. Berkshire: Open University Press, 2009
De Waal, Alexander. Famine Crimes. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1997
Franks, Suzanne, Reporting Disasters - Aid and the media, forthcoming from Hurst and Colombia
Robinson, Piers. CNN Effect: The myth of news, foreign policy and intervention. London: Routledge, 2002
Vaux, Tony. The Selfish Altruist: Relief Work in Famine and War. London: Sterling, VA: Earthscan, 2001.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Demonstrate comprehensive familiarity with the influence of broadcast media in the political sphere and on the voluntary sector
8.2 Critically assess the impact of the internet on media power and media consumption.
8.3 Demonstrate acquired knowledge of the central role that communications and media play at national, international and global levels of
economic, political and social organisations along with the ability to articulate and explore the implications of this.
8.4 Demonstrate critical awareness of the diversity of approaches to understanding communication and media in historical and contemporary

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Consider alternate views and exercise a degree of independent and informed critical judgement in analysis
9.2 Engage with forms of critical analysis, argument and debate expressed through an appropriate command of oral and/or written
9.3 Manage independent learning and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources
9.4 Devise and sustain arguments and solve problems using ideas and techniques, including those at the forefront of the discipline.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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