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COM2020 - The Second Media Age

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Simone Murray


Berwick Second semester 2007 (Day)
Caulfield Second semester 2007 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


What is the 'second media age'? Does it offer new insights into what was the 'first media age? The different kinds of social, political and communication dynamics which can be found in cyberspace demands a reassessment of the methodologies used to explore media, as well as new understandings of interaction as they relate to old and new media. The difference between information and communication, interaction versus 'integration', analogue versus digital culture, cyberspace and virtual reality is also explored. Numerous theoretical perspectives will be introduced including the work of Adorno, Ang, Baym, Bennett, Baudrillard, Calhoun, Carey, Hall, Innis, McLuhan, Mellencamp, Meyrowitz, etc.


On successful completion of this subject students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. An understanding of the formal difference between Communications Studies and Media Studies which define the program that this subject is a part of.
  2. An appreciation of the difference between first media age and second media age.
  3. A knowledge of the social, economic and political impact of television and the internet.
  4. An understanding of how new communication technologies have changed the nature of modern audiences.
  5. An understanding that traditional media also provide for the formation of 'virtual communities' just as new media do.
  6. A sociological understanding of 'advertising' and why it does not work on the internet and how this led to the crash of the late 1990s.
  7. An understanding of the different ways in which media, old and new condition influence cultural globalisation.
  8. An appreciation of the difference between being an audience member of broadcast media and a 'user' of new media technology.


Short Essay (1500 words): 30%
Research Essay (2500 Words): 40%
Webct Discussion Postings: 20%
Tutorial Participation: 10%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week