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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Chris Nash


This unit explores the ways in which the philosophical basis, role and activities of journalism have developed in relation to social context. It takes a comparative approach to historical and contemporary forms of journalism in western liberal democracies, post-colonial multi-party states and single-party states, and relates professional and community practice in journalism to developments in the political, economic and coercive fields. Among other themes it will consider internationalisation of news flows, development journalism, policy initiatives such as NWICO (the New World Information and Communication Order), free speech and censorship, and public/private sector media. It emphasises the specificity of historical and geographic factors within larger structural developments, and takes a comparative and critical approach to the use and evaluation of social theory.


At the satisfactory completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. compare and evaluate the contribution of different approaches to journalism to social goals
  2. demonstrate a high level understanding of theoretical debates in the conceptualisation and evaluation of journalism
  3. critically analyse the way professional principles such as 'public right to know', 'freedom of expression' and 'access to information' relate to historically and geographically specific social contexts
  4. relate the scholarly issues and debates to the professional perspectives of practitioners in these fields.


Participation in online discussion group (1200 words): 30%
Tutorial report and presentation of research work-in-progress (800 words): 20%
Research essay (2500 words): 50%

Chief examiner(s)

William Birnbauer

Contact hours

2 hour seminar per week