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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2011
Coordinator(s)Dr Marianne Hicks


Previously coded HSY2415


Through examining the news reporting of a number of important historical events across the 20th century, this unit will look at the development of the modern news mass media in the English-speaking world. The news frames the way the public sees the world, telling us what to think about, if not what to think. Examination of the mass media raises questions of power, agency and control. Looking at specific case studies of political, war, sport, and cultural events covered in print, radio, television and online news will allow the exploration of the issues of censorship, propaganda, governance, public taboos, responsibility, global citizenship, 'news flow' and possible global media futures.


The unit aims to provide students with a thorough knowledge of the role of the mass media in shaping ideas about global citizenship, spectatorship, social change and responsibility, with a particular focus on the nature of public opinion and the power of the media to mould it. In addition, the unit also aims to develop students' skills in both independent research and writing and collaborative research and presentation. Specifically, students successfully completing ATS2594 will be able to demonstrate:

  1. a thorough knowledge of the history of the major developments in news media, including technological advancements in news media production, across the twentieth century;
  2. a critical understanding of the news media and the appropriate ways of analysing and critiquing it;
  3. a thorough knowledge of the ways in which the processes of inquiry generated by the news media have historically explored issues of social change, attitudes, responsibility, community, and governance;
  4. enhanced skills in the critical reading of a variety of texts, including newspaper, radio, televisual and web-based news material, as well as secondary scholarly work;
  5. developed skills in source criticism, critical reading, research and writing skills, analysing different interpretations of an event or issue, organising and defending an argument, and writing with precision and imagination;
  6. a critical understanding of the historical role of the media in shaping public opinion, governance and interactions between local, regional, national and international communities;
  7. knowledge and historical understanding of a range of news events covered in the media across the course of the twentieth century, including material dealing with war, natural disasters, political, social and cultural events; and
  8. the capacity to work with others in a collaborative research project and presentation.


Written work: 65% (3000 words)
Class test: 25%
Tutorial participation: 10%

Contact hours

1 one-hour lecture, and a two-hour workshop/tutorial per week.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study