ATS2436 - New media: From the telegraph to Twitter - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Communications and Media Studies

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Akane Kanai


Dr Akane Kanai

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.


ATS3436, AZA2436, AZA3436


This unit introduces students to the technological, social, economic and political forces driving the development, and adoption of new media and communications technologies. It examines case studies of when 'old technologies were new' such as the telegraph and radio as well as the social shaping of very recent examples of new media, such as Facebook, Sina Weibo, Qzone, Renren and Twitter. Instrumentalist, substantivist and technologically determinist perspectives on new media will be compared as a means of understanding the dynamic convergence of telecommunications, IT and media industries.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to

  1. explain historical development of new media technologies, and their influence on everyday perceptions of time and space;
  2. discuss contemporary developments in communications internationally;
  3. recognise the processes and effects of media convergence, with particular reference to Internet and other emergent technologies;
  4. analyse the forces driving the information revolution;
  5. evaluate the issues arising from mass adoption of new media technologies;
  6. critically assess the social, cultural, political impacts of communications developments.


Within semester assessment: 60% + Exam: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

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