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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM3925 War and Media

20 creditsClass Size: 42

Module manager: Katy Parry
Email: K.J.Parry@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Module replaces

COMM3920 Communications and Conflict

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the media as observers in conflict and as active participants, influencing the way wars are fought. You will study conflict reporting from the First World War to the present day, supplemented with film and documentary screenings. On completion of this module you should gain an understanding of how media and military agendas intersect during wartime and the role of communication technologies in presenting new challenges and opportunities. You will gain knowledge and reading skills which enable a critical appraisal of concepts such as the ‘mediatisation’ of conflict, ‘the CNN Effect’, and ‘information warfare’.

Objectives

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module you should be able to:
- Demonstrate a knowledge of the academic literature on war and media in the widest sense (journalism, film, photography);
- Demonstrate an understanding of how media and military agendas intersect during wartime;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of propaganda, media-policy interaction, image warfare and mediatisation of war;
- Evaluate a range of scholarly texts on a specific case study, in the form of a discussion essay;
- Apply research techniques, theoretical concepts and academic conventions introduced in this module to a specific research question, in the form of a research essay.

Skills outcomes
Students will be given the opportunity to develop the following skills:
- absorb and filter complex information
- access and make effective use of bibliographical and electronic sources of information
- argue effectively and persuasively in a written form
- communicate and argue effectively in an oral form, through a general contribution to small group discussion
- study independently
- meet deadlines and work under time constraints


Syllabus

Through a series of case studies from twentieth century to the present time, the module examines significant issues of military-media strategies and journalistic relationships during wartime, with students gaining an understanding of key factors believed to shape war coverage and cultural understandings of war. Students will gain knowledge and reading skills which enable a critical appraisal of the scholarly literature on concepts such as the 'mediatisation' of conflict, 'compassion fatigue', 'the CNN Effect', and 'information warfare'. Conflicts covered are the Second World War, Vietnam, the Falklands War of 1982, the Gulf War of 1991, the 'humanitarian interventions' of the 1990s (e.g. Bosnia, Kosovo), and the so-called 'war' against international terrorism and its initial two military phases in Afghanistan, since 2001, and Iraq since 2003. We will also consider 'unseen wars' and look forward to 'future wars': how might conflicts be represented in the era of drones, robots and cyberwar?
Lectures and seminars are supported with 5 fortnightly film screenings, chosen in discussion with students. The relationship of 'war and media' has provided a rich history of illuminating and provocative films – both documentary and cinematic in nature. Films will be chosen which draw out the particular themes discussed in lectures and seminars.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture101.0010.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study


Seminar preparation: 50 hours
Essay preparation: 130 hours (researching, preparing and writing the two essays).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Participation in activities at seminars and screenings, including group and individual analyses of set texts. Students will receive ongoing formative feedback on the individual tasks via the VLE and in seminars.
A module blog and Twitter account will encourage further discussion.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,700 - 3,000 words40.00
EssayResearch Essay 1 x 3,000 - 3,500 words60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resits: For Essay 1: students will choose from the list of essay questions in the module handbook. For Essay 2, they will need to agree an appropriate research question with the module leader.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 14/05/2019

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