This unit of study investigates communication issues arising from and contributing to real world changes that have intensified and deepened financial, demographic and cultural interconnections across the globe. It takes the political economy of international communication as a central area of investigation and debate in the field of communication studies, and traces issues of financial control on the part of large international communication companies, through to political and cultural issues for groups differentially positioned in respect to major centres of world power. Topics covered include: history and development of communication media as international phenomena; propaganda and the case of the Cold War, the flow of media communication products and services between nations and the 'cultural imperialism' debate; transnational patterns of media consumption, national communication and cultural policies; communication policies and development.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critically review approaches and research to the study of international communication;  
  2. Apply analytical thinking and conceptualisation skills;  
  3. Use research skills related to the study of international communication;  
  4. Articulate complex ideas and lead productive discussions; and  
  5. Critically reflect on the ways in which international communication shapes the personal and the social.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Presentation Stage one presentation of research proposal 10%
Project Research project 60%
Report Political economy of communication 30%

Required reading

Living in the information age 2nd ed
Bucy, 2005
US/Wadsworth Cengage

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