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COM3240 - Australian media histories

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader(s): Shane Homan


Berwick First semester 2009 (Day)
Caulfield First semester 2009 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2009 (Day)


In this unit students consider the key social, political and technological contexts in the development of the Australian media, and its significance within Australian life. It investigates the growth of the print, radio, television, popular music and cinema industries and accompanying national contexts including media ownership patterns, media policy settings and audience formations/desires. The subject examines both the building of forums for national debate, but also how the media industries assisted in the construction of nationhood. Through the study of different histories of media and approaches to media history, students gain an understanding of contemporary local media landscapes.


On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. an understanding of the key communication technologies through Australian history and identify the political and social contexts associated with their introduction
  2. an assessment of the complex relationships between governments, audiences and industries in different eras through the use of specific case studies
  3. an ability to critically and independently engage with key debates and issues arising from historical media and successive media/cultural studies interpretations
  4. an ability to apply broader media studies concepts to distinct local contexts
  5. an ability to explain and analyse course concepts and debates in written and oral forms.
  6. Third year students will be required to demonstrate a greater depth of analysis and engagement with conceptual frameworks arising from a higher level of independent research.


Media history research essay (1000 words): 20%
Case study essay (2000 words): 30%
Exam: (90 minutes, 1500 words): 40%
Participation and attendance: 10%

Contact hours

One 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar per week


First-year sequence in Communucations and Media Studies or other sequence approved by COM2250/COM3350 unit coordinator



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