Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials Introduction and 6 x 2 hour seminars, plus tutorials


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 X UNASSESSED ESSAY 4,000 WORDS & 1 X 6,000 WORDS ASSESSE  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Identify and critically analyse the primary historical sources relevant to the mass media and war in the modern period.

Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant historiography, its evolution and the key problems currently addressed by historians in this field.

Discuss with others the interpretative problems and prospects associated with this topic.

Illustrate, analyse and evaluate both primary sources and the associated historiography in an extended written discussion.

Brief description

This module is designed to enable students to study in depth the role of the mass media in wartime from the mid nineteenth century to the present. The module will highlight two aspects of this subject in particular. First, the development of war reportage from the pioneering newspaper reports of the Crimean war though to the twenty-four-hour `instant? news of recent wars: the technical, logistical, military and political constraints on the media'r coverage of wars during this period, and how the mass media have sought to challenge or accommodate them. Second, the role of the media as, more generally, a propagandist for (or against) war; here particular attention will be paid to the effects of war coverage on home audience(s), and how the mass media have shaped attitudes to warfare in general and specific conflicts in particular. The principal case studies will be drawn from the British experience, although American and German examples will also be studied. Underlying all these points is the fundamental question: how effectively'rut also how accurately ? have the mass media reported war to their audiences, and with what wider historical consequences?


This module equips students to investigate an aspect of the history of the mass media in depth, through a wide-ranging historical analysis in combination with the study of a range of contemporary historical sources.


1. Introduction: war, society and the mass media
2. The birth of the war correspondent: the Crimean War and the American Civil War
3. Patriotism and war: the Boer War
4. Censorship and control: the First World War
5. Total war and the mass media: the Second World War
6. The media as the `enemy within?? Vietnam and the Falklands War
7 Twenty-four-hour-news wars: the Gulf Wars

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Seminar discussion and essay-writing. The latter is formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Seminar and tutorial discussion; tutors’ feedback.
Information Technology Locating source materials and surveying the historiography on the subject uses of various search tools. Essay-writing and presentation
Personal Development and Career planning Studying the module puts students in direct contact with librarians and archivists at the National Library and elsewhere in the course of researching the location of primary sources and the development of the historiography
Problem solving Demonstrating an understanding of how, why and with what wider effects and significance (political, social, cultural and or/military) the mass media has covered wars in the ways that it has. Assessed through the essays.
Research skills Locating and assessing primary source materials. Assessed through the essays.
Subject Specific Skills Develop a knowledge of, and familiarity with, a range of different media sources.
Team work Seminar work


This module is at CQFW Level 7