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MFCO203 Media History



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A survey of the major developments in media history. Explores the complex interaction among media institutions, technological developments, cultural identity, and social context.

The main focus of the paper is the history of electronic media during the past century.

Paper title Media History
Paper code MFCO203
Subject Media, Film and Communication
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $904.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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18 MFCO or COMS points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
May not be credited together with COMS 206 passed in 2006-2008.
Teaching staff
Convenor and Lecturer: Dr Hugh Slotten
Paper Structure
Major issues we will consider include:
  • The role of different media in the formation of national identity
  • The relationship between new communication technologies and social change
  • The historical tension between utopian and dystopian views of media power
  • Essay One 20%
  • Essay Two 35%
  • Tutorial participation 10%
  • Tutorial presentation 10%
  • Final Exam 25%
Teaching Arrangements
Two lectures per week and 10 tutorials during semester.
Course reader

Individual readings may be downloaded from the Blackboard page for the paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will
  • Demonstrate understanding of the main developments in media history, especially the history of electronic media during the last century
  • Apply different approaches to studying media history and engage with scholarly debates and discussions
  • Have knowledge of media practices and institutions in specific historical contexts
  • Apply academic skills and methods to a research project

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 15:00-15:50 9-13, 19-22
Wednesday 15:00-15:50 9-12, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
T1 Thursday 15:00-15:50 10-12, 18-21