COMM5706 Accountability and Responsibility in the Media

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Online timetabled 100% Online Unit. NO campus face-to-face attendance is required to complete this unit. All study requirements are online only. Unit includes some synchronous components, with a requirement for students to participate online at specific times.
This unit examines the way standards of public accountability and social responsibility are articulated, shaped and circulated by media practices in contemporary society. It also examines the roles of the media in exposing failures in public responsibility and accountability in a variety of professional and cultural contexts and explores new relationships of power emerging out of the use of social media. The unit also explores the responsibility of the media itself, and the complex issues associated with holding the media to account. The case studies consider the way accountability is presented, and advocated for, in moments of scandal, crisis and corruption. Instances of social media shaming, social movement media, and corporate social responsibility are discussed in the contexts of considering how ideas about public responsibility and accountability are being redefined.
Students are able to (1) understand different concepts and theories of accountability and responsibility; (2) identify and interpret issues related to the portrayal of accountability and responsibility in different forms of media, across different professional context and cultures; and (3) critically evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of different forms of media regulation in respect to accountability.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) written assessment; (2) case studies; and (3) presentation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Steven Maras
Unit rules
Advisable prior study:
COMM5701 Strategic Communications in a Digital Era, COMM5604 Media Law and Ethics
Contact hours
seminars: 2 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.