Not available in 2020/21
MC407      Half Unit
International Media and The Global South

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Shakuntala Banaji FAW.7.01F


This course is available on the MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and Fudan), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and UCT), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC), MSc in Inequalities and Social Science, MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media and Communications (Research) and MSc in Media, Communication and Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

In order to accommodate academic staff research leave and sabbaticals, and in order to maintain smaller seminar group sizes, this course is capped, meaning that there is a limit to the number of students who can be accepted.

Course content

This course challenges students to raise questions about the power and role of international media – including media originating in the global south, and that circulated by NGOs – in shaping discourses about development, group identities and the global south. Building on empirical examples, the lectures aim to demonstrate that the reporting and discussion of gender, poverty, disasters, political unrest, underdevelopment and development by international media organisations has implications, not only for the way the global south and its diverse populations are imagined and represented, but also for the arena of international and national policy and politics. Using theories of ideology, critical political economy and postcoloniality, the course critically investigates key questions concerning the role of international, national, NGO and subaltern media in development, including the failure of colonial relationships of power to pass away. The course offers insight into how to approach the study of media constructions, discourses and representations of, and about, the global south and its citizens. The objectives are to: (a) Introduce debates about how media power shapes international development discourses and political realities for citizens in the global south; (b) Link dominant development theories to the paradigms of mediated NGO development interventions; (c) Provide a postcolonial critique of the study of representations of poverty, development, participation and the global south; (d) Critically assess aspects of the political economy of international media production within the contexts in which both local media groups and NGOs research, package and produce information about international development, especially in and about the global south and (e) Investigate whether and in what ways new and mobile technologies, and small and participatory media formats enable alternative voices and critical frameworks from the global south to be heard. The course is organized into three sections: 1) a historical and theoretical overview of international media, development and the global south locating the debate(s) around development and communication within postcolonial and other critical frameworks, 2) Critical perspectives, drawn selectively from studies of development theory, political economy and cultural studies and pertaining to identity, ideology, representation, regulatory frameworks, good governance and democracy and 3) Cases and practices in reporting development, poverty, inequality and humanitarian issues. Cross-cutting themes will include a consideration of gender, NGO communications, ethnic and social conflict, tourism campaigns, social media and ICTs in the context of international media and change in the global south.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to complete advance reading, contribute to Moodle forums, prepare seminar presentations, and submit one essay of 1,500 words.

Indicative reading

Abbas, M. A. and J. N. Erni (2004) (eds.) Internationalizing Cultural Studies: an Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell;

Banaji, S. (ed.) (2012) South Asian Media Cultures: Audiences, Representations, Contexts. London and New York: Anthem Press

Bernal, V. and Grewal, I. (2014) Theorising NGOs: States, Feminism and Neoliberalism, Durham: Duke University Press

Dines, G. and Humez, J. M. (2014, 4th Edition) Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Critical Reader, London, New York, New Delhi: Sage

Eagleton, T. (1991) Ideology: an Introduction. London: Verso

Eisenstein, Z. (2004) Against Empire: Feminisms, Racism and the West, London, New York: Zed Press

De Kosnik, A. and Feldman, K. (2019) #identity: Hashtagging Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Nation.

Hall, S (ed.) (1997) Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications

Hayter, T. (1990) The Creation of World Poverty. London: Pluto Press. Hemer, O. and Tufte, T. (eds) (2005) Media and Global Change: Rethinking Communication for Development, Clacso and NORDICOM

Independent Commission for the Study of Communication Problems (ICSCP) (1980/2004) Many Voices, One World: Communication and Society, Today and Tomorrow; Towards a New More Just and More Efficient World Information and Communication Order. (MacBride Report) London, New York and Paris: Kogan Page and UNESCO

Iqani, M. and Dosekun, S. (eds) (2019) African luxury: aesthetics and politics. Bristol: Intellect

Kovats-Bernat, J. C. (2006) Sleeping Rough in Port-au-Prince: an Ethnography of Street Children and Violence in Haiti. Florida: University of Florida Press

Mamdani, M. (2004) Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror. New York: Pantheon Books

Matos, C. (2012) Media and Politics in Latin America: Globalisation, democracy and identity. New York: I.B. Tauris

Mignolo, W. (2012). The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. Durham, NC: Duke University Press

Mody, B. (ed.) (2003) International and Development Communication: A 21st Century Perspective. 2nd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Rai, S. M. and Waylen, G. (eds) (2014) New Frontiers in Feminist Political Economy. London and New York: Routledge

Rodriguez, C. (2011). Citizens’ Media against Armed Conflict: Disrupting Violence in Colombia. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press

Said, E. (1979) Orientalism. New York: Vintage


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Teachers' comment

Using theoretical and empirical examples, this course challenges students to raise questions about the power and role of international media, including NGO and non-western media, in reporting on, representing and shaping discourses about poverty, disasters, development and the everyday lives of citizens in the global south.

Students' comments

"I love the way of discussing complex materials through role playing. It pushes me to think about the relationship between theory and practice."

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2019/20: 64

Average class size 2019/20: 16

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills