Not available in 2023/24
MC407      Half Unit
International Media and The Global South

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Shakuntala Banaji


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 controlled access, meaning that there is a limit to the number of students who can be accepted.

Course content

This 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 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 the global south and group identities. Building on empirical examples, the lectures aim to demonstrate that the reporting and representation of gender, poverty, climate change, disasters, political unrest by international media organisations has implications, not only for the way the global south and its diverse populations are imagined and defined, 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 colonial and violent relationships of power. 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) Provide a postcolonial and Marxist critique of the study of representations of poverty, conflict, gender, participation and the global south; (c) Critically assess aspects of the political economy of international media production within the contexts in which international and local media groups and NGOs research, package and produce information about the world (d) 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 engaged through respectful critique. The course is organized into three sections: 1) a historical and theoretical overview of international media 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 political economy, postcolonial theory and cultural studies and pertaining to race, identity, ideology, representation, regulatory frameworks, governance and democracy and 3) Cases and practices in reporting disinformation, poverty, inequality and humanitarian issues. Cross-cutting themes will include a consideration of gender, racism, ethnic and social conflict, tourism campaigns, social media and disinformation in the context of international media and change in the global south.


15 hours of lectures and 15 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 1500 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.
  • Benjamin, R. (2019) Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, Cambridge and Medford MA. Polity.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Key facts

Department: Media and Communications

Total students 2022/23: 51

Average class size 2022/23: 17

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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