Reporting War & Crises

Nikos Panagiotou

RIC 307 Reporting War & Crises


About This Course

Course Description

Covering crisis presents some of the biggest challenges in todays media. This course examines how the international broadcast, print and Web news media cover wars and other humanitarian crises. The course aims to introduce the students to the techniques of journalism in reporting war& crises and offer the necessary conceptual and practical tools to understand the rapid changes in the field.

Course Objectives

  • Familiarize students with the historical background of how war has been reported;
  •  Examine the character and quality of information reported in time of war;
  •  Examine how emerging communication technologies change war reporting and publishing;
  • To develop an understanding the dynamic nature of today’s international news.
  • To develop an understanding of how shifting parameters of the news business are affecting foreign news coverage.
  • To identify how journalists function in a crises environment to gather and get out the news.
  • To identify the various state and non-state actors and their roles in a crisis.

 Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify and articulate journalism’s guiding principles in an international setting and in hostile environments.
  2.  Develop research and critical thinking competencies that allows for greater in depth understanding of global crises.
  3. To research, to experiment, and to be creative and construct meaning related to international newsgathering and dissemination.

Class/Learning activities

Through readings, class discussion, films, lecture, case studies, and individual analyses, the course will help students construct an understanding of the culture and the reporting of war & crises and especially the dynamic interaction in war & crises areas among news producers, relief organizations, policymakers, the public and those directly affected by wars & crisis.


Type of work Description Hours
Lectures Thirteen 3-hours lectures 39
Group work Organization and coordination of group work 20
Independent study Study of compulsory and optional literature 30-35
Simulation Excersices Simulation Excersices 40-45
Written assignments-Presentations Written assignments

  1. Three essays (2.500-3.000 words)
  2. Case studies presetations
Total workload 249-279


Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment
Participation in Simulation Excersice 3-4 40% 10 th -11th week
Presentation of case study 1-2 20% 3th-12th week
Written assignments (essays) 3-4 40% 4th-14th week

 Required Reading

  • Stuart Allan and Barbie Zelizer, editors, Reporting War: Journalism in Wartime ( London : Routledge, 2004).
  • John Byrne Cook, Reporting the War: Freedom of the Press from the American Revolution to the War on Terrorism ( New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), Michael Isikoff and David Corn, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War ( New York : Three Rivers Press, 2007), 978-0-307-34682-7.
  • Philip Knightley, The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth Maker from the Crimea to Iraq (London/Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2004), 978-0801880308.