Risk Communication and Crisis Journalism

The pathway focuses on the ways media and public, private, or non-governmental organizations communicate about present, emerging, and evolving risks. Combining the methodical engagement with the rich theoretical and case study research literature with a hands-on coverage of current crises and emergencies, the pathway explores the best practices in dealing with peace and war, environment, science, and public health, through strategic communication and crisis management methods to confront disinformation and hate speech.

Learning Objectives

  • Awareness of the significance of risk communication in contemporary global society
  • Ability to match appropriate form of risk communication to type of risk
  • Appreciation of the challenges and parameters of independent reporting in the diverse field of risk/crisis journalism
  • Acquisition of key investigative, analytical and reporting skills regarding the covering of crises/risks/emergencies issues from an independent, scrupulous and socially responsible point of view.

Program Details

Digital Media, Communication and Journalism is a full-time (90 ECTS) English language Master’s program, the first of its kind among Greek public Universities. Designed to combine practice-based learning with sustained theoretical reflection, the intensive 12 months post-graduate program includes two course semesters and a third one, dedicated to the research and writing of a Thesis.

Program Structure

The structure of the program has been designed with a view to combine in-depth specialization with students’ freedom to select a set of courses that best matches their research and professional interests.

For the successful completion of each pathway students must:

  • Take the core course of the preferred pathway
  • Select at least 3 electives offered in the preferred pathway
  • Select up to 2 electives offered by the other two pathways
  • Complete a dissertation on a topic related to the subject areas covered by the preferred pathway.


Semester Courses Description ECTS
1st 3 courses 1 core course (10 ECTS) and 2 electives (20 ECTS) 1 of which can be from another pathway 30
2nd 3 courses 3 electives 1 of which can be from another pathway 30
1st and 2nd Semester Credits 60
3rd Dissertation 30
Total Credits 90

Core Course

RIC 301 | Risk Communication

Semester: A
ECTS: 10

Course Description The course presents the full array of major risks facing humanity universally and concerning both nature and social organization: environmental sustainability, public health, extreme inequality / poverty, migrations. Seen both from the political economy and communications perspective such challenges are examined through the lens of how usefully they are reported about. Key professional practice issues arise concerning whether severe risks and challenges should be mediated alternatively. ‘Risk Communication’ elucidates such options, discussing the need for ‘proactive journalism’, fostering conscious and conscientious actors: i.e. policy-makers and citizens who contribute to sustainable natural and socio-economic environment. Course Objectives Familiarize with concepts of ‘environmental risk’, ‘social crises’, ‘global public goods’ Distinguish diverse categories of interlinked risks and challenges Grasp consequential irreversible impact of environmental risks / crises on large populations Elaborate with notions of ‘normative journalism’ for global awareness and rescue Come to terms with non-partisan, activist types of journalism. Learning Outcomes Identify environmental risks and their concrete impact on society Capacity to analyze risks critically from a multi-stakeholder perspective Ability to compare risks and stakes between competing interests of various kinds, while considering and defending the ‘public interest’ Construct proactive journalism methods: defending ‘global public goods’ and the universal common interest Approach humanity’s welfare risks beyond borders or nationalistic scope  Class/Learning activities Lectures, workshops, in situ study-visits, group simulation workshops, in-class presentations, literature study, written assignments. Workload Type of work Description Hours Lectures Thirteen 3-hours lectures 39 Simulation of roles in group work Coordination of role play-acting and group work 20-25 Independent study Study of required and optional literature 40-45 Research Off- and Online research 35-40 Written assignments-Presentations Written assignments in-class oral presetantion and defense of main assignment submitting of the written essay of 3000 words (plus/minus 500) 120-140 Total workload 254-289  Assessment Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment Participation in group work and discussion 1-5 20% Regularly Preliminary Oral Presentation (of written) assignment 1-5 20% 8th-12th week Simulating of Roles workshops 3-4 20% 5th-8th week Submit written assignment (essay) 1-5 40% 14th week  Required Reading Beck Ulrich, (1991), ‘Risk Society’, Cambridge, Polity Press, Beck Ulrich, (2007), ‘World at Risk’, Cambridge, Polity Press in Maxwell R. et al. ‘Media and the Ecological Crisis’, (eds), New York, Routledge Kaul, Inge, Isabelle Grunberg & Mark A.Stern, (eds), (1999) ‘Global Public Goods’, Oxford University Press, Oxford Maxwell Richard, Jon Raundalen, Nina Lager Vestberg, (2014), ‘Media and the Ecological Crisis’, (eds), New York, Routledge Sophia Kaitatzi-Whitlock, (2014), ‘E-waste, Human Waste, Infoflation’, Stig A. Nohrstedt (ed), (2010), ‘Communicating Risks: Towards the Threat Society?’, Gothenburg, NORDICOM   Additional Essay-supporting Reading List Beck Ulrich, (1988), ‘What Is Globalization?’ Polity Press, Cambridge Crenson A. Matthew (1971), ‘The Unpolitics of Air Pollution’, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore & London European Union, Commission, (2008), ‘A sustainable Future in Our Hands: guide to the EU’s sustainable development strategy’, CEC, Luxembourg George Soros, (1998), ‘The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Open Society Endangered’, New York, Public Affairs Gorz Andre, (1980), ‘Ecology as Politics’, South End Press, Boston Habermas Jurgen, (2003), ‘The Future of Human Nature’, Cambridge, Polity Löfstedt Ragnar & Boholm Åsa, (2009), ‘Risk’, (eds), London, EarthScan Publishing Martin Rees, (2003), ‘Our Final Century: will the human race survive the twenty-first century?’, London, Heinemann Naomi Klein, (2008), ‘The Shock Doctrine’; Toronto, Random House Limited Ralston Saul John (1995), ‘The Unconscious Civilization’ , New York, Free Press


MCC 400 | Communication Research Methods

Semester: A
ECTS: 10

Course Description This unit covers in detail the practice of research methods in the field of communication. Students will become familiar with developing the research question(s), formulating the research questions and hypotheses of their study, selecting participants and instruments. Moreover, they will explore the various designs that are used in quantitative (e.g. experimental and quasi experimental design, correlational design, surveys) and qualitative (e.g. interviews, focus groups) research. During these sessions students will learn how to select the appropriate research design depending on the area they wish to study and the analysis that is required for each set of data (quantitative or qualitative). A great emphasis is also given to the ethical issues in research methods. Course Objectives Understand the issues involved in the design of research in the field of communication Understand the strengths and weaknesses of each research methodology Formulate a clear research question and be able to write a research proposal Select the appropriate research technique to answer specific research questions in the field of communication Communicate and disseminate the research output Learning Outcomes After successful completion of the course students will be able: To perform effective literature search Το adopt a critical approach to existing scientific knowledge To set the appropriate goal and research questions To justify their methodological choices Το apply a variety of research designs To design a realistic research proposal Class/Learning activities Lectures, workshops, group work, in-class presentations, literature study, written assignments Workload Type of work Description Hours Lectures Thirteen 3-hours lectures 39 Independent study Study of compulsory and optional literature 30-40 Article Presentation Locate and present an article during class 25-30 Labs Develop, submit and present the materials required for each of the three labs 50-60 Research Proposal 3.000 words written assignment 90-100 Total workload 239-269 Assessment Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment Participation in-class discussion 2-5 10% Regularly Lab Presentations 1-4 20% 5th, 9th, 13th week Article Presentations 1-2 10% Regularly Research proposal 5-6 60% 15th week Required Reading Wimmer, R. D., & Dominic, J. R. (2013). Mass media research: An introduction (10 th ed). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Publishing Additional Recommended Reading Babbie, E. (2013). The basics of social research (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning. Baxter, L., & Babbie, E. (2004). The basics of communication research. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning Berger, A. (2019). Media and communication research methods: An introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches (5 th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approach (5th ed.). Thousand Oak: CA, Sage. Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2016). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (4rth ed.). Thousand Oak: CA, Sage Lindlof, T. R., & Taylor, B. C. (2017). Qualitative communication research methods (4rth ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Merrigan, G., & Huston, C. L. (2019). Communication research methods (4rth ed.). Oxford University. Mertens, D. M. (2015). Research and evaluation in education and psychology: Integrating diversity with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods (4rth ed.). Thousand Oak: CA, Sage. Silverman, D. (2018). Doing qualitative research (4rth ed.). London: Sage.

MCC 402 | Qualitative Research Methods in Communication

Semester: B
ECTS: 10

Course description The course aims to introduce students to the conceptualization, design, and difficulties of qualitative research methods used in media and communication studies, including participant observation and digital ethnography, depth interviews, focus groups, historical analysis, discourse, thematic, visual and content analysis. Course objectives Develop an attitude of exploring inquiries, innovation and creativity, concerning the fields of journalism and popular culture Develop critical thinking skills to assess ideas, acquiring research skills, synthesizing knowledge across disciplines and applying academic knowledge to personal experiences throughout the media world. Develop research abilities through implementing qualitative methodological tools for investigating either the production/content of mediated messages or the audience responses to them. Learning outcomes Familiarize with the logic, design, and pitfalls of qualitative research in media and communication Apply general principles of qualitative analysis to accomplish and evaluate research in media and communication Associate major techniques of qualitative analysis to concrete research topics of interest. Class/Learning activities Lectures, group work, in-class presentations, literature study, written assignments.

RIC 307 | Reporting War & Crises

Semester: A
ECTS: 10

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 Identify and articulate journalism’s guiding principles in an international setting and in hostile environments.  Develop research and critical thinking competencies that allows for greater in depth understanding of global crises. 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.  Workload 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 Three essays (2.500-3.000 words) Case studies presetations 120-140 Total workload 249-279  Assessment 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. Hoskins, A., & O’Loughlin, B. (2018) War and media the emergence of diffused war

RIC 305 | Mass Communication and Public Health

Semester: B
ECTS: 10

Course Description The course provides an overview to health communication research. Its primary goal is to discuss how communication can change health risk behaviors. It has a theoretical and a practical focus. Theoretically, it employs a psychological perspective by focusing on the psychological processes underlying the formation and change of health-related attitudes and behaviors. Theories are conceived as the essential tools we use to implement successful communication campaigns. Practically, the course employs an empirical approach to evaluation of health communication: students will design an empirical study, collect and analyze data, and write up a paper on a health communication issue, which, unavoidably this year, will be the COVID-19 pandemic. Course Objectives Understand the concepts and theories of health communication. Understand the processes through which media affect health behaviors Understand the design of health campaigns Understand the obstacles that health campaigns face  Learning Outcomes Define core concepts and theories of health communication. Identify different kinds of health communication effects. Explain the processes underlying health communication effects. Analyze and synthesize relevant research Write about health communication campaigns. Class/Learning activities Lectures, group work, in-class presentations, independent study, written assignments.  Workload Type of work Description Hours Lectures Thirteen 3-hours lectures 39 Independent study Study of class materials and readings 40-50 Readings presentation Presenting and leading a discussion on three relative topics 45-60 In-class presentation Conference type presentation of final paper 10-20 Final paper Design of a health communication campaign (3.000-3.500 words) 110-120 Total workload 244-289  Assessment Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment Participation in group discussion 1-2 10% On a regular basis Reading presentation 1-3 30% (3X10%) On a regular basis Presentation 1-4 10% 12th week Written assignment (final paper) 3-5 50% 13th week Required Reading Hornik, R. (Ed.). (2002). Public health communication: Evidence for behavior change. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Rice, R. E., & Atkin, C. K. (Eds.). (2013). Public communication campaigns (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. National Cancer Institute. (2001). Making health communication programs work. Available online at: http://www.cancer.gov/pinkbook Suggested Reading Crano, W. D., & Burgoon, M. (Eds.) (2002). Mass media and drug prevention: Classic and contemporary theories and research. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Glanz, K., Rimer, B. K., & Viswanath, K. (Eds.). (2004). Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. McKenzie, J. F., Neiger, B. L., & Smeltzer, J. L. (2005). Planning, implementing & evaluating health promotion programs (4th Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pearson. Thompson, T. L., Parrott, R., & Nussbaum, J.F. (Eds.) (2011). The Routledge handbook of health communication. Mahwah, NJ: Routledge. Witte, K., Meyer, G., & Martell, D. P. (2001). Effective health risk messages: A step-by-step guide. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

RIC 303 | Environmental Journalism

Semester: B
ECTS: 10

Course Description The course aims to examine main ecological issues in Greece. The purpose of this course is to teach students how report and write articles effectively about environmental issues and review topics of scientific importance of the area. Senior journalists and environmental experts are guest speakers. Students, also, go on field trips and have in-class discussion with representatives of ecological organizations and other environmental experts. They can also visit ecological food and wine producers and small agrotοurism enterprises. The core of the class consists of environmental news stories that students should prepare. Course Objectives Understanding of the concept and the practices of environmental journalism. Awareness of the meaning of the environmental issues in our world. Understand the main scientific definitions for the environment. Understand the new aspects of ecological crises. Learning Outcomes Analyze critically the ecological issues in modern world Define the core concepts of environmental journalism Write articles following professional standards for style, structure and information- gathering Build on information-gathering with interviews with environmental experts Class/Learning activities Lectures, workshops, in-class presentations, literature study, written assignments, environmental trips. Workload Type of work Description Hours Lectures Thirteen 3-hours lectures 39 Environmental trips Trips in agrotourism enterprises 15-20 Independent study Study of compulsory and optional literature 40-45 Research Online research 35-40 Written assignments-Presentations Written assignments one short assignment (600-800 words) essay (4.000-4.500 words) in-class presetations 120-140 Total workload 249-284 Assessment Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment Presentation of written assignment 1-2 20% 8th-12th week Written assignment (short) 3-4 30% 5th-8th week Written assignment (essay) 1-4 50% 14th week Required Reading Annin, P., The great lakes water wars. Island Press, N.Y., 2006. Corbett, J., Communicating Nature. How we create and understand Environmental Messages. Island Press, N.Y., 2006. Friedman, T., Hot, fat and crowed: Why the World needs a green revolution-and how we can renew our global future. Penguin Books Ltd, UK, 2008.

RIC 302 | Peace Journalism

Semester: A
ECTS: 10

Course Description The course seeks to introduce students to the conceptσ of peace, conflict and violence, and analyze the role that media/journalists can play in conflict resolution and peace-building. Through a number of case studies, it examines how journalism can create opportunities to consider and value non-violent responses to conflict. In so doing, not only does it compare war journalism (the dominant paradigm, which generates a simplistic perception of significant events) to peace journalism (an alternative approach), but also examines techniques on how the reporting of war and violence (direct, structural, cultural) can be made more accurate and more useful by seeking the roots of conflict and highlighting possible solutions. Course Objectives Analyze the concepts of peace, violence and conflict. Understand the concept, main theory and practice of peace journalism. Analyze the differences between traditional/confrontational journalism and peace journalism. Examine the importance of conflict resolution in peace journalism. Examine the dilemmas and obstacles of peace journalism (individual, structural and ideological). Learning Outcomes Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: Critically understand the mainstream media coverage of conflict Define the core concepts of peace journalism Understand how peace journalism can contribute to conflict resolution Positively affect the peace-building process and mitigate conflict through reporting, Offer alternative approaches to negative stereotypes through reporting, Help the audience/citizens understand the deeper and underlying causes of conflicts, what proposals and ideas exist for their resolution. Class/Learning activities Lectures, workshops, in-class presentations, literature study, written assignments. Workload Type of work Description Hours Lectures 10 3-hours lectures 30 Independent Study Study of compulsory and optional literature 50 Exercises in class Number and content of exercises to be discussed and arranged with the instructors 100 Written assignments-Presentations To be discussed and arranged with the instructors 120 Total workload 300 Assessment Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment Written assignment 1-6 60% 13th-15th week Representations 1-6 20% 11th– 13th week Exercises 1-6 20% Regularly Bibliography – Required Reading Wolfsfeld, Gadi (2004), Media and the Path to Peace, (Cambridge University Press) Spencer, Graham (2005), The media and peace: from Vietnam to the ‘War on terror’, (Palgrave, Macmillan) Allen, Tim & Jean Seaton (1999), The Media of Conflict, (Zed Books) Beebe, Shannon & Mary Kaldor (2010), The Ultimate Weapon is No Weapon: Human Security and the New Rules of War and Peace, (Public Affairs) Hawkins, Virgil (2008), Stealth Conflicts: How the World’s Worst Violence is Ignored, (Ashgate) Ibrahim Seaga Shaw, Jake Lynch, and Robert A. Hackett (2011), Expanding Peace Journalism, (Sydney University Press). Jake Lynch, Johan Galtung (2010), Reporting Conflict: New Directions in Peace Journalism, (University of Queensland Press). Lynch, Jake (2008), Debates in Peace Journalism, (Sydney University Press) Richard Keeble, John Tulloch, Florian Zollman (2010), Peace Journalism, War and Conflict Resolution, (New York, Peter Lang) Lynch, Jake and Annabel Mc Goldbrick (2005), Peace Journalism, (Hawthorn Press) Conflict and Communication Online (http://www.cco.regener-online.de) •Vol.5, No.2, 2006, “Peace journalism I: Theoretical approaches” •Vol.6, No.1, 2007, “Peace journalism II: Case studies and teaching modules” •Vol.6, No.2, 2007, “The peace journalism controversy” Galtung J. (2006), “Peace Journalism as an Ethical Challenge”, GMJ: Mediterranean Edition 1(2) Jake Lynch (2007), “What is so great about peace journalism?”, GMJ: Mediterranean Edition 1(1) Marquette International Law 93, 2009, “International Media and Conflict Resolution: Making the connection”. Peace and Policy Τεύχος 13, 2009, “Peace Journalism in Time of War”. Rukhsana Aslam (2011), “Peace journalism: A paradigm shift in traditional media approach”, Pacific Journalism Review, 17:119-139. Reporting the World. http://www.reportingtheworld.org Search for Common Ground. http://www.sfcg.org Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. http://www.centrepeaceconflictstudies.org Center for War Peace and the News Media. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Center_for_War%2C_Peace%2C_and_the_News_Media Institute for War and Peace Reporting. www.iwpr.net


IP2300 | Writing for the Print Media

Semester: A

Course Description This advanced English course focuses on news (both hard and soft) and feature story writing for the print media. By combining theory and practice it introduces students to headline language, news story format, leads, the Associated Press stylebook and news writing techniques. The students also have the opportunity to practice their interviewing skills and to write personality features for the print media. Course Format This course will employ seminar lectures, discussions, and practical in- and out-of-class short assignments. Course Evaluation The course carries no ECTS and as such it has no formal assessment. There is an optional mid-term and final term test. Bibliography The Associated Press Stylebook (2015). Associated Press. Bagnall, Nicholas (1993). Newspaper Language. Focal Press. Dominick, J.R. (2010). The Dynamics of Mass Communications: Media in the Digital Age. NJ: Mac-Graw Hill Education. Harris, G. & D. Spark (1995), 2nd edition. Practical Newspaper Reporting, Focal Press. Itule, B. D. and D. A. Anderson (1989), 2nd edition. News Writing and Reporting for Today’s Media. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc. Keeble, R. (1994). The Newspapers Handbook. London and New York: Routledge. Mencher, M. (1994), 6th edition. News Reporting and Writing. Wm. C. Brown Publishers. Metzler, K. (1997). Creative Interviewing. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Stovall, J. G. (2009), 7th edition. Writing for the Mass Media. Boston: Pearson.

Accademic Writing Course

MCC 401 | Dissertation Research & Writing Skills

Semester: A

Course Description This course is designed to help graduate students with academic writing by developing the skills necessary to produce high quality work in term-papers and the end-of-year dissertation. The lectures, tasks and activities are richly varied, ranging from small-scale language points to studying the discourse of journalism, media, and communication. Topics to be dealt with include: writing expository and argumentative texts, writing summaries, introductions and conclusions, discussion of data, citing and attributing sources, researching and creating bibliographies. Students receive feedback on their writing and are expected to engage in self-editing and peer-reviewing. The course is highly recommended for students with little experience in writing academic papers and for those who need to brush up their skills in academic writing. Learning Outcomes By the end of this course students should be able to: Understand the features of academic writing Understand the basics of sentence, paragraph, and argument structure Use and evaluate sources, and compile a bibliography Use punctuation, in-text references, quotations, and footnotes Avoid plagiarism Write summaries/introductions/conclusions Write academic essays and their end-of-year dissertation Understand and participate in the processes of self-editing and peer-reviewing. Workload Type of work Description Hours Lectures Thirteen 3-hour lectures 39 Independent study Study of academic discourse 30 Written assignments Optional tasks on language points (grammar, vocabulary, style)  and on various types of academic writing 60 Total workload 129  Assessment Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment The course carries no formal assessment – – –