Monday , November 27 2023

Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: International Communication (CMS 301)

With the unbundling of Mass Communication programme in Nigeria, the face of communication education in the country has changed. The programme has transited into a full college/faculty while individual courses have adapted to the change. While several new courses now exist in the seven new departments, some of the courses you used to know before have also taken a new shape. We have done a thorough research on what these courses offer in universities across the world; and we have provided prototype syllabus for students to study ahead. This is also to assist lecturers who might be facing new challenges with several new courses to have an idea of what the syllabus of each course offers.



Faculty: Communication and Media Studies                                            Department: Journalism & Media Studies

Course Code: CMS 301                                          Unit(s): 2                      Semester: First

Course Title: International Communication

Lecturer:                                                       Programme: B.Sc.



This course is designed to expose students to the nature, structure, and dynamics of the world’s media systems. The focus will be on the flow of information between the industrialized and advancing nations; how ideology, culture, economy and international market structure have all contributed either in hindering or advancing the international flow of news and entertainment among nations. The scope, characteristics, peculiarities and current issues in international communication  will  be  exhaustively  treated  so  as  to  acquaint  the  student  with  a thorough knowledge of the politics and manipulative nature of international communication. The course also examines the changes in the world’s media systems as it relates to content and technologies. It further explores controversies surrounding access to information as well as the regulation of information. International news gathering and reporting, in addition to entertainment and strategic communication will be critically analyzed. At the completion of this course, students would have been acquainted with cultural, economic, political and social implications of global communications, including a comprehensive overview of the global communication landscape and the development of the technological infrastructure of international communications.


By the end of this course, students will have learned:

1. The history of the field of international communication

2. Nature, structure, content, audiences and dynamics of International media systems

3. Current theories of and research on international communication processes and effects

4. Comprehensive overview of the global communication landscape

5. The development of the technological infrastructure of international communications

6. How to compare, analyze and critique global media systems, content and audiences

7. Theories, concepts and issues relating to world news and transnational news flow

8. Cultural, economic, political and social implications of global communications.


1. Lectures

2. Quizzes

3. Assignments

4. Practical Classroom Sessions


1. Introduction to International Communication

Definition of international Communication

International communication in the digital age

International Information/News flow (Examining the imbalance)

Global communication landscape

History and Controversies (The New World Information and Communication Order, NWICO debate)

Towards an integrative view of balanced information flow

2. International Communication and ICTs

Meaning of ICTs

Technological infrastructure of international communications

ICTs, Global communication and the global village

3. Theoretical Approaches to the Study of International Communication

Modernization theory

Dependency theory

World systems

Structural imperialism



Global Village

Technological Determinism


Cultural Imperialism

Theories of information society

4. International media systems/comparative media systems

What is media system?

Indicators of a Media System

Types of media systems (Nature, structure, content, audiences and dynamics of International media systems; Western Media System; Revolutionary Media System; Communist Media System; Development Media System; Authoritarian Media System)

Media systems in Africa

Globalization and media systems

5. International News Organizations

News Agencies (Evolution, Functions, Typology)

Broadcast networks (Cable News Networks (CNN), British Broadcasting Service (BBC), Al Jazeera Networks, etc.)

Global Print Media/Entertainment Media

6. Factors Affecting International/Global Communication



Environment and Technology



7. Globalization and International Communication

What is globalization?

Globalization and international communication: The Fusion

Disappearing borders in the era of globalization (Global homogenization, Cultural hybridity, Revised cultural imperialism, Spaces of empowerment, Glocalization)

8. Implications of global communication in the current world order





International relations

9. Class activities and Assignments

Practical classroom exercises


Hachten, W. A., & Scotton, J. F. (2007). The World News Prism: Global Information in a Satellite Age (7thed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

McPhail, T. L. (2010). Global Communication: Theories, Stakeholders, and Trends (3rded.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.


Global communication and cultural identities

Impact of globalization on cross-cultural identities

What is global/international communication?

Global Communications and Cultural Identities

Cross-Cultural/International Communication

Globalization, information and communication technologies, and the prospect of a ‘global village’: Promises of inclusion or electronic colonization


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About Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a writer with passion for cutting-edge news

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