Media in World Politics

Mass media, politics and globalisation

Media in World Politics

Understanding the mass media and politics in a rapidly changing world.

This course will not run in the Autumn 2017 Semester or the Spring 2018 Semester as I am on sabbatical.


Course Outline and Method

This course introduces students to the study of mass media, particularly in reference to how the world of politics is understood and portrayed by the mass media. We also investigate the various linkages that exist between the mass media and other areas of social, political and economic life.

Student Attainment Objectives

  • Knowledge of the variety of actors involved in the process of production and distribution of newspapers, television news and other informational types of mass media product.
  • Knowledge of the kinds of relationships that exist between these actors.
  • Knowledge of how the variety of relationships can be seen as influencing the picture of the world the mass media presents to us.
  • Knowledge of the social role of the mass media and journalists.
  • Improved ability in reading, explaining and reviewing written academic material

Session Schedule

1.Introductions, course outline
What is the ‘mass media’?  What are the important features of ‘mass media’? Why is it worth studying? How is ‘mass’ media different to other media types? 
2.History of the Mass Media through technology
This session provides an overview of the technological developments which have shaped the media environment we live in today.
3.Media Effects - Mass media and the ‘real world’
Does the mass media have ‘effects’ on the real world? To what extent are we able to say these effects exist? How can they be investigated, described and studied? 
4-7.Journalism, Media and Politics

These four sessions deal specifically with journalism and the way politics is re-presented.

  • What is journalism? What is its social and political role?
  • Reporting Politics - the idea of ‘bias’
  • Reporting Politics - ‘framing theory’ and news
  • “Outfoxed” documentary on Fox News. 
8.Mass media and news in Japan 
A brief introduction to the mass media in Japan and to some of the features which make it interesting. 
9-11.Control and Ownership 

These three sessions deal with media control and ownership.

  • The role of the state
  • The role of the private sector
  • Globalisation and its effects 
12-13.New media, new politics? 

How has the emergence of the internet changed politics, political reporting and various types of political activity?

  • The internet and politics
  • Celebrity, entertainment and politics
14-15.Student presentations 
Assessed group presentations - details of this assignment will be given in class. 


Attendance and participation: 20%

Active efforts to take part in discussion, willingness to express ideas and ask appropriate questions. During the course it is your responsibility to provide me with evidence that you are attempting to engage with the material in a thoughtful and critical manner, you can do this primarily by asking questions and joining in with discussions in class.

NB. If you are absent five times or more without due reason you will automatically be awarded an F grade.

Assessed work: 80%

  • 1 x Essay (apx2000 words) - 50%
  • 1 x Group presentation - 30%

Details will be given in class as adjustments need to made depending on the number of students enrolled. You will be provided with a rubric for both these pieces of work.