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Module UXS-2216:
Politics of the Media

Module Facts

Run by School of Music, Drama and Performance

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Dyfrig Jones

Overall aims and purpose

This module will critically examine the relationship between the public, media institutions and the state. Students on this module will discuss the key principles that inform this relationship, focusing on questions of free speech, media power and the development of the public sphere. Emphasis will be placed upon the ways in which debates surrounding these principles have shaped government policy, both in the UK and in other national contexts. Adopting a historical approach, this module will analyse specific case studies with a view to understanding the policy-making process as it applies to the media.

Course content

An indicative list of topics to be covered on this module is provided below:

  • Free speech and mass communication
  • Four theories of the press: media and politics in the 20th Century
  • Global media systems
  • The principles of Public Service Broadcasting
  • Media Power and influence
  • Media ownership
  • Guarding public morals: questions of harm and offence
  • The "Deregulation" of broadcasting
  • Regulation and the internet
  • Free speech in the age of YouTube

Assessment Criteria


Threshold: D- to D+

Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows:

  • Generally accurate but with omissions and errors.
  • Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning.
  • Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions.
  • Draws on a relatively narrow range of material.


Good: C- to B+

Submitted work is competent throughout and may be distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It:

  • Demonstrates good or very good structure and logically developed arguments.
  • Draws at least in parts on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  • Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  • Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.


Excellent: A- to A*

Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways:

  • Has originality of exposition with the student’s own thinking being readily apparent.
  • Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study.
  • Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.

Learning outcomes

  1. Analyse the relationship between media policy, academic theory and key political principles

  2. Evaluate the way in which media texts, institutions and audiences are shaped by policy

  3. Evaluate the relationship between policy-making structures and the media industry

  4. Describe and analyse key media policies throughout history

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
LOGBOOK OR PORTFOLIO Seminar portfolio

During the seminars students will be expected to undertake discussion of a number of key media policies, and will be asked to engage in discussion, debate and role-play exercises related to these policies. Each exercise will also have a short task associated with it, and at the end of the semester students must present a written record of these tasks.




Teaching and Learning Strategy


11 x 1 hour lecture


11 x 1 hour seminar

Private study

178 hours of individual study researching media policy, in preparation for the seminars and dissertation.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Creative skills – conception, elaboration, adaptation, presentation, collaboration, preservation
  • Intellectual skills shared with other disciplines – research and exploration, reasoning and logic, understanding, critical judgement, assimilation and application
  • Skills of communication and interaction – oral and written communication, public presentation, team-working and collaboration, awareness of professional protocols, sensitivity, ICT skills, etc.
  • Skills of personal management – self-motivation, self-critical awareness, independence, entrepreneurship and employment skills, time management and reliability, organisation, etc.


Resource implications for students


Talis Reading list

Reading list

Butsch, R. (2007). Media and Public Spheres. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. - Curran, J. (2002). Media, power and politics - Doyle, G. (2002). Media Ownership The Economics and Politics of Convergence and Concentration in the UK and European Media. London: SAGE Publications. - Feintuck, & Varney. (2006). Media regulation, public interest and the law. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press - Freedman, D. (2013). The Politics of Media Policy. Hoboken: Wiley. - Hallin, D., & Mancini, P. (2012). Comparing media systems beyond the Western world (Communication, society, and politics). New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • Kuhn, R. (2007). Politics and the media in Britain (Contemporary political studies series). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Lunt, P., & Livingstone, S. (2012). Media regulation: Governance and the interests of citizens and consumers.
  • McCargo, D (2003). Media and Politics in Pacific Asia (Politics in Asia). Taylor and Francis.
  • McChesney, R. (2015). Rich Media, Poor Democracy : Communication Politics in Dubious Times. New York: The New Press
  • Oates, S. (2008). Introduction to Media and Politics. London: Sage Publications.
  • Street, J. (2001). Mass media, politics, and democracy. New York: Palgrave.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: