Module UXS-3016:
The Politics of Media

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

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

excellent

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.

threshold

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

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.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate 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. Demonstrate demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the policy-making process, as it relates to the media

  4. Critically analyse media policy

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
LOGBOOK OR PORTFOLIO Seminar Portfolio

A portfolio of policy studies, developed during the weekly seminars.

50
REPORT Essay

Students must choose a media policy document, and write a report outlining the policy's historical development, measuring its impact upon the media, and evaluating the degree to which it succeeded in meeting its aims.

50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

1 hour lecture, every week for 11 weeks

11
Seminar

1 hour seminar, every week for 11 weeks

11
Private study

178 hours of private study. This should be spent preparing for the seminar tasks, researching and writing your essay.

178

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • 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.
  • 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

  • Engage critically with major thinkers and debates within the field, putting them to productive use. (QAA Subject Benchmark Statement, Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies, October 2016. Subject Specific Skill 5.2 i)
  • Understand forms of communication, media, film and culture as they have emerged historically and appreciate the processes through which they have come into being, with reference to social, cultural and technological change (QAA Subject Benchmark Statement, Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies, October 2016. Subject Specific Skill 5.2 ii)
  • Carry out various forms of research for essays, projects, creative productions or dissertations involving sustained independent and critical enquiry (QAA Subject Benchmark Statement, Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies, October 2016. Subject Specific Skill 5.3 i)
  • Locate, retrieve, evaluate and draw upon the range of data, sources and the conceptual frameworks appropriate to research in the chosen area (QAA Subject Benchmark Statement, Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies, October 2016. Subject Specific Skill 5.3 ii)
  • Collate, critically evaluate and understand a variety of research material within and beyond academic literature. (QAA Subject Benchmark Statement, Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies, October 2016. Subject Specific Skill 5.3 viii)
  • Critically appraise public debate relevant to communications, media, film and culture (QAA Subject Benchmark Statement, Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies, October 2016. Subject Specific Skill 5.5 i)
  • Analyse how media and cultural policies are devised and implemented, both nationally and internationally, and the ways in which citizens and diverse communities, as well as organisations do, or can, play a part in shaping them (QAA Subject Benchmark Statement, Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies, October 2016. Subject Specific Skill 5.5 ii)
  • Understand the range of attitudes and values arising from the complexity and diversity of contemporary communications, media, film, culture and society (QAA Subject Benchmark Statement, Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies, October 2016. Subject Specific Skill 5.5 iv)

Resources

Resource implications for students

No resource implications for students

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: