Issues in Media, Journalism an
Issues in Media, Journalism and Politics 2023-24
School Of Arts, Culture And Language
Module - Semester 2
The course considers the impact of media and journalism on society. Overall, the module uses a range of analytical perspectives (critical-theoretical, political-economic and sociological) to assess traditional and emerging media issues.
The origins of professional media and journalism are indivisible, not least because the origins of professional media lies in news. This in turn necessitated advertising revenue and media distribution channels. To explore this, the course starts with a consideration of the impact of media on society and politics in general, before moving to a more specialised focus on journalism. In the first half of the course, it will examine key media and critical theorists (such as McLuhan, Foucault and Adorno), along with foundational approaches to media (such as audience theory and political-economy). In the second half of the course, it examines issues more specific to journalism but that are also of primary relevance to understanding the media industry. This latter half presents and critiques the ideal of the public sphere. It then examines some of the forces that constitute the public sphere’s corruption – namely propaganda, public relations, advertising, market pressures and the influence of media affordances (such as those found in social media). Overall, taking a range of analytical perspectives (critical-theoretical, political-economic and sociological), a range of media and journalistic ideals, forms and practices will be critically analysed and evaluated.
-threshold -Work at this level (D and D+) will demonstrate adequate writing skills, a limited amount of background research, some attempt to grapple with concepts and a degree of success in using these to understand required topics. At threshold level mistakes will have been made in comprehension and thereafter application.
-good -At B- to B+ a greater attempt to engage with ideas will have been made. Mistakes may still have been made but the student will have read more broadly and understood their examples in greater depth (whether this be a law, company, technology or other aspect of media and journalism).
-excellent -At this level of A- and above students will display mature appreciation of media and journalism, its multifaceted nature, theoretical and ethical implications, and will have made an attempt to synthesize this understanding (to compare and contrast, and arrive at an argument). Students will also be able to make rich connections between theory and the real world so to advance understanding of either/both theory or/and appreciation of a practical media and journalism matter.
-another level-Work at this level (C- to C+) will demonstrate above average writing skills, background research and conceptual understanding and a degree of success in using these to understand issues in media and journalism.
- Demonstrate an awareness of issues of production/design and reception, ownership, access, interactivity, and the ideological implications of mediated culture.
- Demonstrate an understanding of how technologies and media culture developed from the inception of mass media until today, and how these developments can be contextualised historically.
- Demonstrate an understanding of key terms and concepts relating to mass media, media culture and digital media.
- Understand a range of critical-theoretical, political-economic and sociological approaches to studying media and journalism
Leading a seminar in small groups with a group mark given (i.e where all students receive the same mark). Preparation will include in-depth assessment of the set weekly reading, contextual reading and development of activities to engage the seminar group (e.g. you might ask your wider seminar group to debate a point; you might bring in or create an artefact (e.g. a media text) to stimulate discussion; you might divide the wider seminar group into smaller sub-groups and set them a mini-task, to assess an argument). Submitted slides will include. - A summary of key points delivered. - A summary of how debate was stimulated in the seminar - A bibliography of academic and non-academic sources consulted in preparing to co-lead the presentation. - A slide that declares that names of each team member and summarises their contribution.
In the essay for this module students will choose a ‘First Principle’ theory addressed in the first half of this module, summarise key features, and then apply this theory to one of the ‘Key Issues’ addressed in the latter half of this module. Full details provided in the module guide.