Media and film studies

News, Politics and Power B

Module code: P4094
Level 5
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module explores media and politics and, more broadly, the media and questions of power. It focuses on current affairs with a stress on news; although other forms of factual content (for instance TV docudrama, web blogs, broadsheet lifestyle spin-offs) are also covered.

The module considers the role media can play in producing our understanding of the globalizing world in which we live. It asks how media frame, organize, and contextualize events, both as they take place, and in relation to the collective memories that emerge after the event. It also asks how the media themselves are managed, manipulated, and influenced – variously by governments, media owners, professional newsrooms codes, and/or by public pressure.

Finally the module is centrally concerned with the role the media play in relation to the citizen and the state. It is through the optic of citizenship, particularly in relation to the public sphere, that questions concerning the power of the media are addressed. Thus the module explores how a wide range of media contribute to the maintenance or erosion of a democratic society and an informed citizenship.

Module learning outcomes

  • Describe and critically evaluate key approaches to the analysis of news and current affairs.
  • Demonstrate a crticial understanding of prevalent approaches to researching news and news journalism.
  • Critically evaluate the debates around the role of news and current affairs in the constitution of public spheres.
  • Apply appropriate critical frameworks to evaluate some roles of mainstream, alternative and new media, in global and national news.