Prospectus

nl en

Media and Politics

Course 2012-2013

Description

Purpose: 1. To develop a better understanding of the interactions between the media and politics in advanced western democracies. 2. To improve students’ ability to carry out research that employs careful, critical analysis of the media and evaluates its impact on democratic politics.

Content: Many scholars and commentators have raised an alarm about an apparent decline in political engagement among citizens of advanced western democracies, and a number have suggested that this decline can be attributed, at least in part, to changes in the media landscape. Consolidation of media outlets into large, corporate, and global conglomerates reduces the ethic of “social responsibility” among media institutions and actors, some argue. Market impulses turn news into “infotainment” and thereby harm citizens’ political knowledge, others contend.

This course will examine the interaction between media and politics in Western Europe and the United States, with a primary concern for the way media practices impact the functioning of representative democracy. We will apply theories of democratic deliberation, journalistic practices, political economy of the media, and political behavior to better understand this interaction. And we will ask questions such as: What is the impact of the media on citizen attitudes and beliefs? Whose voice is heard through the media? Is the media becoming more sensationalist, and, if so, how does this impact democracy?

The last third of the course will explore the changes in the relationship between media and democratic politics that have emerged with the expansion of the internet and social media. We will critically assess the ways in which these tools have altered traditional media policies and practices, as well the potential the internet and social media hold for reinvigorating citizen engagement and democratic politics more broadly.

Methods of Instruction

Class sessions will be primarily discussion-based, with some short lectures.

Study Material TBA

Examination

Grades will be based on four components: 1. In-class participation: 20%. 2. Brief presentation: 15%. 3. Short reading reflection papers: 25%. 4. Research paper: 40%.

Schedule

Donderdag 7 februari van 20.15 – 22.00 uur, Schouwburgstr. zaal A0.01
Donderdag 14 februari van 20.15 – 22.00 uur, Schouwburgstr. zaal A0.01
Donderdag 21 februari van 20.15 – 22.00 uur, Schouwburgstr. zaal A0.01
Donderdag 7 maart van 20.15 – 22.00 uur, Schouwburgstr. zaal A0.01l
Donderdag 14 maart van 20.15 – 22.00 uur, Schouwburgstr. zaal A0.01
Donderdag 21maart van 20.15 – 22.00 uur, Schouwburgstr. zaal A0.01

Donderdag 4 april van 20.15 – 22.00 uur, Schouwburgstr. zaal A0.01
Donderdag 18 april van 20.15 – 22.00 uur, Schouwburgstr. zaal A0.01
Donderdag 2 mei van 20.15 – 22.00 uur, Schouwburgstr. zaal A0.01
Donderdag 16 mei van 20.15 – 22.00 uur, Schouwburgstr. zaal A0.01
Donderdag 23 mei van 20.15 – 22.00 uur, Schouwburgstr. zaal A0.01