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Politics and the Media



Objective: 1. To develop a better understanding of the ways in which media and politics interact in democratic societies, from both theoretical and empirical perspectives.
Objective: 2. To improve students’ ability to evaluate the quality of media reporting.

Content: This course examines the interactions between mass media institutions and actors, on the one hand, and politicians, political institutions, and citizens, on the other, and we will be centrally concerned with scrutinizing the functions that the mass media must fulfill in order to support democratic functioning. What effects, for example, do the media have on citizens’ political knowledge? Are there certain types of information that the media simply do not provide to the public? Is the news biased toward certain political actors and their points of view? How are the internet and social media changing the media-politics landscape?
We will apply theories of democratic deliberation, journalistic practices, political economy of the media, and political behavior to better understand these questions and more.

Method of Instruction

Lectures and class discussions.

Study Material

Wolfsfeld, Gadi. 2011. Making Sense of Media & Politics: Five Principles in Political Communication. New York: Routledge.
Other reading materials will be posted on Blackboard.


The final exam will consist of short answer and essay questions covering both the assigned reading and lectures.

First opportunity for a written exam
Thursday 18 December 2014, 13.00-16.00 in the USC (Universitair Sports Centre)

Second opportunity for a written exam
Wednesday 21 January 2015, 13.00-16.00 in the USC

Exam registration

Student must register for each exam through uSis. This is only possible from 100 until 10 calendar days before the exam. More information on exam registration


Wednesday 29 October until 10 December, 15.00-17.00 hrs in SA41
Friday 31 October until 21 November, 11.00-13.00 hrs in SA41 (no lectures on 14 and 28 November)
Friday 5 and 12 December, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 1A20

Workgroup 1: Wednesday 29 October until 10 December, 13:00-15:00 hrs in 5B16
Workgroup 2: Wednesday 29 October until 10 December, 11.00-13.00 hrs in SA37 (except 19 Nov in 0A33, 3 Dec in SA29)
Workgroup 3: Wednesday 29 October until 10 December, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 1A37 (except 19, 26 Nov and 10 Dec in 1A27)
Workgroup 4: Wednesday 29 October until 10 December, 17:00-19:00 hrs in 5B16 (Exchange students)

Admission requirement

Basic knowledge of Political Science is required to take this course. This implies that you have followed at least 10 ECTS of courses on government and politics.


Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to