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Politics and the Media


Admission requirements

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


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.



Mode of instruction

Lectures and class discussions.

Course load



Grades will be based on workgroup participation (workgroup attendance is mandatory), a short written research project, and final exam. The final exam will consist of short answer and essay questions covering both the assigned reading and lectures.

First opportunity for an exam
Thursday 17 December 2015, 13.00-16.00 in the USC

Second opportunity for an exam
Wednesday 20 January 2016, 13.00-16.00 in the USC


Students can find the course syllabus and additional course materials on Blackboard. Students are advised to enroll on Blackboard before the start of the course.

Reading list

Wolfsfeld, Gadi. 2011. Making Sense of Media & Politics: Five Principles in Political Communication. New York: Routledge.
Other reading materials will be available via Blackboard or in the library.



Students need to register for lectures and work group sessions in uSis. It is not possible to take a course without a valid registration. Please consult the course registration website for information on registration periods and further instructions.


Students are not automatically registered for exams. They can register themselves in uSis until 10 calendar days before the exam date at the latest. Students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the exam. More information can be found on the exam registration website.

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