Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Media and Politics: Economy and Society A
Code COMM762
Coordinator Dr A Wozniak
Communication and Media
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 7 FHEQ Second Semester 30


This module aims to encourage students to develop a critical understanding of the economic underpinnings of media and, in particular, news production, and how these relate to and impact upon media texts, discourses, and public politics more generally. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical attitude towards media ownership, and processes/conventions of media production in capitalist societies. Further, they will be given opportunities to analyse the ways in which these influences manifest themselves in media texts and, by extension, in political culture and public opinion. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical and analytical understanding of various media discourses affected by neoliberal thought, populist rhetoric, and political partisanship. Students will develop a basic understanding of media effects research, in particular as regards the use of experimental designs and regression analyses.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will have understanding of economic theories of news production and the relationship of media and communication with a neoliberal, capitalist system.

(LO2) Students will have understanding of economic media production contexts and their bearing on offline and online media discourses and, by extension, political culture and public opinion.

(LO3) Students will have understanding of current trends and developments in media technology, business logics, and media use, and their implications for democratic politics.

(LO4) Students will have understanding of approaches to studying citizens’ media use and its effects on political knowledge, attitudes, and participation.

(S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis.

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation.

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Influencing skills – argumentation.

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – visual.

(S5) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (including referencing skills).

(S6) Research skills - Awareness of /commitment to academic integrity.

(S7) Global citizenship - Relevant economic/political understanding.



The first part of the module will be dedicated to explicating the economic theories of news production, issues of media ownership and market concentration, and the business logics of commercial social media platforms. Throughout, the normative implications for democratic politics in open societies will be scrutinised.
The second part will focus on particular current trends in the media-politics-economy nexus; this may include topics such as fake news, populism, news satire, and connective action.
The third part will focus on how media content produced under the aforementioned conditions is used by audience members in an increasingly fragmented and polarized media ecology and how this affects citizens’ political knowledge, attitudes, and participation.
All library resources will be made available through the module reading list while other key learning resources (e.g., lecture slides, videos, podcasts, online articles) will be made available via the Canvas VLE.
Students will be expected to engage with current political debates and the way they are being represented in mainstream, alternative, and social media contexts.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching method: Workshop
This activity may be online or on campus and could be subject to changes.
Description: In workshops students are expected – through formal presentations, contributions to discussions, and background reading – to play an active role in creating a conducive and productive atmosphere of debate and criticism.
Schedule directed student hours: 24
Unscheduled directed student hours: 276
Attendance recorded: YES
Notes: -
Description of how self-directed learning hours may be used: Reading the key texts, reading a selection of recommended texts, critically evaluating current affairs in media and politics that relate to module content, preparing and working on assessment tasks

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours           24

Timetable (if known)           120 mins X 1 totaling 24
Private Study 276


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Academic poster (resit option, anonymous)  Academic poster    30       
Essay 3500 words (resit option, anonymous)  3150-3850 words    70       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.