Course Description

Course Name

Media and the Public Sphere

Session: VLNF3423

Hours & Credits

10 UK Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Assessment: interactive portfolio (4000 words or equivalent) [100%]

This module explores the way the media functions as an important part of any modern democracy. In particular it will focus on the role it plays in the creation and maintenance of a mediated public sphere. It will do this by defining what the public sphere is, why it is important to democracy, how it is thought to operate, and when and how it is thought to have developed in Britain and other nations. Taking examples from around the world the module will then explore different aspects of the public sphere and the way it relates to particular media forms, such as broadcasting and the development of the associated concept of public service broadcasting, the debates around the freedom of the press, and potential alternative public spheres as provided by reality TV and talk shows. The module will also explore how media appointed critics play a role in helping to shape public opinion, often in the interest of the dominant culture. It will end by raising questions of whether the concept of the public sphere can usefully be applied to understand developments happening on the web or whether a new concept might be required.

*Course content subject to change