MC422      Half Unit
Critical Studies in Media and Journalism

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Damian Tambini TW1.8.01e

Professor Charlie Beckett S102


This course is available on the MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and Fudan), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC), MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media and Communications (Research) and MSc in Politics and Communication. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The news media are instrumental not only in disseminating information but also in shaping the opinions, sensibilities and dispositions of their publics. This course draws on cutting-edge theory and empirical examples in order to enable students to understand the process by which the news media operate as major ethico-political agents in our societies as well as to critically analyse the profound transformations that news journalism is undergoing today, under the pressures of media globalisation and digitialisation. On completion of this course, students should be able to: understand the role of global journalism in society today; critically discuss different theoretical conceptions of journalism as practiced in a wide variety of social and political contexts; compare and contrast the role of journalism in contexts ranging from mainstream to alternative media outlets; evaluate the normative and empirical connections between media journalism, the production of news and ethical considerations; critically assess contemporary debates about the changing nature of journalism and its implications for cultural understanding and democracy.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to complete advance reading, prepare seminar presentations, and submit one essay of 1,500 words.

Indicative reading

Allan, S. (2009) The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism, London: Routledge; Beckett, C. (2008) Supermedia, London: Blackwell; Cottle, S. (2009) Global Crisis Reporting, Milton Keynes: Open University Press; Chouliaraki, L. (2006) Spectatorship of Suffering, London: Sage; Frosh, P. and Pinchevski, A. (2009) Media Witnessing, London: Palgrave; De Burgh (2005) Making Journalists, London: Sage; Hafez, K. (2007) The myth of media globalization, Cambridge: Polity; Muhlmann, G. (2008) A Political History of Journalism, Cambridge: Polity; Paterson, C. and Sreberny, A. (eds) (2004) International News in the 21st Century, Eastleigh: John Libbey Publishers for University of Luton Press; Rodgers, J. (2012) Reporting Conflict, Palgrave; Silverstone, R. (2006) Media and Morality: On the rise of the Mediapolis, Cambridge: Polity.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

To be submitted in week 2 of Summer Term.

Teachers' comment

This course will explore how journalism is going through a series of revolutionary changes thanks to digital technologies and how those changes are impacting on everything from politics to war.

Students' comments

"I really enjoyed how interactive this course was and the way we participated in the lectures and seminars."

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2012/13: 45

Average class size 2012/13: 15

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 83.7%



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