MC424      Half Unit
Media and Communication Governance

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Damian Tambini TW1.8.01e


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance). 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 (Data and Society), MSc in Media and Communications (Research), MSc in Media, Communication and Development and MSc in Politics and Communication. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

In order to accommodate academic staff research leave and sabbaticals, and in order to maintain smaller seminar group sizes, this course is capped, meaning that there is a limit to the number of students who can be accepted. Whist we do our best to accommodate all requests, we cannot guarantee you a place on this course.

Course content

Should the internet be governed? How should law and policy on the press and the media be reformed in the light of technological change? This course lays the foundation to enable students to approach these and related questions in an informed, authoritative way. Communication governance includes all attempts by public bodies to fund, licence or otherwise regulate or govern communication services or the providers of those services, usually for an alleged public benefit. The process of governance includes public policy debate and discussion and the processes of self-regulation and legal regulation. The term 'governance' refers to the norms, rules and resources together with their theoretical underpinnings that inform the production and consumption of media and communication services. The course covers the key concepts required to gain an understanding of the processes through which public authorities, corporations and the public are involved in setting rules, building institutions and providing public resources for the provision of media and communication services. This course begins from the assumption that media and communication can only be fully understood if their governance and its implications for citizens and consumers as well as producers, is understood. Illustrations are drawn from UK, European and international developments, thereby presenting a multi-levelled analytical approach to governance issues in the field. The first half of the course maps key elements of communication governance including key concepts and institutions. The second half of the course examines contemporary issues and debates in communication governance.


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the MT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

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

Indicative reading

Mansell, R. and Raboy, M (eds). (2011). Handbook of Global Media and Communications Policy. Wiley Blackwell. London;

Michael, E. J. (2006) Public Policy: The competitive framework. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Esp Chapter 5. 'Market failure and intervention';

Puppis, Manuel. Media Governance: A New Concept for the Analysis of Media Policy and Regulation Communication, Culture & Critique 3 (2010) 134-149;

Richards, E., Foster, R. and Kiedrowski, T. (eds) (2006) Communications: The Next Decade. A Collection of Essays prepared for Ofcom;

Satola, D. (2007) 'Legal Aspects of Internet Governance Reform' Information Polity, 12(1/2): 1570-1255;

Stein, L. (2004) 'Understanding Speech Rights: Defensive and empowering approaches to the First Amendment', Media Culture and Society, 26(1): 103-120;

Tambini, D. (2009). Transformation of the Public Sphere: Law, Policy and the Boundaries of Publicness. In: Mediating Europe. Jackie Harrison and Bridget Wessels, eds. Berghahn Books New York, 2009. p 47-72;

Tambini, D., Leonardi, D. and Marsden, C. (2008) Codifying Cyberspace. Self regulation in Convergent Media, London: Routledge.


See also the Country Reports and Issue Reports of the Open Society Foundation Mapping Digital Media Project; available at:


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 31.6
Merit 58.2
Pass 10.1
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2015/16: 38

Average class size 2015/16: 13

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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