International Journalism and Society - The Role of the Media in the Modern World

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Media and Communications
  • Application code SS-IR245
  • Starting 2020
  • Short course: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

UPDATE: Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic we will no longer be offering this course in summer 2020. Please check our latest news on this situation here.

We live in a world where information is an increasingly critical resource. The news media play a central role in the production and dissemination of that information. From Twitter to the New York Times, from Al Jazeera to Facebook, journalism is having an impact on our personal and political lives, and so it is vital to understand their role in the modern world. Recent events such as the election of President Trump and the UK EU referendum and the debate over ‘fake news’ has put the news media centre stage in national and international affairs.

This course is a unique opportunity to benefit from the LSE’s outstanding research into modern journalism combined with talks by pioneering media professionals. It is taught by Professor Charlie Beckett who was an award-winning senior journalist with the BBC and who runs the LSE’s international journalism think-tank, Polis. The course will draw upon recent high-profile research led by Professor Beckett from the LSE Truth, Trust and Technology Commission and the Polis Journalism and AI project.

Every day there will be a lecture based on the journalism course for LSE’s post-graduate media and communications students. There will also be a daily guest talk by a cutting-edge journalist giving you insights into a variety of aspects of contemporary news media. The seminars will encourage you to think and act like a journalist facing all the dramatic ethical and technological challenges of reporting the complex and dangerous world we live in. It will include a special workshop session on AI journalism skills.

Session: One
Dates: 22 June – 10 July 2020
Lecturers: Professor Charlie Beckett and Dr Omar Al-Ghazzi


Programme details

Key facts

Level: 200 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: One examination and one essay

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional

**You will need to check with your home institution

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment


An interest in contemporary journalism and international politics and fluent understanding of written and spoken English. Participants should have studied at least one introductory course in either political science, international relations, sociology, economics or media and communications.

This course is suitable for professionals and activists working in journalism or media-related fields as well as students from all backgrounds. 

Programme structure


  • The Media Landscape

What is Journalism Today?

  • What is Journalism?
  • Networked Journalism
  • Media and Democracy
  • Social Media, Journalism and Democracy

Ethical Challenges to Journalism

  • Social Media and Politics: Post-truth or Pre-lie
  • Journalism and Collective Memory
  • Reporting Terror
  • What happens to News when it gets Emotional?
  • Truth, Trust and Technology

AI and the Future of Journalism

  • Artificial Intelligence and Journalism
  • Artificial Intelligence: A Journalism Workshop

Course outcomes

Participants in this course will emerge with a better understanding of the shifts taking place in the practices, forms and processes within the news media and their consequences for the role of journalism in contemporary society.


LSE’s Department of Media and Communications is a world-leading centre for education and research in communication and media studies at the heart of LSE’s academic community in central London. The Department is ranked first in the UK and third globally in its field in the 2018 QS World University Rankings.

The Department of Media and Communications at LSE conducts critical, empirical and engaged research into the central role of media and communications within contemporary society. Its research has been ranked first in the most recent UK research evaluation, with 91% of research outputs ranked world-leading or internationally excellent.

On this three-week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE’s media and communications faculty.

Reading materials

C. Beckett, SuperMedia, Blackwell (2008)
R. Silverstone, Media and Morality, Polity (2006)

Other Sources:

POLIS Director’s Comentary blog:

POLIS on Twitter: @charliebeckett

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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