MC423      Half Unit
Global Media Industries

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Bingchun Meng FAW.7.01H


This course is available on the MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and Fudan), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and UCT), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC), MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance), MSc in Media and Communications (Research), MSc in Media, Communication and Development and MSc in Politics and Communication. This course is not available as an outside option.

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.

Course content

This course helps you understand the operation of global media industries at the intersection of politics, business and culture. The course presents an overview of the changing mechanisms of media production, distribution and consumption in the age of digital networks and global interconnection. We will examine how media industries work, why they work as they do, and their broader social and cultural implications. We will take a comparative perspective to compare and contrast the arrangement of media and communication industries in different countries/regions. We will also highlight the changes that digital technologies have brought to different types of media industries, including news industry, entertainment industry, and marketing and advertising. Questions to be explored include “How modes of media production have changed in different contexts and periods?” “What are the key issues facing media industries?” “What role do advertising and market research play in the life and design of media products?” “How do technological and legislative developments influence the way that the products of media industries are produced, distributed and consumed?” In order to address these questions, we will utilize key concepts such as convergence, commodification, flexible accumulation, and creative labour. We draw upon theoretical insights offered by political economy, cultural studies, sociology and feminism to analyze cases of media industries across the globe. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the industrial dynamics of media production as well as their own engagement with cultural industries.

Course objectives:

This course aims to help you:

Topics are structured as follows:


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


Essay (80%, 3000 words) in the ST.
Case study (20%) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2018/19: 47

Average class size 2018/19: 16

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 17.1
Merit 63.1
Pass 17.1
Fail 2.7

Teachers' comment

This course examines the transformation of media industries in relation to the recent political economic, cultural and technological changes at the global scale. We will also explore how such transformation impact the content circulating across media platforms.

Students' comments

"It is a very stimulating course with good readings and diverse topics, very relevant to current issues."