Politics, Communication, Media

Subject 100-302 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 3 contact hours/week , 5.5 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Completion of 25 points of core Media and Communications subjects and 25 points of optional Media and Communications subjects at first year.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Sally Young


Sally Young

Subject Overview: This subject examines the changing relationship between the media and contemporary political institutions and processes. Major topics include the media's role in setting political agendas, the media's function as 'fourth estate', the rise of techniques of image politics and news management, and the heightened importance given to polling and the tracking of public opinion. Debates about objectivity, bias and balance in reporting will be examined in detailed case studies, as will the political aspects of media ownership, the challenges posed to traditional political institutions by the new media, and the role of the media in sustaining the public sphere in contemporary society. Students will be presented with examples drawn from a range of media forms including television, newspapers and the internet, focusing on advertising and public relations campaigns undertaken by political parties in Australia and elsewhere. Students completing this subject will develop skills in researching political issues for the media, and will gain a better understanding of the ways in which political parties attempt to influence media coverage.
Assessment: A research essay of 2500 words 60% (due at the end of semester), a short essay of 1500 words 35% (due mid-semester) and a 10-minute seminar presentation 5%. Students must complete all assignments and attend at least 80% of classes to be eligible for assessment. Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit up to 2-weeks after the final due date without a formal extension and special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to identify the diversity of media structures and policies in different political systems;
  • be able to critically analyse the role of contemporary media institutions and communication practices in sustaining democratic societies;
  • be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different media strategies and communications practices used in the contemporary political arena;
  • be able to plan and independently research key political issues for both written and oral presentations.
Notes: Students who have completed 100-208 Politics, Communication, Media are not permitted to enrol in this subject. This subject is only available to those students enrolled in the BA (Media and Communications), BA (Media and Communications)/Bachelor of Commerce and BA (Media and Communications)/Bachelor of Laws. Students who have completed 100-108 or 100-208 Politics, Communication, Media are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communications) and Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communication) & Bachelor of Commerce
Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Media and Communications

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