Political Science/Media Studies/Communication 327

Politics and the Media

Catalog Entry

POSC/COMS 327. (COMS 327; COMS 327) Politics and the Media. (AG)
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisite: POSC 120

Modern mass media as actors in the political arena, with an emphasis on how elections and policy-making are affected by the mass media.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Topics may include:

I. Media and Politics

A. The Modern Media
B. The Modern American Political Order

II. Media and Elections

A. Presidential elections
B. Other elections

III. Media and Policy-Making

A. Domestic Policy
B. Foreign Policy

IV. Media and Other Nations

A. Western/Parliamentarian/Free Nations
B. Totalitarian Nations
C. Third World Nations

V. Media as "Establishment"

A. United States
B. Europe

VI. Technology and It's Effects on Contemporary Politics

A. Television, radio
B. Newspapers
C. Polling and the Public

VII. Ethics and the Media

A. Government regulation?
B. Self-policing?
C. Competition?


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Lectures based on original reading and classroom discussion of that reading. Students may also be assigned essay topics for term papers based on specific moves relevant to politics and the media. Students are required to keep a journal based on systematic analysis of television and/or newspaper presentations of contemporary politics. Classroom discussion is particularly directed toward an analysis of television and how it affects politics.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. To introduce students to current research on the relationships between politics and the media.
2. To increase student awareness of how the electronic media in particular shapes our views and understanding of politics.
3. To better understand how modern media affects the decision-making and policy making functions of government.


Assessment Measures

Essay examinations given in-class, term papers, and classroom participation. A comprehensive final examination may be given at the end of the course.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

April 1998 Reviewed M. J. Franck, Dept. Chair