CM/PO 350 - Media and UK Politics

The British public is offered full coverage of political issues and events with half a dozen national daily ‘broadsheet’ and several tabloid newspaper, satellite and terrestrial broadcasting networks including the well-respected BBC. This number of British media means that political stories are told in multiple versions and are submitted to multiple interpretations. While journalists claim that they seek to report the facts, politicians gripe that the facts take second place in the media race to report ‘news.’ This stimulating course examines a number of issues and current topics in the news that demonstrate the long-term struggle for power between the conventional media (press, TV, radio news media as well as social media and digital channels), UK politicians and political institutions. Additional questions to be explored are: How does this struggle affect the delivery of news to the British public; what are the opportunities and challenges of media coverage of parliament’s proceedings, and whether the UK model of public service broadcasting has a future. 

Drawing on topics from current affairs, students will be encouraged to probe the consistency and contradictions of Britain's political leaders, appraise party political agendas, and explore how interest groups exercise influence in a mature democracy. In addition to acquainting students with key aspects of contemporary British politics, students will examine the structure and function of British national media. 

Students will be expected to read and comment about British domestic political developments featured in the national press and other media. After they have become generally familiar with the UK’s political system, the class will proceed to explore a succession of topics, collectively intended to illuminate, and define the changing relationship between politicians and the news media.

Note: This course is offered during the regular semester and in the summer. For summer sections, the course schedule is condensed, but the content, learning outcomes, and contact hours are the same. You can find the Media & UK Politics summer syllabus here.

Course Information


Political Science

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