POLS232-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Media and Politics

15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018


The course provides an understanding of the role of the media in domestic and international politics. It does this by analysing key theoretical assumptions and debates on the role of media institutions in the struggle for power domestically and internationally.

How do political actors such as politicians and civil society groups use the media? What role do journalists and the mass media play in the struggle for power? Do their actions really influence political outcomes? These are some of the key questions that students will be able to answer after completing this course, taking into account the contested positions put forward in the academic literature. Some of the key topics covered in this course include:

• Public opinion and media effect
• Media and democracy
• The public sphere
• Impact of new media technology on politics
• Politics and entertainment
• Political public relations, celebrity and spin
• Media and politics in New Zealand
• Elections, campaigns and the media
• Propaganda and state control
• The Propaganda Model
• Media and foreign policy
• Media, War and Peace

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Explain how journalists and the media industry report politics
  • Understand how political actors attempt to use the media
  • Argue a position on media’s power in politics and public opinion formation
  • Describe media’s role in democracy and democratic processes such as elections
  • Elaborate on how propaganda works and its effectiveness
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


15 points in POLS at 100-level. Students not meeting the prerequisites but with at least a B average in 60 points in appropriate courses may be admitted with the approval of the Department coordinator.


Equivalent Courses

Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 12:00 - 14:00 A3 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 15:00 - 16:00 Geography 602 30 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 23 Sep
1 Oct - 7 Oct
02 Wednesday 14:00 - 15:00 Jack Erskine 031 Lecture Theatre 30 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 23 Sep
1 Oct - 7 Oct
03 Thursday 12:00 - 13:00 Geography 602 30 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 23 Sep
1 Oct - 7 Oct
04 Friday 11:00 - 12:00 John Britten 117 HP Seminar Room 30 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 23 Sep
1 Oct - 7 Oct

Course Coordinator

Babak Bahador


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Essay 1 23 Aug 2018 40%
Essay 2 04 Oct 2018 40%
In-class Test 19 Oct 2018 20%
Participation Bonus of up to 5% for tutorial participation


Recommended Reading

Bahador, Babak et al; Politics and the media; Second edition; Auckland University Press, 2016.

Links to readings for each lecture topic are positioned under the lecture on Learn.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $746.00

International fee $3,038.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All POLS232 Occurrences

  • POLS232-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018