POLS232-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020

Media and Politics

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 13 July 2020
End Date: Sunday, 8 November 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 24 July 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 25 September 2020


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.

      Engaged with the community

      Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

      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.


Any 15 points at 100 level from COMS or
POLS, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA, or
the Schedule V of the BCom.


Equivalent Courses

Course Coordinator

Natalia Chaban


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Bi-weekly quizzes 10%
Forum post and forum reaction 10%
Case study 40%
Essay 40%

Textbooks / Resources

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

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $777.00

International fee $3,375.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, 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

  • POLS232-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020
  • POLS232-20S2 (D) Semester Two 2020 (Distance)