Democracy and the Media

The details
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 07 October 2021
Friday 01 July 2022
11 May 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module is open to third year students. It will be particularly useful to students who wish to pursue a career in the media, communications or marketing.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to provide students with a good understanding of the relationship between the media and politics, particularly – but not exclusively – in Great Britain.

Module learning outcomes

The module will provide students with an understanding of:

1. The relationship between the media and democratic values.
2. The structure of the media and the regulatory system.
3. The relationship between politicians and the media.
4. How to systematically analyse media content.

Module information

BBC Radio 4 has a regular programme called The Media Show. If you are not able to listen to the original broadcasts you can catch up with shows via downloads.

The Guardian newspaper is usually the first place to look for news about the media since it is the `House newspaper` for people who work in the media. You should particularly look out for articles by Roy Greenslade.

You should also look what is available on the Reuters Institute for the Study of journalism website at the University of Oxford. This carries reports from both scholars and practitioners.

The BBC Academy is another good sources of information and provides clues about the skills needed to get a career in journalism and/or the media.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered with a two-hour weekly seminar that will be live streamed to students off-campus. Listen Again The Listen Again system will be activated during classes, enabling you to listen to discussions without worrying too much about notes.


  • Kuhn, Raymond. (2007) Politics and the media in Britain, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. vol. Contemporary political studies series
  • (no date) House of Commons Library Social Media Regulation.
  • (no date) Audience attitudes to the licence fee and public service broadcasting provision beyond the BBC.
  • (no date) ECHR.
  • Leveson, Brian Henry; Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. (2012) An inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press, London: The Stationery Office. vol. HC
  • (no date) H M Government, Online Harms White Paper.
  • So, what is a free press?, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/nov/23/what-is-a-free-press
  • Sanders, Karen. (2009) Communicating politics in the twenty-first century, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Harcup, Tony; O'Neill, Deirdre. (2001-01) 'What Is News? Galtung and Ruge revisited', in Journalism Studies. vol. 2 (2) , pp.261-280
  • (no date) The Leveson Report.
  • Bartle, John. (c2006) 'New Labour and the media', in Britain at the polls, 2005, Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
  • BBC Academy, http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/
  • IPSO Editors' Code of Practice, https://www.ipso.co.uk/editors-code-of-practice/
  • Great Britain. Department for Culture, Media and Sport. (2015) BBC Charter review public consultation, London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. vol. Cm
  • Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Culture, Media, and Sport Committee. (2015) Future of the BBC, London: The Stationery Office Limited. vol. HC
  • (no date) The Ofcom broadcasting code.
  • Nolan, Michael Patrick Nolan; Great Britain. Committee on Standards in Public Life. (1995) Standards in public life: first report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, London: HMSO. vol. Cm
  • Quinn, Thomas. (2012-9) 'Spin doctors and political news management: A rational-choice ‘exchange’ analysis', in British Politics. vol. 7 (3) , pp.272-300

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Essay 1  17/01/2022  33.3% 
Coursework   Essay 2  28/02/2022  33.3% 
Coursework   Research Paper  04/04/2022  33.4% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof John Bartle, email: jbartl@essex.ac.uk.
Professor John Bartle
Module Supervisor: Dr Bartle, jbartl@essex.ac.uk Module Administrator: Edmund Walker, govquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 773 hours, 40 (5.2%) hours available to students:
733 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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