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Life of Media: Past, Present and Future (SO118-15)

By the end of this module, students will be able to: distinguish and explain the major transitions and 'revolutions' in the modern history of media; understand the role that media has played in structuring knowledge and power in modern society; explain the continuities and differences between newer computer-based media (including social media) and older media such as print, radio, and television; account for the various roles that 'journalism' and 'jounalists' have played in the modern history of media; discuss critically the rise of 'public opinion' and 'public relations' as distinctive objects of media study; and examine the challenges that the internet has made to traditional sources of authoritative knowledge, especially science.

Topics covered

The following is an indicative list of topics for this module; precise seminar content may change from year to year.

  • The revolutions in print and video - the McLuhan thesis
  • The Critic - the journalist as public intellectual
  • The Muckraker - the journalist as eyewitness to history
  • The Pundit - the journalist as political insider
  • The Broadcaster - the journalist as media personality and corporate brand
  • Public opinion and public relations - a media object and its science
  • Does science need public relations?
  • The difference the internet makes to established knowledge


Module Director

Steve Fuller

Timing and CATS

This module is a half year module and is worth 15 CATS.