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   Course Title    Mass Media in the Global Political Marketplace
Lecturer    Ecaterina Zatushevski
Institution    Moldova State University
Country    Moldova


In the conditions of drastic explosion of the world population and subsequent appearance of new global problems, there is an increased need for cross-cultural communication in all areas of human activity. This course will consider one aspect of enhancing mass communication and will focus on mass media in the global political marketplace. Students will learn and discuss how mass media is engaged in the global political process, how governments and political parties use mass communication to inform, advocate and involve population into politics. The course will give students the opportunity to conduct and present in class an independent comparative research product on the involvement of mass media in political process in the countries of their choice, although during the course discussions we will mostly focus on the countries of Western and Eastern Europe and North America.

The objectives of the course are the following:

  • To discuss the role of mass media in contemporary society with particular attention to political spheres of human activity;
  • To present and analyze examples of how mass media influences public opinion and political choice in countries of Western and Eastern Europe and North America;
  • To learn how political agents use mass media to inform the population or advocate their policies.

Course Outline

Lesson 1. Mass media as mass communications.

Brief introduction to mass communications (MC); conceptualizing MC within an expanded version of the linear model that is typically used to explain face-to-face communication. The six stages of the communication process will help to define MC.

Reading:

Watershed Research Traditions In Human Communication Theory. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995, pp.239 266.

Berger, Arthur Asa. Essentials Of Mass Communication Theory. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc., 1995. Chapters 1-3.

Lesson 2. Mass media and political discourse.

Discussion of existing models of Mass Communication & theories of discourse.

Reading:

Carey, J.W. "The mass media and democracy: Between the modern and the postmodern". Journal of International Affairs, 47(3), 1993, pp. 1-21.

Van Mill, D. "The possibility of rational outcomes from democratic discourse and procedures". Journal of Politics, 58, 1996, 734-752.

Venturelli, S. "Freedom and Its Mystification: The Political Thought of Public Space" in Globalization, Communication and Transnational Civil Society. Cresskill, New Jersey: Hampton Press, INC, 1996, pp. 105-140.

Lesson 3. Political communication research.

Political Communication and the Study of Rhetoric: Persuasion from the Standpoint of Literary Theory and Anthropology.

Reading:

Stuckey, Mary E. The Theory And Practice Of Political Communication Research. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996, pp.1-27 and 67-84.

Lesson 4. Mass Media as an Institution.

Introduction to the media dependency theory, explanation of the relationship between the content of the mass media, the nature of society and the communications behavior of the audience.

Reading:

Bagdikian, B.H. The media monopoly. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992, pp. 1-26.

Streeter, T. "Selling the air: Property and the politics of U.S. commercial broadcasting". Media, Culture & Society, 16, 1994, 91-116.

Jakubowicz, K. "Media Economics" in Media and Democracy. Council of Europe Publishing, 1998, pp 105-135.

Lesson 5. Global media: advantages and challenges.

Discussion over the impact of communication revolutions and globalization on politics.

Reading:

Braman, S. "Interpenatrated Globalization: Scaling, Power, and the Public Sphere" in Globalization, Communication and Transnational Civil Society. Cresskill, New Jersey: Hampton Press, INC, 1996, pp. 21-36.

Sreberny-Mohammadi, A. "Globalization, Communication and Transnational Civil Society. Introduction" in Globalization, Communication and Transnational Civil Society. Cresskill, New Jersey: Hampton Press, INC, 1996, pp. 1-19.

Negrine, R. "Political Communication in the Age of Global Electronic Media" in The Communication of Politics. London: Sage Publications, 1996.

Congdon, T. "The Multimedia Revolution and the Open Society" in The Communication of Politics. London: Sage Publications, 1996, pp. 11-23.

Green, D. "Preserving Plurality in a Digital World" in The Communication of Politics. London: Sage Publications, 1996, pp. 25-37.

Lesson 6. Media and Governments.

Discussion of how governments can and do use mass media to maintain contact with their citizens.

Kaid, L.L., Gobetz, R.H., & Garner, J. "Television news and presidential campaigns: The legitimization of televised political advertising, 1972-1978" in Social Science Quarterly, 74, (1993), pp. 274-285.

Sandman, J.H. "Winning the presidency: The vision and values approach" in Presidential Studies Quarterly, 19, 1989, pp. 259-266.

Ball, M.A "The role of language, media, and spectacle in constituting a presidency" in Journal of Communication, 46, 1996, pp. 176-182.

Brenders, D.A., & Fabj, V. Perceived control and the Clinton presidency: Political discourse in an alienated age. American Behavioral Scientist, 37, 1993, pp. 211-224.

Lesson 7. Media and Involvement of Citizens in Active Politics.
Discussion of mediated elections and other cases of active participation of citizens in politics.

Darbishire, H. "Media and the electoral process" in Media and Democracy. Council of Europe Publishing, 1998, p 89-102.

Negrine, R. "The Communication of Political Information and the Creation of an Informed Citizenry" in The Communication of Politics. London: Sage Publications, 1996.

Meyer, P. "Polling as political science and polling as journalism" in Public Opinion Quarterly, 54, 1990, pp. 451-459.

Mondak, J.J. "Question wording and mass policy preferences: The comparative impact of substantive information and peripheral cues" in Political Communication, 11, 1994, pp.165-183.

Shah, D.V., Domke, D., & Wackman, D.B. "To thine own self be true" in Values, framing, and voter decision-making strategies. Communication Research, 23, 1996, pp.509-560.

Lesson 8. Student presentations.

Lesson 9. Student presentations.

Lesson 10. Conclusions.

Course Work:

Participation and written work 30%

1st Essay 25%

2nd Essay 25%

Presentation 20%

Participation and written work:

Every week students will receive a reading assignment (see course outline). Attached to these readings will be set of questions that students must answer. These answers will be graded and the average of these grades will count for 30% of the grade. In-class participation level will also effect this portion of the grade students are encouraged to participate actively.

Essays:

Each student will be required to write two essays. Students must first choose a topic, submit an outline, research the topic, and present two final 1000 word essays during the term.

Presentation:

Each student will be required to make a 10-minute presentation, in cooperation with another student, on two particular countries of his/her choice. The presentation should include comparative analysis of the use of IT in the political process of the selected countries. In addition to content, cooperation between the presenting students as well as their ability to engage the classroom will be evaluated.



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