Political Economy of Media
Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 quarters
In this program students will investigate how political events are constructed and reported in the media, compared to actual political and economic realities. By media we mean mainstream periodicals, television, radio and films and emerging social media. We also include the growth of Internet blogs, websites, independent media and other media outlets in the 21st century. We will take a historical approach that focuses on U.S. history from the colonial era to contemporary globalization. We will compare corporate media concentration of ownership to community-controlled media and social media. We will examine how issues surrounding race, class and gender are perceived by the media and subsequently by the public.
During winter quarter, students will receive a theoretical and historical grounding in the political economy of the media. We will explore the question of who owns the media and what difference this makes to how stories are reported, framed, sourced or just ignored. Films, lectures and readings, along with text-based seminars, will compose the primary structures used by this learning community. Students will regularly engage in a critical reading of The New York Times and other media outlets. Also during the winter quarter, students will create a research proposal that includes an annotated bibliography. Research projects may either be traditional research papers or equivalent projects determined in collaboration with the faculty, such as an independent media blog or website.
During spring quarter, students will devote approximately half of the program time to completing their proposed projects and presenting the results of their research. The remaining program time will focus more in-depth on program themes as we examine contemporary issues through a variety of sources.
Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies or careers in
Location and Schedule
Offered during: Day