Number of credits:
10 Language of delivery:
French Module content:
Given the focus on the media and a fast-moving, contemporary agenda, flexibility is built into the weekly schedule so that knowledge and skills are acquired as we progress through the course, whilst retaining a degree of freedom as regards choice of topics to be able to respond to current issues in context as and when they arise. Examination of key themes and concepts, and likewise the development of skills, are integrated across the syllabus, which is organised broadly under the following headings:
Media and society: power and influence; the media as reflection of social, political and economic circumstances; French national identity and culture in the context of global communication; freedom of expression; information as an instrument of democracy or commercial product?
The decline of traditional print: national versus regional titles; dailies, news weeklies and magazines; broadsheets and popular titles; free papers; comparative analysis of publications. The values of pluralism, editorial independence, and quality sources of information and opinion.
Broadcasting and the French voice: from state control to a mixed economy and external threat. The public service mission and the free market – advertising revenue, audience ratings and the licence fee. From public space to private menu. Recent media reforms.
Media regulation and cultural values: protection of the public interest and individual privacy; rights and responsibilities; legislation, regulation and professional ethics; violence, pornography and protection of the vulnerable; equality, diversity and balanced coverage. Exploration of moral dilemmas through case studies.
Convergence of new media in the digital age: from Word to Image and beyond… From professional experts to the citizen journalist and social media. Methods of learning and teaching:
During the early weeks, the lecture format is used to introduce topics, followed by class discussion and group work. A programme of ongoing independent study is required, supplemented by preparatory work agreed from week to week. Progressively, as students expand their reading, research and knowledge, the time devoted to lectures reduces, giving way to group work and seminar presentations. Private study for the module should involve regular reading of the press, TV and Internet viewing, in addition to exploitation of the extensive LIS collection on the French media and materials made available via Blackboard. Group work requires students to draw on knowledge acquired through lectures and independent study, and to apply this in critical analysis of media output.
Suggested areas of study for seminar presentations and essays are provided at the beginning of the course, and a schedule for student presentations agreed by the end of the third week. Individual essay titles and plans must be discussed with the lecturer and approved by the agreed deadline. The last week before the Easter break is devoted to independent consultation with the lecturer in preparation for assessed essay writing.
Assessment method: presentation (25%), research project (70%), portfolio (5%).