Political Reporting - JOUR8150

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module examines the reporting practices of political journalists, the institutional contexts of political journalism, and the interactions between journalists and sources across different forms of political reportage. It assesses the power of governmental communication, and the changing nature of contemporary political journalism. Forms of political reportage that will be investigated include: parliamentary reporting, political commentary, interviews and press conferences, and the role of social media in political reportage.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 24
Private Study Hours: 126
Total Study Hours: 150


MA Multimedia Journalism
MA in International Multimedia Journalism

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Essay (4000 words) (30%)
Case Study (2000 words) (30%)
Examination (40%)

Reassessment methods
Like for Like

Indicative reading

Benson, R. & Neveu, E. (2005) (eds.) Bourdieu and the Journalistic Field. Malden, MA: Polity.
Clayman, S. & Heritage, J. (2002) The News Interview: Journalists and Public Figures on the Air. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cook, T.E. (2005) Governing With the News: The news media as a political institution. 2nd edn. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Cottle, S. (ed.) (2003) News, Public Relations and Power. London: Sage.
Craig, G. (2004) The Media, Politics and Public Life. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
Franklin, B. (2004) Packaging Politics: Political Communications in Britain's Media Democracy. 2nd edn. London: Arnold.
Hargreaves, I. (2003) Journalism: Truth or Dare? Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hirst, M., Phelan, S. & Rupar, V. (eds.) (2012) Scooped: The Politics and Power of Journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand. Auckland: AUT Media.
Kuhn, R. & Neveu, E. (eds.) (2002) Political Journalism: New challenges, new practices. London: Routledge.
McNair, B. (2000) Journalism and Democracy: An evaluation of the political public sphere. London: Routledge

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Demonstrate a systematic understanding and critical awareness of key features of the structural relationship between the fields of politics and journalism, drawing on relevant academic literature and recent debates across fields of study in journalism, politics, communication and discourse analysis.
8.2 Acquire a detailed knowledge about source influence models and be able to critically evaluate debates about the merits of particular models in the student's own research and advanced scholarship.
8.3 Acquire a comprehensive knowledge of the recent historical evolution of governmental communication processes and parliamentary reporting practices and be able to critically reflect on the ramifications of such developments for contemporary political engagement and participation
8.4 Demonstrate a systematic understanding of how social media and the 24-hour news cycle are transforming political journalism and be able to critically assess the merits and shortcomings of such technological and economic changes in the production of quality journalism.
8.5 Acquire detailed knowledge about language use and the exercise of power relations in interrogative encounters between journalists and politicians and also demonstrated high level skills in textual analysis
8.6 Acquire a comprehensive knowledge of advanced scholarship across a range of relevant disciplines on journalistic framings of political leadership and public opinion in political reporting
8.7 Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the complex interplay between news and opinion in political reporting and evaluate such changes in the contexts of the contributions of journalism to the democratic health of a society.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Demonstrate a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the key concepts and theories in academic literature across a range of relevant academic disciplines
9.2 Critically evaluate knowledge of relevant concepts and theories and demonstrate a degree of originality in the formulation, framing and execution of textual analysis projects
9.3 Comprehensively implement research and writing skills in individual written work
9.4 Comprehensively implement oral communication skills in group study contexts
9.5 Exercise independent learning skills and organise their study in an efficient and professional manner.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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