Journalism,media and politics

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course provides an analysis of the different actors and forms of interactions whitin the journalistic and political communication field. Journalism studies is an interdisciplinary field that involves an increasing number of actors (media practitioners and professionals, politicians and parties, and citizens, but also global media companiens, social media platforms, algorithms, bot and so forth) who interact in a increasing number of mediated ways. The aim of the course is to develop the critical and analytical capacities of the student in interpreting the role of such actors in shaping the political information environment.

This course has three objectives:
1. to offer a complete illustration of the several issues in the field of interactions between journalism, citizneship and politics (among other polarization, media trust, political knowledge, agenda setting, misinformation, fake news);
2. to explore domains of common interest with the professional world of media production (fact-checking, investigative journalism, data-journalism), applied political communication (advertising, electoral marketing, media management, spin doctoring, and the like) and citizens activism (alternative and citizen journalism);
3. to stimulate active participation with debates, papers, presentations and invitation of scholars
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student should have developed knowledge and understanding of the communicative dynamics within the political information environment. Applying knowledge and understanding, with an autonomous and critical evaluation of the characteristics of mediated communication in the political communication field. Knowledge of the preliminary practical skills necessary to enter the field (such as how to build a fact-checking or data-journalism project). Autonomy of judgement, and students' communicative capabilities will be developed by discussions and working papers. The final exam aims to verify the expected learning outcomes in respect to the students' capacity of understanding, applying knowledge, developing a critical analysis of the theoretical perspectives introduced by the course.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First trimester
During the emergency teaching phase, the program is maintained with the following changes necessary for a good online use of the course originally designed for face-to-face teaching:

Teaching methods:
The lectures will be held mainly online synchronously using Teams, with the exception of some asynchronous lessons (video lessons).

The schedule of lectures and all the details of the activities will be published in the relative space of the course in ARIEL.

Reference materials:
Those who bring the program to be attended, in addition to the bibliography already reported in the program, must refer to all the lessons, materials and resources published in ARIEL.

Verification of learning and evaluation criteria:
The exam is oral and takes place in Teams, according to the indications provided by the University. The details and calendars of the oral tests will be published and constantly updated in ARIEL.
Course syllabus
Journalism, Media and Democracy
Media and Politics
Media Repertoire and Politics
Social media and democracy
Journalism cultures
Journalism Autonomy
Journalism Influence
Journalists' roles
Journalists' epistemology
Journalism sources
Boundary work and journalism
Neo institutional Approach: discourse of journalism
Media Trust
News avoidance
Incidental exposure
Media selectivity
Disinformation, Misinformation, Fake News
Fact Checking
Incivility and hate speech
Filter Bubble, echo chambers, algorithm
Prerequisites for admission
To take this exam some knowledge of sociology of communication, media economics and some foundation of political science are essential
Teaching methods
The course is based on classic lectures and seminar moments and classroom discussion. During the year, communication professionals will be invited to tell their work experiences. In general, the active participation of students will be solicited
Teaching Resources
Attending students

Articles, chapters and reports will be provided during lectures and will be available on ARIEL

Non-attending students

Bro, P. (2019). Gatekeeping Theory. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-6).
Broersma, M. (2019). Audience Engagement. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-6).
Calderón, C. A. (2019). Aggregation and News Portals. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-5).
Carlson, M. (2018). Boundary Work. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-6).
Caswell, D., & Anderson, C. W. (2019). Computational Journalism. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-8).
Dalen, A. van. (2019). Autonomy: Independence from Government. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-7).
Mills, A., & Sarikakis, K. (2019). Autonomy: Independence from Market Forces. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-9).
Quandt, T., Frischlich, L., Boberg, S., & Schatto‐Eckrodt, T. (2019). Fake News. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-6).
Shepard, J. M. (2019). Anonymous Sources and Source Confidentiality. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-5).
Tandoc, E. C., & Maitra, J. (2019). Audience Measurement. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-9).
Reese, S. D. (2019). Hierarchy of Influences. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-5).
Ryfe, D. (2019). Institutional Theory and Journalism. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-5).
Hanitzsch, T. (2019). Journalistic Roles. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-9).
Kohring, M. (2019). Public Trust in News Media. In The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies (pagg. 1-6).

Schudson, M. (2018). Why journalism still matters. Polity Press.

Castro, L., Strömbäck, J., Esser, F., Van Aelst, P., de Vreese, C., Aalberg, T., Cardenal, A. S., Corbu, N., Hopmann, D. N., Koc-Michalska, K., Matthes, J., Schemer, C., Sheafer, T., Splendore, S., Stanyer, J., Stępińska, A., Štětka, V., & Theocharis, Y. (2021). Navigating High-choice European Political Information Environments: A Comparative Analysis of News User Profiles and Political Knowledge. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 194016122110125.
Deuze, M., & Witschge, T. (2018). Beyond journalism: Theorizing the transformation of journalism. Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, 19(2), 165-181.
Hanitzsch, T., & Vos, T. P. (2017). Journalistic Roles and the Struggle Over Institutional Identity: The Discursive Constitution of Journalism: Journalistic Roles and Institutional Identity. Communication Theory, 27(2), 115-135.

(all is aavailable via "Biblioteca digitale unimi")
Assessment methods and Criteria
Attending students need to pass an intermediate test during the course in the manner specified in class. Then a final oral exam.

For non-attending students the assessment of knowledge will be carried out through a oral exam. The oral exam includes a fair number of questions covering all the program.
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Splendore Sergio
Educational website(s)