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Unit of study_

GOVT6336: Media Politics

Semester 1, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit examines politics and media. From the relationship between news media and electoral politics, the study of the intersection of media and power now includes the consideration of new media forms and their relationship with the "soft" politics of representation and performativity.

Unit details and rules

Unit code GOVT6336
Academic unit Government and International Relations
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Milica Stilinovic,
Lecturer(s) Milica Stilinovic,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation group assignment Team-based seminar facilitation
15% - 15 minute debate style presentation.
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO4 LO3
Assignment Argumentative Essay
20% Week 05
Due date: 27 Mar 2020 at 23:00
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
In-semester test Exam/quiz
15% Week 08 1 hr
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment Content Analysis/Policy Brief
50% Week 13 3000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.


For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction + Media Ages Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 02 Institutions Seminar (2 hr) LO3
Week 03 Media Effects: Priming, Framing + Stereotyping Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 04 Agenda-Setting Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 05 Propaganda + Fake News Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 06 Policy + Gamification Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 07 Electioneering + Campaigning Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 08 Exam/Quiz Week Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 09 The Subaltern Speaks Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 10 Whistleblowers Vs. National Security Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 11 War + Peace Reporting Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 12 Terrorism + Securitisation Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 13 Recap Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.

  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.

  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings


- Langdon, Winner, 1989, “Do artefacts have politics?”, The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 19-39



- Tiffen, Rodney, 2006. The Press. In Stuart Cunningham, Graeme Turner (Eds.), The Media and Communications in Australia: 2nd Edition, Australia: Allen and Unwin, pp. 97-112. 


  • Walker, Christopher, and Robert W. Orttung, 2014, “Breaking the News: The Role of State-Run Media”, Journal of Democracy, 25(1), pp. 71-85



  • Perloff, Richard, M., 2014, “Framing”, The Dynamics of Political Communication: Media and Politics in a Digital Age, New York: Routledge, pp. 156-179


  • Cohen, Stanley., “Folk Devils’ and Moral Panics: The Creation of Mods and Rockers”, Third Edition. Routledge. pp. 1- 21. 


  • Sanders, Karen, 2009, "The People: Opinion, Polls and Participation", Communicating Politics in the Twenty-First Century, New York: Palgrave Macmillian, pp. 143-161.


  • Vromen, Ariadne, 2017, “Social media use for political engagement”, Digital Citizenship and Political Engagement: The Challenge from Online Campaigning and Advocacy Organisations, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 51-75.


  • Mullen, Andrew and Jeffery Klaehn, 2010, “The Herman–Chomsky propaganda model: a critical: approach to analysing mass media behaviour”, Sociology Compass, 4(4), pp. 215–229. 


  • Allcott, Hunt, and Gentzkow, Matthew. “Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 31.2 (2017): 211–235.


- Rodríguez Bolívar, Manuel. “The Influence of Political Factors in Policymakers’ Perceptions on the Implementation of Web 2.0 Technologies for Citizen Participation and Knowledge Sharing in Public Sector Delivery.” Information Polity 20.2-3 (2015): 199–220.


- Ramadan, Zahy. “The Gamification of Trust: The Case of China’s ‘social Credit.’” Marketing Intelligence & Planning 36.1 (2018): 93–107.



  • Belfry Munroe, Kaija and Munroe, H.D., 2018, “Constituency Campaigning in the Age of Data”, Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique, 51: 135-154.


  • Washbourne, Neil, 2010, "On the Media Marketing of Parties and Leaders: Emergence and Consequences", Mediating Politics: Newspapers, Radio, Television and the Internet, Maidenhead: Open University Press, pp. 31-50



Exam week. No readings. 


  • Blue, Ethan, 2017, “Seeing Ms. Dhu: inquest, conquest, and (in)visibility in black women’s deaths in custody”, Settler Colonial Studies, 7(3): 299-320.


  • Fraser, Nancy, 1990, “Rethinking the Public Sphere:  A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy”, Social Text, 25/26: 56-80.


- Ireland-Piper, Danielle, and Crowe, Jonathan. “WHISTLEBLOWING, NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOM OF POLITICAL COMMUNICATION.(Australia).” Federal Law Review 46.3 (2018): 341–365

WEEK 11: 

  • Galtung, Johan, 2013, “Peace Journalism”, Media Asia, 20(3), pp. 177-180.


  • Russ-Mohl, Stephan, 2013, “The coverage of terrorism and the Iraq War in the: ‘issue-attention cycle’”, Selling war: the role of the mass media in hostile conflicts from World War I to the War on Terror, Josef Seethaler, Matthias Karmasin, Gabriele Melischek and Romy Wöhlert (eds), Chicago: Intellect Books, pp. 219-235.

WEEK 12:

  • Gaufman, Elizaveta, 2018, “Defining Securitization, Enemy Images, and Memory”, Security Threats and Public Perception: Digital Russia and the Ukraine Crisis, Springer: 13-50.


  • Lim, Soyeon, 2016, “The contested ethics of mainstream reporting of terrorism in the social media age”, Te Mata Koi : Auckland University Law Review, 22, pp. 249- 280

WEEK 13: 

No readings. 


Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. have an awareness of media theory
  • LO2. criticially engage with media theory
  • LO3. understand the contemporary media landscape
  • LO4. conduct team-based leadership of group learning.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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