AIP781 - Political Communication: Public Watchdog Or Propaganda Machine?


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 2: Online
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125
Cohort rule: Nil


Corequisite: Nil
Incompatible with: Nil
Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Scheduled learning activities - online

Online independent and collaborative learning activities equivalent to 1 x 1-hour per week


New communication technologies have paradoxically made us more connected than ever and yet more sharply divided along political lines. In the era of fake news and post-truth politics, what role does political communication play in a democracy? Does it serve as the people’s watchdog against the corruption of power or as a propaganda machine pedalling spin and soundbites. This unit examines the interplay of communication and politics in different liberal democracies, such as the US and in Europe, and across eras from the printing press to the Twitterverse. Drawing on theories of the public sphere and the political economy model, it analyses how politicians, lobby groups, the public sector and activists engage with the media to shape opinion and the policy agenda. It considers how political leaders have become celebrities, why government advertising can be effective and whether traditional media is dead. During this unit, students will identify a communication problem and learn how to create a solution with their own media campaign or strategy. Students will also benefit from developing a strong understanding of the vital and complex role that political communication plays in contemporary politics.

Unit Fee Information

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