British Media - 1st semester


a) To obtain a diacronic perspective of the evolution of British media from late 17th century to the present day.
b) To identify the key-moments of change and rupture in the media evolution and structure, usually the consequence of technological, social, cultural and economic revolutions.
c) To acquire the skills to contextualize media phenomena and technological change undergone by British media in each moment of its evolution (namely in their respective historical, cultural, social, ideological and economic contexts).
d) To develop the capacity to read and analyse British newspaper articles or to watch and interpret short samples of TV shows and newscasts.
e)To develop the student’s competence to carry out bibliographical research, in order to produce and deliver a short research paper, as well as to elaborate a written essay in a presential test.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Paulo Pereira da Silva


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Briggs, A. & Burke, P. (2002). A Social History of the Media, From Gutenberg to the Internet. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Curran, J. & and Seaton, J. (2002). Power Without Responsibility: The Press and Broadcasting in Britain. London and New York: Routledge.
McNair, B. (2006). Cultural Chaos: Journalism, news and power in a globalised world. London and New York: Routledge.
Seymour-Ure, C. (1991). The British Press and Broadcasting since 1945. Oxford, UK and Cambridge, Massachussetts: Blackwell.
Stokes, J. & Reading, A. (1989). The Media in Britain, Current debates and developments. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave.

Teaching method

Presentation of theoretical subject matter on subjects related to the course syllabus. Practical classes will be dedicated to the critical reading of theoretical texts, British newspaper or magazine articles, as well as to the presentation of (and debate on) research papers produced by the students (and previously prepared under tutorial supervision).

Evaluation method

One presential test (70%); oral presentations of individual or collective research papers and spontaneous class participation (30%).

Subject matter

1. Towards a short history of the British press from the 17th centuty until the Late Victorian Period;
2. British media in the 20th century:
- The 1st World War – British press in war time;
- The 20s and the first media trusts and monopolies;
- Tabloids and quality papers;
- The “radio days”. The radio, a powerful means of political propaganda during the 30s and the 2nd World War;
- The “Television Era”;
- The Thatcher years (1979-1990); media, government and politics. The acquisition of British media by and great transnational conglomerates and media trusts (Rupert Murdoch, Robert Maxwell and Conrad Black). Government policymaking; markets, self-regulation and the law.
- The “Wapping Revolution” or the beggining of the electronic revolution in British media. The end of Fleet Street as the headquarters of British newspaper industry.
3. The British media since the 1990s:
- Changes operated in British press on the threshhold of a new Millenium;
- TV and broadcasting journalism in the age of globalization;
- Transnational sattelite broadcasting networks;
- Electronic and online newspapers and online journalism. The blogosphere. The global news culture and authoritarianism. Democracy and hyper-democracy. Cultural chaos as a consequence of the new information Technologies. Attempts to set an order in the cultural chaos.