History and Theories of Journalism


a) To understand journalism as an historical built field and the making of a “media history” and a “journalism history”. b) To relate journalistic production and the media systems with the economical and the political systems.
c) To analyse the diverse media systems and its articulation with the historical contexts, differeciating the european tradition from the north american tradition.
d) To discussion the effects imposed by globalized journalism dynamics: can we think journalism without journalists or newspapers without journalism? To identify the journalistic discourses in the digital context and the remaining processes of selection, editing and narrating information. To include into the discussion the new information and entertainment producers and the new consumption habits through citizen journalism, social networks shared contents, bloggers and twitters. To seek answers to the following question: will journalism survive in the future and how will it survive?

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Carla Maria dos Santos Filipe Batista


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language





1) BATISTA, Carla (2011), Apogeu, Morte e Ressurreição da Política nos Jornais Portugueses – do século XIX ao Marcelismo. Lisboa: Editora Escritório.
2) BATISTA, Carla; CORREIA, Fernando (2007), Jornalistas, entre o ofício e a profissão. Lisboa: Editorial Caminho.
3) CURRAN, James (1996) ‘Commercialism and Professionalism in the American News Media’, in James Curran (ed.) Mass Communication and Society. London: Arnold.
4) McNAIR, Brian (1998), The Sociology of Journalism. London: Arnold.
5) SCHUDSON, Michael (1995), The power of news. New York: Harvard University Press.

Teaching method

The course will combine theoretical exposition with collective discussion of previous distributed texts and practical analysis of journalistic materials.

Evaluation method

1. A final essay, preferably with an empirical research component, related with the course contents (50%), 2. A critical reading of one of the texts indicated in the main or secondary bibliography, or any other title relevant to the course contents(25%), 3. The attendance and participation in the course, namely through the public presentation and dynamization of, at least, part of one session (25%)

Subject matter

This course approaches journalism as a social field, in a double perspective: from the theoretical point of view (the theories); and from the social and cultural contexts (the history). The journalistic theories are seen as analytical frameworks to look at the ways in which journalism operates within social life. We propose a critical reading of journalism, and will stress the particular geographical, cultural and historical experience of journalism, both as a social field but also as an academic discipline.
The programme initiates in the XIX century, with the beginning of the industrialization and professionalization of journalism, the growth of the publics and the progressive establishment of a consensus around certain professional values, like the independence, the autonomy and the objectivity.