APG5180 - Policy and political communication - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Politics and International Relations


Dr Zareh Ghazarian

Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Summer semester A 2017 (Flexible)


The unit may be offered as part of the Summer Arts ProgramSummer Arts Program (http://www.monash.edu/students/courses/arts/summer-program.html).


The media is one of the most important components of any political society. In a liberal democracy like Australia, its role and function have profound implications for the conduct of politics, the nature of democracy and public policy outcomes. In this unit, the relationship between the media, politics and public policy is studied from three broad perspectives. First, the politics of the media is investigated from the perspective of liberal democratic theory in order to understand the role of news media on the policy debate. Second, the political economy of the media is investigated. Particular emphasis is on the structure and operation of media organisations and journalists and how political news is covered. Third, the unit undertakes a study of the relationship between the media and political actors. Particular emphasis is on the use of public relations and 'spin doctors' in managing the media as well as the utilisation of political advertising and strategic political communication by governments and political agents.


Upon successful completion of the unit students should have:

  1. the ability to identify the relationship between the liberal democratic tradition and the mass media, and the assumptions (and tensions) that underpins this relationship;
  2. the ability to critically analyse the relationship between political institutions and the media;
  3. the ability to critically assess the impact of new technologies on the media and the opportunities and constraints this presents for government and public policy;
  4. the ability to critically analyse the use and impact of media professionals on the policy debate;
  5. the understanding of the legal and regulatory framework of the Australian media industry.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


Must be enrolled in Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA)