Political economy of journalism

Politična ekonomija novinarstva

Course credits:

5.00 ECTS / 57 (30 hours of lectures, 0 hours of exercises, 27 hours of seminars, 0 hours other forms of work)

Course holder:

doc. dr. Jernej Amon Prodnik


Elective - expert




First semester

Study degree

1. level

    Course execution:

  • Undergraduate Programme of Journalism

Objectives and competences

Students will acquire a rich theoretical and conceptual understanding about the field of political economy and how this intellectual tradition approaches journalism and media industries. They will be able to connect the acquired knowledge to applied case studies and use it independently in their future research. Students will become equipped with reflexive tools, which will enable them to understand how media industries and journalism operate in the context of global capitalism. They will understand journalism and media, in which journalists work, as parts of a complex and contradictory social totality, in which these institutions are inevitably embedded. They will be capable to discern economic aspects in how the media industries operate and be able to associate them to the tendencies in their overall organization. By this, they will understand what limitations media organizations face because of their economic organization, while also being aware of the current technological changes and transformations in globalized capitalism. Based on this, students attending this course will know how material relations of production in a general sense influence production, distribution and consumption of journalistic content.

Content (Syllabus outline)

The course provides a theoretical and practical introduction to the political economy approach to journalism and media more generally. Political economy is considered one of the most important critical research traditions in media and communication studies and a central approach for a structural and systemic analysis of media and cultural industries as parts of (global) capitalism. The course follows these presuppositions by thematically moving from general topics to more specific issues. It is divided in four parts: in the first part, a contextual analysis of how global capitalism, in which inequalities and perturbations have intensified in the past decades, works. In the second part, students get to know the conceptual and theoretical foundations of political economy approach in media and communication studies. In the third part, journalism and media industries are related to the practices and processes distinctive of capitalist societies through an analysis of specific cases (topics discussed include: influence of capitalist relations of production to journalist practices and labour conditions; the role of media ownership and processes of monopolization; market pressures and economic power in communication sphere; technological changes and the influence of digitalization; asymmetric global communication flows). In the fourth part, some of the key shifts in journalism are identified and analysed in relation to the political and economic changes, with a particular focus on the crisis of the existing economic model of the media industries, which materially supported journalism throughout the twentieth century.

Intended learning outcomes:

Students will be acquainted with one of the central critical approaches in media and communication studies, which gained in relevance because of structural shifts in media industries, technological changes and political-economic transformations happening on the global level. With the conceptual and theoretical tools of political economy they will critically assess journalism and media by continuously connecting the obtained knowledge to practical cases and recent social shifts.

Learning and teaching methods:

Lectures, individual and group assignments (essays), making multimedia presentations (podcasts).


Final grade is received from an oral exam (2/3 of the grade) and short individual and/or group assignments (1/3).

Obligatory literature

1. Unit of obligatory literature:

Author: Birkinbine, Benjamin J. (ur.); Gómez Garcia, Rodrigo (ur.); Wasko, Janet (ur.)
Title: Global media giants »
Publishing: New York ; London : Routledge, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-315-68233-4
COBISS.SI-ID: 34637405 - Record/s in the catalog ODKJG »
Notes: Dostop za FDV za tri hkratne uporabnike
E-edition: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/fdv-odkjg/detail.action?docID=4579021

2. Unit of obligatory literature:

Author: Hardy, Jonathan
Title: Critical political economy of the media : an introduction »
Publishing: London : Routledge, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-415-54483-2; 978-0-415-54484-9; 978-0-203-13622-5
COBISS.SI-ID: 35044445 - Record/s in the catalog ODKJG »
E-edition: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/fdv-odkjg/detail.action?docID=1715800
All obligatory literature in catalog ODKJG »

Additional literature

1. Unit of additional literature:

Author: Mosco, Vincent
Title: The political economy of communication »
Edition: 2nd ed.
Publishing: Los Angeles [etc.] : Sage, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4129-4701-5; 978-1-4129-4700-8
COBISS.SI-ID: 512694400 - Record/s in the catalog ODKJG »

2. Unit of additional literature:

Author: Wasko, Janet (ur.); Murdock, Graham (ur.); Sousa, Helena (ur.)
Title: The handbook of political economy of communications »
Publishing: Chichester ; Malden : Wiley Blackwell, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4051-8880-7; 978-1-118-79944-4
COBISS.SI-ID: 34238301 - Record/s in the catalog ODKJG »
All additional literature in catalog ODKJG »

Hot to aquire credits:

For full and part study

  1. Lectures, seminars and individual consultations
    Other written or oral tests or exams (ongoing examination)
    Short seminar paper or short assignments - 1.
    Other written or oral tests or exams (ongoing examination)

Curriculum was last modified on: 11.05.2020