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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Social Media, Journalism and Democracy
Module Code CM5630
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Alessio Cornia
Semester 2: Alessio Cornia
Autumn: Alessio Cornia
Module TeachersJane Suiter
Eileen Culloty
Alessio Cornia
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The module examines the development and direction of social media, its impact on political, economic and social life and the implications for journalism and civic engagement.

Learning Outcomes

1. recognise the impact and influence of social media on political, economic and social life;
2. demonstrate how social media affects the behaviours by citizens and governments in different parts of the world;
3. critique the impact of social media on journalism practice;
4. assess the role of social media in citizen agitation and democratic transition
5. describe the impact of new business models on the media and on journalism

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Assignment Completion100Assignmewnt
Independent Study117Self-directed learning
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Although a recent phenomenon, social media has opened up new opportunities for journalism while also challenging the traditional understanding of public participation and potentially empowering audiences and civil society organisations by offering new platforms for free expression and social activism. This module explores the meaning of this digital public sphere, examines its impact on media and politics and critically evaluates the transformative claims for platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The module examines the theoretical and practical contexts within which social media such as Twitter, Facebook, texting and blogs exist and relate the skills of social media to trends in the political, communications and media sectors.

- Social Media and Democracy - Digital Journalism and Economy of New Media - Wikileaks and the right to know - Social media and political communication - Online activism and revolution - Citizen journalism; - Social media and censorship - E-government - The Business Model for Social Media

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentIndividual case study (1,600 words, Wordage could be +/- 10%)20%Week 8
ProjectGroup Project30%Week 12
AssignmentIndividual essay (3,600 words; Wordage could be +/- 10%)50%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Chadiwck, A. and Howard, P. (eds.): 2010, The Routledge Handbook of Internet Politics, Routledge,
  • Downing, John (ed.): 2010, Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media, Sage,
  • Boehlert: 2009, Bloggers on the Bus How the internet changed politics and the press, Free Press,
  • Harfoush, Rahaf: 2009, Yes We Did! An Inside Look at how Social Media Built the Obama Brand., New Riders,
  • Negrine, R. and Stanyer, J.: 2007, The Political Communications Reader, Routledge,
Other Resources

This module has been assigned the code: CM563
Programme or List of Programmes
CSPMMaster of Arts
GDSMCGrad Dip in Social Media Communications
MAJMA in Journalism
MSHCMSc in Science and Health Communication
MSMCMA in Social Media Communications

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