• Class Number 3126
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Jill Sheppard
    • Dr Jill Sheppard
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces the complex set of interactions between politics and the media. It examines the function, roles and strategies of both individual journalists and media corporations in their relationships with politicians, political institutions and citizens. It also considers the implications of the media as a powerful political institution in its own right.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Critically analyse relationships between the media and political actors
2. Analyse the effects of media and reporting on political behaviour and outcomes
3. Apply analytical frameworks to understand the effects of new and emerging media on political behaviour and outcomes
4. Place the Australian media and political environments in comparative perspective
5. Communicate clearly and concisely in writing

There is no prescribed text in this course. Readings will be uploaded to Wattle prior to each lecture.

Beyond weekly readings, all students are expected to read, watch, or listen to at least two different news sources every day (e.g. ABC or SBS News online, The Australian, The Age/Sydney Morning Herald, Herald-Sun/Daily Telegraph, ABC or SBS radio, commercial talkback radio, ABC or SBS TV news, commercial TV news, or similar).

Staff Feedback

I provide extensive written feedback on all written assignments (excluding the final examination, where feedback can be provided upon request). If students would like additional feedback, please do not hesitate to ask me at any time.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. A finalised version will be available on Wattle and will be accessible after enrolling in this course. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Overview of Australian media
2 Media regulation in Australia
3 Transmission and persuasion
4 Agenda-setting and framing
5 Audiences and meaning-making Tutorial paper due
6 Political campaigns
7 Media logic in the real world
8 Public information and political knowledge
9 Social media and interactivity
10 Misinformation and media trust
11 International politics and media Major paper due
12 Democratisation, protest, and media

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Paper 10 % 31/03/2012 14/04/2019 1, 5
Major Paper 45 % 24/05/2021 07/06/2021 2, 3, 4
Class Participation 10 % * * 1, 4, 5
Final Exam 35 % * * 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


I expect all students to participate in this class, including during lectures and class workshops. Note that this class does not conduct separate tutorials: lectures and workshops are interspersed through the 3-hour class time. I expect students to make positive, friendly, and thoughtful contributions to my classes.


Exam details will be made available during the semester at http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examinationtimetable

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 31/03/2012
Return of Assessment: 14/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 5

Tutorial Paper

Details of task: For this paper, students need to forget everything they have learned about academic writing. Instead, they will write a 500-word opinion article on a subject of their choosing, for a media outlet of their choosing. (The article does not need to be submitted to that outlet for publication, unless the student decides to do so. In that case, contact me for additional help!)

We will explore opinion articles in class prior to this assignment, so don’t panic if it seems daunting in Week 1.


CriterionPercentage of grade

Clarity of writing and structure


Persuasiveness of argument


Suitability of the writing and topic to the chosen outlet


Assessment Task 2

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 24/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 07/06/2021
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4

Major Paper

Details of task: First, students need to select a ‘media case study’: it may be a media strategy employed by a presidential or prime ministerial candidate in a democracy, a political party media strategy from some campaign, a ‘crisis emergency’ media strategy, a collection of some individual or organisation’s opinion articles, a collection of a government department or company’s media releases, or similar. There is no real limit to the case study a student can choose, so long as she or he can adequately describe and justify that choice within the paper.

Second, students need to examine the likely intentions of the chosen strategy: what is the individual/party/organisation etc trying to achieve?

Third, students must analyse the case study using the framework of one (or more) of the theories discussed in class: transmission effects, agenda-setting, framing and/or priming, audiences, ‘virtuous circles’, or any theory the student thinks relevant. Based on this analysis, students might choose to estimate the effects of the media strategy (in broad terms), or to suggest some specific questions and hypotheses for (hypothetical) future research.


CriterionPercentage of grade

Choice, description and justification of case study


Choice, description and justification of theoretical framework


Analysis using theoretical framework, including conclusions and/or hypotheses


Research and referencing


Clarity of writing


Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 4, 5

Class Participation

Details of task: All students are expected to participate in this class, including listening to lectures each week and contributing to class workshops.

I expect students to make positive, friendly, and thoughtful contributions to my classes. The classroom is a free space for anyone to ask questions, raise objections, get things wrong, make bad jokes, etc. If you don’t feel comfortable participating in that context, please come and discuss with me and we’ll work something out.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 35 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Final Exam

Details of task: In 90 minutes, students will be required to answer two questions, from a list of five options. The questions are based on theories, cases, and ideas discussed throughout the semester.

There is no designated or suggested length of responses to these questions. Students will have to judge for themselves a suitable length to a) answer the question comprehensively while b) not waffling. Knowing what is not relevant is just as important as knowing what is relevant. When you go out to the workplace, you won’t be given word limits (usually).


CriterionPercentage of grade

Clarity of writing


Structure and coherence of argument


Use of theory


Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be returned via Wattle, as quickly as possible after submission. If work is not returned within a fortnight, please feel free to start nagging me for your grades/feedback.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

 I do not allow students to upload draft assignments to Turnitin in order to check the similarity percentages before final submission. If you’re worried that your similarity will be too high (though note that there is no ‘too high’ or ‘too low’ cut-off; it all depends on how much you have quoted etc), go back and revise your academic practices. Cite more thoroughly. Quote directly rather than paraphrasing. Cite some more. Draw on a wider range of sources. Contact the Academic Skills & Learning Centre for more help. 

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Jill Sheppard

Research Interests

Dr Jill Sheppard

Wednesday 09:00 11:00
Wednesday 09:00 11:00
Dr Jill Sheppard

Research Interests

Dr Jill Sheppard

Wednesday 09:00 11:00
Wednesday 09:00 11:00

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