93495 - Sociology of Journalism (LM)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Marco Santoro

  • Credits 6

  • SSD SPS/07

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Information, Cultures and Media Organisation (cod. 5698)

  • Course Timetable from Jan 29, 2024 to Mar 08, 2024

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

The class offers methods and conceptual tools to understand journalism as an institution and an occupation. The aim is to give students the critical competence to reflexively think at the social and cultural conditions in which the production of news occurs. 

At the end the student is supposed to

- know the main sociological methods useful for studying journalism empirically  and even doing journalism as a kind of social investigation

- know the major professional models and the typical institutional dilemmas of journalism as an historically situated field of practice

- be able to analyze conditions and situations in which the journalistic occupation is exerted in contemporary societies;

- is able to extend the range of her skils through the creative use of concepts, models and methods illustrated in class.

Course contents

The course is articulated in two connected parts, one general and theoretical, and the other empirically focused. The first part includes the following:

- the history of sociology and the history of journalism (from Marx to Bourdieu)

- social research as method of journalistic investigation (techniques and exemplars)

- journalism as a cultural system (meanings, practices, performances, values, norms etc.)

- the cultural practices of journalism: an inquiry into the tricks of the journalistic trade and the pressions/influences upon it

- the journalistic field: what we gain in thinking at journalism through field theory

The second part puts in practice the conceptual tools presented in the first,  with a focus on two case studies, i.e. mafia journalism and war journalism, with reference to the Ukrainian war.


The same texts of the official Italian program.

However, I am available to discuss options and agree on a different (but equivalent for length and difficulty) bibliography in English.

Teaching methods

Lectures with PowerPoint and video; participatory approach; teaching material uploaded to Virtual learning environment.

Assessment methods

Oral exam, with the possibility, for attending students, to discuss a research paper (min 5,000 words) on a subject/topic previously agreed upon with the teacher

Teaching tools

slides and syllabus

Office hours

See the website of Marco Santoro