Media content
Cursus informatieRooster
Studiepunten (ECTS)4
CategorieB2 (Tweede jaar bachelor)
Aangeboden doorRadboud Universiteit; Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen; Communicatiewetenschap;
dr. S. Daalmans
Overige cursussen docent
drs. G.W.M. Weijers
Overige cursussen docent
drs. G.W.M. Weijers
Overige cursussen docent
drs. G.W.M. Weijers
Overige cursussen docent
Contactpersoon van de cursus
drs. G.W.M. Weijers
Overige cursussen docent
PER2  (02-11-2020 t/m 24-01-2021)
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
Inschrijven voor bijvakkersJa
Upon the successful completion of this course you are:
  • able to distinguish communication science theories as well as views of creators and users with regard to media content.
  • able to distinguish different perspectives on media content on the basis of theories used in communication science and the associated concepts and research hypotheses.
  • able to describe the relationship between 'reality' and its symbolic 'representation' in media messages and analyze it in semiotic terms: representamen, object  and interpretant.
  • able to analyze and apply important syntactic characteristics of messages (form and structure of representations) in various media such as, for example, an narrative print ad, a rhetorical plea structure or press report.  
  • able to identify and apply different signs and sign systems that shape media reality, in the analysis of media content.
If we want to improve our knowledge, we consult media. Whether we refer to social media, documentaries, newspaper, all of these media carry meanings about the world. Even if we turn to media for entertainment (Netflix series, dumpert, fairy tales) they will provide us with images of the world around us. Media content is built on representations. As is science. Science, more specific scientific papers, offer access to (specific part of) reality by creating representations of reality based on scientific methods and rules.
The scope of this course is the (inter)relation of reality and the symbolic representation of it. How do we know the world? What is the role of representations in constructing meaning? What are the most important systems of representations that shape media content (images, language, narrative, rhetoric) and what are defining characteristics of this types of representations? In communication science content analysis is a distinctive method. However, different theories create different perspectives on ‘content’ and therefore will read content differently. 

The course’s basic assumptions are twofold:
THE content does not exist. Every Mass Communication Theory has a specific scope or angle to look at ‘content’ and accordingly different methods and routines to analyze (specific aspects of) ‘content’
  • There is no such thing as a pure experience of an objective reality. Reality exists but its intelligibility depends on systems of signs, like language. To quote James Carey: “reality is brought into existence, is produced, by communication – by, in short, the construction, apprehension, and utilization of symbolic forms”
    (Carey 1989, p. 25)
Based on those two assumptions the focus in this course is on:
  • Theories of representation: the connection between reality and it’s symbolic representation in “texts” such as language, visuals, films, documentaries, narratives and rhetoric.
  • The grammar of different forms of symbolic representations 
  • Mass communication theories and the conceptualization of content within those theories
  • Views on media content of (professional) content creators and their outlook on the representation of reality.
History shows that a lot of students taking this course, find out that a lot of the topics in this course are difficult to grasp. So be aware that the course has a balanced structure in which every lecture builds on preceding lecture(s). That's the reason we strongly recommend to attend lectures. In case you miss a lecture, the web lecture will be accessible for 48 hours after the lecture. At the end of the course all web lectures will be accessible again for two weeks preceding the exam.
Last year a number of foreign students got into problems because they failed the course. Please be aware that there are strict rules for the resit of the exam:
Studenten Communicatiewetenschap moeten in 2019 of eerder zijn begonnen met de bachelor of zijn toegelaten tot de pre-master Communicatiewetenschap. Bijvakstudenten verwijzen wij naar de toelatingsvoorwaarden B2 en B3 cursussen als keuzevak in deze studiegids onder kopje Studenten van andere opleidingen. Toegankelijk (beperkt) voor internationale studenten.

Assignments:   All assignments are obligatory. Although the assignments will be in English, you are allowed to hand them in in Dutch if you want to.
Every assignment must be handed in on Brightspace/turnitin. All assignments are made in pairs, both students have to submit it to Brightspace/turnitin (with the clear indication who the partners are). Formative assignments need to be handed in and show that students have invested time in it, summative assignments will be graded.
Most of the assignments consist of implementing specific theoretical knowledge in creating specific content. In order to focus on digesting the required reading material and lectures, and not so much on making up a story or situation, our starting point for creation will be well known fairy tales. The basic situation or story is given, so the emphasis can be on applying the theoretical insights. Some of the assignments will be accompanied by a self-assessment form. 
Apart from these creative assignments there will be a number of analytical reading guide assignments.
For each assignment, a resit assignment will be available to compensate a failing grade.

Written exam:  30 multiple choice questions, 4 possible answers. Correction for guessing. All lectures, assignments and reading material are part of the exam 

 Final grade: To calculate the final grade both the result of the exam as well as the average of the summative assessments have to be at least 5,5 or higher. The exam makes up 50% of the final grade, the assignments 50%. 

Studenten Communicatiewetenschap moeten 42 EC hebben behaald van de propedeuse (B1) of zijn toegelaten tot de pre-master Communicatiewetenschap.
• Bijvakstudenten verwijzen wij naar de toelatingsvoorwaarden B2 en B3 cursussen als keuzevak in deze studiegids onder kopje Studenten van andere opleidingen. Toegankelijk (beperkt) voor internationale studenten.

Verplicht materiaal


Bijdrage aan groepswerk
opdrachten verplicht in duo's

Weblectures zullen enkel beschikbaar zijn gedurende 48 uur na het college en daarna twee weken voor het tentamen.

Take home Tentamen
ToetsvormTake home tentamen
GelegenhedenBlok PER2, Blok PER3

GelegenhedenBlok PER2, Blok PER3