New Media Challenges

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    New Media Challenges

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Communication Studies, Media Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Upon successful completion of the course, the student is able to:
    • Define, describe, and discuss important new media challenges from a micro, a meso and a macro perspective.
    • Critically analyze and assess relevant communication-scientific theories in light of new media challenges.
    • Compare, differentiate, and use relevant theoretical perspectives and argumentation in evaluating results of empirical studies related to important new media challenges.
    • Apply communication-scientific theories to understand and advise about new media challenges.

    Media are omnipresent in our society. While many digital media offer exciting new possibilities for interpersonal contact, customer service and democratization, they also have a dark side and can bring about negative effects (such as cyberbullying, or fake news influencing elections). A crucial question for any communication scientist is thus how to deal with these new challenges posed by media. Did recent developments in the media landscape fundamentally change society and do we need new theories to explain how media are used? Or can still we explain their use and effects through classic theories?

    In this course, we will take a theory- and evidence-based approach to address these issues. That is, we will focus on a number of core topics rated to media challenges such as trust vs. truth, power over information, wellbeing of media users, and information overload and bubbles. We will zoom in on each of these challenges by looking at communication-scientific theory and recently published empirical studies. This approach will teach you how to approach and address such challenges from an academic perspective.

    We will specifically focus on the challenges through the lens of the three spheres of communication: (1) the micro sphere which focuses on the individual, (2) the meso sphere which deals with organizations and their stakeholders, and (3) the macro sphere which concerns society at large. These three lenses help students to understand how different subfields of communication science (micro: media psychology; meso: organizational and marketing communication; macro: public communication) deal with new media challenges.

    Finally, this course prepares students for writing a bachelor thesis and for a comprehensive start in one of the specialization tracks in the master’s program in communication science.

    Lectures and assignments.

    Written exam and assignments.

    Third-year bachelor students in communication science and premaster students in communication science. International exchange students without a background in communication science, are strongly recommend to take the course “Communication Classics” in P3 as a preparation, as we will build on this knowledge in this course.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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