CMDS Practicum

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
Course Description: 

Elective course; Media and Communication Specialization

This course is an introduction to the systems and processes that shape the media. It consists of an introductory part, a short overview of how the media works, and of the key players in the field of media: their competences, power and influence and the impact they have on media systems in general, and media organizations in particular.

The course also aims to describe and problematize the tensions and conflicts that shape the media such as: public versus private interests, international versus national interests, commercial versus social interests; and the impact of media-related policies on media organizations, on journalism, and ultimately, on society.

Most of the course (80% of it) will be practical:

a). students will participate in CMDS’ activities, particularly in the center’s flagship research project Media Influence Matrix to get hands-on experience with media related research

b). students will carry out a journalism mini-project based on an idea they will develop as a way to have a newsroom experience.

Their contribution to Media Influence Matrix research project and the article written as part of their journalistic project will be the base for evaluation. For their contribution, students will be credited as researchers in this project, which has been publicly disseminated as of January 2018, and will get a byline for their article that will be published by CMDS.

Learning Outcomes: 

Learning outcomes: students will be able to understand the way media works from both a macro- and micro- perspective; they will be able to identify the main characteristics of media systems and important actors (their interests and relationships); they will learn about examples of how to engage with the media; through practice, they will learn a set of fundamental tools and methods to carry out applied research on media and run a journalistic project.


  • Presence and active participation in the class (20%)
  • Short assignment: writing a short, journalistic article (maximum 800 words) for one of CMDS digital platforms (CMDS website, the Medium blog or CMDS’ associated website the story will be finalized during the course of the term
  • Research assignment: gathering data and information for one country in the Media & Power research project of CMDS (70%): this will be carried out throughout the course of the term based on guidance from the instructor and using a common research template prepared by CMDS