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History of Media Management


Balbi G.

Course director

Lüthi E.



Aims and contents

This module aims to introduce media management and to reconsider its history. Private companies and governments have been managing the media since centuries, while the literature on media management often focuses on contemporary issues.

The module offers a different look. Firstly, it focuses on how media markets and professions diversified during the past centuries and how management strategies changed or did not change over time. Secondly, it aims at understanding how media companies, politics, markets, and consumers respond to new media, as well as new models of distribution and consumption and, at the same time, how old practices persist over time. The final goal of this module is to bring students to acquire a long-term mentality, focusing on relevant dichotomies in media management, such as public and private, one-to-one and one-to-many (up to convergence), national and international, analog and digital, and innovation and maintenance. A specific focus is on the cultures of media companies and how they have been built over time. This is an intermedia module, taking into account a wide range of media industries over time: for example, printed press, telecommunications, photography, music, broadcasting, digital media, and others from the 19th century to nowadays.

This module combines ex-cathedra lectures on specific topics with discussions based on historical papers and sources (political papers, boards of directors meetings, strategic planning, but also fictional literature, etc.) and on scientific papers.



  • 20% class engagement (group works, active participation)
  • 30% research project
  • 50% final exam



A reader made of selected scientific papers and historical sources will be available to students at the beginning of the module.