In liberal democracies, the media has played a primordial role as a provider information and a key actor in the creation of rational debate. The media has been also regarded as the fourth estate which aims to support the check and balances system. However, scholars of media studies as well as of democratic theories have always raised important questions on the ownership problems, the “impossible” impartiality and the use of media as a very powerful propaganda tool. Against this backdrop, the course explores whether and if so, how the media can fulfill the democratic demands. Focusing on key texts, this course will firstly examine the normative relations between democratic theory and media. Further, the course will pay special attention to the influence of ownership and the interplay between political actors and the media. Lastly, this course aims to cover the themes and concerns driven by the rise of right-wing populist parties and by the use of media to attain power and to manipulate popular opinion.