This introductory course is designed to explore the social, cultural and economic dimensions of the significance of contemporary media in our everyday lives. Situating media in the broader historical context of its development, the course will investigate processes of production and consumption. Key concepts and debates within media studies will be discussed by way of topical examples. In addition to topics such as journalism, advertising and consumer culture, the course will deal with the question of ownership structures. The overall aim of the course is to help students enhance their media literacy skills and to develop a more critical and informed awareness of their relation to and use of contemporary media.