Students in this course will undertake a broad range of media studies that will provide them a comprehensive understanding of the powers and responsibilities of the press, and its role in maintaining a democratic society. Students will explore from a historic perspective the role of the press in founding and shaping our nation, and they will come to understand how that role has changed as the country has developed. They will delve into the practical aspects of the profession, including communication theory, and the ethical, legal and economic issues involved in contemporary American journalism.
Students also will examine the changing nature of today’s media as government watchdog and the expanding role of the internet in gathering, analyzing and delivering news. They will be required to read newspapers and internet news sites on a daily basis, and will supplement their daily reading with outtakes from magazines such as Time
. They also will look to nonfiction texts, such as The Powers That Be
and Cold New World
, to help better understand the role the news media plays today in shaping our world view. Assignments will be provided to improve students’ interviewing skills, writing skills, information analysis skills, listening skills and speaking skills. Special emphasis will be placed on exploring the ethical issues that are increasingly confronting journalists, providing students the ability to think through ethical quandaries and exercise sound judgment when confronted with them.
Students will also explore the role the press plays through its reporting in fostering civic engagement, with an emphasis on providing students the tools necessary to become better-informed and more active participants in the democratic process.
Instructor: Fred Alvarez
to view Mr. Alvarez's bio