Journalists' role in elections and public policy. Relationship between news coverage and political campaigns. Study and analysis of local political newswriting, reporting, and response by local and state political figures. Extensive off-campus experience included. Offered: jointly with POL S 304.
The class offers perspective of modern politics as it plays out in the mediated landscape, and what it means to be a concerned citizen in this dynamic environment.
Student learning goals
Assess the key elements of a healthy democratic society
Critically analyze the impact of marketing and public relations on social and political institutions in the U.S.
Judge the differences between "old public sphere" and the "new public sphere" in a more "mediated landscape"
Formulate a "strategic communication campaign" based on principles introduced in lecture
Write a book review that takes into account the main themes discussed in lecture and class readings
Conduct original "content analysis" research to determine the efficacy and spread of "strategic communication campaigns" in modern society
General method of instruction
Extensive reading mixed with lectures and class discussion. Students are expected to keep up with the reading and come to class ready to engage each other and the instructor.
It helps immensely to follow current political events, by reading a major daily newspaper, one news magazine and perhaps a weekly political discussion show or news program. It is required that all students subscribe to the "New York Times" daily newspaper.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments seek to enhance rhetorical and argumentative skills at the same time as students perform analyses of both historical and modern trends in an atmosphere of encouragement and exploration. A variety of assignments are offered to test these abilities, in both written and oral forms.
Grades are based on ability to argue effectively, provide evidence and strong documentation (i.e., citations), and make cogent and thoughtful points in the process. Students must also demonstrate a capacity to analyze and critique a wide variety of ideas and concepts, from various eras, and determine underlying patterns in all cases.