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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Misti L. Williams
COM 305
Seattle Campus

The Politics of Mass Communication in America

Role of mass audiences in politics from the standpoint of the communication strategies used to shape their political involvement. Topics include: social structure and political participation, political propaganda and persuasion, the political uses of public opinion, and the mass media and politics. Offered: jointly with POL S 305.

Class description

This course is intended to familiarize students with the role the mass media plays in democratic governance. Throughout the course, students will question the nature of democratic citizenship and what role the media should play in preparing citizens for this duty. The course is divided into three sections. In the first section, we will discuss the historical development of the press, how the media constructs political reality, modern media economics, and the nature of public opinion. The second section will cover media�s impact on domestic politics, specifically social movements, political campaigns and elections, and the media�s role as a �watchdog� for political transgressions. In the third section of the class, we will discuss the media�s role in U.S. foreign policy. By the end of this class, students should have a general understanding of the media�s power, as well as its� limits in influencing political attitudes.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Texts: Benjamin Page, Who Deliberates?, Geneva Overholser and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, The Press, W. Lance Bennett and David Paletz, Taken By Storm. A course reader is also available for purchase.

Grading: 3 Exams--1st and 2nd Midterm: 20% each, Final: 40% Participation: 20%

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Misti L. Williams
Date: 03/21/2008