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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Katherine Margot Bell
COM 495
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Communication

Lecture, seminar, and/or team study. Topics vary.

Class description

This 5-credit course blends theory and critique about the media's role in characterizing people and issues with hands-on writing. We will examine how and why news sometimes does not serve certain social groups, including looking at journalistic objectivity and other factors in news production. We will use our knowledge to critique news and, more importantly, explore alternative approaches that can break down stereotypes.

Student learning goals

Explain the news media as a field that both reflects and constructs the social reality around us.

Discuss in a critical way the concepts of race, gender, class, sexuality etc. in terms of how they are constructed in and through mass-mediated communication;

Report, write and produce news stories that are sensitive to social inequality and representations of race, gender, sexuality, disability and the like;

Explain the impact of visual representations in the news and present alternative for how the news media might realistically alter those representations;

Analyze how structural and institutional factors of news production influence the ways in which people and issues are portrayed;

General method of instruction

Lecture, news assignments, analysis of news

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


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 Katherine Margot Bell
Date: 10/17/2010