In the midst of the heat and noise of an election season, we will pursue an inquiry into the deeply entangled, complicit, and often conflicted role of media in a democratic society. Topics may include: historical precedence for media influence before and beyond American democracy, the role and responsibilities of a free press, the implications of corporate media ownership, the impact of decentralized social media on the democratic process, campaign finance, tele-visuality, media strategy, public opinion, trends in contemporary journalism, etc. We will attempt to circumvent the typical extremes of cynicism and/or idealism that often accompany discussions of media and democracy, and instead strive to describe and understand the contemporary realities clearly. Students will be expected to conduct research projects, remain deeply engaged in current media/democracy news stories, and find ways to present their work.
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