Part 1: Journalism

Week1 (Sept 4 & 6): Introduction and Definitions

Sept 4: Introduction and syllabus

Sept 6: No class; Rosh Hashanah

No speeches, discussion, or research reports this week

Required Readings
  • Kovach, B. &Rosenstiel, T. (2010). Blur: How to know what’s true in the age of information overload. London: Bloomsbury. Chapter 1 (pp. 1-11).
  • Orwell, G. (1946, summer). Why I Write. Gangrel. Retrieved from
  • Ebert. (n.d.). The best damn job in the whole damn world. Retrieved from ONLY: Listen) Flatow, I. (2013, May 10). The Myth Of Multitasking. Science Friday from NPR. Retrieved from

Further Reading
  • Booth, W., Colomb, G. & Williams, J. (2003). Making good arguments, The Craft of Research ,2nd ed. (pp. 114-126), Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Lamott, A. Shitty first drafts. (1994).
  • Lucas, S. E. (1998). Delivery. (Chapter in The art of public speaking, 6th ed., 292-309.)
  • Thompson, T. (1999). The media and modernity. In Mackay, H., & O'Sullivan, T., (Eds.), The media reader: Continuity and transformation, 13-27; 15 pages.

Week 2 (Sept 9-13): Jeff Bezos just bought the Washington Post...???

Sept 9: Media changes in a media society

Sept 11: Jeff Bezos just bought the Washington Post

Sept 13: Guest Speaker: Jack Mitchell on evolution and functions of journalism

Attend section to get personal section assignments.

Required Readings
  • Kovach, B. &Rosenstiel, T. (2010). Blur: How to know what’s true in the age of information overload. London: Bloomsbury. Chapters 2-3.
  • Carmody, T. (n.d.). Citizen Bezos: Amazon’s founder is looking for a legacy. Nieman Journalism Lab. Retrieved from
  • Stewart, J. B. (2013, August 9). After Post Sale, Spotlight Shines More Intensely on The Times. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Further Reading
  • Hallin, D.C., & Giles, R. (1999). “Presses and Democracies.” In Overholser & Jamison, The Press, pp. 4-16.
  • Lemann, N. (2006, Jan 23). “The Murrow doctrine.” The New Yorker, 38-43.
  • Schmuhl, R. & Picard, R. G. (2005). The marketplace of ideas. In G. Overholser & K. H. Jamieson  (Eds.), The press (141-155). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Schudson, M. (1978). The Age of Egalitarianism: The Penny Press. In Discovering the News: A Social History of American Newspapers. New York: Basic Books.

Week 3 (Sept 16-20): Norms and Ethics of Journalism

Sept 16: Foundations of American journalism

Sept 18: Structure and practice of the American press

Sept 20: Norms and challenges

Speeches: 1, 2; Discussion: 7, 8; Research reports: 13, 14

Required Readings
  • Kovach, B. &Rosenstiel, T. (2010). Blur: How to know what’s true in the age of information overload. London: Bloomsbury. Chapters 4-5.
  • Gans, H.J. (1979). Values in the News. In Deciding What’s News: A Study of CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Newsweek, and Time, pp. 39-72.
  • McManus, J.H. (2009). “Objectivity: It’s Time to Say Goodbye.” Nieman Reports, September.
  • National Public Radio. (2012). This is NPR. And these are the standards of our journalism. Retrieved from

Further Reading
  • Carr, D. (2012, September 16). The Puppetry of Quotation Approval. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  • Carr, D. (2013, June 30). Journalism, Even When It’s Tilted. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  • Donsbach, W. (2013). Journalism as the new knowledge profession and consequences for journalism education. Journalism. doi:10.1177/1464884913491347
  • Gans, H. (2003). "Journalistic practices and their problems," in Democracy and The News (pp. 45-68). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Starr, P. (2004). Coda: The advent of the media. (Chapter in The creation of the media: Political origins of modern communications. New York: Basic Books.)
  • Lazarsfeld, P.F. & Merton, R.K. (1948/2000). Mass communication, popular taste, and organized social action [selection]. In Marris, P. & Thornham, S. (Eds.), Media studies: A reader, 2nd ed. (18-30). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Postman, N. (1985). The medium is the metaphor. (Chapter in Amusing ourselves to death. New York: Penguin Books.)
  • Seal, M. (2009, March). The Godfather wars. Vanity Fair, 270-283 & 326-329.
  • Strömbäck, J. (2005). In Search of a Standard: four models of democracy and their normative implications for journalism. Journalism Studies, 6(3), 331–345. doi:10.1080/14616700500131950
  • The Economist. (n.d.). The balance trap  Retrieved from
  • Weldon, M. (2011, Sept 20). I do know how — and why—she does it. Chicago Tribune.

Week 4 (Sept 23-27): Journalism: Economics and Politics

Sept 23: Ownership and regulation; economics of the news industry

Sept 25: Political reporting, War reporting

Sept 27: Guest speaker on journalism ethics: Bob Drechsel (confirmed)

Speeches: 3, 4; Discussion: 9, 10; Research reports: 15, 16

Required Readings
  • Kovach, B. &Rosenstiel, T. (2010). Blur: How to know what’s true in the age of information overload. London: Bloomsbury. Chapters 6 & 7.
  • Baker, R. (1997). The squeeze. Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved from
  • Fallows, J. (2003). “The age of Murdoch.” The Atlantic Monthly, September 2003, pp. 81-98 (advertising-only pages not copied).

Further Reading
  • Bamford, J. (2005). "The man who sold the war," Rolling Stone (17 Nov), plus response by Rendon and rebuttal by Bamford; ~10 pages.
  • Baughman, J. L. (2006). Century’s end, 1993-2005. (Chapter in The republic of mass culture: Journalism, filmmaking, and broadcasting in America since 1941, 3rd ed.)
  • Bennett, W. L., Lawrence, R. G. G. & Livingston, S. (2007). “Press Politics in America: The case of the Iraq War.” in When the press fails: political power and the news media from Iraq to Katrina, (pp.12-45). Chicago:
  • Gans, H. J. (2003). The problem of news effects. (Chapter  in Democracy and the news. Oxford: Oxford University Press.)
  • Klinenberg, E. (2007). "Owning it all," in Fighting for air: The battle to control America's media, 112-145.
  • Sparks, G. (2006). Media that stir emotions. (Chapter in Media Effects Research: A Basic Overview. Canada: Cengage Learning.)

Week 5 (September 30-October 5): Ongoing Changes in American Journalism

Sept 30: The changing landscape of American reporting

Oct 2: Guest speaker: Andy Hall (confirmed)

Oct 4: Wikileaks, surveillance, Edward Snowden and journalism Challenges of American journalism

DUE: In lecture on October 4: 1st draft of Essay 1

Speeches: 5, 6; Discussion: 11, 12; Research reports: 17, 18

Required Readings
  • Kovach, B. &Rosenstiel, T. (2010). Blur: How to know what’s true in the age of information overload. London: Bloomsbury. Chapters 8 & 9.
  • Gillmor, D. (2010). “Who’s a journalist? Does that matter?”, August 26, 3 pages.
  • Stelter, B. (2013, August 18). Al Jazeera America Promises a More Sober Look at the News. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  • Wingfield, N. (2013, August 11). Technology Industry Extends a Hand to Struggling Print Media. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Further Reading
  • Barnhurst, K. G. (2003). The makers of meaning: National Public Radio and the new long  journalism, 1980-2000. Political Communication, 20(1), 1–22. doi:10.1080/10584600390172374
  • Baughman, J. L. (2010). Wounded but not slain: The orderly retreat of the American newspaper. In D. P. Nord et al., (Eds.), A history of the book in America, vol 5. (119-134). Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press.
  • Columbia Journalism Review. (2011). “Beyond the Facts.” Editorial. January-February.
  • Fantz, A. (n.d.). Is the Snowden case Manning, Part II? Not quite, experts say. CNN. Retrieved August 21, 2013, from
  • Ford, H. (2012, August 20). How Wikipedia Manages Sources for Breaking News. MediaShift Idea Lab. Retrieved from
  • Kaplan, R. (2009). “Why I love Al Jazeera.” Atlantic Monthly, October, 2 pages.           
  • MacGillis, A. (2011). “The Hard Truth About Fact-Checking.” The New Republic. December 20., A. (2008). "Six competencies of the next generation news organization," Northwestern University Media Management Center, selections; 40 pages.
  • Paul Starr, (2009). “Goodbye to the age of newspapers (hello to a new era of corruption)," The New Republic (04 March); 15 pages.
  • Singer, J. B. (2010). Journalism ethics amid structural change. Daedalus, 139(2), p. 89-101.

Week 6 (Oct 7-11): Exam 1

Oct 7: Review

Oct 9: Exam 1

Oct 11: No class

DUE: by section: peer reviews of Essay 1

NO SPEECHES THIS WEEK; Sections will meet

Week 7 (October 14-18): Information Literacy

Oct 14: Challenges of American journalism (completing lecture of Oct. 4); Profit media and the public service mission

Oct 16: Plagiarism and information literacy

Oct 18: Ownership and regulation of American media

DUE: in lecture on October 18: Final draft of Essay 1

Speeches: 7, 8; Discussion: 13, 14; Research reports: 1, 2

Required Readings
  • Rheingold, H. (2009, June 30). Crap Detection 101. City Brights. Retrieved from
  • Kachka, B. (2012, Oct 28). Proust wasn’t a neuroscientist. Neither was Jonah Lehrer. New York. Retrieved from
  • Streitfield, D. (2012, Dec 22). Giving Mom’s book five stars? Amazon may cull your review. Retrieved from

Part 2: Strategic Communication

Week 8 (October 21-25): Strategic Communication

Oct 21: Introduction to strategic communication

Oct 23: The advertising process

Oct 25: The advertising process (cont'd)

Speeches: 9, 10; Discussion: 15, 16; Research reports: 3, 4

Required Readings
  • Bernays, E. (1928) Organizing chaos and The new propagandists. In Propaganda (pp. 37-46 & 59-70), New York: H. Liveright.
  • Douglas Rushkoff, “Advertising,” in Coercion: Why we listen to what “they” say (1999), 162-192; 30 pages.
  • (ONLINE ONLY: Watch) BBR Channel. (2012, Sept 12). So what is ‘integrated advertising’? [Video] Retrieved from
  • (ONLINE ONLY: Watch) BBR Channel. (2011, June 2). Decode Jay-Z case study. Retrieved from

Further Reading
  • Tom Reichert, “Arousing aspirations: Lifestyle apparel and high-fashion,” in The erotic history of advertising(2003), 231-251; 20 pages.
  • Turow, J. (1997) “Mapping a fractured society,” in Breaking up America: Advertisers and the new media world, 55-89; 35 pages.

Week 9 (Oct 28-Nov 1): Strategic Communication

Oct 28: Aperture in advertising

Oct 30: Aperture in advertising; creative in advertising

Nov 1: Screening: The Persuaders

Speeches: 11, 12; Discussion: 17, 18; Research reports: 5, 6

Required Readings
  • Goodman, P. S. (2010). "In case of emergency: What not to do," New York Times (21 August); 10 pages.
  • Ronald E. Rice and Charles K. Atkin, "Communication campaigns: Theory, design, implementation, and evaluation," in Jennings Bryant and Dolf Zillmann, eds., Media effects: Advances in theory and research (2002), 427-451; ~25 pages.
  • Maher, J. K., Herbst, K. C., Childs, N. M., & Finn, S. (2008). “Racial stereotypes in children’s television commercials.” Journal of Advertising Research, pp. 80-93.
  • Singer, N. (2012, Nov 17). Your online attention, bought in an instant. New York Times. Retrieved from

Further Readings
  • Gloria Steinem, “Sex, lies & advertising,” Ms. (July/August 1990), 18-28; reprinted in Robert W. McChesney and Ben Scott, eds., Our unfree press: 100 years of radical media criticism (2004), 160-176; 17 pages.
  • Naomi Klein, “A tale of three logos,” in No logo (2002), 365-396.
  • Orenstein, P. (2006). “What’s wrong with Cinderella?” New York Times, December 24, 9 pages.
  • Singer, N. (2011). “On campus, it’s one big commercial.” New York Times, September 10, 8 pages.

Week 10 (Nov 4-8): Strategic Communication in the Public Square

Nov 4: Creative in advertising

Nov 6: Guest speaker: Deb Pierce on Interactive Advertising Media

Nov 8: Ethics of strategic communication

DUE: in lecture on Nov. 8: 1st draft of Essay 2

Speeches: 13, 14; Discussion: 1, 2; Research reports: 7, 8

Required Readings
  • Lemann, Nicholas (October 16, 2000). "The Word Lab: The mad Science Behind What the Candidates Say". The New Yorker.
  • Nisbet, M. C., & Scheufele, D. A. (2012, Summer). The polarization paradox: Why hyperpartisanship strengthens conservatism and undermines liberalism. The Breakthrough Institute. Retrieved from

Week 11 (Nov 11-15): Exam 2

Nov 11: Review

Nov 13: Exam 2

Nov 15: Guest speaker: Science journalist in residence Siri Carpenter

DUE: by section: peer review of Essay 2

NO SPEECHES THIS WEEK; Sections will meet

No required readings this week

Part 3: Media in Society

Week 12 (Nov 18-22): Media in Society

Nov 18: Studying media effects: Part 1

Nov 20: Studying media effects: Part 2

Nov 22: Guest speaker: Mike Wagner (confirmed)

DUE: in lecture on Nov. 22: Final draft of Essay 2

Speeches: 15, 16; Discussion: 3, 4; Research reports: 9, 10

Required Readings
  • Carey, J. W. (1975). A cultural approach to communication. Communication 2(2), 1-22.
  • Economist. (2011, Dec 29). How Luther went viral. Retrieved from
  • (listen) Radiolab. (2008). "War of the Worlds: Live at the FitzGerald Theater."

Week 13 (Nov 25-29): Entertainment Media

Nov 25: Film

Nov 27: Class will not meet. There will be an online assignment TBD.

Nov 29: No class: Thanksgiving

Required Readings
  • Scorsese, M. (2013, August 15). The Persisting Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema. The New York Review of Books. Retrieved from

Further Reading
  • Brownstein, R. (2010, July 24). The gray and the brown: The generational mismatch. National Journal.
  • Dawe, T. J. (2010, Aug 13). What do our action movies say about us? BeamsAndStruts. Retrieved from
  • Gopnik, A. (2007, Jan 8) The unbeautiful game. The New Yorker, 38-45.
  • Hankin, K. (2007). And introducing…The female director: Documentaries about women filmmakers as feminist activism. NWSA Journal, 19(1), 59-88.

Part 4: Going Digital

Week 14 (December 2-6): Digital

Dec 2 : Who speaks? Democratic medium vs. Myth of digital democracy

Dec 4: TBD

Dec 6: Guest speaker: Jeremy Morris on Anonymous (confirmed)

Speeches: 17, 18; Discussion: 5, 6; Research reports: 11, 12

DUE: in lecture on December 6: 1st draft of Essay 3

Required Readings
  • Chozick, A. (2013, June 27). Jimmy Wales Is Not an Internet Billionaire. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  • Kang, J. C. (2013, July 25). Should Reddit Be Blamed for the Spreading of a Smear? The New York Times. Retrieved from
  • Jenkins, H. (n.d.). Confessions of an Aca/Fan: Archives: If It Doesn’t Spread, It’s Dead (Part One): Media Viruses and Memes. Retrieved from

Further Reading
  • Baym, G., & Shah, C. (2011). CIRCULATING STRUGGLE. Information, Communication & Society, 14(7), 1017–1038. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2011.554573
  • Howard, P. N. (2013, July 31). If Your Government Fails, Can You Create a New One With Your Phone? The Atlantic. Retrieved from
  • Madrigal, A. C. (2013, July 31). The Machine Zone: This Is Where You Go When You Just Can’t Stop Looking at Pictures on Facebook. The Atlantic. Retrieved from
  • Turner, F. (2009). Burning Man at Google: a cultural infrastructure for new media production. New Media & Society, 11(1-2), 73–94. doi:10.1177/1461444808099575

Week 15 (December 9-13): Digital Media Take Hold

Dec 9: Privacy and big data

Dec 11: Big data and research possibilities

Dec 13: Last day of class

DUE: by section: peer review of Essay 3

Required Readings

  • Madrigal, A.C. (2012, Nov 16). When the nerds go marching in. The Atlantic. Retrieved from
  • Clifford, S., & Hardy, Q. (2013, July 14). Attention, Shoppers: Store Is Tracking Your Cell. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  • Duhigg, C. (2012, February 16). How Companies Learn Your Secrets. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  • (ONLINE ONLY: Interactive) Branch, J. (2012). Snow fall: The avalanche at Tunnel Creek. New York Times. Retrieved from
  • (ONLINE ONLY: Interactive) Duenes, S., Kissane, E., Kueneman, A., Myint, J., Roberts, G., & Spangler, C. (2012, Jan 1). How we made Snow Fall: A Q & A with the New York Times team. Retrieved from

Further Reading

  • Carr, N. (2008). “Is Google making us stupid?” Atlantic Monthly, July/August.
  • Charles Petersen, "Google and money!" New York Review of Books (09 December 2010).
  • Chris Anderson, "The long tail," Wired (October 2004).
  • Felix, S. (2012, Sept 17). How to see what Facebook knows about you—and what it tells advertisers. Business Insider. Retrieved from
  • Gillmor, D. (2008). "Principles for a New Media Literacy." Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
  • Kirchner, L. (2013, May 1). Turn on, log in, opt out? Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved from
  • Lawrence, E., Sides, J., & Farrell, H. (2010). Self-Segregation or Deliberation? Blog Readership, Participation, and Polarization in American Politics. Perspectives on Politics, 8 (1).
  • Redmon, K.C. (2012, Sept 14). Facebook knows how to trick you into voting. The Atlantic. Retrieved from
  • Shirky, C. "Publish, then filter." In Here comes everybody: The power of organizing without organizations (2008), 81-108; 25 pages.

DUE: To TA’s mailbox by 5pm on Monday, December 16: Final draft of Essay 3

Final Exam: Thursday, December 19, 12:25-2:25pm. Location TBA.

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