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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2008

AMS 391 • International Journalism Crisis Coverage

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30150 M
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
CMA A3.108
De Uriarte

Course Description

"Because of the systemand in spite of itmost Americans are out of touch with events that directly affect their lives. When crisis impends, they a re not warned. When it strikes, they are not prepared." Mort Rosenblum, Editor, International Herald Tribune, 1981. This interdisciplinary course examines how international events come to be defined as crisis by the U.S. press and how conflict is reported. Course includes analysis of construction, framing, agenda conveyance; source dependence and selective omission. Course explores the dynamics of power and communication; the role of media as an institutionalized conveyor of political policy in exercises of empire building. Along with increased U.S. military involvement in third world nations of color comes recurrent patterns of information distribution, of power expansion and political profiling. Also explored is the shadow effect that appears in domestic coverage, and media portrayal related to race, class, gender, and civic status The press provides cultural constructions through which individuals define identity, navigate domestic and international exchanges and through which national, public and individual discourse about conflict progresses. Course explores re-emerging patterns related to these concepts in past and current coverage of Latin America and the Middle East, including the false construction of news and fact by public relations agencies. Text material is augmented with documentaries.. This course seeks to provide an overview of these issuesboth through intellectual exploration and hands-on field experience, which provides an exercise in applied theory. Students will undertake three forms of scholarshipfield work, press analysis and researchto produce a 30 page research paper addressing paralleland intersecting realities. Toward this goal students will spend 20 structured hours in related community field work/service learning. Course draws from press coverage, communication theory, history and sociology. Students are encouraged to think in terms of common themes and issues by applying readings to contemporary communication examples.


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