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

Spring 2004

AMS 391 • International Journalism: Crisis Coverage

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
26330 W
4:00 PM-7:00 PM
CMA A3.130
DeUriarte

Course Description

This interdisciplinary course examines how international events come to be defined as crisis by US media and how conflict is reported, including construction, framing, agenda conveyance and selective omission. Course examines the dynamics of power and communication; explores the role of media as an institutionalized conveyor of political policy and cultural constructions through which individuals define identity, navigate domestic and international exchanges and though which national and individual discourse in conflict is framed. Course will explore recurring patterns related to these concepts in past and current coverage of Latin America and the Middle East. Increased U.S. involvement in these areas displays re-emerging patterns of information distribution, of power expansion and political profiling. A shadow effect appears in domestic information-access matters, and media portrayal related to race, class, gender, and civic status. This course seeks to provide an overview of these issues—both through intellectual exploration and hands-on field experience, which provides an exercise in applied theory. Course draws from journalism, communication, history and sociology. Students are encouraged to think in terms of common themes and issues by applying readings to contemporary communication examples. In addition to assigned texts, reading of alternative press and mainstream media is required. Among the events proposed for examination in spring semester are: the current coverage of Columbia and its role in US foreign policy; recurring crisis in Guatemala and the current situation in the Middle East, with focus on Afghanistan and Iraq, including the role of women as reporters, sources and subjects. Additionally, through selection of individual focus, course will reflect interests of students enrolled. Each student will select one nation and follow its coverage throughout semester, maintaining clip files for reference.

Texts

Elements of Journalism by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosensteil News: The Politics of Illusion by W. Lance Bennett Manufacturing Consent by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky Civil Society and Media in Global Crisis by Martin Shaw La Revolución: Mexico’s Great Revolution as Memory, Myth and History by Thomas Benjamin In the Name of Democracy: US Policy Toward Latin America in the Reagan Years by Thomas Carothers Covering Islam by Edward Said Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You by Norman Solomon Civilians in War by Simon Chesterman

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