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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Fall 2006

GOV 370L • Journalism, Society, and the Citizen Journalist

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39873 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
ETC 2.114
Poindexter

Course Description

Designed as a three-credit course for journalism and liberal arts majors, this course concentrates on the function and values of journalism in a democratic society; the relationship of journalism to the public, including the citizen journalist; and the interdisciplinary connections to fields as diverse as anthropology, biotechnology and Middle Eastern Studies. Using UT's nationally recognized journalism faculty, guest experts from academic departments and centers across the University, and University resources such as the Watergate papers, news collections at the Center for American History, small group projects and larger format Town Hall assemblies, this course will encourage critical thinking. The course will be divided into two main parts: Journalism, its Function, Values and Ethics, and the Audience for Journalism. The first segment, grounded in history, will lay the foundation for journalism's role in society and answer such questions as: What is journalism? What does journalism stand for? What do journalists do? What do journalists value? Special attention will be given to the First Amendment, the adoption of ethical codes, Watergate, the decline of traditional news media, and the use of anonymous sources. The second segment, using statistics on news readership and viewing, will explore the reasons for the decline in attention to news, public attitudes toward the news media, and the implications for an independent press and a democratic society. A national expert such as Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, will discuss trends in the public's use of the news media and the Internet, and attitudes of the public toward journalism. Presentations of national speakers will be videotaped for future classes and the college's Instructional Media Center archives. Presentations will be made available to other journalism programs to facilitate similar enrichment efforts at other campuses.

Texts

The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel Tuned Out: Why Americans Under 40 Don't Follow the News by David T.Z. Mindich "The American Journalist in the 21st Century: Key Findings"by David Weaver, Randal Beam, Bonnie Brownlee, Paul Voakes and G. Cleveland Wilhoit Best Practices: the Art of Leadership in News Organizations by Shelby Coffey III Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital by Robert D. Putnam

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