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

Fall 2004

GOV 370L • News Media as a Political Institution

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37465 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
BUR 212

Course Description

CANCELLED Course number may be repeated for credit when topics vary.

What role do the news media play in the American political system? Why does the United States receive the political news coverage that it does? This course looks at the systematic factors involved in how the news media produce political information. It takes an institutional perspective on political communication: the structural reasons why individuals and organizations in the media behave as they do. Specifically, the readings address the fact that the news is a for-profit business, produced by trained professionals in large, complex business firms. The course begins by considering "power" and the nature of politics, proceeds to an analysis of the news media as complex, money-making enterprises, addresses the role of the new media in public policy, and then discusses the new media and new directions in political communication. Course readings, lectures, and discussion will be supplemented by films. Students are expected to be able to come to class prepared to discuss the day's readings and may be called upon in class.


Robert McChesney, Rich Media Poor Democracy (2000). Bartholomew Sparrow, Uncertain Guardians (1999). Course Packet


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