Center for Global Affairs
The Media and International Affairs
This course examines the interrelationships between mass media (print and broadcast journalism) and politics in America and abroad. Journalism has both a symbiotic and an adversarial relationship with the political world that it covers. It uses and is used by politicians and their spin-doctors. By exploring the current and historic conflicts between journalists and politicians, students will be made aware of domestic and international U.S. policies and the relationships between Washington and foreign capitals, the United Nations, and regional conflicts. Course topics cover such themes as using and being used by news sources; journalistic ethics and ethical considerations in the setting of the news agenda; yellow journalism; implications of corporate ownership of media; First Amendment issues such as libel, privacy, prior restraint against publishing the news, protection of sources, the right to gather news, and national security; how governments control and spin the news; the changing role of the foreign correspondent; changes in the U.S. at war; broadcast regulations, including the Fairness Doctrine and the questions of equal time and access; the implications of "negative" journalism; the growing role and impact of technological change on newsgathering; and journalism's impact on the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections.