Honors | A Century of News
C201 | 9669 | Owen Johnson

Journalism C201--A CENTURY OF NEWS , section 9669  (3 credits)

9:30-10:45 a.m.  Tuesday/Thursday, Ernie Pyle 205

Professor Owen V. Johnson

Fall Freshman Seminar for Honors Students

Seminar open to non-majors only

For the last hundred years, the people of the United States have
consumed more news than the people of any other country at any time in
history.  A well-known historian observes that "being informed" has
become a basic element of what it means to be an American.  Today's
journalists consider it their professional duty to keep us informed.
But the form in which news is consumed has changed dramatically over
the last hundred years.  Newspapers, the dominant medium a century
ago, have been joined by magazines, radio, TV and the internet.  Large
corporations now own most of the major media.  Alongside these major
media there are also niche media, such as magazines serving speciific
groups, or black and foreign-language newspapers, serving audiences
with special interests.  Public relations and advertising have had a
significant on journalists and their practice.  American journalists
are better educated today and more representative of American society
than they were a hundred years ago.

This course will use the historical approach to examine these and
other issues in the evolution of journalism in the United States since
World War I.

Videos and other teaching aids will promote discussion about major
developments relating to journalism and mass media.  Selected articles
will provide necessary historical background, as well as competing
interpretations of historical change.  Students will have the
opportunity to visit the Lilly Library, IU's rare books and archive
library, to see some of its holdings, and will also receive a special
introduction to the resources for history in the main library.  As a
special project, students will work together to prepare a history of
twentieth-century mass media in Bloomington.

This class will help first-year honors students deepen their
understanding of twentieth-century America and to sharpen their
abilities to read, think, and communicate.  It will help those
interested in journalism to understand better why journalism is what
it is today.  It will help those interested in history to use
journalistic media as resources and to understand the place of those
media in American society.  It will help students in any other field
to understand better the place of news in our society in a new

About the instructor: OWEN V. JOHNSON

Professor Johnson studied history in college and graduate school while
working part-time as a newspaper and radio reporter and broadcaster.
In addition to a scholarly book and numerous articles on history (two
of which were co-authored with journalism history students), his
journalism has been published in the Christian Science Monitor and
broadcast on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." He is on
the faculty in both the School of Journalism and the Department of
History.  He is currently working on a book of letters written by
World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle.