Honors | Ad Newseum
H204 | 6673 | Edward Gubar

Media coverage of elections and politics is crucial to the
exercising of democracy. Yet criticism of media and political
coverage abounds, as do more general reflections on media that try
to help us understand how it serves or fails us. Some charge bias,
for example, others lack of substance, others oversimplification.
This semester is a perfect time to examine this criticism as well as
these analyses. We will read a variety of articles and books about
media. We will closely follow political and election coverage in all
forms of media in order both to test and understand what our
theorists and critics say. Readings may include Alterman, What
Liberal Media? The Truth about Bias and the News; Bourdieu, On
Television; Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent; Coulter, Slander:
Liberal Lies about the American Right; Fallows, Breaking the News;
Gitlin, Media Unlimited; Gauntlett & Horsley, Web.Studies; Kovach,
Elements of Journalism; McChesney, Rich Media, Poor Democracy:
Communication Politics in Dubious Times; Orwell, “Politics and the
English Language”; Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death; and
Schudson, Discovering the News. (List subject to abridgement and
change.) Students will also be expected to pay close attention to
election media coverage in newspapers and magazines, on the
Internet, and on radio and television.

Several short papers, one longer paper, and a final examination.