Class: T&Th 8-9:15 a.m., Burdine
COURSE DESCRIPTION:This course is designed to (1) survey the various forms of contemporary journalism, with an eye toward helping students make career choices, and (2) critique those same forms, with an eye toward helping students become better journalists and more engaged citizens.
TEXTBOOKS:<>Bennett, W. Lance, News: The Politics of Illusion, 6th ed. (
PACKET: At UT
Duplicating Center, student union. >
Ueland, Brenda, If You Want to Write, 2nd ed. (St. Paul: Schubert Club, 1983), Chapter 1, “Everybody is Talented, Original and Has Something Important to Say,” pp. 3-9.
Orwell, George, The Orwell Reader (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1956), “Why I Write,” pp. 390-396.
Mumia, All Things Censored (
Edward, Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical
Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments, 5th ed. (
William Hoynes, Media/Society: Industries, Images, and Audiences,
Herman, Edward S., The Myth of the Liberal Media (New York: Peter Lang, 1999), Chapter 2, “The Propaganda Model,” pp. 23-29.
Baker, Brent H., How to Identify, Expose, and Correct Liberal Media Bias (Alexandria, VA: Media Research Center, 1994), Introduction, pp. 1-7; and Chapter 1, “Identify,” pp. 9-51.
Storm over ‘Dark
<>WEEK 1: January 18 and 20
<>WEEK 2: January 25 and 27
break: March 14-18
WEEK 9: March 22 and 24
topic: margins and mainstream
reading: Newkirk, Chapters 2 and 3
*writing assignment #2 due on Thursday*
*Final Exam (exam #5)*: Tuesday, May 17, 2 p.m.
Your final grade will be based on:
1. 4 exams (10 points each) 40 points
2. 3 writing assignments (20 points each) 60 points
A = 93-100 points
B = 85-92.5 points
C = 77-84.5 points
D = 69-76.5 points
There will be five exams during the semester. We will count your four best grades. This means you may take all five exams and drop your lowest grade or miss one exam without penalty.
Each of the exams will be 20 multiple-choice questions. Each of the first four exams will cover material from the lectures and readings for that segment of the course. The fifth exam, during the final-exam period, will be comprehensive, covering the entire semester.
Because you can skip one of the exams, no make-up exams will be given except in special circumstances. So, if you blow off the first exam and then are sick for the fifth one, you're out of luck. Common sense suggests you should take all the exams.
2. WRITING ASSIGNMENTS:
Your assignments must be typewritten and double-spaced on two pages (600-800 words). Do not write more than that; we will not read beyond the second page. Use 1-inch margins and 11- or 12-point type. Put your name and the assignment number at the top of each page. Do not use a title page. Staple the pages; no paper clips, no plastic binders, no folders.
Answer the question in your own words. In formulating your answer, you may talk with others. But the final answer and writing must be your own. Plagiarism -- of published material or another student's work -- will be punished according to university regulations. For more on academic integrity and plagiarism, see http://www.utexas.edu/depts/dos/sjs/academicintegrity.html.
Your assignments will be graded on form and content. The quality of thinking and writing counts. Sloppy work will be penalized.
Keep copies of all assignments you turn in and keep your graded assignments until the end of the semester. A lot of papers will change hands in this class, and sometimes papers get lost. If there are discrepancies between our records and yours, you need to have your graded assignments to help us resolve the problem.
Papers are due on the class period marked on the schedule. Late papers will not be accepted without prior approval. If an emergency arises, contact me as soon as possible. Papers cannot be rewritten for a higher grade.
SOME ADVICE ON WRITING J310 ASSIGNMENTS
1. ANSWER THE QUESTIONS YOU ARE ASKED. This seems obvious enough, but this is where students typically lose the most points. Don't begin writing until you are sure you understand what you are being asked to write about. If you are unclear about the intent of the assignment ask the professor.
2. DON'T ANSWER QUESTIONS THAT AREN'T ASKED. Students sometimes have a tendency to ramble on about things that aren't directly related to the assignment. Don't pad your answer with unrelated information.
3. DON'T TURN IN MORE THAN TWO PAGES. If you think you need more space to answer the question, you probably don't understand the question. Read #1 and #2 again.
4. DON'T ASSUME THE TA KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. Explain things clearly in your answer. Otherwise, we'll assume you don't know what you are talking about. Make sure your argument or assessment proceeds in a clear, logical fashion.
5. DON'T TURN IN FEWER THAN TWO PAGES. If you think you have answered the question in one page, you probably have not fully explained yourself. Read #4 again.
6. WRITE IN COMPLETE SENTENCES. Don't just list elements of your answer or jot down sentence fragments. Quality of writing counts.
7. REMEMBER THE RULES. Use 11- or 12-point type. Double space your answer. Use normal margins (about 1 inch). Don't squeeze more on one page by using tiny type or eliminating the margins. That makes us cranky.
8. IF YOU DON'T THINK YOUR GRADE ON AN ASSIGNMENT IS FAIR, don't be afraid to ask for an explanation. The first step is to talk with the TA who graded your paper. If you want a formal re-evaluation of your grade, write a short (one paragraph to one page) explanation of why you think a higher grade is warranted. Be specific. If you can't work it out with the TA, ask the professor to resolve the dispute.
Note for Students
with Disabilities: The