Instructor: R. Smith Fullerton
Using theoretical frameworks borrowed from ethics, cultural studies and political economy, this course explores concepts of democracy and responsibility in story-telling practices and products. Because both journalists and communicators must gather, evaluate and disseminate information vital to a functioning democracy, it is essential that both groups understand what it means to operate in the public sphere. To this end, this course will begin with an exploration of concepts related to the public sphere first articulated by Jurgen Habermas and subsequently critiqued by scholars like Nancy Fraser and Craig Calhoun. Using some concepts from Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes, we will consider how reality is constructed and what part media generally speaking play in its production. We will use a variety of case studies as well as readings specific to the best ethical and professional practices to ground the abstract theory in the actual routines and products of journalism and communications.