11 August 2016
Comparative Analysis of Global News Coverage
Most of what we learn about global news events comes to us from the mass media, an industry often described as being grounded in objectivity. But even the concept of objectivity is highly subjective. Differences based on culture, language, politics, economics, power structures and a variety of other factors abound. One country’s "terrorist" bent on senseless destruction is another’s "martyr" sacrificing lives for a just cause. These variations become all the more complicated in an industry facing a continuous state of flux, with satellite transmissions, the Internet, mobile devices, social networks and citizen journalists all playing key roles. This course will examine current events and the way they are covered in a variety of media outlets around the world, looking at framing, bias, stereotypes, context, story structure and placement. Through lectures, discussions, a field trip and class presentations, students will study why news is reported as it is around the world and in the process become discerning media consumers better able to filter the noise and make decisions for themselves.
Roughly the first half of the course will be spent with lectures and discussions that examine the way news is covered around the world and why variations exist. The final half will be devoted to student presentations on current event coverage. The presentations will employ a "town hall" approach in which groups of students lead discussions on the issues and their coverage to classroom peers, being graded not just on content but audience engagement and participation. Topics of Discussion: The Four Theories of the Press; News Values; News and Feature Story Structure; Media Effects and Communication Theory; Journalists and Media Organizations; Media Gatekeepers; Sources; Culture, Bias and Stereotypes; Language, Framing and Context; Legal Issues; Power and Economic Issues. Presentation Topics: Ongoing and breaking stories in the news.
Marilee Morrow, Associate Professor of Mass Media and the director of the Master of Corporate Media Program and News/Sports Director for student-based radio and television broadcasts at Marietta College (OH).
Students will have a better understanding of international journalism systems and how they present stories, making them better able to seek the truth in media they consume.
EUR 900: Course fee only.