Media, Politics, and Political Communication in the U.S. and France
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The media, from radio to print and television, as well as new digital media, are sometimes called the fourth branch of government in the United States. Whether in France or in the US, much of our exposure to politics comes not from direct experience but from mediated stories. This course is designed to help you think about this relationship looking at both political communications and news, the two-way channel between the mass media and political actors, and the relationship between the news media and politics as major issues in modern society. We will explore how news organizations decide what is news, how they report it, how those reports have an impact on viewers or readers, and ultimately, the political system, legitimizing local, national, and international issues. Essentially, this media and communications focused course emphasizes the ways in which news media shape everything we know about politics. Like all journalism disciplines today, political journalism is rapidly changing with the Internet. A portion of the course will be dedicated to new media and how online reporting and social networking has altered modern society and politics.