Spring 2010 Course Description

Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Section Title: Media in Politics and Policy
Instructor(s): Dan Bartlett
Course: P A 188S - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
Unique Number: 62602
Day & Time: Mondays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.221
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Notes: Meets 3/1 - 3/31/2010

Description: It’s nearly impossible to understand the working of politics and policymaking without appreciating the integral role of the media in shaping the public dialogue. While news media have been traditionally considered a normative democratic institution, rapidly advancing communication technologies have created a convergence of both old school “Mainstream Media” and the new wave of “niche” media to reconstitute the public sphere into a canvas upon which political and social interests compete.

The purpose of this course is to enhance students’ understanding of the influences of modern mass media upon the dynamics of politics and policymaking in the public sphere. This is not a course in either journalism or public relations, but students should leave the course confident to interact successfully with different types of media in their careers, possess the analytical abilities to critically analyze media messages, and understand how the framing and discourse of issues in an increasingly diverse public media sphere shape political attitudes, knowledge, behaviors, and policy outcomes. Each class will rely upon vignettes, anecdotes, and real-world case studies to help students understand how public affairs media work and what they should expect.

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