American Media in the Age of Unreason
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Department: Communication
Course Number: NCOM 3051
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Media Studies
  • Politics
  • Social Media
An examination of the role of media in coping with the rise of anti-intellectualism, unreason and cynicism - a disturbing trend explicated by historians, sociologists, and media critics including Richard Hofstadter, Susan Jacoby, and Jeffery Goldfarb. What impact has this trend made on the conduct of political deliberation, the quality of rhetoric, and the public’s understanding of issues and events in our democracy? And what are the prospects for accommodating disparate economic and intellectual imperatives. A flourishing, participatory democracy necessitates substantive and enlightening media coverage of issues and events. A flourishing media is rooted in profitability, garnered primarily through entertainment and amusement. What are the implications here for the reinvigoration of reason and intellectualism in American society? Print, radio, television, web, and social media are considered and analyzed. Readings include essays and excerpts by Todd Gitlin, Neil Postman, and Justin Lewis, among others.
Course Open to: Degree Students