2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

Political Economy of the Media: U.S. Historical & Contemporary Realities

Last Updated: 12/03/2008

Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Lawrence Mosqueda political economy, Michael Vavrus social foundations of education, political economy

Major areas of study include U.S. history, critical media studies, propaganda analysis, social movements, expository writing, media history and topics in media analysis.

Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 25% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.

In this 2-quarter program, students will investigate how political events are constructed and reported in the media, compared to actual political and economic realities. In "media" we include mainstream periodicals, television, radio and films. We also include the growth of Internet blogs, web sites, independent media, and other media outlets in the 21st century. We will take an historical approach that focuses on U.S. history from the colonial era to contemporary globalization. We will compare media concentration of ownership to community-controlled media. We will examine how issues surrounding race, class, and gender are perceived by the media and subsequently by the public.

During winter quarter students will receive a theoretical and historical grounding in the political economy of the media. We will explore the question of who owns the media and what difference this makes to how stories are reported, framed, sourced or just ignored. Films, lectures and readings, along with text-based seminars, will compose the primary structures used by this learning community.

Student will regularly engage in a critical reading of The New York Times and other media outlets. Also during the winter quarter, students will create a research proposal that includes an annotated bibliography. Research projects may either be traditional research papers or equivalent projects determined in collaboration with the faculty, such as an independent media blog or web site.

During spring quarter, students will devote approximately half of their program time to completing their proposed projects and presenting the results of their research. The remaining program time will focus more in-depth on program themes as we examine contemporary issues through a variety of sources.

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 48

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in media studies, social movements, social science, education and journalism.

Planning Units: Programs for Freshmen, Society, Politics, Behavior and Change

Program Revisions

Date Revision
December 3rd, 2008 Michael Vavrus is now program coordinator.