Ethics and History of Journalism

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Journalism + Design

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Spring 2024
Taught By: Liesl Schillinger
Section: BX

CRN: 3034

Credits: 4

This course tracks milestones in political thought and media history that affect journalistic practice, using the methods of the New Yorker’s checking department. While learning how to check and defend facts, students explore how “fake news” differs from real news; what determines which “facts” are recognized as true, and how journalists can ensure the accuracy of their writing. Each week explores a different theme: from Jefferson’s and Tocqueville’s visions of American press freedom to Orwell’s insights into fact erasure; from the influence of telegraph, radio, and television on democracy to the convulsions of the Civil Rights Era and Watergate; and from the reemergence of partisan news, the rise of the internet, the spread of the alt-right and conspiracy theories, and the threats of misinformation and information warfare. Each student follows a different publication throughout the term to give them a sense of the priorities and biases of each media outlet. Journalists, historians, podcasters and fact-checkers visit the class to share their expertise. The course aims to deepen students’ understanding of the power of fact and opinion in society while strengthening their ability to read and report the news effectively as press freedom, democratic institutions, and truth itself are under attack.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Journalism + Design (JND)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: Yes

* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 11:58am EST 12/1/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Friday
Times: 12:10pm - 2:50pm
Building: Eugene Lang 65 W11th
Room: 464
Date Range: 1/26/2024 - 5/10/2024