Facts/Alternative Facts

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Journalism & Design

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Facts/Alternative Facts

Spring 2021

Taught By: Liesl Schillinger

Section: AX

CRN: 4474

Credits: 4

What is “fake news?” How does it differ from “real” news; and how can you ensure your own writing is accurate? This hybrid course blends lessons in political philosophy, history and communications with practical journalistic instruction ­to prepare the next generation of journalists to safeguard the truth—and their own careers—at a time when press freedom is under unprecedented attack. Students will read excerpts and articles that address the importance of freedom of speech and of the press, and explore past and present threats to those freedoms, interpolating the readings with current headline news. The texts range from the origins of our democracy and Constitution to the rise of broadcast media, digital media and the alt-right; from the First Amendment and Tocqueville’s vision of America to Watergate and the social-media assisted Russian hack of the 2016 election. Students will also read chapters from the novels 1984, by George Orwell, and Bright Lights Big City, by Jay McInerney, exploring how the fictional uses and abuses of the fact-checking profession reflect present realities; and they will receive a primer in how to fact check, using the methods of The New Yorker magazine's renowned checking department. Distinguished professional fact checkers and media figures will visit the class to share their expertise. The two-fold goal of the course is to deepen students’ understanding of the power of fact in society, and to increase their ability to control the accuracy of their own work. (Strongly recommended for all Journalism+Design Majors and Minors)

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Journalism & Design (LLSJ)

Campus: Online (DL)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 21

Add/Drop Deadline: February 8, 2021 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 13, 2021 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five 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: 12:55am 7/1/2021 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Friday

Times: 12:10pm - 2:50pm

Building: Online Course

Date Range: 1/22/2021 - 5/7/2021