J1111 – 001: Journalism & Society
Temple University • Spring 2011
Tuesday and Thursday 11:00 – 12:20
Anderson Hall 17
Instructor: George Miller
Office: Annenberg Hall 309
Office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 to 11:00; Mondays from 4:00 to 5:30. Wednesdays
and other times by appointment.
Kathryn Beardsley -
Jared Brey -
Jaehyeon Jeong -
Chad Sims -
Grace Dickinson -
The course and objective:
The news media are essential to informing us of the world out there,
especially since much of the world is beyond our direct experience. Ideally, they tell us what happened,
why it happened, what the consequences are and how it fits into a larger context.
The purpose of this course is to acquaint you with concepts and functions of journalism and the related
industries of advertising and public relations in American society. Students will gain knowledge about the
history, economics and structure of these industries, focusing on how mass media content is determined
and disseminated. We will explore underlying values associated with journalism, relationships among
journalism and other social institutions, and current issues facing journalists. By the end of the course,
you will have developed familiarity with how journalism works as well as some perspective on how well
(or not) journalism performs its function in American society.
*** The main goal is to help you become a more critical consumer and producer of media content. ***
This is not a journalistic writing or production class.
The course is structured in a way to encourage you to sharpen your critical-thinking skills as you examine
and assess the mass media. Lectures usually will complement, not duplicate, reading assignments. With
so much to cover in 15 weeks, lecture time is needed to provide an historical or a societal context for
course material. Student involvement is essential.
Your ideas are important, but your opinions are
only as strong as the evidence you offer to support those beliefs.
This is certainly true for written
assignments in this class, where authoritative support is needed to reinforce your opinions.
Vivian, John. (2008).
The Media of Mass Communication, 8
Kovach, Bill, & Rosenstiel, Tom. (2007).
The Elements of journalism: What newspeople should know and
the public should expect
. New York: Three Rivers Press.
University policy assumes that students attend classes in which they’re enrolled. That’s true
in this class, too. Your attendance at lectures is essential. While the lecture slides will be posted on
Blackboard, any additional material, such as examples, or videos will not be available except in lecture. If
you miss a class, it is your responsibility to get notes from a fellow student. Neither the TAs nor I will
provide further notes to you.