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|JOUR 400 - Telling the Truth|
Telling the truth is the foremost obligation of journalists. But approaching, discovering, understanding and communicating the truth are all more complicated processes — technically and philosophically — than they may initially seem. This course aims to help young journalists establish a clear view of truth as an idea and as a professional principle to guide their work from a moral standpoint as well as a technical one. The course will be split into two phases. In the first phase, we will consider the challenges of conceiving of the truth in contemporary American society. There will be short, accessible readings from John Rawls and his commentators, Stanley Fish, and Jean Bethke Elshtain, which will help us make sense of how we think and speak of truth in America today. We’ll go over the readings in class discussions, and also connect the themes under consideration to current events as they unfold in the news. In the second phase, we will address problems in discovering and interpreting the truth in investigative journalism scenarios, using some of my own work as case studies. We will talk though reporting challenges, ethics in truth-telling, and the application of opinion-style analysis to reported material. Case study materials will include audio, video, visual and written elements. We will discuss each item in class, and I will also invite colleagues of mine who have worked with me on these projects to come and speak with students as well. Evaluation will be based on classroom participation and two medium-length written assignments.
3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours
Levels: MN or MC Graduate, Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Seminar