The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) is pleased to announce a new continuing education course entitled “The Media and Politics.” It will begin on Monday evening January 26, at AHI headquarters, 21 W. Park Row in Clinton. The course, which is open to the public, will meet weekly from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and will run until Monday, May 4, 2015. Admission and readings are free of charge. Credit is available for teachers, seating is limited, and refreshments will be served. AHI Resident Fellow Dr. David Frisk will teach the course.
“The Media and Politics” will consider the impact of print and electronic – including new and social—media on Americans’ understanding of politics, including government. After a few weeks of historical background touching on the 19-century press and the rise of investigative or “muckraking” journalism, the course will focus on the modern media era, which began with mass-market magazines and television in the mid-20 century. The course will conclude with several weeks’ examination of the current media scene, including websites, and Twitter. Opinion journalism will also receive attention. Required readings will be drawn from journalists, scholars, and other informed observers and critics.
Major themes will include how political news is obtained and reported; how the internal “culture” of journalism affects news coverage for better and worse; the controversy over the extent of political and other types of bias in the media; how political leaders and journalists influence each other’s work; the ethical dilemmas journalists face; and how changes in media economics and technology have affected how politics and government are covered—plus these changes’ impact on public knowledge.
The course will follow the usual lecture-plus-discussion format, but will also include viewing and comparing of video clips. No coursework is involved except for the required readings.
Dr. David Frisk holds a Ph.D. in political science (specializing in American politics and political philosophy) from Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of a highly acclaimed biography of a major opinion journalist, If Not Us, Who? William Rusher, National Review, and the Conservative Movement (ISI Books, 2012), He also worked for nine years as a newspaper reporter and feature writer, which included city government coverage. As a journalist, he won three professional awards.