PředmětyPředměty(verze: 908)
Předmět, akademický rok 2022/2023
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American Media in the 21st Century: Polarized Politics and Fractured Ethics - JTM618
Anglický název: American Media in the 21st Century: Polarized Politics and Fractured Ethics
Zajišťuje: Katedra severoamerických studií (23-KAS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2021
Semestr: letní
E-Kredity: 6
Způsob provedení zkoušky: letní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: letní s.:1/1, Zk [HT]
Počet míst: 16 / neurčen (16)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Virtuální mobilita / počet míst: ne
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
Garant: Frank Kuznik
Vyučující: Frank Kuznik
Třída: Courses for incoming students
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: PhDr. Jan Hornát, Ph.D. (24.01.2022)
Once a model for the entire world, American journalism has shattered. Print media is shrinking and no longer trusted, television and radio are dominated by partisan voices, and the internet is a wellspring of disinformation. What happened? This course will examine the current state of media in the United States, with an emphasis on longstanding principles and practices transformed by the digital revolution – in ways both good and bad. In keeping with the subject matter, the materials and approach will be multimedia: print articles, book excerpts, films, radio and television broadcasts and digital platforms, in particular social media. In-depth profiles of “game-changers,” five key people who set and altered the landscape of American media, will offer insight from an ethical perspective.

While the core of the course is informational, the methodology is interactive. Students will have an opportunity to shape the content and direction of the course by bringing ideas, examples, questions and subjects they would like to explore to class. Flexibility in the syllabus also allows us to stay in the news flow, following and analyzing new developments and media coverage of current events. Like the best journalism, the course will be timely, provocative and open-minded in its pursuit of truth and understanding.

Cíl předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: PhDr. Jan Hornát, Ph.D. (24.01.2022)

The principal aim of the course is to give students an overview of the current media landscape in the United States and an understanding of how it fractured, both structurally and ethically. Historical background will provide a framework for in-depth analysis of the key players, institutions and laws that have shaped 21st-century American journalism. Students will gain a working knowledge of journalism ethics and practices, an ability to recognize disinformation and its possible sources, and a deeper understanding of how digital media has changed the world and affects our lives.

Podmínky zakončení předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: PhDr. Jan Hornát, Ph.D. (24.01.2022)

Grading will be based on the following:


Class Participation (20%)

Students are expected to be active participants in class discussions, and contribute ideas, examples and  questions.


Homework and Quizzes (20%)

Students will be given occasional quizzes (in class) and assigned short written pieces (submitted before class) based on that week’s reading and viewing.


Midterm  (20%)

Students will be required to write a 1,200-word essay at midterm, topics TBD


Final Exam (40%)

The course will conclude with a written exam based on the material covered during the semester, requiring knowledge of the material and original analyses.


Deadlines are critical in journalism. Any assignments turned in late will automatically be penalized 50%.


AP style is preferred.




100 – 91 points:  A

90 – 81 points:    B

80 – 71 points:    C

70 – 61 points:    D

60 – 50 points:    E

below 50:            F



Class ethics


(A) Any use of research material quoted in papers and exams must be acknowledged. Such use must meet the following conditions:


            • the beginning and end of the quoted material must be clearly shown with quotation marks;

            • when quoting from periodicals or books, the name(s) of the author(s), book or article title, year of publication, and page(s) on which the material appears must all be stated in footnotes or endnotes;

            • internet sourcing must include a full web address where the material can be found, as well as the date the writer visited the web page.


(B) In the event that research material is used without proper acknowledgment as defined above, the paper will be deemed plagiarized and handed over to the Disciplinary Commission of the Faculty of Social Sciences.


(C) Students are expected to arrive for class on time and prepared to discuss the assigned readings and broadcast materials. If for some reason you have to miss a class, please notify the instructor via e-mail.

Metody výuky - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Bc. Jana Poskerová (14.02.2022)

In person seminar/lecture

Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: PhDr. Jan Hornát, Ph.D. (24.01.2022)

Syllabus (Summer term 2022)


1. Laying the Foundations

No class meeting (the instructor will be out of the country). In lieu of the class, documentaries and reading about the foundations of American journalism.

Read: Background briefing by the instructor; Watch: Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People and Citizen Hearst


2. Pulitzer, Hearst and the Birth of Modern American Journalism

Introduction to class content, goals, decorum and methodology; syllabus review; discussion of foundation documentaries.


3. Journalism Ethics: Standards, Practices and the Decline of Objectivity

Review of professional codes of ethics, with practical applications and examples; review and discussion of the importance and challenges of fairness and balance in the digital age.

Read: Excerpts from Journalism Ethics (Keppeler) and The New Ethics of Journalism (McBride & Rosenstiel); Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, and ethical standards of other professional organizations


4. The Rise of the Right: Removing the Guardrails

How the conservative revolution transformed American media.

Read: Excerpts from Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America (Andersen) and Let Them Eat Tweets (Hacker & Pierson); supplementary materials about the Fairness Doctrine, antitrust law and corporate ownership of the media


5. Naked Partisanship: Rupert Murdoch’s Ideological Crusade

How an Australian media mogul exported yellow journalism to the UK and the US, built a media empire, and radically altered the American political and media landscape with Fox News.

Watch: Outfoxed and How Rupert Murdoch Changed the World


6. The Devastating Effects of Disinformation

An overview and analysis of how and why disinformation is disseminated, its purposes and sources, and its impact on coverage of the COVID pandemic and January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

Read: Excerpts from A Citizens’ Guide to Fake News; Watch: Short course How to Spot Misinformation Online; Listen: Selections from the National Public Radio series Untangling Disinformation


7. Ethics II: Case Studies

Review and discussion of real-life examples of ethical dilemmas in both professional and student journalism settings.

Read: Excerpts from Journalism Ethics: Arguments and Cases for the 21st Century; case studies compiled by the instructor and submitted by students


8. Talk Radio

Overview and analysis of how conservative activists took over the AM airwaves and created a culture of fear, anger and conspiracy theories.

Read: Excerpts from Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States; Watch: Alex Jones: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and video clips of Rush Limbaugh


9. Mark Zuckerberg and the Birth of Social Media

The creation and growth of Facebook, how it fueled global political unrest, changed the rules of publishing in the US and spawned a new, lawless digital world.

Watch: The Facebook Dilemma


10. Alternative Media

Overview and analysis of the platforms replacing traditional media, across the entire political spectrum.

Read: Excepts from Politico, The Intercept, The Greyzone, Daily Kos, The Gateway Pundit, The Daily Caller; Listen: Podcasts from Breitbart News and Crooked


11. How Donald Trump Broke the System

How the 45th president became a one-man media machine, bypassing or ignoring long-established practices, and quashing criticism and dissent by destroying vital media filters and safeguards.

Watch: Trump’s American Carnage and selected clips from Trump press conferences; Read: Excerpts from Trump and the Media (Boczkowski, et. al.) and Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News and the Dangerous Distortion of the Truth (Stelter)


12. Final Analysis: Where Do We Go From Here?

An assessment of where American media stands, the overriding issue of trust and whether it can be restored, reasons for both optimism and pessimism, and ideas for creating a better future.


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