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News Media Studies: Course Descriptions

These are brief descriptions of some of the courses in the News Media Studies program

Seminar in Public Affairs is a discussion-based class focusing on topics timely and highly relevant to the intersection of the news media and contemporary public affairs. The Seminar also addresses myths and misconceptions that distort understanding of the news media, and takes a look at global media moguls, notably Rupert Murdoch.

Legal Aspects of Communication is designed to provide students with an understanding of the legal practices and rationales that determine the balance between freedom of expression and control of the mass media of communication in the United States. That balance is established primarily by the First Amendment of the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court.

Research Methods is designed to strengthen abilities to locate, evaluate, and analyze information about varied aspects of communication media. The course introduces students to varied research methodologies.

Foreign Policy and the Press is usually offered as a distance-learning course in summer. It examines the role of the American news media in defining, interpreting, shaping and reacting to American foreign policy. The course themes include U.S. news coverage of international affairs since Sept. 11, 2001.

Teaching Communication explores and dissects ways of teaching communication in higher education. The course takes up best teaching practices, course design and development, issues of student motivation, among other topics in communication pedagogy.

For more information on the News Media Studies weekend MA program, get in touch with Prof. Rockwell, Journalism Division Associate Director at (202) 885–2067 or at