Jan 18, 2022  
Catalogue 2021-2022 
    
Catalogue 2021-2022
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MEDS 371 - Fake News: Truth and Media in the Post-Fact Society

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)
(Same as SOCI 371 ) The post-fact society, according to journalist Farhad Manjoo, is one in which people increasingly live in “divergent, parallel realities.” It is in the context of the post-fact society that President Donald Trump and his followers are able to decry any news that challenges his actions or worldview as “fake” and to offer up ideologically bolstering “alternative facts” in its place. While sensationalized, exaggerated, or false news is not new (think yellow journalism or tabloids like The National Inquirer), the advent of cable news, the 24-hour news cycle, and the Internet have led to the proliferation of multiple realities of fact, troubling public trust in news media and polarizing Americans politically. Drawing on media studies, the sociology of knowledge, and post-structuralist theory, this course examines the cultures of the new post-fact society including: fake news and alternative facts; news taste-makers such as Rachel Maddow and Tucker Carlson; algorithmic control of online media; conspiracy theories; and political satire. We consider questions such as: How does news media create and reinforce various political ideologies? Why do people look to news media to confirm or deny preexisting beliefs? Is journalism ever fully objective? If in fact there are multiple Truths, how do we as a society develop public trust and social solidarity? John Andrews.

One 2-hour period.

Course Format: CLS



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