Intro – what the course is about, and who we are. What are “mainstream media”?
Week 2: (Sept. 3): Media Criticism: Establishing criteria for evaluation and criticism of the news media. What should we look at? How can we be fair? Building
benchmarks for balance of the semester. Guest: Betsy Morais, Managing Editor, Columbia Journalism Review.
Mills/JRN 3050/Page 5
Week 3 (Sept. 10): Think Tanks, Lobbying and Campaign Finance
o https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List of_think_tanks_in_the_United_States
Some of the best-known think tanks in the U.S.:
• The Hoover Institution: http://www.hoover.org/
• The Brookings Institution: http://www.brookings.edu/
• The Rand Corporation: http://www.rand.org/
• The Urban Institute: http://www.urban.org/
• The American Enterprise Institute: http://www.aei.org/
• The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy: http://riceinfo.rice.edu/projects/baker
• Cato Institute: http://www.cato.org/
• Heritage Foundation: http://www.heritage.org/
Mills/JRN 3050/Page 6
Election finance laws
Week 4 (Sept. 17): Immigration Guest: Julianne Welby, WNYC
Week 5 (Sept. 24) Political coverage: Guest: Greg Birnbaum, politics editor, NBCNews.com
Immigration Readings from WNYC
Questions for Juliane Welby:
• How long on this beat?
• How many reporters involved in immig coverage?
o Freelance as well as staff?
• What do reporters bring to this?
o Prior knowledge of immig matters
o Multilingual or multicultural backgrounds?
• Who is the competition for WNYC – is there any news org that you have a sense of competing against directly? NYT? Daily News? NY1?
• Backlog of 900,000 cases – not enough judges? Hearings now scheduled into ‘23
• Impartial – many new judges used to work for ICE or Justice
• No interviews or direct comment from proponents of the system? Critics quoted. Is this article balanced, or of only one point of view?
(This one is third of 3 in a series. Links are provided at top of this page)
• A profile, very sympathetic. Do we get a sense of whether she is typical – like, why profile her?
• Is it balanaced? Is there another side to this story
And a couple of lighter ones that I know my reporters enjoyed creating:
• Good story? Should we accept that fiction dramas are documentary-accurate?
o All the President’s Men
o Breaking Bad
• Is the story weaker because it has no comment from ICE? Should publication await that comment?
• Did this story originate with the reporter or an editor?
• Humanizing immigrants – does it work?
• Does reporter speak Arabic, or is all this done through translator? Does this make a diff to WNYC?
Questions for class/Talking points
• Are there two sides to this story – do we hear both of them?
• Is immigration coverage overall fair – does a look at major news org provide a balanced picture?
• Do we hear enough from supports of Govt policies? Do we hear enough from critics?
• If you were designing and then recruiting an immigration team of reporters and editors, what criteria would you use?
o Represent diff points of view
o Language skills
o Knowledge of issues
• Watch excellent video (in syll)
(from Ethical Journalism Network – only 760 subscribers?)
• If you’re reporting on undocumented people, do you risk outing them?
And this shows many good story ideas and approaches:
long, slow, many good points – 4 white journalists talking about immigration coverage.
BRIEF DISCUSSION OF THINK TANKS
• Go to heritage.org and search for immigration
o Among topics under national security
o Read through this in class
• Go to AEI.org and search for immigration
• Go to Brookings.edu and search for immigration