The field of journalism has a long history of freedom in America. The framers of the U.S. Constitution felt so strongly about the need for, and value of a free and open press that they placed it first among the Amendments: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
In this course, we will study the reasons why the privilege of the press is so important to a representative republic such as ours, and how profoundly the loss of citizen’s trust in this institution can affect our ability to protect our personal and political freedoms. We will also study and practice the basic fundamentals of news writing and reporting.
There will be three major areas you will work in this semester. First, you will study and discuss ideas from our textbook, newspaper articles, and online resources pertaining to the freedom of the press. Second, you will write three stories for the student newspaper, The Inkwell. And third, you will keep a weekly online journal (blog) where you will practice critical writing about the mainstream media.