"[I liked] the topics, making reading memos, and the guest speakers. It all helped me a lot.” — Umaima Egaz
The combination of globalization and new communication technologies has had a dramatic impact on the relationship between media and politics. In this course we explore the centrality of the media as a force challenging and, in some cases, altering relations of power within and between societies. Starting from the premise that freedom of expression is a fundamental requirement for any truly democratic system, particular attention is given to how approaches to media and politics vary globally, and how these differences impact the way politicians, journalists, activists, and ordinary citizens operate with the broader political process.
We critically examine the impact of political communication on policy-making, elections, and political movements, with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of the relationship between citizens, media, and governments in a rapidly changing, increasingly interconnected world. In so doing, we investigate the connection between media and current political trends and conflicts around the world, including, but not limited to, the U.S., Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Asia.
Students engage with the course material through a combination of lectures, daily discussions, short essays, group research projects, field trips, and guest speakers from the worlds of journalism and politics. They also work in teams to create media campaigns designed to generate greater public awareness of and support for a hypothetical non-governmental organization (NGO), developing their own mission statements, messaging strategies, and targeted media plans.
Tim Novak holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in sociology from the New School for Social Research as well as a B.A. in humanities from the University of California, San Diego. For over twenty years he has been teaching courses in sociology, media, and communications. Most recently, he has taught as an adjunct professor of sociology and communications at Hofstra University and at Adelphi University. His research focuses on the relationship between media, persuasion, and identity formation