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Regular version of the site
2019/2020

Reading news and the images of media culture

Type: Mago-Lego
When: 4 module
Instructors: Natalia Chicherina
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The course is aimed at teaching students to read the images of modern media culture critically and develop their media literacy skills, which are gaining more and more importance in the media-saturated society. The major focus in the course is made on reading the news both in traditional and new media. The students will learn about methodology of media culture, manipulative strategies for media representations and their effects on the media audiences. Students will also develop their critical thinking skills through project work, which is built around critical analysis of media texts. It course has a blended learning format, with the Coursera course “Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens”, offered by the State University of Hong Kong and the State University of New York (https://www.coursera.org/learn/news-literacy), as the basis. The Coursera course is complemented with lecturer-students interaction via MS Teams.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Developing news literacy skills
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • informed and critical understanding of the nature of mass media, the techniques used by them, and the impact of these techniques
  • • Decoding media messages in the news. • Analysing universal news drivers \ news values. • Evaluating direct and indirect evidence in the news. • Evaluating the sources of the news. • Deconstructing the news.
  • • Decoding media messages in visual images. • Deconstructing visual images in the news. • Applying online tools to verify the authenticity of a photo.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • WEEK 1 - “Making Sense of the News”: News Literacy and the Power of Information
    Why news literacy matters. The Power of Information. The spread of bias, propaganda, and deliberately misleading information in the digital age. Why journalists become targets: the dangers of journalism.
  • WEEK 2 - “Making Sense of the News”: Journalism vs other types of information
    Information neighbourhoods: how journalism differs from promotion, entertainment and raw information. Universal news drivers: news values.
  • Week 3 - “Making Sense of the News”: Truth and evidence in the news
    Truth and evidence in the news. Evaluating direct and indirect evidence.Fact checking and verification in the news.
  • Week 4 - “Making Sense of the News”: Balance and fairness in the news
    Fair and balanced representations. 4 types of news coverage and what they mean.The importance of sources. 5 criteria for evaluating the sources. Transparency, characterization, and corroboration in a story.What makes a source reliable.Evaluating anonymous sources.
  • Week 5 - “Making Sense of the News”: Applying news literacy skills
    News Literacy Deconstruction Basics. News deconstruction steps. Debunking the viral news. Types of Online Fakes. Fake news. Online tools to verify the authenticity of a photo. Applying the basics to different information media.Power of new media.
  • Week 6 - “Making Sense of the News”: Beyond the news literacy basics
    Numbers in context: Opinion polls and surveys. News angles. News story as a narrative.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking News Deconstruction Task (NDC): analytical individual task
    Students are supposed to use the 7-step model of news deconstruction. The task is to be done individually on the basis of a recent news story. The task is submitted in written form \ downloaded in the LMS.
  • non-blocking Formative assessment tasks
    All assessment tasks from the Coursera course “Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens”, offered by the State University of Hong Kong and the State University of New York (https://www.coursera.org/learn/news-literacy), Students are supposed to do all the obligatory assessment tasks in the Coursera course “Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens”. Optional tasks are up to the students.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.7 * Formative assessment tasks + 0.3 * News Deconstruction Task (NDC): analytical individual task
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Hoechsmann, M., & Poyntz, S. R. (2012). Media Literacies : A Critical Introduction. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=510036
  • Smith, K. (2005). Handbook of Visual Communication : Theory, Methods, and Media. Mahwah, N.J.: Taylor & Francis. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=530336

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Edward T. Arke (2012). Media Literacy: History, Progress, and Future Hopes // The Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195398809.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780195398809-e-6?rskey=eIkuuR&result=1
  • Elkins, J. (2008). Visual Literacy. New York: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=290309