195 Propoganda, Media Ownership, & Citizen Responsibility CRN 14637 3 Credits

Spring 2017 Syllabus
Lecture A Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:50-11:40am Office Hours:  Tuesdays 8:00 - 10:00 am
Morrill Hall Room 10
Dr. L's Weekly schedule

Lecture Week One: Wednesday Jan 18, Fri Jan 20, Week Two, Jan 23-27, Week Three, Jan 30 - Feb 3, Week Four Feb 6-10, Week Five Feb 13-17, Week Six Feb 22, 24, Week Seven (TEST) Feb 27-March 3, Week Eight March 6-10, Week Nine March 20-24, Week Ten March 27 - 31, Week Eleven April 3-7, Week Twelve April 10-14, Week Thirteen April 17-21, Week Fourteen April 24-28,   

Course Description
: This course will develop your critical thinking skills about news media.
  During our MWF 3-credit lecture course we will studying news media ownership, and the use of public media (print media, radio, television, cable, and the internet) to influence the public through various propaganda techniques.  Our course will cover the history of propaganda with special focus on the last ten years to the present.

General Course Goal: The overall goal of this Media course is to help you improve your critical thinking and analysis skills. 

Course Objectives: By completing this course you will:

1. Develop critical thinking skills through reading, reflection, discussion, oral presentation and writing.
2. Understand, use, and be able to critically analyze widely used rhetorical and propaganda techniques.

3. Understand the history of propaganda from the start of the 20th Century to the present.
5. Understand the Political Spectrum / Compass
4. Analyze a media company and present the results to the class.
5. Keep a personal media log/journal during the course (What, where, when, how long, why) of current events.
6. Understand issues of privacy with new media.
7. Understand and apply the principles of Journalism.
8. Understand the different types of media and classification (Verification, Assertion, Affirmation, Interest-group) as described in the textbook.
9. Apply critical thinking algorithms.
10. Listen and critique NPR's On the Media weekly radio show:

Required Text:
BLUR: How to know what's true in the age of information overload. by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel. 2010. Bloomsbury.  ISBN 978-1-60819-301-1.

The U. S. Constitution, And Fascinating Facts About It. Supplemental text by Terry L. Jordan.  2016.  Oak Hill Publishing.  ISBN-10: 1-891743-15-5

Attendance Policy: Unexcused absences or lateness from lecture result in at least a 1% reduction of your final course grade for each unexcused absence or lateness. If you are late you will be marked absent.  Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each lecture. This is not a class to cut and get notes from someone else. This is a class where you must come to lecture a few minutes early and be ready to participate for the entire lecture.  Athletes are excused only for Varsity Games (and work is expected to be made up within one week).  If you can not make a class, you must notify Dr. L before the class.  Notification after the fact will result in a zero for that class and assignment.  If you miss a speaking assignment without notifying Dr. L before the class or if you miss a speaking assignment because you were not prepared, you will earn a zero for that assignment. Only extreme legitimate prior-notification absences (death in the family, serious illness, or accident) will be made up.  For an excuse to be legitimate you must contact your college's Deans office (for CALS Deans Office Rose Laba, 656-0289, and they will notify Dr. Leonard.  This should be a very rare occurrence.  Dr. Leonard needs to hear from the Deans Office for an excuse to be legitimate.

Examples of unexcused absences:
- Family Vacation
- Wedding
- Plane ticket for flight during class
- Field trip for another class or club
- Overslept
- Doctor's Appointment

Make-Up Policy: If you can not make a class, you must notify Dr. L before the class.  Notification after the class will result in earning a zero for that class and assignment.  If you miss a speaking assignment without notifying Dr. L before the class or if you miss a speaking assignment because you were not prepared, you will earn a zero for that assignment. Only legitimate prior-notification absences (death in the family, serious illness, or accident) will be made up.  This should be a rare occurrence.  In such circumstances, notify your college's Deans Office (CALS Deans office - Rose Laba,, 656-0289 who will contact Dr. Leonard with an official excuse), Dr. Leonard before missing class.   Dr. Leonard needs to hear from the Deans Office for an excuse to be legitimate.

Class Behavior:  Students are expected to have a positive attitude and to arrive to class a few minutes early and be in their seat when class time begins and stay for the entire class time.  Talking or texting on your cell phone during lecture is not permitted.  If you need to leave class early, notify the instructor at least a week BEFORE the class begins.  Only one person should be speaking during class at any time unless otherwise instructed.  You may be asked to leave the class and you will lose at least one percent of your course grade each time you: 1. continue to talk while the recognized speaker is talking, 2. fall asleep during class, 3. read or do other assignments not related to our class,  4. leave the class early without prior permission of the instructor,  5. text or talk on your cell phone during class,  6. are late for class.  Being late to class, leaving early without notifying Dr. L, hurtful or strong negative criticism of others, is not appropriate or welcome.  Whining or excessive complaining about this or any other UVM course is not appropriate in class.

    You are expected to come to class with a pen, pencil and notebook and to take notes by hand.   It is appropriate and acceptable to raise your hand and ask questions during class.  You may eat food and drink water during class.  
We will be using the Internet often during class.  You should bring your laptop, tablet, or smartphone and power cord (please charge your computer before class).

Religious Holidays:  (University Policy) Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice. Each semester students should submit in writing to their instructors by the end of the second full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the semester.  Students have two weeks to complete the assignments missed due to religious holidays.  If assignments are not completed within the two week time period, students will earn no credit for the assignments missed.

Oral Assignments: Students who spend lots of time preparing and practicing for their oral presentations do much better than students who throw something together at the last moment or, worse yet, justwing it.”  Studying for this class is not passive (like reading a textbook or studying for an exam), instead it is active (taking notes by hand, practicing your presentations in front of friends and receiving feedback). It is required and expected that you will spend time practicing your presentation in front of others and get feedback.

Plagiarism: Students are expected know when to use quotations and references in writing.  A student caught plagiarizing at UVM will receive an XF for the class.

Academic Honesty: Students are expected to be familiar with the UVM Code of Academic Integrity

UVM Academic Integrity Standards:

1.       All ideas, arguments, and phrases, submitted without attribution to other sources, must be the creative product of the student.  Thus, all text passages taken from the works of other authors must be properly cited.  The same applies to paraphrased text, opinions, data, examples, illustrations, and all other creative work.  Violations of this standard constitute plagiarism.

2.       All experimental data, observations, interviews, statistical surveys, and other information collected and reported as part of academic work must be authentic.  Any alteration, e.g., the removal of statistical outliers, must be clearly documented.  Data must not be falsified in any way.  Violations of this standard constitute fabrication.

3.       Students may only collaborate within the limits prescribed by their instructors.  Students may not complete any portion of an assignment, report, project, experiment or exam for another student.  Students may not claim as their own work any portion of an assignment, report, project, experiment or exam that was completed by another student, even with that other student’s knowledge and consent.  Students may not provide information about an exam (or portions of an exam) to another student without the authorization of the instructor.  Students may not seek or accept information provided about an exam (or portions of an exam) from another student without the authorization of the instructor.  Violations of this standard constitute collusion.

4.       Students must adhere to the guidelines provided by their instructors for completing coursework.  For example, students must only use materials approved by their instructor when completing an assignment or exam.  Students may not present the same (or substantially the same) work for more than one course without obtaining approval from the instructor of each course.  Students must adhere to all course reserves regulations, including library course reserves, which are designed to allow students access to all course materials.  Students will not intentionally deny others free and open access to any materials reserved for a course.  Violations of this standard constitute cheating.

The principle objective of The University of Vermont policy on academic honesty is to promote an intellectual climate and support the academic integrity of The University of Vermont.   Academic dishonesty or an offense against academic honesty includes acts which may subvert or compromise the integrity of the educational process at The University of Vermont.  Offenses against the Code of Academic Integrity are deemed serious and insult the integrity of the entire academic community.  Any suspected deliberate violations of this code are taken very seriously and will be forwarded to the Center for Student Ethics & Standards for further investigation.

Graded Assignments

Out of class Assignments
Exam 1 20%
Exam 2 20%
Media Inventory Log 10%
Analysis of Media Company Presentation 10%
Case Study of  Media Propaganda Presentation 10%
Attendance and Participation 10%


Grading:  Students begin with no points (0), and earn points.  Students never lose points on an assignment; instead, they earn them.  Download Excel Grading Template Here.

Late Assignment Penalty: -10% the first week, -20% the second week, No credit (0) there after

Assignments in Detail 

Out of Class Assignments (20%): There will be occasional reflection papers or individual or group assignments to be completed outside of the lecture.

EXAMS (20%, 20%):  First exam will be on the textbook and material presented to date, and there will be one other exam of the material that has been covered up to the end of the course. 

Media Inventory Log (10%):  Students will record what media they consume over a weeks time.  Details include, what media, how long, and any comments about media type or coverage.

Analysis of Media Company Presentation (10%): Students choose a media company or organization.
Student presentations should include:
  -What the organization and product do, mission, vision, etc.
  -Demonstrate an example product
  -Characterize/Classify the organization using BLUR's classification system (if applicable)
  -Explain Who owns the company or organization
  -Explain Political leanings of company or organization
  -Explain the structure of company, and how they make money
  -Present a summary of company sales over time
  -Explain issues associated with the company

Case Study of Media Propaganda Presentation 10%:  Students will present a case study of a media propaganda situation.
-Define the propaganda situation (what, where, when, who, how, & questions)
-Tell an interesting story about the propaganda situation.
-Explain what propaganda techniques were used by whom.
-Explain who was the target audience.
-Was the propaganda campaign successful?  If so why, if not, why not?
Please create a handout for the audience (can be a web page online, or a paper handout).
Please assign readings or viewings (ex. YouTubes) ahead.
Present your case study in an 8-10 minute informational talk to our class.  Use the feedback you received for the last presentation to improve this coming presentation.

Attendance Participation and Attitude (10%):

PowerPoint:  If you choose to use PowerPoint, use it mainly for images.  Use no text or keep text to an absolute minimum!  The focus of your presentation should be you the speaker, not the slides in the presentation.  Use blank BLACK slides in between images when you will be discussing and giving information.  It is essential that you try out your presentation in the room where you give your presentation ahead of time.  It is your responsibility to know how to use the audio-visual technology.  Source all images under each image.  Use the facilities scheduling link to find out when the room is free so you may practice many days ahead of your presentation date.

Have a Plan B:  Be prepared for technical difficulties.  If, for example, you planned on using PowerPoint and the computer is broken, be prepared to show your images from printed images on the document camera, or pass the printed images around the room.  One of the best fail-safe backup plans is a small flip chart.

Rubric for grading presentations

Spring 2017 CALS 195 Draft Schedule

Week Starting

Lecture Topic Outline

Reading Assignment Due 

Jan 18 (Wed)
Introduction, course overview, Human Nature - Critical Thinking Challenges
TED Talks: Michael Shermer 1, Michael Shermer 2, Baloney Detection Kit

Jan 23
Media consumption inventory Log & reporting, Political CompassJonathan Haight Interview Principles of Journalism, Developing our own Critical Thinking Algorithm - questioning. BLUR Chapters 1-2 (thru pg 25)
Jan 30
Dangerous Memes - Propaganda Techniques, Filter Bubbles,   How to spot a Lier.

Ten steps for propaganda analysis, from Propaganda and Persuasion by Jowett & O’Donnell

BLUR Chapters 3-5 (thru pg 93)
Feb 6
History of Propaganda WW I & II, WW I  - Willie McBride Song & Print Media : Posters,  songs Waltzing Matlida Germany,  World at War 1933-39, BBC's World at War - The Final Solution (0-7:00 in class) Part 1 & Part 2, Hitler takes power as Chancellor 1933 SpeechTriumph of the Will – 1934 Hitler (43:00-50:00) Greatest Story Never Told (21:23 - 25: 40),
BLUR Chapters 6-End (thru pg 234)
Feb 22 (Wed.)
History of Propaganda 1980s-Gulf war. Selling a War (1992 First Gulf War “Desert Storm” – Iraq invades Kuwait)  CBC production post 9/11: Iraq War, Hubris MSNBCFrontline Bush's War, Media Ownership: 2012 Bill Moyers & Bernie Sanders Interview
Feb 27
Exam on Book and Material to date

March 6
Student Media Company Presentations
March 13-17
Spring Break, no classes
March 20
Student Media Company Presentations
March 21
Student Media Company Presentations

March 27

April 3
Student Case Study Propaganda Presentations

April 10
Student Case Study Propaganda Presentations
April 17
Student Case Study Propaganda Presentations
April 24 Exam 2
May 1 (May 6 last day of classes)  Wrap-up, class evaluations

There will be no final exam