LAKERS TOGETHER: COVID vaccine required by September 30. Face coverings required indoors.
Courses are developed by the endowed professor with the objectives of strengthening students’ civil discourse skills; studying a contentious social issue from a variety of perspectives; and supporting students’ growth to become civically-engaged, fair-minded leaders in the community.
Journalism and Global Civil Discourse
Professor Jeff Kelly Lowenstein
Offered Fall 2020, T/Th, 10:00 a.m. to 11:15am
The 2020-2021 Civil Discourse class at GVSU will focus on journalism and global civil discourse. This is a seminar course designed to examine the tension arising from the international assault on civil discourse, truth and democracy that is happening around the world as well as to identify how journalists and others are operating in their efforts to contribute accurate information to public understanding. Students will study the consistent methods of attacking and discrediting unfavorable information through the use of the rhetoric of fake news, attacking the journalists and the outlets that produce them, the efforts to control the information to which people have access, and the use of social media and information networks to spread viral misinformation. At the same time, they will also look into the work of those people, organizations and news outlets engaged in countering these trends. This part of the course will include investigating the developing global fact checking network, the social media strategies they are using, and their efforts to automate some of the counter information. It will also involve hearing from journalists who live and work in countries with difficult press environments who are members of the global water investigation I am leading. By the end of the semester students will be more engaged and critical news consumers with a broader, more informed perspective on this issue and its consequences for our world. They will also be more able to understand and engage in civil discourse around this and other thorny issues.