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Topics in Journalism: War Stories-Fact, Memory, & Imagination:Conflict Reporting & Literature of War

Spring 2017 not offered
Crosslisting: CSPL 250E
Certificates: Writing

War stories occupy a unique place in public life. They reflect on a nation's character in ways that many other stories don't. They are also notoriously slippery, especially when told and retold back home. Yet even when we doubt them, war stories are endlessly rich in high-stakes human drama. From the Iliad and the Bible to the videotaped beheadings of ISIS hostages in Iraq, these tales and images grab our attention and don't let go. This course will have dual aims: to help students understand how journalists have historically covered conflict and how that work is done today; and to explore war stories, both fictional and journalistic, with special attention to style, technique, narrative coherence, reliability, and the relationship between facts and truth. Our conversations will be guided by an emphasis on the complex and shifting relationships between combatants, journalists, and other kinds of storytellers and the role of perspective in war reporting. Who is telling the story, and how does the narrator's experience influence what she sees and recounts? War correspondents have an important responsibility to hold governments and militaries accountable. Yet it's worth asking whether war stories can ever be truly "objective"--and even whether they should be. We'll look closely at the way contemporary journalists cover war, the practice of "embedding" reporters with military forces, and how the expansion of propaganda and "information warfare" have changed and complicated the work of war reporting. In an age of instant messaging and online news, battlefield correspondents find themselves grappling with spin at a dizzying pace. The avalanche of information and disinformation has coincided with an acute dearth of resources to support foreign reporting, particularly by traditional media outlets in the United States.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA WRCT
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on JUL-25-2024
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