Fall 2022

Media and Data in American Politics

, 3 pts, UN3289

Media & Data in Amer Poli

This course provides an overview of the media’s role in American political life. In covering the literature on media and politics, we will not attempt to cover the entire field, because there is a huge amount of research on this topic. Instead, we will focus on a small number of more focused topics and explore them in greater depth. Unlike typical courses on media and politics, this course will not focus exclusively on the effects of political campaigns. Instead, we will construe this topic more broadly to include the effects of media on public opinion of all kinds, but with a focus on recent phenomena, ranging from the rise of partisan media and soft news to fake news and social media. In doing so, we will devote many of our class discussions and readings to quantitative research in political science and communication. This course familiarizes students with some of the latest research findings on a variety of interesting topics involving media and politics, and how such evidence defies the conventional wisdom or what pundits claim. In doing so, the course will emphasize the importance of methodology in getting answers to these questions. Some background in social science research methods is helpful, though not absolutely required, for the purposes of the course.

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