Overview of Course
Journalists, particularly during times of war, have the heavy responsibility of writing and recording the first rough draft of history. Yet it’s been said repeatedly that in times of war, truth is the first casualty. This course will examine, explore and evaluate how well journalists have done, throughout history as well as today, in separating fact from fiction, discerning truth from propaganda, and providing crucial information over merely blood and sensationalism.
We will get to know some of the men and women who have reported on war and find out what motivated them in many cases to risk their lives. Does their work matter? Have they made a difference? Are they heroes or shills, thoughtful analysts or thrill-seeking adrenaline addicts? We will look at the concepts of objectivity and balance, and debate whether either is truly possible or desirable. We will dig into the concepts of peace journalism and conflict-sensitive reporting. And we will do all these things with a particular emphasis on the regions we visit.