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Sociology of News/Journalism:Hwang, Seongbin

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Course number OG176/Sociology of News/Journalism
Instructor Hwang, Seongbin
Period Autumn, Tuesday, 4th period
Class Face to Face
Credits 2
Remarks Number of students will be limited within 25.
learning-support system Rikkyo-jikan
Course Objectives This course is to introduce key concepts and contemporary critical issues in the sociological study of news. It will allow students to engage with the principles of journalism and sociological understandings of news-making practices in the digital era, rapidly changing with the penetration of the Internet and social media. Students will also utilize and develop English discussion skills on international issues relevant to Japan, the US, and the world.
Course Description It will focus on several key concepts in the sociological and cultural study of news, including news bias, news framing, news sources, news narrative, news as a commodity. Along with lectures by the instructor, students are encouraged to have their topics for a term paper and required to submit a critical essay based on the course readings and their analytical readings of the current news of their interests.
It is also a chance to practice using spoken English to communicate with others on issues that affect society both in Japan and worldwide.
Class schedule
  • Lesson 1: 9/21  Introduction: Reading News in Class
  • Lesson 2: 9/28  What is News?
  • Lesson 3: 10/5  Is News Still Powerful?
  • Lesson 4: 10/19 Workshop for Finding Topic for Term Paper/Presentation
  • Lesson 5: 10/26 Japanese Journalism 1: Political and Organizational Culture
  • Lesson 6: 11/9  Japanese Journalism 2: Narrative and Storytelling
  • Lesson 7: 11/16 Japanese Journalism 3: Public Opinion/Sentiments
  • Lesson 8: 11/30 Guest Lecture (date may be changed)
  • Lesson 9: 12/7  Overview and Current Situations in Online Journalism
  • Lesson 10: 12/14 Critical Issues in the Digital Journalism 1
  • Lesson 11: 12/21 Critical Issues in the Digital Journalism 2
  • Lesson 12: 1/11  Group Work on Final Projects
  • Lesson 13: 1/18  Final Project Presentations by Groups
    Follow-up on Final Projects and Wrap-up Session

*Schedules may change, especially guest lectures.

Evaluation Attendance and class participation including group projects and term paper.
Textbooks Course Readings will be provided in class.
Reading Schudson, Michael, 2011, Sociology of News, W W Norton & Co Inc.
Freeman, Laurie Anne, 2000, Closing the Shop: Information Cartels and Japan's Mass Media, Princeton=2010『記者クラブ―情報カルテル』緑風出版。
Riordan, Kellie, 2014, Accuracy, Independence, and Impartiality: How legacy Media and Digital Natives Approach Standards in the Digital Age, Reuters. (PDF)
Newman, N., 2019, Digital News Report 2020, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford. (PDF)
Other Information Two languages, Japanese and English, are used in the class. The lecturer will speak in both languages, Japanese and English, and students can participate in-class activities such as in-class discussion in both languages. However, the term paper should be monolingual, which means that students have to choose their language for the term paper, either Japanese or English.
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