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Welcome to M-STO/04 Trimester III 2006

MEETS: April 19 – June 28, Tuesdays & Wednesdays 9 – 10:45 a.m.

INSTRUCTOR: Kevin G. Barnhurst, Ph.D., Professor & Head, Department of Communication, University of Illinois at Chicago

OFFICE HOURS: Tuesdays 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., and by appointment.

E-MAIL: kgbcomm@uic.edu





Chapter 1 (part 1)


Chapter 1 (part 2)


Chapter 1 (part 3)


Chapter 1 (part 4)


Chapter 1 (part 5)


Chapter 4 (part 1)


Chapter 4 (part 2)


Chapter 4 (part 3)


Chapter 4 (part 4)


Chapter 5 (part 1)


Chapter 5 (part 2)


Chapter 5 (part 3)


Chapter 5 (part 4)


Chapter 5 (part 5)


Chapter 6 (part 1)


Chapter 6 (part 2)


Chapter 6 (part 3)


Chapter 6 (part 4)



Chapter 7 (part 1)


Chapter 7 (part 2)


Chapter 7 (part 3)


Chapter 7 (part 4)


Chapter 8 (part 1)


Chapter 8 (part 2)


Chapter 8 (part 3)


Chapter 9 (part 1)


Chapter 9 (part 2)







  • The navigation column on the left contains links to the SYLLABUS and the OUTLINE, which contains a tentative calendar with assignment deadlines.


  • The Chapter links contain the texts of the assigned readings from the book, so that you can work on translating terms, commenting, posing questions, and whatever else you want to include as you study each chapter.


  • There are DISCUSSION spaces available from the link above. Use these spaces to carry on discussions about the course and to organize your work with other students.


  • You may add links to the LINKS page linked on the left. Use this space to share other web sites that you find helpful either for wiki work or for understanding the book chapters, the main topics, and the generaly theories and concepts in the seminar.

Comments (3)

Anonymous said

at 3:33 pm on Apr 21, 2006

a) One of the main points addressed by the chapter is the idea that newspapers in the United States are an "instrument of democracy”.
This is true, but it depends on which concept of democracy is adopted.
For example, consider the democracy as a kind of arena in which individuals can choose. The premise is that they need reliable and adequate information about the situation and the political “competition”. In this perspective, one role of the newspapers should be to provide this kind of information, but we can oppose that they do not.
Very often, apart from the fact that they always select opinions and facts, the newspapers, rather than inform, play a well defined political role (and in so doing, they create the environment mentioned in the chapter). In Italy, for example, the Corriere della Sera, considered as the most important and authoritative daily, in the last election decided to enter the political arena, making its election recommendation in favour of the opposition leader Prodi. In this case, it seemed to perform as an active player of the political market, instead of working for alleviating information asymmetries.

b) Nevertheless, I have some doubts about the fact that the newspaper can play an effective role with regard to one of the core moments of the democracy, constituted by the general election. Italian experience shows that, although the largest part of the press was supporting the left parties, the people have presumably made their choices regardless of this kind of (lawful) pressure.

Anonymous said

at 3:34 pm on Apr 21, 2006

.... c) We might assume that such a situation depends on the fact that Italian newspapers cannot separate the information related to the facts from their political opinions. As a consequence, people don’t trust them or follow their recomandations. On the other hand, individuals who agree with the political stream of the newspaper are not concerned by this mixture. In other words, they would use the same perspective in the evaluation of the political world (or, better, in the political evaluation of the world), and, as a consequence, they are not affected by this way of “reading” and representing the facts. Nevertheless, I have some doubts about this reasoning: as above said, even when a newspaper as Corriere della Sera makes clear its political will, giving a well defined warning to its public, it cannot have an effect on the political scenario. In short, the power of the newspapers in remapping the political panorama of the country seems to be very little.

d) With regard to the connection between form and content of the newspaper, in my opinion there are some examples which show that the more the newspaper is partisan, the less space it gives to photographs or images (consider for example “Il Foglio” compared with some newspaper such as “Metro news”; “Leggo”). However, this rule is not always respected. Maybe, even the choice to reduce the space for photographs and design is a way to introduce a very clear distinguishing mark for the environment to which the news is devoted.

Anonymous said

at 3:35 pm on Apr 21, 2006

... e) The print appears to be not only an expression of freedom to ensure but very often a power to limit. It is worth noting that in Italy at the Constitutional level only the first aspect was addressed in 1948 (Art. 21: All have the right to express freely their own thought by word, in writing and by all other means of communication.
The press cannot be subjected to authorization or censorship.
Seizure is permitted only by a detailed warrant from the judicial authority in the case of offences for which the law governing the press expressly authorizes, or in the case of violation of the provisions prescribed by law for the disclosure of the responsible parties.
In such cases, when there is absolute urgency and when the timely intervention of the judicial authority is not possible, periodical publications may be seized by officers of the criminal police, who must immediately, and never after more than twenty-four hours, report the matter to the judicial authority. If the latter does not ratify the act in the twenty-four hours following, the seizure is understood to be withdrawn and null and void.
The law may establish, by means of general provisions, that the financial sources of the periodical press be disclosed.
Printed publications, shows and other displays contrary to morality are forbidden. The law establishes appropriate means for preventing and suppressing all violations): that could mean that the second problem arose afterwards, or that the Constitutions are not so ready to perceive or to face new social problem.

A final question: I have read the first Chapter but I am not sure to have understood what the authors mean when they talk about “printerly” newspaper: could prof Barnhusrt give us an example?

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