Monday, October 17, 2005

CLASS NOTES/FIRST EXAM: Thurs., Oct. 13 -- Visit of Ty Resch / censorship

On Thursday we opened with housekeeping. As a writing and perception
excercise, Densmore said we would start to rotate writing of class notes
for each class meeting. (See separate post).

Densmore observed that most of the "Issues in Journalism" discussed so far
tended to be problems. He said a little later in the semester and would
begin reading and thinking about issues embeded in opportunities.

FIRST EXAM -- Thurs., Oct. 27

The first exam will be held in class on Thurs., Oct. 27. It will consist
of a set of questions about the McChesney book and other class handouts.
You will be able to prepare. Densmore will hand out the questions on
Tues., Oct. 25, and they will be webposted. When you arrive in class on
Thursday, Oct. 27, you will be given one question by Densmore to answer,
and you can answer two other questions of your choosing. The exam will
last the full period.


PLease select your giraffe prospects to profile. You will do two profiles
between now and end of semester. Will be discussed further in class on

ASSIGNMENT FOR Thurs., Oct. 20 --

Write an turn in by 8 a.m. on Thurs., Oct. 20 (by email is fine) an easy
200 words on what you've read in McChesney's first 130 pages. What are the
main issues he presents? Solutions? What does he see as their impact on
media and society?

ASSIGNMENT FOR Tues., Oct. 25 --

For Tues., Oct. 25, please review text of the Gore speech we listened to
(on blog site), and email before Tues., Nov. 25, class at least FIVE
issues about journalism and democracy which Gore (himself a former
reporter) raised. For each issue, write just a few words -- about a
sentence -- about its significance. We will discuss as a group what we all


Soon we'll schedule a showing of "Orwell Rolls in His Grave," a 100-minute
documentary. It was agreed that we would show in in two pieces over two
class periods. Exact schedule date to come!

------------ Free speech in times of crisis -- the Alien and Sedition Acts

Ty Resch, a former Vermont editor and historian at The Bennington Museum
appears to discuss his essay on the Anthony Haswell sedition case in
Bennington. Densmore related this to the Alien Act of 1940, and to the
Patriot Act. Densmore proposed as a theory that when the populace is
fearful, it will always tolerate forms of censorship. What is the purpose
of censorship and what is the contervailing force which overcomes it?

Resch spoke of the Haswell case as political in the sense that Matthew
Lyon -- the jailed edtor Haswell was trying to free, was an
anti-Federalist and the president was a Federalist. In the 1780's, the
constitution was young; such blatant partisanship might be less possible


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