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Political Writing in the Blog Age

ENGL 159.301
W 2-5

A primer on writing about U.S. politics, in an era of major technological upheaval and serious voter polarization. Today's 24/7, wi-fi'd, blogging environment - along with the rise of new conservative media - are changing the ways that writers cover politics and deliver the information. The course will put all these trends in a historical context, tracing the changes that have occurred during the four decades since Theodore H. White wrote "The Making of the President 1960." Students will write in different formats, including: the traditional straight story, commentary, and blogs. Outstanding and controversial work, from writers such as author Richard Ben Cramer and Hunter S. Thompson, will be studied. The course, taught by a veteran reporter of four presidential campaigns, is also valuable for followers of politics who want to become more discerning readers.

Students will be admitted to the workshop on the basis of an application: students should submit several writings, along with a thoughtful message explaining their interest (and any relevant background or experience) by email to: