Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Political Journalism: The '22 Midterm Congressional Elections

ENGL 3417.301
W 1:45-4:45pm

How do journalists who cover national politics meet the challenge of writing factually and truthfully—when there is no longer a general public consensus about what constitutes fact and truth? Journalists today are tasked with the traditional job of holding people in power accountable (starting with the Biden administration)—while also writing responsibly about the Trump-inspired movement that imperils democracy itself. And these challenges will be exacerbated in the coming months, as the Republicans try to seize control of the House and Senate in November's midterm congressional elections. Students in this course will write frequent timely pieces—opinion columns and news analyses—while confronting some broader issues: Is traditionally "objective" journalism up to the challenge? Is it feasible to provide "balanced" "both sides" coverage when one of the major parties is led by a former president who seeks to undermine traditional democratic values? Is it possible to write critically of lies and misinformation without being labeled "partisan?"

fulfills requirements