UMich offers course on fake news coverage of Trump

The University of Michigan is offering a course during the fall 2019 semester on bias and inaccurate reporting in the news media, specifically when it comes to covering President Donald Trump.

“News Media Ethics,” COMM 435, will explore what the president has labeled “fake news” reporting. In the course, students will ask: “How do journalists cover the news? Do they report it honestly and truthfully? How valid are claims by critics that news media behaved unethically in their coverage of Donald Trump?” 

Elise Boddi, chief administrator in the University of Michigan Communication Studies Department, confirmed to Campus Reform on Monday that, as of that moment, the course is still being offered but noted that things could always change. She added that at this time, there are no plans to cancel the course. 

[RELATED: University of Illinois defends new ‘Trumpaganda’ course]

“This course looks at issues of bias, distortion, lack of perspective and other journalistic failings,” the course listing reads. “It studies journalists’ responsibilities to their profession and to the public, and examines proposed solutions to ethics violations.”

Students will be required to read several books on ethics in journalism including, Warp Speed: America in the Age of Mixed Media by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel and Just the Facts : How “Objectivity” Came to Define American Journalism, by David Mindich.

The fall course is being taught by Tufts alumnus Anthony Collings, Emmy-Award recipient and former correspondent for CNN.

According to Collings’ faculty bio, he regularly teaches courses on media ethics, reporting on the Supreme Court, and foreign news reporting.

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