Environmental Journalism


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Environmental Journalism

  1. 1. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 1|P ageJournalism 440 – Environmental JournalismSpring Semester, 2013Instructor: Larry Pryor, Associate Professor Office: ASC 327E E-mail: lpryor@usc.edu Phones: Office 213-740-9083 (during office hours); Home 818-952-7223; Cell 818-590-6546 Office Hours: Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-11:30, 1:30-3 p.m.; Thursdays, 1-2 p.m., after class, and by appointment on Mondays. Home Address: 1033 Vista del Valle La Cañada, Calif. 91011COURSE INFORMATION4 UnitsSection 21298D, Thursday, 2 p.m. to 5:20 p.m., Room ASC 225COURSE IMPORTANCE, OBJECTIVES AND DESCRIPTION When newspapers downsized, the first people to be let go were the specialists on science,medicine and the environment. Coverage of these topics at major papers – notably The NewYork Times, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times and The Guardian – has remained strong.Much of the specialist coverage has shifted to public radio and the Internet. Writers whounderstand how to cover specialized beats are beginning to thrive on these new platforms. Moreover, the demand for reliable information on the state of the environment has neverbeen greater. Scientists warn that time is running out on global society’s ability to deal withpotentially catastrophic threats. Human-induced damage to ecosystems may become irreversible,unless changes are made to social, political and economic policies at all levels of global society.Journalists will have to provide citizens with the context and information necessary for rationaldecision-making. The public needs the context of natural phenomena to assess risks and judgeprobabilities. Philosophers tell us: from knowledge comes the wisdom to act ethically. Government paralysis on ecological threats raises serious moral issues, especially asdamage costs are being shifted to the minority and disadvantaged communities, developingcountries and future generations. The major industrial nations above the equator bearresponsibility for the greenhouse gases they have been emitted since the start of the IndustrialRevolution. Unequal wealth distribution leads to many unwise and despotic decisions.Developing nations tolerate unhealthy, chaotic cities; destroy forests; and build dams or competefor scarce water and power sources. Unregulated mining and industrial processes in manyundeveloped parts of the world weaken public health and destroy ecological systems that
  2. 2. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 2|P agesocieties depend on for survival. Wealthy elites isolate themselves from the damage and continueto prosper through globalization. To use today’s buzzword, the results are unsustainable.Learning Objectives: This course is designed to heighten your understanding of environmental topics andstrengthen your core competencies in these areas: Determining what sources and information outlets can be trusted to shed light on controversial and uncertain claims. Gaining an understanding of key ecological issues to enable you to find information and interview sources productively. Understanding what makes a good story and being able to pitch it to an editor or producer. Employing journalism skills to tell stories on multiple platforms and engage with the public.Course Description: Our discussions, readings and reporting will be done mainly in the context of the westernU.S., Southern California and Los Angeles County. This region is a living laboratory in which tofind environmental trends that seriously impact people’s lives. It is also a region rich ininnovation and accepting of long-term societal solutions. California is recognized as a worldleader in environmental science and policy, and we will evaluate the state’s long history ofecological awareness. Much of class time will be devoted to discussion of the designated topic of the week. Iwill also lecture (briefly) and make use of sources and visual content on the Internet. At all timesin class, you should be ready to contribute ideas, critiques, links and insights from your ownexperience and from the assigned readings. Participation is crucial to gaining benefits from thisclass. At times, I will invite guests to talk with us about a topic in the syllabus. Be prepared toask questions and to challenge them. (I will provide advance notice.) The Los Angeles River will serve as our laboratory. It spans both the natural and urbanworlds and offers many examples of chaotic and stressed ecological systems. When we look atSouthern California and the L.A. River, we can see how wide the knowledge base must be for anenvironment writer to capture such complexity. To prove this, we will take a field trip along theriver and discuss what we find. You may want to do one of your assignments on some aspect ofthe river. Visit the river yourselves or participate in one of the events sponsored by Friends of theRiver. ( folar.org/The Web site has a map that shows the location of Folar’s offices. Stop by andtalk with the staff and pick up materials on the river and its fascinating history.)
  3. 3. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 3|P ageREADINGSRequired: Larry Pryor, “Slow Fuse; Journalistic Approaches to Climate Change,” The Aspen Institute, 2006 National Research Council, “Climate Change; Evidence, Impacts and Choices,” 2012(I will provide copies of both of these readings. They will be discussed later in the semester, butyou should read them early in the semester.)The Course Calendar lists readings that will be required the following week.Suggested Reading: Links to videos that relate to particular classes will be posted on Blackboard. I urge youto look at them. I will post links on Blackboard to timely news stories on environmental topics orscientific studies. I will alert you by email, and we will discuss them in class. You should be looking for environmental news on the Web. Twitter is an excellent wayto flag hot stories or controversies. I will post a list of environmental news sources onBlackboard. We will have a Tumblr page where we can put alerts to topics and provide links.Please bookmark that site and contribute to it, as well as read what others in the class havecontributed. I will also post on Blackboard a bibliography of book titles and links to Web sites, emailnewsletters and academic papers that can be accessed online. Some links will be to archivednews stories that are noteworthy, including several that have won awards such as the PulitzerPrize.. I can loan you books on a wide variety of environmental topics. Just ask. Or I can putsome on reserve at Leavey Library. I also recommend this text as a great overview of the growthof cities and the impacts of civilization on nature: Boone, Christopher G. & Ali Modarres, “City and Environment,” Temple University Press, 2006 ISBN 1-59213-284-7 (Used copies of this book should be available at the bookstore and are also for sale at Amazon quite cheaply.)ATTENDANCE AND CLASS REQUIREMENTS Class attendance is vital. If you miss classes, it will be difficult to keep up and yourgrades will suffer. Please alert me by email or by home phone or my cell, if you must be absent.Leave a message, if necessary. Only religious holidays and medical and family emergencies canbe used as valid excuses.
  4. 4. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 4|P age You will be given three assignments this semester. The first will be a news story, thesecond a multimedia team project and the last a project of extended scope, which will be in placeof the final exam. One student each week, starting in Week Three, will be assigned to select anenvironmental story from print or online and summarize the substance of the news report.Analysis should include discussion of structure, strengths, shortcomings and strategies the writerused to draw in and hold readers. What sources did the reporter use? Were key points supportedby data? We will critique these stories and see if they hold up. I realize that many of the topics we will encounter this semester may be unfamiliar toyou. It could be difficult to come up with story topics, particularly for the first assignment. I willput a list of possible topics up on Blackboard, ones that as your editor I would like to see coveredthis semester. You may pick one or pitch your own story idea, perhaps one that was triggered byone of mine but takes a new direction. Before you work on a story project, however, you mustfirst clear it with me by submitting a story pitch. The first story assignment is a news story on some environmental topic or trend. It should be750 to 1,250 words. The second story is a multimedia team project, also on a topic or trenddealing with some aspect of the environment. I will choose the teams. (More details below.) The Final Project, which is worth 40 percent of your grade this semester, is due May 9,the day of the final exam scheduled for our class. Consider it a capstone project. It should be afeature story, profile or in-depth report dealing with an environmental topic. The length shouldbe at least 2,000 words. Extra credit will be given for multimedia elements, such as photos,video, charts and tables.. You must meet deadlines. Late assignments will get an “F.” (No exceptions.) AP Style will prevail in all our work, including in charts, graphs, cutlines and text blocks.Story formats will be the same as in writing courses at Annenberg – double-spaced, normalmargins, your name and story slug at the top left. Page numbers should be in the header at thetop on each succeeding page. Stories should be emailed to me before or at the time they are due. We will use email for immediate communication. (Please put J440 CLASS in the subjectline to make it more identifiable.) I hope you will see me during office hours or talk with meabout any questions or problems before or after class. I will also schedule brief visits during classhours with each of you after Spring Break. I will create a Tumblr Web site for the class. You are encouraged to either post your classwork there or submit it to Neon Tommy for publication. You should feel inspired to postadditional comments, links, photos and videos on Tumblr as the semester progresses.GRADING
  5. 5. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 5|P age Accuracy, thoroughness and fairness will be the standard for all of your work. I will alsoconsider the creativity, originality and freshness that you bring to your assignments andpresentations. An “A” means that you have done professional, publishable work. “B” grades indicatethe work is acceptable but needs some revision. Grades below that say your work is notacceptable and must be totally redone to receive a better grade. You will have to consult withme, if that is the case. I can revise a low grade if you rework an assignment in some cases. Inothers, it may be best to move on and concentrate on the next assignment. The multimedia team project will be graded collectively; each team gets one grade. Boththis assignment and the final project will be evaluated on the following criteria: 1) Original perspective. No matter what form a project takes, it should convey an angle or perspective that offers an original take on a concept or theme. 2) Depth of research. Content is crucial. Projects must contain source materials that accurately and thoroughly document the issue you have chosen to address. Have you covered the most important or central elements of the topic? Have you drawn on a broad array of reliable sources? Have you documented them appropriately? 3) Clarity, accuracy and style. You have numerous multimedia tools at your disposal. Use them to help craft a narrative or convey the central idea of your project in a clear and thought-provoking manner. Spelling, style, grammar and organization all contribute to clarity and accuracy. The final project is primarily a text story, but you should include multimedia elements,such as photos, maps, charts or video, and they can count against the recommended length of thetext. (i.e. A good chart can substitute for 50 words. This will be negotiable.) I am expecting yourstory to be thorough and informative, ready for publication.Assignments and Their Grade ValuesFinal grades will be calculated according to this formula:First Story 20%Multimedia Team Project 20Class Participation 10Presentation of Final Project in Class 10Final Project 40TOTAL: 100%
  6. 6. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 6|P agePLAGIARISM AND JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITYPlagiarism is defined as taking ideas or writings from another and passing them off as one’s own.This is not only about copying sentences and phrases, but also about slightly altering a fewwords. In journalism, plagiarism includes appropriating the reporting of another without clearattribution. This is theft, but it’s also a lie, since you are representing to the reader that you andyour news organization have verified the facts when you have not.Fabrication of content for stories, such as making up sources, quotes and facts, must be avoidedat all costs. Sooner or later, it catches up to you. (If you haven’t seen it, rent “Shattered Glass.”)ANNENBERGSCHOOL OF JOURNALISM ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY Since its founding, the USC Annenberg School of Journalism has maintained a commitment to the highest standards of ethical conduct and academic excellence. Any student found guilty of plagiarism, fabrication, cheating on examinations or purchasing papers or other assignments will immediately receive a failing grade in the course and will be dismissed as a major from the School of Journalism. There are no exceptions to this policy.USC STATEMENT ON ACADEMIC INTEGRITY USC seeks to maintain an optimal learning environment. General principles of academic honesty include the concept of respect for the intellectual property of others, the expectation that individual work will be submitted unless otherwise allowed by an instructor, and the obligations both to protect one’s own academic work from misuse by others as well as to avoid using another’s work as one’s own. All students are expected to understand and abide by these principles. Scampus, the Student Guidebook, contains the Student Conduct Code in Section 11.00, while the recommended sanctions are located in Appendix A. Students will be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards for further review, should there be any suspicion of academic dishonesty.INSTRUCTOR’S BIOGRAPHY I have a background as a reporter, writer, editor and photographer, first at the LouisvilleCourier-Journal and later at the Los Angeles Times. At those publications, I covered theenvironment and became an assistant metropolitan editor at the LAT with responsibility fortopicsinvolving science, medicine, urban affairs and the environment. Then I knocked around inpolitics – a press secretary in a presidential campaign with Gov. Jerry Brown – and published apot-boiler novel. I went back to the LAT and got involved in new media there in the 1980s, asdigital technology was getting off the ground. I ended up being editor of latimes.com, beforemoving to USC in 1997 to head the Online Journalism and Communications Program at theAnnenbergSchool. I have since returned to concentrating on environmental journalism. Inaddition to teaching, I am researching topics associated with climate change and how they affect
  7. 7. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 7|P agepublic discourse and block or encourage solutions to global warming.INTERNSHIPSThe value of professional internships as part of the overall educational experience of our studentshas long been recognized by the School of Journalism. Accordingly, while internships are notrequired for successful completion of this course, any student enrolled in this course whoundertakes and completes an approved, non-paid internship during this semester shall earnacademic extra credit herein of an amount equal to one percent of the total available semesterpoints for this course.To receive instructor approval, a student must request an internship letter from the Annenberg CareerDevelopment Office and bring it to the instructor to sign by the end of the third week of classes. Thestudent must submit the signed letter to the media organization, along with the evaluation form providedby the Career Development Office. The form should be filled out by the intern supervisor and returned tothe instructor at the end of the semester. No credit will be given if an evaluation form is not turned in tothe instructor by the last day of class.Note: The internship must be unpaid and can only be applied to one journalism class.DISABILITY SERVICES AND PROGRAMSAny student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to registerwith Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification forapproved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered tome as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301. Its phone number is 213-740-0776.CLASS SCHEDULENote: This schedule is subject to change. Readings listed each week should be read before thenext class. Other readings and videos are available to you by topic category at Blackboard.Readings for Week One:The following readings need to be done before class on January 17. I will email these links toyou and post them on Blackboard.“The Carson Effect; How Silent Spring shaped (and still shapes) modern environmentalism,”William Souder, SEJournal Summer/Fall, 2012http://www.sej.org/publications/sejournal-su-fall12/carson-effect“Fifty Years After Silent Spring, Assault on Science Continues,” Frank Graham Jr., YaleEnvironment360, June 21, 2012http://e360.yale.edu/feature/fifty_years_after_rachel_carsons_silent_spring_assacult_on_science_continues/2544/
  8. 8. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 8|P age“The Wild Life of Silent Spring; How Rachel Carson gave voice to the modern environmentalmovement and ignited its opposition,” Eliza Griswold, The New York Times Magazine,September 23, 2012http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/magazine/how-silent-spring-ignited-the-environmental-movement.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0WEEK 1: Jan. 17Class Topic: Introduction to Environmental JournalismHow much do you already know about the environment? Let’s find a starting point appropriateto the class. We will go over the syllabus and talk about the semester ahead. I will describe theenvironment beat and its special problems. Class discussion will focus on Rachel Carson andwhat has taken place in the 50 years since the publication of Silent Spring.Readings:“Whats at Risk from Industrys Full-Scale Assault on the EPA and the Clean Air Act?PublicHealth Protections Under Attack,” Natural Resources Defense Councilhttp://www.nrdc.org/air/cleanairact/default2.aspU.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Air Quality Planning and Standardshttp://www.epa.gov/oaqps001/cleanair.htmlCalifornia Air Resources Board; Reducing Air Pollution - ARB Programshttp://www.arb.ca.gov/html/programs.htm(Read the Major Program Areas, open up some of the Related Email Lists and look at some ofthe Contact lists. This is a great place to locate sources.)“How Los Angeles Began to Put its Smoggy Days Behind,” Jeremy Rosenberg,KCET, February 13, 2012http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/landofsunshine/laws-that-shaped-la/how-los-angeles-began-to-put-its-smoggy-days-behind.htmlWEEK 2: Jan. 24(A written story pitch for Assignment #1 is due next week)[Note: After today’s class, an event, ClimatePalooza, sponsored by Annenberg’s Earth SciencesCommunication Initiative, in partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will be held at ourschool. It will have a unique format, and you will be able to hear from and talk with scientistsabout environmental issues. The event starts at 5:30 in the auditorium. Tell your friends!]Class Topic: Air
  9. 9. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 9|P ageAir pollution remains a serious health threat in almost every city worldwide, including those inSouthern California. The health impacts can be severe, especially from the exposure of childrento ozone and particulates. The U.S. has made progress in cleaning the air, thanks to the 1970federal Clean Air Act. But in Southern California, damaging pollutants from power plants,refineries, diesel vehicles and ocean-going ships, much less commuter traffic, continue tocontribute to asthma, heart attacks and lung cancer. We will discuss why that is so and what isbeing done about it. This is an essential element of environmental journalism.Readings:“Reporting On Water: U.S. and International Coverage; Introduction,” Melissa Ludtke, Editor.Nieman Reports, Spring 2005http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/article/101017/Introduction.aspx(Also, check out the stories on the left side of the page. You don’t have to read (many) of thembut be aware that this trove of good advice is there.)Op-Ed, Jim Newton: “Water ethics and a peripheral canal; Southern California needs the water,and Northern California has it,” Los Angeles Times,June 25, 2012http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/25/opinion/la-oe-newton-column-peripheral-canal-brown-20120625“Water War Resurges,” Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times, June 10, 2012http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/10/local/la-me-owens-dust-20120610“Getting into the (Clean Water) Act; As key statute hits 40, how to tell the story of its successes,failures” Robert McClure, SEJournal, Spring 2012www.sej.org/publications/sejournal-sp12/getting-clean-water-act“Hot Issues,” California Water Resources Boardhttp://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/hot_topics/index.shtml(Open some of the topics listed, investigate this Web site. It has many places where you canlocate good source.)WEEK 3: Jan. 31(A written story pitch for Assignment #1 is due)Class Topic: WaterScarce water resources and increased contamination of waterways are considered by manyexperts to be the most serious immediate ecological threat worldwide. Violent disputes overwater, once a thing of the past, have resurfaced in many parts of the world. Intelligence agenciespredict competition for this resource will lead to regional wars. California faces severe shortages,
  10. 10. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 10 | P a g eparticularly as global warming kicks in. Water topics are difficult to bring alive in a news story.We’ll discuss how it can be done and look at some examples.Readings:“Could This Election Kill Monsanto’s Mutant Seed?” Mother Jones, November/December, 2012http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/10/california-prop-37-monsanto-gmo-labeling“The Fast-Food Ethicist.” Joel Stein, Time, July 23, 2012http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2119329,00.html“Heavenly Earth; California’s Central Valley is our greatest food resource. So why are wetreating it so badly?” Mark Bittman, The New York Times Magazine, October 14, 2012http://byliner.com/mark-bittman/stories/everyone-eats-there“Tackling America’s Eating Habits, One Store at a Time,” Jennifer Couzin-Frankel, Science, Vol337, pgs. 1473-1475) September 2012 (This is available through the USC Library)WEEK 4: Feb. 7Class Topic: FoodWith a projected world population increase from 6.8 billion to at least 9 billion by 2050, foodissues loom large. Already, crop losses to drought, competition for scarce arable land andunsustainable corporate farming practices all represent threats to adequate food supplies. Pricesof commodities have been escalating, which causes severe hardship for people already living onthe margin. Civil unrest can be a result. We will discuss the wide range of food topics. It can be asubspecialized career of its own in journalism.Readings:TBAWEEK 5: Feb. 14(Assignment #1 is due)Class Topic: EnergyEnergy enables civilization. Unfortunately, the cheapest and most available fuels – wood, coaland oil -- are also the dirtiest and most damaging. Global demand for inexpensive energy will begreat, considering that 1.4 billion people are still without access to reliable electrical power.Alternative fuels will have to be deployed if greenhouse gases are to be controlled. In addition,some 2.7 billion people depend on biomass stoves for cooking and eating and up to 2 millionpeople per year, mostly women and children,die from toxic fumes from such stoves. We will notbe short of material to discuss and story ideas. This is also a writing career by itself.Readings:TBA
  11. 11. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 11 | P a g eWEEK 6: Feb. 21Class Topic: WasteOur modern lifestyle and devotion to consumption leads to unprecedented waste. We will surveyits many forms from sewage to municipal landfills and counter movements such as recycling,reusable market bags and reduced packaging materials. Nuclear waste and coal ash presentdifficult problems. Industrial processes use a small percentage of heat generated. Food spoilageis a global problem. The list goes on. We will look at solutions, from heat capture and reuse tocomposting and biological controls. If you ignore the yuck factor, waste is a great area forimportant, interesting stories.Readings:TBAWEEK 7: Feb 28(Written pitch for Assignment #2 is due March 7)Class Topic: Health, Open Space and MegacitiesAs the global population grows and more millions of people continue to migrate to cities, publichealth risks escalate. Issues such as diet and exercise are being linked to the need for open space,well-designed neighborhoods that accommodate pedestrians and bike riders. Issues range widely,from marijuana regulation to urban noise and the stress people in developing countries endurefrom adapting to Western culture. Cities with parks that provide contact with nature and wildliferank higher on satisfaction and health. Commute-weary people in the U.S. are moving to urbancore areas where they increasingly enjoy healthy foods, convenient services, public transit andsafety from violence. This topic is more Urban Affairs than Environment; the two beats overlap.Readings:TBAWEEK 8: March 7(Written pitch for Assignment #2 is due)Class Topic: Climate ChangeThis is the paradigmatic environmental issue, a classic “wicked problem,” a category of publicpolicy concerns that defies rational and optimal solutions. We will review the science ofanthropomorphic global warming; the facts are now beyond dispute, except for skeptics whohave not fully followed the issues and deniers, many of whom deliberately poison publicdiscourse. Since it is our consumption of carbon that contributes to warming, we all have a moralobligation to protect ecosystems and stop passing costs and risks to future generations. This isthe area I specialize in. It is another subtopic worthy of a career.Readings: TBA
  12. 12. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 12 | P a g eWEEK 9: March 14(Story Assignment #2 is due the week after Spring Break! Also, begin working on a story pitchfor your final story)Class Topics: The OceansTopics about the oceans fall into two categories. One has little to do with climate change but alot to do with overfishing, damaging practices such as shark “finning,” destruction of breedinggrounds, such as mangroves and estuaries, and widespread pollution from urban runoff andindustrial processes. The second category relates to climate and involves acidification as theoceans absorb carbon, sea level rise from melting of ice in the arctic regions and the possibilityof major shifts in ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream. This is another megatopic and a sourceof many prize-winning stories.Readings: TBA Spring Recess! (No Class March 21)WEEK 10: March 28(Story Assignment #2 is due; written pitch on final project is due next week)Class Topic: Floods, Drought, Heat, Wildfires, Extreme WeatherScientists have been reluctant to ascribe weather abnormalities to climate change. But morefrequent occurrences and the escalating damage from events such as Superstorm Sandy, theColorado fires, costly droughts and lethal heat waves are now so prominent that climate expertsare coming closer to reaching a consensus that global warming is indeed the villain. We will lookat all sides of this issue and decide for ourselves. We will also discuss risk assessment andadaptation strategies and how to write about them accurately.Readings: I will post links and written materials about the Los Angeles River on Blackboard.WEEK 11: April 4(Written pitch on your final project is due.)Field Trip to the Los Angeles River (2-5:20 p.m.)Topic for the tour: Greenbelts and combined uses of land for recreation, wildlife and sewagedisposal. Other topics: Bike paths, urban fishing. bird watching. This is a chance to observe theconnections between the urban and natural environments.Readings: TBA
  13. 13. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 13 | P a g eWEEK 12: April 11Class Topic: California and the EnvironmentNo state has taken a more aggressive role in protecting the environment than California. Fromthe early conservationists such as John Muir and the formation of the Sierra Club to thesuccessful battles with the auto industry over vehicle smog controls and, most recently, adoptionof a cap-and-trade system to regulate industrial polluters, the state has led the way nationally, ifnot globally. We will look at why that is so and whether the state is harming its economy. (Note:Time will be set aside for 5-minute tag-team meetings with me in my office.)WEEK 13: April 18Class Topic: Public Morality, Values and CorruptionSocial scientists, philosophers and public policy experts appear to be reaching an agreement thatmost of the actions that are harmful to the environment and threaten a global ecological collapsecan be traced to a crisis in public morality. They are increasingly critical of traditionaleconomists, who maintain a faith in market solutions and cost-benefit analysis. They ascribepolitical stagnation to public corruption. They believe that a return to civil discourse, responsiblecitizenship and a rejection of both materialism and utilitarianism are essential if a globalcatastrophe is to be avoided this century. We will discuss the values and principles philosopherssay are essential to our survival. This may be the most difficult domain to communicate to thepublic.WEEK 14: April 25(A draft of you final project is due next week.)Class Topic:Ecological Stress and Ways to Preserve the PlanetMany of the topics we will be dealing with this semester are seemingly hopeless – complexproblems that defy solutions. Therefore, it’s important that we look carefully at threats societyfaces today and find ways to build public support for the possibly radical steps that are needed toaddress global warming and global ecological decline. In previous history, major and evenminor wholesale changes in public opinion, from abolishing slavery to curbing drunk driving andcontrolling tobacco use, have been accomplished in relatively short time periods. What will ittake to bring out the best in us, to get global agreement on “doing the right thing” when it comesto mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and protecting vital ecological systems? What is the roleof journalism and communication in helping to make that happen?WEEK 15: May 2(Draft of final project is due)Class Topics: Presentation of Final Projects
  14. 14. J440 SYLLABUS SPRING 2013 14 | P a g eMuch of the last class will be devoted to talking about your work, showing what you haveaccomplished and critiquing the work of other class members. What have we learned? Where dowe go from here? How do we wish to lead our lives? Can we help others find truth?FINAL EXAMFinish the Final ProjectIt is due on the scheduled day of the Final Exam: May 9, at 2 p.m.(It may be e-mailed by thattime, delivered to the ASC mail room and given a time stamp that would be before 2 p.m.)