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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail
 



E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 2
Media and Propaganda


E-Seminar 3
Technologies and Responsibilities


War Reporting
A Series of Three
E-Seminars


 
War Reporting
E-Seminar 1, Romance and Reality

Taught by: Tom Lansner

Description
E-Seminar Trailer (RealVideo Clip)
Professor Tom Lansner, who worked abroad as a war correspondent throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, offers a short history of battlefield reporters and reporting. He discusses the role of war correspondents in a democratic society; the often grim conditions journalists face; and the resistance reporters encounter from their editors back home. He examines several factors—economy, geography, history, and security—that determine which wars are covered by the domestic news media, and how much coverage these wars receive.

In Romance and Reality, the first e-seminar in the three-part series War Reporting, Professor Tom Lansner covers the colorful history of battlefield journalism, from Julius Caesar to the recent conflict in Afghanistan. While outlining the evolution of war reporting, Professor Lansner discusses shifts in the profession over the last century. He discusses, among other topics, the increase of women reporting from the frontlines, the increased attention to the ethics of war and war reporting, and the role of editorial "gatekeepers" who determine which wars and reports make the news. Lansner also looks at the public's romantic notions of war reporting versus the grim realities often faced by wartime journalists.

E-Seminar Length: 3-5 hours
Start Date: Anytime
Credits: Not-for-Credit
Prerequisites: None
Moderator: None
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni: FREE

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E-Seminar Objectives | Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading | Technical Requirements

E-Seminar Objectives
•    Gain a historical perspective of war reporting from the time of Caesar to the Internet.

•    Appreciate the day-to-day realities of an often misunderstood profession.

•    Understand the internal dynamics of the journalistic process.

•    Learn about the contributions of several pioneering male and female war correspondents.

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Outline
1. The Profession
2. A Unique Story
3. Choosing War
4. Proximity
5. Gatekeepers
6. Technology
7. Here to Stay

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
Thomas R. Lansner has taught international media and policy at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs since 1994, and served as Assistant Dean of SIPA from May 1999 to August 2001.

Throughout the 1980s, Professor Lansner was a correspondent, principally in Africa and Asia, for the London Observer, the Guardian, Far Eastern Economic Review, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and other media outlets. Based in Uganda, India, and then the Philippines, he covered political, economic, and social developments, as well as wars and civil conflicts, in countries across Africa and the Asia-Pacific. He reported from conflict zones in then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Uganda, pre-independence Eritrea, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and the occupied West Bank. In several countries, he traveled with guerilla groups through combat zones, including a week-long visit in 1983 with the Afghan mujihadin, who were fighting the Soviets.

Professor Lansner writes regularly on international affairs, and has served as a consultant on media, human-rights, and democratization issues to numerous nongovernmental organizations, and political parties. He also conducts seminars for media practitioners on human rights, conflict, and election coverage, and trains human-rights advocates in media skills.

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Recommended Reading
Darrow, Siobhan. Flirting with Danger: Confessions of a Reluctant War Reporter. New York: Anchor Books, 2002.

Hammond, William M. Reporting Vietnam: Media and Military at War. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

Ignatieff, Michael. The Warrior's Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience. New York: Metropolitan Books, 1998.

Knightley, Philip. The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker from the Crimea to Kosovo. With an introduction by John Pilger. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.

Pedelty, Mark. War Stories: The Culture of Foreign Correspondents. New York: Routledge, 1995.

Waugh, Evelyn. Scoop. Boston: Back Bay Books, 1999.

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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

IBM-COMPATIBLE PC
Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MACINTOSH
MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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