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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail
 



E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 1
Romance and Reality


E-Seminar 3
Technologies and Responsibilities


War Reporting
A Series of Three
E-Seminars


 
War Reporting
E-Seminar 2, Media and Propaganda

Taught by: Tom Lansner

Description
E-Seminar Trailer (RealVideo Clip)
In Media and Propaganda, the second e-seminar in the three-part series War Reporting, Professor Tom Lansner, a former foreign-war correspondent for the British press in Asia, Africa, and Central America, looks at the development of propaganda and of government restrictions on journalists during U.S. wars of the past 150 years. Examining the forces that shape the news and color the "truth" that the public learns about wars, he considers the tension between the First Amendment—the right to know and freedom of information—and the military's desire to control information for purposes not only of secrecy but also of presenting itself in the best light possible. He discusses the struggle that media and governments wage over the access that reporters have to combat zones and traces the spin that reporters, editors, and publishers have created over the years as they have tailored the news to fit their political agendas.

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 historical perspective on war reporting.

•    Appreciate the variety of barriers that interfere with accurate presentations of wars and battles.

•    Appreciate the variety of barriers that interfere with accurate presentations of wars and battles.

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Outline
1. Introduction: Tugs of war
2. Media Slant: Taking sides
3. U.S. Wars (1861–1975): Early wars
4. The Gulf War: "Collateral damage"
5. The Balkans: Proximity
6. Iraq 2003: Managing the media
7. Conclusion: The fog of war

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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
Bartimus, Tad, ed. War Torn: Stories of War from the Women Reporters Who Covered Vietnam. New York: Random House, 2002.

Hallin, Daniel C. The "Uncensored War": The Media and Vietnam. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Hedges, Chris. War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. New York: Public Affairs, 2002.

Lapham, Lewis H. Theater of War. New York: New Press (distributed by Norton), 2002.

MacArthur, John R. Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War. New York : Hill and Wang, 1992.

MacArthur, John R. The Selling of "Free Trade": NAFTA, Washington, and the Subversion of American Democracy. With an introduction by John Pilger. New York: Hill and Wang, 2000.

Stewart, Ian. Ambushed: A War Reporter.s Life on the Line. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin, 2002.

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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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