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Digital Media Literacy

Department: Communications 

Instructor: Olga Lazitski Torres
Instructor Emails:
Dates: July 7 - July 27
Schedule: 9am - 4pm (Lunch from 11:30am - 1:30pm)

Location: TBD
Room: TBD

Course Description

This course will focus on the analysis of news media and its role in sustaining (or undermining) a democratic life and political culture. Particular attention will be paid to analyzing media practices and their embeddedness in social, economic and political conditions, highlighting how journalism portrays marginalized communities and social issues. More specifically, we’ll explore how racial and ethnic identities are constructed, reified, or subverted by representations in mass media and the digital news environment. In addition, we’ll consider the potential of the web as a democratizing force and the changing nature of what’s considered news and how it provides opportunities for agency and activism in response to social injustice and historical biases. By exploring traditional journalistic norms in the context of today’s communication dynamics (including technology, policy, politics, and culture), we will better understand the challenges, benefits, and limitations of mass media in representing, reifying, and transforming social reality. As a result, students will have an opportunity to reflect on the ways in which media shape social experience, practices and discourses.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will analyze media practices and understand their role in social and policial issues.
  • Students will explore the representation of different identities in mass media.
  • Students will learn to critically question the limitations of mass media in its representation of reality.

Course Topics

  • Journalism
  • Social, economic, political issues in media
  • Racial and ethnic identities in media
  • Digital news environment
  • Activism & social injustice
  • Benefits & limitations of mass media
  • Communication dynamics




*Courses vary by experience and exposure to content. Instructors have the ability to change content and pace to serve the needs of students. Courses have been modified for online teaching.