Spring 2020 SMPA Courses


View updated course listings for SMPA in the official GW Office of the Registrar course listing.

 

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Undergraduate Courses


Media in a Free Society (SMPA 1050.10). Taught by Patricia Phalen.

The role of mass communication in democratic political systems: informational requirements of democracy, sources of political information and the role of news media and other channels in creating and disseminating it; issues relating to propaganda and public information; and the interaction between information flows and democratic political culture. Not open to SMPA majors.

Forensics Practice (Debate) (SMPA 1225.10). Taught by Lee Huebner.

Journalism and Mass Communication: Theory and Practice (SMPA 2101.10). Taught by Janet Steele.

An overview of theories and key issues in journalism in the United States. News and democracy, the historical and social evolution of journalism, news values, journalism as an occupation/profession, technologies and changes in journalistic practices. Open only to SMPA majors.

Introduction to Political Communication (SMPA 2102.10). Taught by Sean Aday

Fundamentals of news reporting and writing, with emphasis on the print media. News judgment, information gathering skills, and crafting news and feature stories. Regular in-class and outside reporting and writing exercises. Directly admitted freshmen may enroll in their second semester; all other freshmen need departmental permission. (Open to non-majors: WID credit).

Intro to News Writing & Reporting (SMPA 2110W.10, 11, 12, 13,14,15). Taught by Michael Zuckerman, Alison Schafer, Keith Harriston, Kellie Lunney, James Spencer, Stewart Powell.

Fundamentals of news reporting and writing, with emphasis on print media; news judgment, information gathering skills, and crafting news and feature stories. Directly admitted freshmen may enroll in their second semester; all other freshmen require departmental permission. Includes a significant engagement in writing as a form of critical inquiry and scholarly expression to satisfy the WID requirement.

Advanced News Reporting (SMPA 2111W.10 & .11). Taught by Michael Doyle.

Reporting, writing, and computer skills for covering beats and developing in-depth news stories. Techniques in researching, observing, and interviewing to frame stories of public interest; outside and in-class reporting and writing assignments. Restricted to Journalism and Mass Communication majors or permission of instructor required. Prerequisite: SMPA 2110W. (WID credit).

Digital Media I: Introduction to Video Production (SMPA 2112 – multiple sections). Taught by Thomas Kelley, Imani M. Cheers.  

Introduction to digital media production with video shooting and editing, with emphasis on use in journalism and political communication. Open only to SMPA majors.

Digital Media II: Introduction to Web Production and Social Media (SMPA 2113.10, 11, 12 & 13). Taught by Imani M. Cheers, Jason Osder.

Foundational introduction to digital media production. Web content and design; photography and audio applied to the web; and using social media. Emphasis on use in journalism and political communication. Laboratory fee. Restricted to Political Communication and Journalism & Mass Communication majors only.

Research Methods (SMPA 2151.10 & . 11). Taught by Katie Brown, Lisa St. Clair Harvey 

The process of inquiry within mediated communication. The concepts of framing research questions, conducting literature reviews, developing research of design, and interpreting results of cultural and social science research within a societal framework. Open only to SMPA majors.

Data Analysis for Journalism and Political Communication (SMPA 2152. 10 & 11). Taught by Ethan Porter, Carmello Libassi

Understanding, critiquing, and performing analysis of data sets with applications to journalism and political communication; using data to tell stories and answer questions. Analyzing A/B tests and field experiments; basics of visualizing data; regression. Laboratory fee. Prerequisites: STAT 1051 or STAT 1053 or STAT 1111 or STAT 1127.

Media Law (SMPA 2173.10 & .11). Taught by Michele Kimball.

The changing laws of journalism and mass communication, including defamation, privacy, reporting access, obscenity and indecency, media ownership, intellectual property, advertising, and electronic communication.

Journalism Ethics (SMPA 3194.10). Taught by Steven Roberts

Principles of media ethics; application to contemporary and developing issues and challenges in journalism. Restricted to juniors and seniors only. Prerequisite: SMPA 2111W.

Media and Peace Building (SMPA 3194.10). Taught by Babak Bahdor.

Ethics and Political Communication (SMPA 3194.11). Taught by Peter Loge.

PCM majors only

Technology and Human Rights (SMPA 3194.12 ). Taught by Steven Livingston.

Audience Development (SMPA 3194.80). Taught by Ari Isaacman-Bevacqua

Qualitative Research (SMPA 3194.81). Instructor Michele Kimball.

PCM and JMC minors only. 

History of Digital Future (SMPA 3194.82). Taught by David Karpf.

Media and War (SMPA 3194.83). Taught by Sean Aday.

Media and War (SMPA 3195.83). Taught by Sean Aday.

Screenwriting for Social Justice (SMPA 3194.84). Taught by Lisa St. Clair Harvey.

Screenwriting for Social Justice (SMPA 3195.84). Taught by Lisa St. Clair Harvey.

Transparency and Trust in Journalism (SMPA 3195.10). Taught by Michael Zuckerman.

Globalization & the Media (SMPA 3195.60H). Taught by Lee Huebner.

This is a short-term abroad course. Overseas course component meets in Paris, France from March 14-21, 2020. Must contact CCAS Global Initiatives Office to register. Instructor approval required to register.

Qualitative Research (SMPA 3195.81). Taught by Michele Kimball

PCM & JMC majors only. 

Independent Study (SMPA 3196.10). Taught by Patrica Phalen.

Students pursue a program of directed reading, research, and writing under the direction of a faculty advisor. Restricted to senior JMC and PCM majors. Departmental approval required to register.  

Internship (SMPA 3197.10). Taught by Patricia Phalen.

Broadcast News Writing (SMPA 3235W.10 & .11). Taught by Jonathan Ebinger.

This course will teach you basic reporting and news writing for radio and television. You will learn the fundamentals of writing and reporting news and feature stories. You will also be exposed to some basics about oral and visual presentation, as well as distinctions between local, network, and cable news. In addition, you will learn to understand and apply broadcast techniques to think critically about what you see on the news, as well as the work of others. By the end of the semester, you should be able to produce scripts suitable for air at a collegiate level. Prerequisite: SMPA 2110W. (WID credit).

Broadcast News Reporting (SMPA 3235W.10 & .11). Taught by Barbara Benitez-Curry.

Advanced techniques in television news reporting and editing. Students produce, shoot, and edit news packages by teaming up to report in the field. Includes a significant engagement in writing as a form of critical inquiry and scholarly expression to satisfy the WID requirement. Prerequisites: SMPA 2110W and SMPA 2112.

Feature Writing (SMPA 3243W.10 & .11). Taught by Steven Roberts.

Learn to frame, research, and write a wide range of feature articles, including profiles, interviews and personal memoirs. Weekly writing assignments and a major final project are discussed and scrutinized in a workshop setting. Includes a significant engagement in writing as a form of critical inquiry and scholarly expression to satisfy the WID requirement. Prerequisite: SMPA 2110W.

Narrative Journalism (SMPA 3244W.10). Taught by Janet Steele.

The narrative or story-telling tradition in journalism. Students experiment with narrative techniques in a series of written exercises and a final project. Enrollment limited to 15 students with preference given to upper-class SMPA majors and graduate students. Includes a significant engagement in writing as a form of critical inquiry and scholarly expression to satisfy the WID requirement. Prerequisite: SMPA 2110.

Editorial and Persuasive Writing (SMPA 3245W.10). Taught by Michael McGough.

This course will explore the art and science of writing opinion columns for a daily newspaper. Students will learn how to find and evaluate topics, how to build the most effective lead, and how to blend fact and emotion to structure a persuasive argument. They will analyze the work of Op-Ed columnists and learn to compare and contrast the techniques each writer uses to build his or her voice. Students will write one column a week, due each Monday, on a subject of the student’s choice. The first half of each session will be devoted to analyzing the style, voice, viewpoint and persuasiveness or lack thereof of columnists like Kathleen Parker and George F. Will. The second half will be devoted to class-wide critiquing of one another's latest work. Prerequisite: SMPA 2110W. (WID credit).

Documentary Production (SMPA 3247.10). Taught by Jason Osder.

Advanced techniques in writing, researching, producing, and editing long-form documentaries. Prerequisites: SMPA 2112 and SMPA 3479; or permission of the instructor.

Media and Organizations Audience  (SMPA 3247.10). Taught by Patricia Phalen.

Organizations and economic relationships in the U.S. entertainment industry, particularly television and film; relationships within and between organizations, how media industries operate, and how media professionals carry out their work.

Public Diplomacy (SMPA 3350.10). Instructor Emilla Puma.

The theory and practice of public diplomacy: informing, influencing, and establishing a dialogue with international publics and institutions. A conceptual and historical examination of public diplomacy, current practices, and contemporary issues, including international information dissemination, educational and cultural exchange, and international broadcasting.

Principles of Public Relations (SMPA 3352.10). Taught by Frank Maisano.

Principles, problems, ethics, and the law of public relations for government, private concerns, educational and other public institutions. 

Strategic Political Communication (SMPA 3353.10). Taught by Ethan Porter.

Origins of strategic approaches to political communication; techniques. Use of strategic communication by individuals, groups, organizations, and governments in both domestic politics and policymaking and in the international system. Prerequisite: SMPA 2102 or permission of instructor.

Political Speech Writing (SMPA 3357W.10). Taught by Lee Huebner.

The emergence of speechwriting as an independent discipline is a fairly recent phenomenon. This course will help students develop their own skills as writers of effective speeches, while also exploring the role of the speechwriter and the political and social issues it presents. Writing well for a speaking situation (writing for the ear) is different from writing well for a reader (writing for the eye). This course will discuss these differences—as well as the requirements of different speaking situations. Each class member will prepare three speeches of varying types, and both the class and the instructor will critique each effort. (WID credit).

Strategic Practicum (SMPA 3358.80). Taught by Peter Loge.

Students will apply their knowledge to design prototype strategic campaign. Students will be required to research the issues and actors associated with specific campaign settings, to identify the critical points in the decision-making process and the key constituencies with interests in each issue, and to develop theory-based communication strategies which they regard as most likely to achieve the stated objective. At the beginning of the semester, students will be assigned to teams. Each team will be responsible for selecting a cause or issue objective and for designing a strategic plan to achieve it. Departmental approval required to register. Prerequisite: SMPA 3353.

Social Media (SMPA 3450.10). Taught by Rebekah Trumble

Practical and theoretical implications of social media; what it means to be social and how social media has changed how individuals interact and do business; birth and history of social media and why certain forms of social media flourish while others fail.

Television News Workshop (SMPA 4181.10). Taught by Barbara Benitez-Curry.

Capstone production experience for SMPA majors. Students report, produce, direct, and edit GW student news broadcasts. Laboratory fee. Prerequisites: SMPA 2111 or SMPA 2111W; and SMPA 2112, SMPA 2113 and SMPA 3236W. (Same as SMPA 3239).

Senior Seminar- Political Communications (SMPA 4199.10). Taught by Catherine Bailard.

Senior Seminar- Political Communications (SMPA 4199.11). Taught by Michael Zuckerman.

 

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GRADUATE COURSES

 

Strategic Communication Skills: Speech Writing (SMPA 6201.10). Taught by Andrew Barr. 

Specialized skills, such as crisis communication, political uses of social media, digital PR, web development and strategy, and speechwriting. Topics vary by semester. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits provided the topic differs. Registration restricted to SMPA graduate and ESIA Global Communication students only. This course meets: 03/09/2020 to 04/27/2020.

Strategic Communications Skills: Social Media (SMPA 6201.11). Taught by Lauren Glickman.

 Registration restricted to SMPA graduate and ESIA Global Communication students only. This course meets: 01/13/2020 to 03/06/2020.

Strategic Communications Skills: Developing Digital PR skills (SMPA 6201.12). Taught by Alexandra Dickinson.

 Registration restricted to SMPA graduate and ESIA Global Communication students only. This course meets: 03/09/2020 to 04/27/2020. 

Strategic Communications Skills: Web Essentials (SMPA 6201.13). Taught by Sean Moran.

 Registration restricted to SMPA graduate and ESIA Global Communication students only. This course meets: 01/13/2020 to 03/06/2020.

Strategic Communications Skills: Communication Strategy (SMPA 6201.14). Taught by Jessica Ross. 

Registration restricted to SMPA graduate and ESIA Global Communication students only. This course meets: 01/13/2020 to 03/06/2020.

Strategic Political Communications (SMPA 6204.10). Taught by Peter Loge

Theory, techniques, and implications of strategic communication as employed by individuals, groups, organizations, and governments to advance their interests; applications to non-electoral politics and policymaking; use of political, psychological, sociological, and other processes; methodological considerations; domestic and international applications. Registration restricted to SMPA graduate and ESIA Global Communication students only. Instructor approval required for other majors.

Politics and Public Relations Fundamentals (SMPA 6208.10). Taught by Jake Rubin.

Basic knowledge of the skills to design, implement, and evaluate public relations activities. Case studies of public relations applied to politics. Techniques and tactics used by public relations professionals. Open only to SMPA graduate and ESIA global communication students.

Strategic Practicum (SMPA 6220.80). Taught by Peter Loge.

Design of strategy for an information and influence campaign. Research on issues and actors, identification of critical decision-making points and key constituencies, development of communication strategies more likely to achieve stated objectives of a campaign. Prerequisite: SMPA 6204. For students doing a strategic communication capstone project, this course replaces SMPA 6297.

Principles and Methods of Documentary Filmmaking (SMPA 6230.80 & 81). Taught by Nina Seavey.

An analytical and practical exploration of the elements of documentary filmmaking. The genres of nonfiction filmmaking; fundamentals of film conceptualization, documentary screenwriting, story structure, and production theory; and basic practical elements of production. Permission of the instructor required prior to enrollment.

Analytics and Data Analysis for Strategic Communication (SMPA 6242.10). Taught by Matthew Hindman.

Strategic Narrative Public Diplomacy (SMPA 6270.10). Taught by Thomas Miller

Special Topics in Media and Public Affairs: Qualitative Research (SMPA 6270.82). Taught by Michele Kimball.

Special Topics in Media and Public Affairs: Targeting Voter Contact (SMPA 6270.81. Taught by James Green. 

Special Topics in Media and Public Affairs: Communication in Modern Diplomacy (SMPA 6270.81). Taught by Michele Kimball.

Special Topics in Media and Public Affairs: Media and War(SMPA 6270.84). Taught by Sean Aday. 

Special Topics in Media and Public Affairs: History Digital (SMPA 6270.85). Taught by David Karpf.

Special Topics in Media and Public Affairs: Media Organizations and Audiences (SMPA 6270.86). Taught by Patricia Phalen

Directed Readings and Research (SMPA 6296.10). Taught by Catherine Bailard

Independent research with SMPA faculty member. Must be approved in advance by supervising professor and director of graduate studies.

Capstone Project (SMPA 6297.10 and 6298.10). Taught by Catherine Bailard

Thesis Research (SMPA 6998.10 and 6999.10).Taught by Catherine Bailard

 

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