Accueil > (Fake) News, journalism and democracy : media in a digital, ever-changing environment


Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

Technology has given partisan trolls a platform never seen before, but also opened opportunities of growth for legacy outlets, as well as new "pure player" media companies. The internet being one of the biggest disruptions in the history of media, this class aims at understanding how journalism can function and fulfil its democratic duty – if there is any ? – within this ever-evolving environment defined, among other things, by revenue instability, more unverified online content, social networks, and public distrust in mainstream and traditional media outlets. The seminar will examine today's media industry, its challenges and opportunities, to give students a comprehensive overview of how news is made, shapes public life today, and what challenges journalists face.


SCHREIBER, Yann (Online journalist, social media editor)

Pedagogical format

After an overview on how news in different formats (text, vidéo, radio) is made, the class will focus on challenges journalists face, and examine business models of old and new media organizations. Sessions are meant to be interactive, and some sessions will include hands-on training. A final session will be dedicated to a newsroom simulation : no preparation is needed, as students will work in groups to produce content in real-time. The session will be modeled as close as possible to a real work-day in a newsroom.

Course validation

The final grade will be based on participation (10%), written in-class exercises (20%), a 5-10 minutes presentation and fact-sheet (40%), and the final simulation (30%).


Evaluation will be based on : a 5-10 minutes presentation and fact-sheet (done alone or in pairs) on the business model of a media outlet ; the newsroom simulation in week 11 or 12 ; and few, short, in-class workshops, for which little-to-no preparation is needed. Workload outside class is limited to occasional short readings or videos to watch. Students are expected to follow the news in the way they like : classes rely on the day or week's news.

Required reading

  • "Digital News Fact Sheet", Pew Research Center
  • "Newspapers Fact Sheet", Pew Research Center"
  • Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics
  • "Trolls for Trump", Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker Magazine
  • "Public Editor No. 5 Is Yesterday's News", Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times