Media Criticism

The Institute’s undergraduate track in Media Criticism equips students with the analytical methods and historical context necessary to transform them from passive media consumers into critical thinkers. Drawing on disparate schools of thought, from Plato to postmodernism, Bagdikian to Baudrillard, the Media Criticism concentration examines the social roles, cultural effects, philosophical implications, corporate influences, and ideological agendas of the media.

This concentration brings a new approach to the study of the mass media, combining analytical strategies associated with press criticism, media theory, and cultural studies with a focus on new media and the radical ways in which they are transforming our social worlds, economic landscape, and cultural environment.

The Media Criticism concentration insists on deep historical knowledge and a fluency in the major theoretical approaches to media analysis. At the same time, it is founded on the cornerstone journalistic values of factuality, balance, and clarity. Students learn to communicate their critical insights not in academic papers but in exhaustively reported, clearly written articles, essays, and works in broadcast or online media that are both about the media and examples of mass media.

Media Criticism graduates will be well prepared for lives as critically engaged citizens of a mass-media society; as public intellectuals, speaking about the media to the wider world beyond the academy; or as scholars teaching and writing about the media in an academic context.

Honors Video: Describing the Honors Undergraduate Track

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