Journalism 468M Syllabus
· Course Description · Required
Texts · Other Required Readings · Video
Viewing · Grading · Websites
· Attendance · Late Assignments
· Plagiarism · Academic
Accommodations ·Stress and Angst · Instructors Bio ·
The American Press and Issues of Sexual Diversity
movement for gay rights is one of the most hotly contested issues of the
last 30 years. The 1990s saw an explosion of news coverage, talk show
discussion and rhetorical controversy over sexual orientation and its
social, religious, political and ethical impact. What is the prospect for
the new millennium?
course will examine the ways in which news (and other) media treat these
issues and how that treatment influences public perceptions. It will
provide historical and contemporary context through the lens of
journalism, while preparing students to evaluate intelligently and
dispassionately the issues regardless of what profession they ultimately
You are required to complete all of the
readings from the texts or those that are placed on reserve. Class
participation will count as part of the final grade; specifically,
preparation, participation in class discussions, questioning of guest
lecturers and panels. I place a high value on listening to students’
opinions regardless of what these opinions might be. Learning is a
collaborative and social experience, and students learn from each other.
Therefore you owe it to your classmates to come and make your contribution
to their learning. I hope you are prepared to be challenged and to
challenge the readings. I do not personally endorse every reading I
have assigned. The views you read are those of the authors.
You will be required to write four papers during the
semester. The first three will be between 800 and 1,000 words in length,
and focus on media coverage of an issue pertinent to the time period we
have covered in class. The final paper, which must be 1,500 words in
length, can be on a topic of your choice.
You will be asked to review the role of the media, and how it covered an event by reading, listening or viewing first-hand accounts. Combining those first-hand accounts with readings, class discussions and documentaries viewed in class, you will write your papers. These papers are expected to reflect sophisticated thought and analysis. As you write your papers you should ask: Was it accurate? Was it fair? Why? Why not? Did the country’s sensibilities at the time affect coverage? You will ask these, among other questions, as you read original reportage from previous decades.
USC libraries have on microfilm copies of the Los Angeles Times beginning in 1881, and for The New York Times going back to 1857. The Washington Post is available starting in 1959, and Time magazine is available beginning in 1923.The One Institute also has old copies of gay and lesbian newspapers, or can help you track them down.
addition, the Leavy Library has a document known as the Readers Guide to
Periodical List. These books – known for their green binding and jackets
– list every article every written on a particular subject or news event
and the publication in which it appeared and the date it appeared. These
documents are available in the Leavy Library’s lower commons area.
Please ask the person manning the reference desk for their location.
If you require assistance from a reference librarian, you may
contact Kendra Van Cleave, at (213) 740-2334 (X02334 on campus) or e-mail
Ms. Van Cleave at firstname.lastname@example.org. She has graciously offered to help any
student from this class who needs help navigating the USC library system.
Regular scrutiny of local and national print media, online, broadcast news, and other forms of entertainment will be expected, for purposes of analysis and comparison among different publications or programs.
Extra articles will be distributed to
students in class or via e-mail. Some required and recommended readings
also will be placed on reserve in the Annenberg Resource Center.
Documentaries, sit-coms or feature films (or parts of them) will be viewed in-class.
There are several Web sites that can help you as you begin researching and writing your final project. They are: Sexual Orientation in the News, especially the “Live Issues” section, at www.usc.edu/schools/annenberg/asc/projects/soin/ ; PBS “Resources” at www.pbs.org/outofthepast/past.html; the ONE Institute & Archives near USC at www.oneinstitute.org; the Society of American Archivists' Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable at www.archivists.org/saagroups/lagar/index.htm, the Intersex Society of North America at www.isna.org, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s Center for the Study of Media and Society at www.glaad.org. In addition, you may want to subscribe to an e-mail listserve that will send you articles about gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered or intersex individuals and issues from around the world. You can subscribe by sending a message to Fenceberry@aol.com.
is required for all classes, and roll will be taken at the beginning of
each class meeting. Missed classes due to work, travel, job interviews,
car troubles, etc., will not be tolerated. If you
expect to miss class due to a family emergency, a medical problem,
or a religious holiday, you will only be excused if you contact me
beforehand (either send me an e-mail or give me a call). You must also
bring a note from your doctor if you miss class due to a medical
emergency. Tardiness is unacceptable, even during class breaks. If you
expect to be more than 15 minutes late to class, don’t bother coming. More than three unexcused absences will result in failure of this
Late assignments will not be accepted. You must turn in assignments on the day they are due even if you know you will miss class and have contacted me beforehand. You can either give it to another student to hand in for you, leave it in my mailbox with a time stamp from Student Services, or send it to me via e-mail attachment. They must arrive by the beginning of that day’s class session, which is 2 p.m. Wednesday.
If you miss class, it is up to you to
contact someone in the class (another student, not me) to find out what
you’ve missed and what’s due next. The most successful students
aren’t always the most talented. They tend to be the ones who can manage
their time effectively. So plan ahead and work ahead.
Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to me as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Students are under a lot of pressure. If you start to feel
overwhelmed, contact the USC Student Counseling Services office at 213-740-7711. The
free service is confidential.
I have been a staff writer and columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle and The Dallas Morning News, and a staff writer and editor at The Associated Press in San Francisco, New York and Mexico. I have worked as a freelance journalist, and have written for The New York Times, BusinessWeek Online, Women’s Wire, Solloella.com, and Hispanic Business, Latina, Latina Style, LatinGirl, Online Journalism Review, American Journalism Review and Columbia Journalism Review magazines. I am also co-author of “The Latino Guide to Personal Money Management,” which was published by Bloomberg Press in 1999, and translated into Spanish earlier this year. I hold undergraduate degrees in journalism and international relations from USC, a master’s degree in international political economy from Columbia University, and was awarded a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in business and economics reporting from Columbia University. In addition, I spent a year as an assistant professor of journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia during Fall 1999 and Spring 2000. I joined the USC faculty in the Fall of 2000.
Readings are to be done prior to the class on the indicated date.
The syllabus is subject to change).
WEEK ONE (Aug. 28) –
Intro to Class, Review Syllabus, Watch a short video.
WEEK TWO (Sept. 3) – Historical Overview: Gay and Lesbian History from the 1880’s to Post World War II.
of the trial of Oscar Wilde, 1895, in the British and American press.
First use of the word "homosexual." Havelock Ellis, Freud and
others on homosexuality. The permissive 20s, the repressive 30s. Major
changes of WWII, after World War II
Readings: Jennings, Chapters 1 (Understanding Heterosexism and
Homophobia), 2 (The Greco-Roman World: Acceptance and Assimilation), 5
(Passing Women in Early Modern America), 6 (Hidden from History:
Understanding the Lives of Gay and Lesbian Individuals from the Past), 7
(Karl Henrich Ulrichs and the Beginnings of Gay Consciousness), 8 (Gays
and the Holocaust) and 9 (World War II and a New Minority in the United
“For Gays, Secrecy in Love, War,” by
Patricia Ward Biederman. Los Angeles Times. April 17, 2003.
THREE (Sept. 10) – Guest Speakers from the National Lesbian and Gay
Journalists Association national convention in Los Angeles. (To be
Readings: Gross, 1 (The Mediated Society), 2 (Coming out and Coming
Together), 7 (Journalism’s Closet Opens) and 8 (Breaking the Code of
“Suddenly This Summer,” by William Powers. National Journal. Aug. 8,
Back: The Gather Storm Over Gay Rights,” by Richard Goldstein. The
Village Voice. Aug. 6-12, 2003.
the Recent Backlash Against Homosexuality Just a ‘Blip?’” By Cathy
Lynn Grossman. USA Today. July 31, 2003.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Media Guide.
Stylebook: Addenda of Gay/Lesbian Terminology.
PLEASE NOTE: Sept. 13 is the last day to drop a class without a mark
FOUR (Sept. 17) – Historical Overview: the Stonewall Riots, Post
adjustment, the McCarthy 50s. Beginnings of a gay identity. Media coverage
of Stonewall 1969. Relationship
of the black rights movement and its media exposure as precursor of the
gay movement. New interest in gays and lesbians by media. Rise of the gay
press. Gay movement owes roots to black liberation and anti-war movements.
National gay militancy, gay pride. Anita Bryant, Harvey Milk.
Advent of AIDS and media reaction.
Required Readings: Jennings,
Chapters 10 (McCarthyism and the Witch-Hunt Mentality), 11 (Harry Hay and
the Beginnings of the Homophile Movement), 12 (Before Stonewall: Portraits
of Lesbian and Gay Lives before Gay Liberation), 13 (Stonewall and the
Dawning of a New Day), 14 (Changing Times, Changing Demands) and 15
(Bowers v. Hardwick and the “Right to be Let Alone.)
Gross, Chapter 3 (Stonewall and Beyond).
PAPER # 1 IS DUE TODAY
WEEK FIVE (Sept. 24) – AIDS
through the Media Lens.
of press coverage, then and now. The changing story: 1980s, 1990s.
Coverage after the protease cocktail. Safe Sex vs. "Sex Panic."
Epidemic proportions in racial minority communities; comparing lack of
coverage of HIV in gay males in 80s to that of blacks and Latinos today.
AIDS coverage sources.
Required Readings: Gross, Chapter 6 (AIDS and the Media) and 9 (Hollywood Under Pressure);
Course Reader: “Straight News: Gays, Lesbians, and the News
Media,” by Edward Alwood, Chapters 11 (Responding to AIDS).
Supplementary Readings on Reserve in ARC: Alwood, Chapter 12 (The
Experience of AIDS).
“With Fears Fading, More Gays Spurn Old
Preventative Message,” By Erica Goode. New York Times. Aug. 19, 2001.
“From Eli Lilly to Front Line in AIDS
War,” by Donald G. McNeil Jr. New York Times. July 29, 2003.
“AIDS Cases Again on the Rise,” by
Allison M. Heinrichs. Los Angeles Times. July 29, 2003.
“HIV Cases Rise Among U.S. Gay Men,” by
Reuters. July 28, 2003.
“A Clue to Why Gays Play Russian Roulette
with H.I.V.,” by Richard A. Friedman, M.D. New York Times. Sept. 24,
WEEK SIX (Oct. 1) – AIDS and Women, Ethnic Minorities, and Around the
Globe (Guest Speakers, TBA)
How has the AIDS crisis affected women, minorities in
the U.S., and people in countries around the globe?
Course Reader: “Double Lives on the Down Low,” by Benoit Denizet-Lewis. New York Times Sunday Magazine. Aug. 3, 2003
Required Readings on Reserve in ARC: “Epidemic Has Only Begun
Spreading its Global Devastation,” by Sabin Russell, San Francisco
Supplementary Readings on Reserve in ARC:
Latinos Still Live in a World of Conflict,” by Alicia Roca, The Contra
“The Complex War on AIDS in the Black
Community,” by Vivian B. Martin. The Hartford Courant. June 14, 2001.
“AIDS Scourge in Rural China Leaves
Villages of Orphans,” by Elizabeth Rosenthal. New York Times. Aug. 25,
WEEK SEVEN (Oct. 8)
-- The Underreported: Transgendered Individuals, Cross-Dressers, in
the U.S., around the World (Guest Speakers, TBA).
Among the newest social movements in the United
States are those of Transgendered and Cross-Dressing Individuals. How has
the media covered these movements here and around the world?
“When Debbie Met
Cristina, Who Then Became Chris,” by Sara Corbett, The New York Times
Magazine. Oct. 14, 2001.
“A Question of Gender,” by Emily Nussbaum,
Discover Magazine. January
“Gender Diversity: Cross-cultural Variations,”
by Serena Nanda, Chapter 2 (Hijra and Sadhin: Neither Man nor Woman
Readings on Reserve in ARC: “Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing
Cops, and Hermaphrodites with Attitude,” by Amy Bloom, Chapter 1 (The Body Lies: Female-to-Make Transsexuals) and Chapter
2 (Conservative Men in Conservative Dresses: Heterosexual
“The M/F Boxes: Transgender Activists May Force us
to Rehink Basic Assumptions About Sex,” by E.J. Graff. The Nation. Dec.
“Assembly Passes Bill to Protect Transsexuals,” by Nancy Vogel. Los Angeles Times. April 22, 2003.
WEEK EIGHT (Oct. 15)– The
Underreported: Intersex Individuals in the U.S., around the World (Guest
Intersex individuals are people who are born with both sex organs, and used to be commonly referred to as hermaphrodites. What kind of coverage, if any, do the intersex get in the U.S.?
Required Readings: Jennings, Chapter 4 (The Celebration of
Difference: The Institution of Berdache Among Native Americans.).
Course Reader: “The Unkindest Cut,” by Katherine A. Mason, The
Advocate Magazine. Aug. 14, 2002.
Required Readings on Reserve in ARC: “Normal:
Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops, and Hermaphrodites with Attitude,”
By Amy Bloom, Chapter 3
(Hermaphrodites with Attitude: The Intersexed).
Supplementary Readings on Reserve in
ARC: “Bisexuality is the Wildcard of
Our Erotic Life,” by John Leland, Newsweek magazine.
“About a Boy, Who Isn’t,” by Benoit Denizet-Lewis.
New York Times Magazine. May 26, 2002.
“For These Transvestites, Still More Role
Changes,” by Jane Perlez. New York Times. July 24, 2003.
PAPER # 2 IS DUE TODAY
WEEK NINE (Oct. 22)
– Religion and Issues of Sexual Diversity (Guest Speakers, TBA)
Which religions embrace the GLBTI community, which
don’t, and why? How are these stories framed in the media?
Readings on Reserve in ARC: “Gay
Bishop Wins in Episcopal Vote: Split Threatened,” by Monica Davey. New
York Times. Aug. 6, 2003.
Church Leaders Reject Proposal for Same-Sex Union Liturgy,” by Monica
Davey. New York Times. Aug. 7, 2003.
Faith and Sexuality: Religions, Guided by their Particular Views of
Scripture, are Grappling with Whether Gays and Lesbians should be
Accepted, Condemned, or Something in Between,” by Larry B. Stammer, The
Los Angeles Times.
Readings on Reserve in ARC: “Homosexual
Men and Women Who Embrace Islam Struggle to Find a Place Within Their
Faith,” by Saeed Ahmed, The Atlanta Constitution.
Divided Over Gays in Clergy,” by Marsha King, The Seattle Times.
Issues, Answers and Beliefs: A New Willingness to Listen,” by Larry B.
Stammer, The Los Angeles Times.
How has the media covered the Catholic
Church sex abuse scandal? Critics of the coverage say that Gay men have
been characterized as “emotionally disturbed” and that the Gay
community has been linked to pedophilia.
Course reader: “Betrayal:
The Crisis in the Catholic Church,” by the staff of the Boston Chapter 8
(Sex and the Church).
Required Readings on Reserve in ARC: “Betrayal: The Crisis in the
Catholic Church,” by the staff of the Boston Globe. Chapter 2 (The Cover
“$55 Million Offered by Church to Settle
Suits,” by Elizabeth Mehren. Los Angeles Times. Aug. 9, 2003.
Supplementary Readings on
Reserve in ARC: “The Priest Scandal:
How Old News At Last Became a Dominant National Story … and Why it Took
so Long,” by Carl M. Cannon, American Journalism Review Magazine.
“Open Letter to the News Industry on the Coverage
of Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church,” by Robert Dodge, NLGJA Web
“The Gay Purge: Scapegoating Homosexual Priests,”
by Cheryl L. Reed. Salon. March 27, 2002.
WEEK 11 (Nov. 5) – Entertainment and
Gays: On Film, TV, and Advertising to Online, Comics Music and Outings
(Guest Speaker, TBA)
How has Hollywood and Television covered GLBTI
Readings: Gross, Chapters 4 (At the Movies), 5 (Television Takes
Over), 8 (Breaking the Code of Silence), 10 (Hollywood’s Gay Nineties)
11 (Beyond Prime Time), 12 (Morning Papers, Afternoon Soaps).
Required Readings on Reserve in ARC: “Gay-Themed TV Gaining a
Wider Audience,” by Bernard Weinraub and Jim Ruttenberg. New York Times.
July 29, 2003.
Supplementary Readings on Reserve in ARC: “A Comic Book Gets
Serious on Gay Issues,” By George Gene Custines, The New York Times.
“Queer as Folk,” by David Hajdu. New York Times
“In New TV Commercial, Orbitz Has Gay Travelers in its Sights,” by Jayne Clark. USA Today. Aug. 1, 2003.
WEEK 12 (Nov. 12) – Gay Marriage
Gay marriage is one issue at the cutting edge for the
gay movement, and for politicians.
Required Readings: Gross, Chapter 14 (A Niche of Our Own).
Course Reader: “Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con,” edited by
Andrew Sullivan, Pgs. 118-124; 146-154; 274-277.
Required Readings on Reserve in ARC: “Justices, 6-3, Legalize Gay
Sexual Conduct in Sweeping Reversal of Court’s ’86 Ruling,” by Linda
Greenhouse. New York Times. June 27, 2003.
“Sodomy Fuels ‘Culture War,’” by Mitchell
Landsberg and John M. Glionna. Los Angeles Times. June 27, 2003.
“President Moves to Define Marriage,” by Lawrence
McQuillan. USA Today. July 31, 2003.
“Foes of Gay Marriage Find New Momentum,” by
Elizabeth Shogren. Los Angeles Times. Aug. 1, 2003.
“Canadian Leaders Agree to Propose Gay Marriage
Law,” by Clifford Krauss. New York Times. June 18, 2003.
“Analysis: Gay Marriage Around the Globe,” by
Steve Sailer. UPI. July 16, 2003.
Readings on Reserve in ARC: “Gay Unions Affirmed by Reform
Rabbis,” by Larry B. Stammer, The Los Angeles Times.
“Law Gives Gays Right
to Marry,” by Associated Press.
“Gay Couples do Wedding March to Vermont,” by
Elizabeth Mehren, The Los Angeles Times.
“N.Y.Times to Print Same-Sex Unions,” by Mark
Jurkowitz, The Boston Globe.
“Sodomy Law Upheld in Texas,” by Kristen Hays.
AP. March 15, 2001.
“Vatican Exhorts Legislators to Reject Same-Sex
Unions,” by Frank Bruni. New York Times. July 31, 2003.
WEEK 13 (Nov. 19) – Gay Adoption
Adoption issues are now at the cutting edge for gay
movement and for press attention. How has it been covered in the media?
Course Reader: “Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con,” edited by
Andrew Sullivan, Chapter 7, Pgs. 239-272.
Required Readings on Reserve in ARC: “Court Oks Adoption by Unwed
Pairs,” by Monte Morin and Erika Hayasaki. Los Angeles Times. Aug. 5,
“Judge Backs Florida Ban on Adoptions by
Homosexuals,” by John Thor-Dahlburg, Los Angeles Times.
Change Complicates Battle over Child Custody,” by Dana Canedy, The New
“Parents Sexual Orientation Matters, Study
Finds,” by Sarah Tippit. Reuters. April 27, 2001.
Supplementary Readings on Reserve in ARC: “Court Rules Schools Must Fight Gay-Bashing,” by Henry Weinstein. Los Angeles Times. April 9, 2003.
PLEASE NOTE: Nov. 15 is the last day to drop a class with a mark of “W.”
# 3 IS DUE TODAY!
WEEK 14 (Nov. 26) – No Class. Happy Thanksgiving!
WeeK 15 (Dec. 3) – Brief in-class presentations of your final papers
Dec. 5 – Classes End
Dec. 6-9 – Study Days
Dec. 10-17 – Final Exams – PAPER # 4 IS DUE ON FRIDAY,
DEC. 13, BY 2 P.M.
YOU CAN PUT IT IN MY MAILBOX WITH A TIME STAMP FROM STUDENT
SERVICES, OR DROP IT OFF TO ME IN MY OFFICE, OR BEST OF ALL, E-MAIL IT TO
ME VIA ATTACHMENT.
Dec. 18-Jan. 11 – Winter Recess
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