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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 08-Jan-23

Spring 2023 | ENG-2050-VM01 - Global Issues in the Media

In Person Class

Standard courses meet in person at CCV centers, typically once each week for the duration of the semester.

Location: Montpelier
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Monday, 11:45A - 02:30P
Semester Dates: 01-23-2023 to 05-01-2023
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-12-2023 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-26-2023 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Donald De Voil
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Jennifer Gundy

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following VSC General Education Requirement(s) for Catalog Year 21-22 and later:
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

This writing course examines the worldwide reporting of key issues in a range of audio, print, and electronic media. Students will study and write about several of the most significant issues facing today's world and discover how the language and style employed in creating and communicating news can affect public understanding and response to world events. Students must complete a final research paper with a grade of C- or better in order to pass this course. This course fulfills the research and writing intensive requirement. Prerequisite: English Composition.

Essential Objectives

1. Explore and analyze how a diversity of media sources (including radio, television, blogs, the foreign press, newspapers, weeklies, and narrative journalism) cover important global issues.
2. Analyze the role of journalism and journalists at important times throughout history, and learn the role of journalists within news organizations to better understand collection, evaluation, and dissemination of information as it relates to the research process.
3. Discuss and describe the purpose and power of rhetoric--including the media's use of informal spoken communication, sound bites, images, and speeches--and how it relates to understanding ethical issues involved in reporting and interpreting media communication.
4. Critically examine and reflect on the ways perception of contemporary world events is shaped by the medium in which they are communicated, including social media, crowd-sourced reporting, and official and unofficial blogs.
5. Examine global news reporting across different media platforms, both national and international, for differences in the selection of stories, and explore racial, gendered, historical, political, economic, and cultural biases in reporting.
6. Demonstrate consistent and confident use of standard English conventions, including grammar, usage, organization, and mechanics.
7. Demonstrate information literacy skills: distinguish between and utilize both primary and secondary sources; perform library and web-based literature searches; and evaluate data and resources for credibility, reliability, and validity.
8. Demonstrate the ability to apply either APA or MLA citation styles in academic writing by parenthetically citing sources in the text and correctly compiling them in the relevant end sources page.
9. Compose, revise, and edit a final paper that includes a thesis, integrates five or more scholarly and professional sources, including primary and secondary evidence as needed, to address an academic research question and demonstrate writing proficiency by achieving a grade of C- or better.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

This course only uses free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials. For details, see the Canvas Site for this class.


A variety of teaching methods will be used in this course including:

  • Lectures and documentary films
  • Regular writing assessments
  • Class discussion and interactive group work
  • Student research and presentation

Evaluation Criteria

Course grades will be calculated as follows:

  • 20% Short Writing Assignments (two assignments, each worth 10% of the final course grade. See short assignment guidelines for further details)

  • 20% Mid-semester presentation (see mid-semester presentation guidelines for further details)

  • 40% End of semester research paper (obtaining a grade of at least a C- for this evaluated piece of work is also a requirement for passing this course. See research paper guidelines for further details)

  • 20% Participation (this grade will be generated from attendance, as well as completion of regular news media reporting and other homework assignments. Please see below for further details)

On attendance and participation grade: A student who attends every class, participates in every class and completes all news media reports and other homework assignments, will receive 100% for their participation grade. When a student misses a class, they will lose 5% on their participation grade. They will lose another 5% if they are unable to complete homework that was due the missed week of class or fail to submit a written news media report during weeks of the semester when these reports are due. A pattern of late arrival or early departure from class, may constitute an absence for attendance grading purposes, at the instructor's discretion.

Please note: Evaluated course work that is handed in late may still be accepted, but will be marked down unless special circumstances result in a student being unable to complete work on time. Late work will be accessed an initial 5% penalty, which will increase by a further 1% for each subsequent day that the assignment is overdue. This late penalty will be capped at a 25%.

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


Jan 23 - Course Introductions



Jan 30 - News Media: History and Theory



Feb 6 - News Media: History and Theory cont.


News Media Report due



Feb 13 - Case Study: Pandemics in the news


First Short Writing Assignment deadline



Feb 20 - Censorship & Propaganda in the Media


News Media Report due



Feb 27 - Case Study: Reporting the Iraq War


Second Short Writing Assignment deadline



Mar 6 -Student Presentations


Presentations due



Mar 13 - An introduction to thesis papers


News media report due



Mar 20 -Developing Research Skills



Mar 27 -Case Study: Al Jazeera and the Iraq War


News Media Report due



Apr 3 - Case Study: Reporting on Climate Change



Apr 10 - Photojournalism: The Camera Never Lies?


News Media Report due



Apr 17 - News in an online world


Research paper DRAFT COPY deadline



Apr 24 - News in an online world cont.


News Media Report due



May 1 - Course Wrap-Up


Research paper FINAL COPY deadline


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.