Discussion Questions

  • In The Beginning/The American Exception (pages 3-21)

    Pre-reading discussion questions

    1. What is a journalist?
    2. What is the First Amendment?
    3. What is your reaction to protected speech with which you do not agree (give examples)?
    4. Can you think of a time when information was withheld from the public? Was that a good thing?

    Post-reading discussion questions

    1. What are the Alien and Sedition Acts?
    2. What is the dictionary difference between a publicist and a journalist? What is your definition?
    3. How did the press work in 16th century England? How did it work in the American colonies? What are the differences? Why do you think there were differences? What role did the press serve for the colonies?
    4. What is free speech? Does it include all speech? Why or why not?
    5. Describe the role of that free speech plays in a Jeffersonian democracy
    6. What is the First Amendment? Why is it included in our constitution? Have you ever felt it was unnecessary?
    7. Why do governments sometimes try to suppress the speech and the press? Is there ever a reason to suspend certain rights of citizens?
  • Canis Journalisticus (pages 35-46)

    Pre-reading discussion questions

    1. What is the role of the media?
    2. Where do you get your news? Why?
    3. How do you know if you’re told the truth?
    4. Do you think there’s a relationship between public perception/trust of the news media and the national mood?

    Post-reading discussion questions

    1. Should the news media give the public what it wants or what it needs? Who knows what the public wants or needs?
    2. Are journalists public servants? Whom do they serve?
    3. If news outlets are creatures of the times, what will we look back on in the future and cringe about? How might someone react to Twitter and Facebook 50 years from now?
    4. Give some examples of public reaction to news stories. How did the journalists or subjects of the stories get it right or wrong? Ex. Coverage of Hurricane Katrina.
    5. Give some examples of when the media was either shallow, hysterical, “barked at anything that moves,” was elitist or pandered? For example, the prevalence of celebrity death rumors on Twitter.
  • The Great Refusal (pg. 57-70)

    Pre-reading discussion questions

    1. What does it mean to be biased? How is bias expressed in the media? Give examples.
    2. Are some types of bias worse than others?
    3. Is it possible for reporters to not be biased when reporting news stories?

    Post-reading discussion questions

    1. Is the media biased? If so, how? Is it possible for the media to not be biased?
    2. Can you think of examples for each type of bias in the current news media?
  • Objectivity (pages 96-110)

    Pre-reading discussion questions

    1. What does it mean to be objective?
    2. Is it possible for news to be objective?
    3. Describe the relationship between the government and the press and support your position with examples.

    Post-reading discussion questions

    1. Should journalists strive for objectivity?
    2. How does technology influence business models?
  • The Influencing Machine (129-156)

    Pre-reading discussion questions

    1. How does technology and social media influence your concentration?
    2. How do you handle and/or manage information overload?
    3. Does technology expand or limit our worldview?
    4. Are people drawn exclusively to news and information that speaks to their viewpoints? Why/why not?

    Post-reading discussion questions

    1. How do we develop intellectually or morally if we can evade encounters with the unfamiliar, the unwelcomed, and the unimagined?
    2. Are we thinking badly now, or just differently?
    3. Would you be interested and/or willing to have an implant in your brain that controlled your devices/computers/ etc.?
    4. How can we ensure that our development as moral and social animals keeps pace with our rapidly evolving communications technology?
Short URL for this page: http://fybne.ws/RXvlyd