From accusations of fake news, to sensationalism, to biased reporting, trust in media has never been lower. This course will explore how the news media as an influential institution shapes political, social and cultural conversations in society and acts as a check on government power. The course will give you a behind-the-scenes look at how journalists do their job, the sometimes deadly clash between individual expression and government control, your rights under the First Amendment, and why campus preachers can say hateful things but you can't shout fire in a crowded theater. We'll also look at copyright, libel, the current economic crisis related to advertising. Students who complete the course will understand the role media plays in a society and be able to navigate the complex world of fake news, filter bubbles and talking heads, creating engaged and educated consumers of information.