An investigation of the power of media in American society and the interaction between media, institutions, political actors, and the public. Topics covered may include the evolving role of media as an institution in the political system, media ownership, media bias, race and gender in media, media fragmentation, the relationship between media and public opinion, the role of news and advertising in political campaigns, media coverage in crisis and wartime, and the impact of new media on society. Underlying these topics, we consider the question of whether the role and function of media today are helpful for or detrimental to political learning, participation, and democratic government. Students will have the chance to explore ideas, concepts, and themes through real-world, hands-on applications. Not eligible if you have completed the Topics course on media and politics.