COMM 439 - Seminar in Journalistic Performance
Section: 002 Spies, Traitors, Heroes: The Ethics and Implications of Whistleblowing
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Communication Studies (COMM)
Department: LSA Communication Studies
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Advisory Prerequisites:
COMM 261 strongly recommended.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Does Edward Snowden’s release of classified government documents — including evidence of numerous global surveillance programs — make him a traitor or a hero? Regardless of how you feel, modern whistleblowers have profoundly shaped public discourse, media law, and government policy. This course investigates the changing role and treatment of whistleblowers globally. We ground our discussion in historic whistleblower cases, such as Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, and juxtapose them with modern cases such as Edward Snowden, Wikileaks, Chelsea Manning, and the hacker group Anonymous. We evaluate how perception of whistleblowers and public policy have changed over time, and whether the whistleblower's identity shapes their treatment. Through a series of case studies, we will discuss and debate the ethics and implications of whistleblowing—from the perspective of whistleblowers, journalists, and policymakers. How have whistleblowers been treated differently in the press and in the courts? Why are some praised, while others are labeled as “terrorists” and prosecuted as traitors? And, finally, how has digital technology shaped how information is leaked, and how journalists and citizens respond?

COMM 439 - Seminar in Journalistic Performance
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
5Jr or Sr
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
Note: Section reserved for declared Communication Studies majors until 12/14/17.
002 (SEM)
3Jr or Sr
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
Note: Section reserved for declared Communication Studies majors until 12/14/17.
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