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|COURSE:||Mass Media and National Security (Jour/EMC 4800-001), Tuesday/Thursday, 1:00-2:25, COMM 151|
See reading list below
|INSTRUCTOR:||Dr. Larry L. Burriss, Ph.D., J.D.|
|OFFICE:||258 Mass Communication Building|
Dr. Burriss is a professor in the School of Journalism. He is a past president of the MTSU Faculty Senate and former member of the Tennessee Board of Regents. He has served as dean of the College of Mass Communication, chairman of the Department of Journalism, director of the School of Journalism and director of graduate studies.
He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from The Ohio State University, where he majored in broadcast journalism. He also has a master's degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Burriss received his Ph.D. in communication from Ohio University, where he minored in law, and his J.D. from Concord Law School.
He is particularly interested in issues dealing with government-media relations.
Dr. Burriss has worked in both print and broadcast news, as well as in public relations. He has published extensively in professional research journals and in popular magazines, and is the co-author of two books. He has won numerous awards for both writing and work with new technologies.
He was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, and served in Mali, Bosnia, Somalia, Guantanamo Bay, Central America, England, Germany and the Pentagon.
Dr. Burriss enjoys travel, reading, and was ranked 3rd in the Tennessee Division, American Fencing Association.
Our basic assumption here is NOT that the media and the government are natural enemies, but rather that both have role to play in insuring the security of the nation.
IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ATTEND CLASS, TAKE NOTES, STUDY THE TEXT AND HANDOUTS, ETC. IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO SEE THAT THE MATERIAL IS PRESENTED IN A COHERENT, INTERESTING MANNER. IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE MATERIAL.
You should, of course, ask as many questions as you like about the readings for the course.
It would be a serious misunderstanding of the intent of the instructor to assume that because a tape or film is being shown that no important material is being presented. Quite the contrary is true.
Regular attendance is expected--if you aren't here you can't gain anything.
Your fellow students and I will be concerned, possibly insulted, if you do not take part in the conversations we will be having. Treat this class as if were a job. You wouldn't think of cutting a day of work without a good reason and without calling in ahead of time with a reasonable explanation. I and your classmates deserve the same courtesy. "I had to miss our class because I have a test tomorrow in physics, and I needed the time to study" is NOT a valid excuse.
Giving make-up assignments is unfair to your classmates who came to class prepared by having read the assigned materials and prepared various exercises. In general, life's rewards go to those who get their work done on time. In this light, no assignments may be made up unless you can document, to the satisfaction of the instructor, that your absence was due to personal illness or death in the immediate family. Any make-up work will be more difficult than the original assigned material.
One thing we will need to be careful of is that the class not turn into a course simply dealing with propaganda. Rather, the focus will be on how the media fit into the national security process (including, but not limited to, propaganda). We also need to make sure it doesn't turn into a course that simply looks at how the DOD, CIA, FBI, etc. have been portrayed in movies and on television. I don't anticipate much, if any, discussion of Tom Clancy novels, or movies such as "Top Gun," "Crimson Tide," etc. The security review process and interactions between Hollywood and the government will certainly be a point of discussion, but not just a discussion that focuses on technical details, character development, etc.
We won't be spending any time on conspiracy theories unless a valid, direct connection with the national security process and the media can be made. No discussions of the Kennedy assassination, UFO's, black helicopters, tracking devices in 20-dollar bills, Denver International Airport, etc., unless you can find valid documentation of a national security/media connection (did CBS find out how Kennedy was killed and the CIA asked them not to run the story?). If you can find the operational plan that proves Denver International Airport is really a UFO landing site and show how the story is still being covered up by CBS and the New York Times, you'll probably get an "A" in the class!! Bring the reporter who covered up the story in to talk to the class and I'll give you extra credit. Little or no discussion of Art Bell, George Noory or Ed Danes.
"Wait a minute," you may be saying. "This is a mass media class, and you're not going to let us discuss how the government is hiding that military base on the moon? Isn't that a national security issue?' Well, yes it is, but read the above paragraph again. It mentions "valid documentation." That means, for example, an article in The New York Times or a government document that can be verified by the appropriate agency. So we'll discuss MJ-12, but only if you can get a current government official to go on the record.
We will watch several videos during the class. These will deal with specific incidents involving the media and national security, seminars that involved role playing situations, etc.
We will discuss the projects and assignments in class, but here is a start:
1. I would make the FOI request and the term paper deal with the same topic.
2. As noted above, simply doing a project on how the DOD, FBI, CIA, etc., assist (or don't assist) television and movie producers is not a good topic. A paper dealing with the security review process a movie producer went through would be a good topic. Try to focus on the national security procedures as they relate to media.
3. I am a firm believer in the sayings, "Document or die!" and "substantiate, validate, corroborate." In other words, you will be expected to find real documents to support your projects.
We will NOT be using +/- grades.
You also need to be aware that if you repeat a course, both are counted towards your lottery scholarship GPA. Suppose, for example, you receive an "F" in a course but then repeat the course and receive an "A" grade. Your MTSU GPA is now 4.0. But your lottery scholarship GPA is only 2.0, not high enough to keep the scholarship.
Finally, please be aware that these rules and procedures have been established by the Tennessee Legislature, not by the Board of Regents, MTSU, your college or department.
For more information see these web sites: Tennessee Scholar Dollars and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation.
Please note that all faculty and staff must use their MTSU e-mail accounts when communicating with a student via e-mail. In addition, faculty and staff must send the e-mail to a student's MTSU-assigned e-mail account, rather than to a personal account such as G-Mail or HotMail. Faculty and staff cannot send educational data to or from a non-institutional e-mail account.
In addition to the reading lists below, the following sites may prove
useful as you prepare for class dicussions and work on your projects.
Two sites, Secrecy News and the National Security Archive, have weekly e-newsletters you can subscribe to.
1. This schedule, including exam dates, may be adjusted to fit the
needs of speakers, availability of films, etc.
2. You will need Adobe Reader installed on your computer to read some of the documents below.
History and Background
Coverage of National Security Issues and the Patriot Act
Class Discussion: Covering National Security Issues
Short discussion paper, "The Media and the U.S.A. Patriot Act"
Videotapes and DVD's (Shown in class)
Packaging American Wars
A Walk Through The 20th Century (World War II: The Propaganda Battle)
Walt Disney: On the Front Lines
"Why We Fight"
"Triumph of the Will"
The Constitution, That Delicate Balance (National Security vs. Press
The Constitution, That Delicate Balance (War Powers and Covert Action)
The Military and the News Media Part I (Correspondents Under Fire)
The Military and the News Media Part II (A Question of Access)
The Military and the News Media Part III (A Matter of Intelligence)
Inside Story: Whose News Is It (Invasion of Grenada)
The Media and the Military
The Balancing Act: Security and Liberty Post 9/11