Spring 2017
Wednesday 6-7
225 Dwinelle
Professor Crawford

Course Requirements

statement on Plagiarism

Charts purporting to identify Fake News sites


Eric Maas

Eric Maas is an entrepreneur and search engine optimization specialist. He has over 10 years of SEO experience and close to 20 years in web marketing. His consulting work has included political candidates, publications, and fortune 500 companies.

Fake News or Real News: What's the Difference and How to Know
Political Economy 24 P 002 SEM  W 6-7P, 225 Dwinelle

"Fake News" is not a fight over Truth but rather a fight over Power"

2016 was the "Year of the Hoax" disguised as truth. Fake news and the proliferation of opinion that passes for news is creating confusion, punching holes in what is true, and leading us to doubt everything branded as "news." An analysis by BuzzFeed found that false election stories from hoax sites and hyperpartisan blogs generated more engagement than content from real news sites during the last three months of the election. In this course we will examine the difference between "fake news", satire, opinion, slanted journalism, propaganda and factual news reporting. We will look at the rise of the fake news phenomenon, how and why it has gone viral and its actual and potential consequences

Week 1   

Week 2

  • What is Fake news?  Is objective News an illusion?


Week 3

  • Class Debate on Climate Change and Climate Change Skepticism:  A legitimate Debate or campaigns of Disinformation/Misinformation (Isaac, Riley, Marco, Erika)

Suggested Readings:
Sarah Simpson, “The Arctic Thaw could make Global Warming Worse,”  Scientific American, June 29, 2009

"Think Again: Climate Change" By Bill McKibben  In Foreign Policy January-February 2009

“A Changing Climate:  Consequences for Subsistence Communities”
”Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability: Polar Regions”  pp. 663-676

"Do Climate Change Deniers Have a Point?" http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2016/04/do_climate-change_skeptics_hav.html

Week 4 Feb. 8

  • Continue Climate Change Debate, analyze students' examples, discuss fake news and free speech
  • Recommended: Eric Conway and Naomi Oreskes, Merchants of Doubt

Weeks 5 and 6 Feb.15 and Feb 22

Week 7 March 1

  • The emergence and evolution of Fake News (1)
    • Before fake news, what was “real” news?
    • The crumbling infrastructure of traditional journalism and the emergence of digital media

Guest Speaker JP Mangalindan, Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Finance JP Mangalindan covers the intersection of technology and finance Previously, he worked as a reporter for Fortune Magazine and Mashable covering Silicon Valley. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan's work has also appeared in GQ Magazine, Popular Science and Entertainment Weekly. (Riley)


Goodby to the Age of Newspapers, Hello to the Age of Corruption

Commentary: Fake News Isn’t a New Problem, and We’re Better Equipped to Fight It Now

The Corpse Factory and the Birth of Fake News

Lessons of the Fake News Pandemic of 1942

Week 8  March 8


Recommended: Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, Hal Roberts, and Ethan Zuckerman "Study: Breitbart-led right-wing media ecosystem altered broader media agenda," Columbia Journalism Review, March 3, 2017

Week 9 March 15