Blog #12: Communication 4473 Review
Overall, I really enjoyed this class. Politics is a topic I usually try to avoid. I hate the party biases that exist in our country and believe this is hurting us as a whole. Also, the reason I did not become a political science major. I was pleasantly surprised by this class though and enjoyed investigating specifically how communication affects politics. I learned the profound effects the mass media has on how political campaigns and how the reporting of politics has dramatically changed. I am glad I chose to take this class and it taught me many valuable things.
The most interesting thing, to me, that we learned in this class was our discussions on the Kennedy-Nixon debates and reading the book The Making of the President. This was interesting to me because the 1960 election was a turning point for politics in our country. Candidates were being closely dissected in the homes of every American citizen by the help of the television. John F. Kennedy basically won that election by the image he presented of himself on the television and his campaign’s ability to realize the impact television would have on the voters. This was only the start as today we are witnessing a new revolution in politics that has come about by social media. Social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter have now become the venue for politicians to voice their views. It was interesting to examine another period in time where media was changing politics just as it is today.
My least favorite topic we discussed in this class was the book Republic 2.0. Cass Sunstein bored the heck out of me and his book was a never-ending torture. Seriously though, his attempt at explaining why new technologies are actually making people more narrow-minded became repetitive and insightful. He did make some interesting points and discuss some interesting topics, but maybe instead of writing a book Sunstein should have written a pamphlet (Curb Your Enthusiasm joke for any fans). I believe the class could do without the book and a more enjoyable choice should replace it.
So, in conclusion The Making of the President should stay and Republic 2.0 needs to go. I did really enjoy the class though and the lessons I learned from it. Communication in politics has come to define politics as a whole and this is something that needs to be understood by Communication majors. For those of you who didn’t get the Curb Your Enthusiasm joke here you go: