Instagramming Paris: Media Unfiltered
This 3-week study abroad experience will introduce students to media ethics and media literacy through the lens of visuals in Paris, France, one of the most iconic cities on the globe. Close your eyes and picture Paris. What do you see? No doubt the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa, and Notre Dame come to mind. Or perhaps you see people strolling along the Champs-Élysées or picnicking on the banks of the Seine River.
Much of what we know about the world – or what we think about the world -- comes from mass media depictions, be those of the entertainment or news media. But how accurate are these images that come to mind? Walter Lippmann, a noted media scholar, wrote about the profound ability of our mass media to create “pictures in our head,” which contribute to our understanding of reality and influence our decision making. Although the mass media are not the sole contributors of this “reality,” they do play a large part in structuring and creating images, narratives, and expectations about aspects of our world to which we may not have had direct experience. Indeed, accurate or not, the mass media have the ability to create and prolong societal stereotypes of people, places, and cultures. The stereotyping effect can be even greater when considering imagery—especially the proliferation and virality of the crafted and staged images of social media.
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J 397. Media Ethics. 4 Credits.
Ethical problems in the media: privacy, violence, truth-telling, objectivity, media codes, public interest, media accountability.
J 300-level elective. Media Literacy. 2 Credits.
Critical media analysis and development of media literacy skills, with inclusion of media production.
Students should expect to do some pre-departure work prior to the start of the program, however these will be asynchronous assignments done in the students' own time.
Paris — and indeed France— will serve as much of the classroom. Academic activities are integrated with excursions, giving you an inside look into the vibrancy of French culture, from the architecture to the cuisine. Visits to many well-known cultural locations in the city and surrounding area are also planned, including day trips to Giverny and Normandy. All instruction is in English. Courses make use of a variety of materials and texts, all of which are included in the program fee. Students should be prepared for a rigorous academic experience and a busy schedule. Classes will be held in the mornings while excursions will be planned in the afternoons.
UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.
Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.
Nicole Smith Dahmen is an Associate Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. Dahmen has gained a national and international reputation for her scholarship, which falls into three key areas, sometimes standing alone but more frequently intersecting: visual journalism, ethics, and contextual reporting. In sum, her research seeks to advance public-interest journalism—reporting that holds the powerful accountable, elevates underrepresented voices, and makes a positive impact in society.
Dahmen’s research is published in such diverse and leading journals as American Behavioral Scientist, Journalism Studies, Digital Journalism, Visual Communication, and Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism. She has presented more than 100 academic conference papers, with top paper awards at both the AEJMC and ICA conferences. Dahmen is the director of the SOJC Honors Program, the co-director of The Catalyst Journalism Project, and the co-coordinator of the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism.
Seth Lewis (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) is Professor and Shirley Papé Chair in Emerging Media in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon, where he also directs the undergraduate program in journalism. He has held visiting or affiliated fellow positions at Yale, Columbia, Stanford, and Oxford.
His research addresses the social implications of emerging technologies, and focuses on the digital transformation of journalism — from how news is made (news production) to how people make sense of it in their everyday lives (news consumption). His research includes nearly 100 journal articles and book chapters, in addition to the recent co-authored book News After Trump: Journalism's Crisis of Relevance in a Changed Media Culture, co-published by Oxford University Press. In 2020, he co-founded RQ1, a monthly newsletter for journalists, students, and academics about important new findings in research about news.
GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel. All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure.
To learn more about COVID regulations while studying abroad, visit our FAQ page.