Instagramming Paris: Media Unfiltered

Language Requirement: None
Academic Standing by Program Start: Sophomore
Location: Europe, France
GPA: 2.5
Program Overview

This 4-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.

Academic Details

J 397. Media Ethics. 4 Credits.

Ethical problems in the media: privacy, violence, truth-telling, objectivity, media codes, public interest, media accountability.

Media Ethics Syllabus

J 300-level elective. Media Literacy. 4 Credits.

Critical media analysis and development of media literacy skills, with inclusion of media production.

Media Literacy Syllabus

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.

Course Equivalencies

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.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Faculty and Staff

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.

Dahmen also has extensive professional design experience, ranging from the development of content to design and production for multiple platforms. She has been working with desktop publishing software since the mid-1990s and has developed and executed extensive print and multimedia materials.

Housing Description
Students will be in shared rooms in shared apartments in Paris near a metro station, with access to a Kitchenette equipped with cooktop, refrigerator, microwave, and glassware/crockery/utensils, a Work/study space, an En-suite bathroom, and Access to Wi-Fi.
Additional requirements
Prereq: J 201 with a grade of C or better.
Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Priority Deadline Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date
Summer 2022 February 15 March 15

July 24

August 20

Travel Advisories

For current health, safety, and travel advisory information, search the US Department of State country webpage.