School of Journalism offers new “Presidency and the Press” course

The Stony Brook University School of Journalism is offering a course this semester on The Presidency and the Press, an in depth examination of the relationship between the White House and the Washington press corps with special emphasis on how that often contentious relationship has been affected by the Internet revolution.

The course will cover the historical relationship between the press and the presidency going back to the founding of the republic but will concentrate on the modern presidency starting with the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Among the topics to be examined will be the tension for reporters between gaining access to information and reporting objectively on an administration, the role of the press secretary and the White House office of communications, the balance between the need to be informed and the government’s responsibility for national security.

The course will include comparisons of newspaper, television/radio and Internet coverage, discussions and examinations of how political professionals view and attempt to use the press and how the press can or should respond. Just what is “fair and balanced” coverage? Has “gotcha” reporting gone too far? What is the role of opinion journalism? Former Newsday Washington Bureau Chief and White House correspondent James Klurfeld, now a Visiting Professor of Journalism at Stony Brook University, is teaching the course.