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Political and Government PR Assignments

    Assignment for Class 1: due for class 2

    • Read Hess, Chapters 2 and 3.
    • Write a short paper (1-2 pages, double-spaced) on the video, "The War Room," relating your impressions from that documentary to the larger subject of your interest (or lack of interest) in politics (or politicians). The title of your paper might be something like or "How I came to love [hate] politics," etc. You can cover this topic from any angle that interests you -- so long as you manage to include reflections from the video in your analysis... did the video confirm your worst fears? inspire you with new insights? leave you cold? Like all college level writing assignments, this should be typed and presented in good form.
      If you have not already done so (in class), you can view "The War Room" in the Columbia College library.
    • Remember to send me your email address. Just send a note with your name as the subject line to
    • Read the clip distributed in class, "The Campaign Staff."
    • Read Dr. Carter's remarks from page 7 of the Columbia Chronicle for Monday, Sept. 22, 2003
    • also...

    • Take a look at this article on The War Room -- and the political press today.

    Assignment for Class 2: due for class 3

    • Read Hess, Chapter 4
    • Read handout, "Message and Theme"
    • Do a News Analysis.

    Assignment for Class 3: due for class 4

    • Read Hess, Chapter 7
    • Read this editorial about Investigating Leaks.
    • Read these letters to the editor about reaction to the leaks.
    • Do a short paper (1-2 pages, double-spaced) comparing the world of political PR in the video, "The Man from Libertyville," with that of "The War Room." How have demands on candidates changed? How has the media changed? What other differences did you observe?
    • Read the article, "The Age of Spin," from the packet of materials distributed in class.

    Assignment for Class 4: due for class 5

    • Make sure you have read Hess, Chapter 4
    • Make sure you have read handout, "Message and Theme"
    • Make sure you have read the article, "The Age of Spin."
    • Read article, "Bears Try PR Blitz"
    • Check here for possible updates on Sunday, Oct. 19... sometimes there are articles in the Sunday media that I want you to read.

    Assignment for Class 5: due for Class 6

    1. Be sure you have "Bears Try PR Blitz"
    2. Read article, "The Making of a First Family: a Blueprint"
    3. Do a short paper (1-2 pages, double-spaced) comparing the 1960 campaign styles of Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.

    Assignment for Class 6: due for Class 7

    1. Reading the newspaper, pick an issue you care about -- one that you will be willing to live with for the next few weeks. Complete a News Analysis similar to the assignment you did for Class 2 (due at Class 3), using the link here. Make sure you clearly identify the message.
    2. Now think through the implications of that issue. What is it about the issue that is so compelling to you? As you ponder this -- and you can't just breeze through this process, you have to give it some thought -- help your ponderings by completing a Message Worksheet following the directions at this link.
    3. Read "The Mayor Makes a Miracle" and "The Media Take a Break".