Watching TV News: How To Be a Smarter Viewer

Course Overview

Watching TV News: How To Be a Smarter Viewer
Self-Directed Course
Time Estimate:
Three hours

About Self-Directed Courses

In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.

Go beyond watching TV news as a couch potato and become an active viewer. This course will change the way you watch television news by giving you the tools to judge for yourself whether what you see is fair, accurate and reliable. To help you do that, we will take you behind the scenes to show you how television news works and how professional journalists make the decisions that affect what you see every day.

What Will I Learn:

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Become an active, not passive, television news consumer
  • Differentiate between news, opinion, propaganda, advertising, publicity, entertainment and unfiltered information
  • Assess whether a television news report is reliable and why
  • Determine whether a television news report is fair
Who should take this course:

Anyone who watches TV news and wants to be better at evaluating what's fair, reliable and credible.

Course Instructors:

Marcy McGinnis

Marcy McGinnis, a former CBS News executive, is associate dean at Stony Brook University's School of Journalism.

Howard Schneider

Howard Schneider is the founding dean of the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University.

Training Partner:

Stony Brook University School of Journalism

Established in September 2006, Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism is the first and only undergraduate journalism school in New York State’s public university system.

Technical Requirements:

For this course you will need to have at least version 8.0 of the Flash plugin installed. For the best experience, we suggest that:

  • PC users use Internet Explorer or Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox
  • Mac users use Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox or Safari
  • You set your monitor resolution to 1024 x 768 or higher
  • You use a high-speed connection

This course contains audio, so please make sure you have your speakers or headphones on.