This seminar examines the politics of (dis)information in an era of so-called “fake news.” As the field of political communication contains a great deal within its bounds, we’ll connect the topic of (dis)information to a sampling of perspectives on communications, mass media, information technology, and the public sphere. Accordingly, I refer to “sampling” rather than “an overview” of perspectives. We will focus on concepts and methods of analysis that are used to advance insights on the evolving relations between media systems and institutions of the press and politics. This means balancing seminal texts with contemporary ones, theoretical readings with empirical ones, and sociological pieces with ones drawn from political science, journalism, psychology, or public health. It also means leveraging what we know about communication dynamics in one setting (e.g., face-to-face, in a newsroom, in the US) to better understand them in a different setting (e.g., online, in a Facebook group, in Germany). Throughout the semester we will talk about contemporary issues in political communication and in its study, especially continuity and change in disinformation dynamics with the introduction newer digital
technologies, and what role(s) citizens, companies, and governments are playing in these processes. The course will be conducted in English.