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I enjoyed the class, great if you're interested in journalism or the ethics of media coverage. Sometimes the professor's goals felt ambiguous and possibly like I had to guess on what I should focus on in exams. Otherwise fairly easy and interesting, just be sure to participate because you can get marked down quite a bit if you don't speak!
This is probably my favorite class i've taken at UCLA. The entire basis of this class is reading media ethics cases and debating them in class, which is so much fun. It is not a typical lecture, because the class is small and the whole point of the class is speaking and engaging with Professor Goldman. She will try to scare you off on the first day of class by telling you to drop if you aren't okay with posting 2 times a week on a forum about the cases and also participating in class for a good grade, but it's not hard to do. For homework, you have to read the cases (usually between 10-20 pages) and post your thoughts on a forum due monday and wednesday. Your midterm and final grade is how well you can debate sides of a media issue- as long as you go to class, you don't need to study for the tests at all. I reviewed the cases for about 20 minutes before each test and ended up with an A; it's about how well you can write about the issues presented. This class was minimal work and incredibly engaging- Professor Goldman knows what she's talking about (she's a Pulitzer prize winner). Take this class if you are at all interested in media ethics/the media in general-Goldman is amazing!
You might think "Journalism ethics? What is that good for?" but this class teaches you about how to argue your beliefs and to argue them WELL. It is useful to everyone, and such a fun class for Comm and non-comm majors. I nearly dropped this class the first day because of the bi-weekly posts in the forum online and fear that the professor expected too much from us, but take this class! I can tell you now that it has been one of my favorites at UCLA.
We learned socratic style, which was nerve-wracking for me, but I soon got over it as soon as Abigail called on me. She learns everyones names and fosters a small-class environment- even in a 75 person lecture! The cases were interesting. I never dreaded this class since I always looked forward to discussing them.
One thing I will say is that being a good writer really helps you in this class. I wouldn't let that stop you from taking this class, but I think that a large part of why I got an A on both exams is that I came is with a pretty strong writing foundation. The exams are graded anonymously which I loved (Why aren't all tests done this way?), so don't expect your participation in class to help you on exams.
Abbe Goldman is straight up the best professor I've ever had at UCLA and that I think I will have in the future. Her teaching style is really amazing because she pushes you to think in new and different ways. On numerous occasions I've found myself wishing we had more class time to continue discussing cases.
This class definitely isn't going to ruin your life in terms of workload, you just have to post responses to the forum twice a week, and on time. Participation also definitely matters for the class, but you only receive credit for contributing something new and thought-provoking in class discussions, which can at times be pretty challenging. If you don't already know, the class is not comprised of lectures, but rather a dialogue between opposing sides of a debate--like a socratic seminar. That being said, you definitely do have to go to class. The exams make you think but are fair, as every class is in a way a preparation for the midterm and final.
Anyways, I am so grateful for being able to take this class with Abbe, and I could not recommend it enough. I will definitely be taking the writing class that Abbe teaches, if I can.
Awesome class! We read case studies (10-20 pages of reading) before class and then debated the ethical issues presented in each one. The cases were super interesting, and the professor was great at showing us how to argue both sides. Easy midterm/final and weekly posts to online forum that were ~1 paragraph. All you need to do to ace the class is to go to class and offer your thoughts on the case studies, which you prepare before class and post on the forum. You don't even need to study for the midterm or final to get an A. Seriously.
Professor Goldman has been in the journalism business for years (she is a Pulitzer-prizewinning news writer) so she really knows what she's talking about. She loves to talk to students and is super friendly/funny, so don't be afraid to get to know her! She's also quite entertaining, so you'll be engaged the whole time. Even if you don't want to pursue journalism, it's fascinating to learn about these issues because they are so relevant to our lives. You'll develop critical thinking skills and learn how to articulate arguments in an open, safe environment, with tons of encouragement from the professor. And, you'll have fun doing it!
This was my FAVORITE course at UCLA. I got so much out of it. The case study format (reading case studies and debating the issues in class) was so effective in teaching critical thinking. It challenges you to consider other perspectives in order to better inform your own point of view. And the in-class debates are really fun. They are exactly what you imagined that college classes could be before you got to UCLA and realized that they're mostly just boring PowerPoint lectures. On that note, this course depends on participation in class discussions. If presenting and defending your opinions to the class sounds scary, that shouldn't deter you but it is something to consider.
I can't say enough good things about the professor, Abigail Goldman. She is so good at conducting discussions in a way that facilitates respectful and engaging debate of difficult issues. This class could have gone horribly wrong if placed in the wrong hands, but Goldman really knows how to lead a discussion. Playing the "devil's advocate," she prompts students to questions their positions on issues and express opinions rationally.
The value of this course goes well beyond assessing issues of media ethics; it teaches critical thinking skills that will help you in every class and in any profession. I just loved this class and I hope that the Comm. Studies Dept. will continue to offer it. I highly recommend Professor Goldman for any course, but this one is particularly fantastic.
Professor Goldman knows her stuff inside and out. Be prepared: She expects her students to develop strong critical thinking skills. At first, the class seems pretty easy, but the discussions on media ethics are tougher than you might imagine and will leave you thinking - and probably changing sides midstream, on occasion.
Every class includes debates on a variety of issues based on case studies you have to analyze before class. The debates are informal (not everyone talks in every class) You can't get by unless you participate and offer intelligent, insightful comments (on either side of a debate). She holds the class to high standards, in oral debates and writing and brings out the best in students.
It was well worth my time and a lot of fun. I highly recommend this class, and I highly recommend Professor Goldman.