Public Affairs Reporting (PAR)


PAR 404. Media Law And Ethics. 4 Hours.

Examines media law and ethical decision-making from the standpoint of media producers, critics, and users. Case studies include obscenity and indecency, libel, privacy, advertising, conflict of interest, and rights of access. Lectures and discussions examine social and cultural contexts in which laws and ethical principles develop. Optional course for PAR majors. Course Information: Same as COM 404 and LES 408. Not intended for Freshmen or Sophomores.

PAR 501. Advanced Public Affairs Reporting. 6 Hours.

Advanced newswriting and reporting techniques, with a focus on covering government and public affairs news for audiences on digital, print and broadcast platforms. Strong emphasis placed on the structure and operations of state government in Illinois to prepare students for a news reporting internship during the spring semester. Course Information: Prerequisites: Admission to the PAR program.

PAR 503. Legislative Issues. 2 Hours.

Weekly in-class discussions with experts about key issues before the state legislature. Outside of class for at least 4 hours per week, students (a) utilize the discussions to inform their news reporting assignments at the Statehouse, (b) follow one legislative issue and produce a paper and presentation, and (c) produce a resume/cover letter to be critiqued in preparation for post-PAR employment. Course Information: Prerequisite: Admission to the PAR Program.

PAR 504. Internship I. 12 Hours.

Practical experience in reporting public affairs. Each student is assigned to full-time work with an experienced journalist at the State Capitol. Students receive monthly stipend. Weekly seminar. Course Information: Prerequisites: Admission to PAR program.

PAR 505. Internship II/Closure. 4 Hours.

Continuation of PAR 504, but more intense in conjunction with the conclusion of the legislative session. Work supervised by media outlet manager and PAR director. Culminates with submission of portfolio closure exercise. Students not completing PAR 505 must enroll in PAR 506 (zero credit hours, one billable hour) each subsequent fall and spring semester until requirements are met. Course Information: Prerequisites: Admission to PAR program.

PAR 506. Closure - Continuing Enrollment. 0 Hours.

If the closure exercise required in PAR 505 is not completed by the end of the initial four-hour enrollment, students must register for PAR 506 for zero credits (one billable hour) in all subsequent fall and spring semesters until the exercise is completed. Course Information: May be repeated. Prerequisites: Admission to the PAR program.

PAR 510. Developing Public Policy in Illinois. 4 Hours.

Intensive study of the factors affecting the development of public policy at the state level in Illinois. Major topics include constitutional framework, historical influence, demographics, political culture, role of parties, and interest groups, role of the media, legislative process, role of the executive budgetary process.