CentreTerm: KET’s Bill Goodman teaches Politics and Journalism in the Age of Social Media
KET’s Kentucky Tonight host Bill Goodman has worked with a long list of notables, from legendary jockey Pat Day to presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, and, as of January 7th, he can add Centre College students to the list.
Goodman will be teaching a three-week course during the College’s “CentreTerm,” a January session between long semesters that gives students and faculty the opportunity to explore a single subject intensively, often through travel or, in this case, guest professors like Goodman, who offer a wealth of expertise.
Goodman’s course, titled Politics and Journalism in the Age of Social Media, is one he is enthusiastic about teaching.
“This is a critical time for journalism,” he says. “For years, some have wanted to redefine traditional journalism because of the preponderance of social media sites and cable shows that try to report ‘the news.’
“I think that misses the point,” he continues. “The question, as The Columbia Journalism Review so aptly put it, is not ‘who is a journalist?’ but ‘what is journalism for?’ The very nature of the media requires one who gathers facts and figures to rush through his/her day and hurriedly put a newscast together, write a blog post or publish a newspaper. What’s missing today is the time to think about what’s being reported—to look critically at the process, analyze what’s being said and what it means.”
Goodman intends for his CentreTerm class to get students thinking about how journalism has changed in the past few decades.
“I’ll ask students to ponder crucial questions about the ethics and values of journalism today, how social media and journalism overlap and interact and why students of their generation don’t embrace news the way their parents and grandparents did,” he says.
To illustrate his point about how journalism has evolved, Goodman will lead students through the media coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign, analyzing how journalism practices differ from those of today.
“I want to challenge students to develop a new, never-before-seen-or-heard social media method for covering a campaign,” he explains. “We will use the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky as our test tube.”
Goodman will also invite Dr. Paula Poindexter, author of Millennials, News and Social Media, one of his course’s texts, to his classroom to speak with students on her work.
“At the end of the term, I hope students will appreciate the way journalism worked years ago and know that today, journalism still matters,” he says.
And while Goodman has ambitious goals for his pupils, he too hopes to learn something from his course.
“I want to learn from the students,” he says. “I hope they see our time together as challenging and fun. I can’t think of a better way to spend a chilly January than in a Centre College classroom.”
Bill Goodman is the host and managing editor of the Emmy Award-winning series Kentucky Tonight on Kentucky Educational Television (KET). Goodman also hosts One to One, where he has interviewed current and former Kentucky political leaders, as well as other notable public figures. He also hosts public affairs specials, candidate forums and election night coverage.
Learn more about CentreTerm.
By Mariel Smith