University of Illinois to offer class on Trump’s use of Twitter, attacks on media

URBANA, Ill. — The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is offering a course on President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter and his attacks on news organizations.

The eight-week course, called “Trumpaganda: The war on facts, press and democracy,” will focus on Trump’s ongoing “war with the mainstream media.” The class will discuss how the president’s use of social media has impacted politics and society. Students of all majors are encouraged to sign up for the class, according to the university’s newspaper, The Daily Illini.

The class will be an upper-level journalism course in the College of Media taught by Professor Mira Sotirovic. The class is scheduled to begin Monday, Oct. 22, and will be worth three credit hours.

Read the full course description:

Trumpaganda: The war on facts, press and democracy – This course examines the Trump administration’s disinformation campaign, its “running war” with the mainstream news media, and their implications for American democracy and a free press. As a candidate, Trump employed the most common propaganda device, name-calling, to define, degrade, discredit and destroy his primary opponents as well as the “fake” news media. By the second year in his presidency, President Trump’s rhetorical attacks on mainstream media continue—he has labeled them the “enemy of the people”—and not only dominate his tweets but also are a centerpiece of his every press conference and public statement. Previous American administrations have had a contentious relationship with the news media, but the Trump administration’s conflict with the press is different in strategies and tactics, challenging Americans’ tendency to think of propaganda as something that doesn’t happen in democratic societies.

The president has previously called the media the “enemy of the people” and referred to news organizations as “fake news.”