Campus: CSU Fullerton -- February 04, 2002


CSU Fullerton Faculty Pair to Marry Economics and Journalism

One works with charts and percentages; the other deals with headlines and bylines. But this spring at Cal State Fullerton, they will be sharing a classroom and a podium, team-teaching a new course on "Critical Issues in the Media and Economics."

Radha S. Bhattacharya, associate professor of economics, and Jeffrey H. Brody, associate professor of communications, have joined the ranks of a growing number of Cal State Fullerton faculty members working collaboratively. Unlike many, however, their instructional collaboration crosses disciplines.

"Jeff and I developed this course. We first thought of it in one of the group discussions in a CSUF workshop on student writing," said Bhattacharya, who has taught courses on microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics on campus since 1990.

Their 15-week course debuts Monday - the first day of the spring semester - and meets from noon-12:50 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in Room 250 of University Hall. The class will explore how economic issues - such as the Enron bankruptcy - and the manner in which they are covered by media, play a prominent role in politics and business.

The course is offered both to communications students, who can count it as a collateral class for their major, and business students, who can apply it as part of their minor in economics.
Among the topics to be explored are principles of journalism and the role of the media, the impact of economic news on stock markets, the collection and use of economic data, and the use and abuse of statistics. Guest lecturers, including columnist James Flanigan of the Los Angeles Times, are scheduled.

"Students taking the course should walk away with a better understanding of how to take a topic in business, economics or public policy, and turn it into a lively, understandable article that could be understood by general readers," said Brody, a former Orange County Register reporter who has taught news writing and served as adviser to the student newspaper, the Daily Titan, since 1993.

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