Lauren Duca’s NYU Journalism Syllabus Is Really Bad

Betsy Rothstein | Reporter

Ex-Teen Voguer Lauren Duca was on the griddle Tuesday afternoon for a syllabus she wrote for a journalism class she’s teaching this summer at NYU.

The feminist who wrote a column called “Thigh High Politics” is catching major heat on social media for a syllabus that requires students to be on Twitter — or else. In fact, 20 percent of a student’s grade depends on it.

“Do I get an F if she blocked me already?” asked Hannah Gais, who writes for The New Republic and The Baffler.

Gais explained the blocking incident, tweeting, “I’m pleased to note that my social media presence is already ‘fully conceptualized’ as @laurenduca blocked me over a year ago for saying a joke she made while clearly hammered on a Tuesday was bad.”

Brains are already exploding imagining the nightmare this is going to create. After all, this is the woman who once tweeted that she was prepared to “bite some dicks off.” It was in response to some evangelicals and The Handmaid’s Tale(RELATED: Lauren Duca Bites Off More Than She Can Chew) 

The Daily Beast‘s media writer Max Tani also mocked her class, tweeting to himself, “Max, you’ll be receiving a c- for your overusage of the phrase ‘let’s get this bread’ in your tweets.”

On Tuesday, Duca attempted self-deprecation in a response to Tani’s tweet.

“20% of the grade in my class is based on the practical application of crafting a personal brand based in journalistic ethics, but maybe I should add in more reading comprehension?” she asked, inserting a cutesy emoji. “Anyway, NYU students, let’s get weird this summer.”

After self-deprecation, she tried another tactic: verbal stabbing.

“For someone whose career has flourished with the help of a routinely captivating Twitter account, this seems oddly bitter,” Duca wrote. “Keep on keepin’ on, Tani.”

“Country Stan,” an arts and culture editor at the Montana Kaimin, the student newspaper at the University of Montana, tweeted, “Lauren Duca is clearly a moron but a lot of NYC media people who spend nine hours a day on twitter and have 30k followers are making fun of the ‘building a social media brand’ aspect of the course and uh ya’ll might need to sit this one out lmao.”

Deadspin‘s Luis Paez-Pumar tweaked her further, saying, “Lauren Duca is assigning TWO of her own stories as readings for the same class, it’s almost admirable how bold that is.”

The class is called “The Feminist Journalist,” and according to her class description, the course involves taking a pointed opinion.

“The truth is not a math equation,” Duca states. “In the middle of the ongoing American dumpster fire, there is, I believe, only one side to journalism, and it is motivated by building a truer, more equitable democracy. As this course will establish, not only does this effort allow for feminist journalists, it renders feminist journalism a moral necessity. We cannot build to social justice without adequate representation of intersectional perspectives.”

Nothing against women or moral necessities, but can’t a woman be a skillful, prominent journalist and not possess Ms. Duca’s quest for feminism?

As Duca puts it, “Media coverage of our current political climate has been plagued by the mental Napalm that I call ‘both sides-ism.’ This is a kind of classic ‘he said she said’ form of journalism where the reporter tries to give both sides of an issue, even if one side is completely bogus.” (RELATED: Lauren Duca Tells Billy Graham To ‘Have Fun In Hell’)

Has Ms. Duca been attending the Brian Stelter School of Journalism at CNN?

This should be good — in other words, really bad. Yes, journalism typically involves presenting both sides of a story. Unless you’re an opinion writer, that’s the goal.

The course requires two writing assignments and a “fully-conceptualized social media presence.” Each student will invent his or her “brand.” Each week, the student’s “progress” on this stupid front will be discussed.

The goal in Ms. Duca’s class will be whatever is the opposite of objectivity. So here’s some big thoughts strung together by some punctuation: “Our goal will be to create a concrete set of ethics for guiding radical transparency: rather than attempting to pretend the brain is a white board that might be erased, as is the misinterpretation of objectivity, we will aim to share as much as possible, detailing the precise vantage point from which the truth is told.”

This monstrosity of a class will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Duca declares, “In short: It is not only possible to be a feminist journalist, we all ought to be.”

By August, the students should be ready to eat their feelings.

“Let’s eat junk food and have feelings about our past six weeks together,” she writes. “I will plan this week’s activities and discussion based on our conversations throughout the session. Also, carbs.”

Duca deployed sarcasm in response to her critics.

“Shit, slipped up for a quick sec and forgot that being a young woman means I’m supposed to be perfect in every conceivable way,” she wrote.

Tags : hannah gais lauren duca max tani
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