Get up close and personal with America’s political hub by exploring its culture, composition and career opportunities.

Whether or not you actively participate, politics affects individuals – citizens or otherwise – in and outside of the United States’ borders. In this course, students will be immersed in the ways Washington really works and how the press reports on it. Schools teach how the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the federal government function to achieve shared outcomes, or as checks on each other’s powers. However, the reality is quite a bit more complex. Lobbying firms, communications shops, messaging gurus, the press corps, television surrogates and pundits have created an entire influence industry in Washington that far transcends the traditional three-branch framework.

This course will help students understand the myriad and interconnected ways Washington is actually structured, and to apply their critical faculties to political rhetoric that is designed to persuade. Using Washington’s ecosystem as a case study, it will further hone students’ communication skills via daily exercises and a final project.

Course Highlights

Summer Academy enables students to dive deep into a course of study, sharpening skills for their academic and professional futures. Each course is carefully designed to suit student interests and encourage intellectual curiosity.

• The center of American political activity, Washington, D.C. houses all three branches of the government: Congress, the Executive Office and the Supreme Court. What are the biggest challenges facing each branch, and how did the 2018 mid-term election impact the makeup and priorities of government - if at all - with an eye toward the 2020 Presidential election?

• In the current world of the 24-hour news cycle, there are many ways to produce political commentary. What is the current landscape of political commentary, and what are the techniques to leverage to make a piece stand out?

• Often known as “The Fourth Estate,” the press often wields tremendous influence and • may serve as a check on political powers. Students will investigate how the press is intertwined with the three government branches, how to approach commentary as an extension of journalism’s best practices and understanding what makes an exceptional piece.

• Site visits will vary based on the instructors and terms. Previous courses have visited: The U.S. House of Representatives, The Atlantic, National Geographic Museum and Local neighborhoods with historical significance. Students may have the opportunity to visit The New York Times Washington Bureau.

• Speakers and lecturers will vary with the instructors and terms. Previous speakers include: Lauren French (Director of Communications, U.S. House of Representatives), Paul Blair (Director of Strategic Initiatives, Americans for Tax Reform), Jake Sherman (White House Correspondent, POLITICO), Cat Rowland (Legislative Aide) and Local student activists.

Please note: All information is subject to change at the discretion of The School of The New York Times.

Cost and Session Information

Day Program: $5,225*
Residential Program: $5,825*

Dates: July 5 - July 17

*Listed program costs do not include course-specific lab and materials fees. Learn more on our website.

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