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Dr. Dustin Harp

Assistant Professor
Department of Communication
College of Liberal Arts

UT Arlington Faculty

Dr. Harp received a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from the Sonoma State University in California. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Harp worked as a newspaper reporter in Northern California where she covered education, city government and breaking news. Dr. Harp’s research centers on relationships of power and voice in the public sphere. Her work focuses on women and marginalized groups, journalism and digital/social media. Dr. Harp began teaching at UT Arlington in the Fall of 2011.

Service Learning Class

J4325 Specialized Reporting. 3 credit hours.

This course focuses on the unique demands of a specialized form of journalism. Subjects include such topics as sports reporting, business reporting, health and science reporting, travel reporting and writing for new media.

This course will be focused on reporting issues related to marginalized communities. We will specifically be covering low income and minority communities in Arlington. A service learning component will be required in the course, meaning students must volunteer in the community as part of a the required course work. Details will be given on the first day of class. Students will cover beats related to these marginalized communities, which may include education, business, environment, religion, health, technology, science, culture or sports. As an upper-level journalism course, this class is focused on providing the writing and critical-thinking fundamentals necessary to be successful in a reporting job. The broad goal of the course is to prepare students to think deeper about journalism’s role in the world and how journalists can better serve their community.

Students will report, write, revise and reflect on their experiences as part of the course.

Academic Outcomes

  • Understand how the mainstream news industry covers dominant and marginalized groups
  • Define and discuss key concepts and issues related to reporting on marginalized communities
  • Understand and articulate the critiques of mainsteam news media coverage of these communities
  • Develop journalistic strategies to counter the problems with this coverage
  • Learn the importance of understanding a community in order to cover it well
  • Demonstrate skills appropriate to advanced journalism

Service Learning Project

Understanding and Reporting on Marginalized Communties

Description: Students will spend a minimum of one hour per week helping tutor children in reading at Rankin Elementary School in Arlington. The school houses a large portion of lower-income, English as a Second Language, and ehtnic/racial minority children. Through students’ experiences at the school – a sort of immersion into the community – they will better understand the key issues that are important to and affecting the community members of Rankin Elementary School. Students will write news stories mined from their experiences and observations at Rankin Elelmentary School.

Partners: Rankin Elementary School, Arlington Independent School District, Arlington Public Library