Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - I learned a new term this week from our Townsquare Director of Digital and Radio Content, Ashley Warren. The term is ‘grawlix’, which refers to the use of typographical symbols in place of profanity.

Grawlix really comes into play with my story today about a University of Montana School of Journalism professor who received permission from school authorities to include a certain word to describe his course, and the word is Bull%&#@. (except it’s the REAL word).

A New Word for your Lexicon 'Grawlix'

KGVO News spoke to UM’s Director of Strategic Communications Dave Kuntz about the course.

“Lee Banville, a professor at the University of Montana School of Journalism has been teaching for a few years a course called ‘News Literacy’,” began Kuntz. “The title was good, but it wasn't getting the enrollment in that he wanted, and so, this summer after consulting with some of his colleagues around the country, Lee renamed his course, calling BS (although we use the actual word) and as you can imagine, with a bunch of students who are ages 18 to 22, the course is now completely full with over 102 students enrolled this fall.”

The Course, Now Full, will Help Budding Journalists Write Fair and Accurate Stories

Kuntz said the course is important to budding journalists learning to write accurate and compelling news stories.

“Really it's a fun course, and an important course to society, because it's really teaching our students how to be more news literate, how to introduce ways that they can analyze the news, build more trust with the media by being able to identify sources and other reliable information,” he said. “Hopefully with the change of course title, we'll have much more ‘news literate’ students graduating from the University of Montana here in the next couple of years.”

Another aspect of the course is to help students listen to and understand points of view opposed to their own, in order to fairly report the news.

The Course will Help Students Learn how to Report Opposing Points of View

“One of the roles of the University of Montana is to encourage civil discourse,” he said. “That includes taking classes and learning from people that you might not agree with; be able to attend lectures and bring speakers on campus people who you might disagree with. Because really, it's our responsibility to train students to be those engaged citizens after they leave the university, and as your listeners know, that requires you to engage with people that you might not always agree with.”

Banville said ‘yeah, the name is provocative, but information literacy is incredibly important to society and our democracy’.

And, that’s no bull%&#@!

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