Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. Evaluate the historical development of the print, electronic, and digital media.
2. Analyze the economic, social, technological, and aesthetic impacts of the media on culture.
3. Critically analyze the ways in which the media have influenced mass consciousness.
4. Gather, identify, and interpret mass media overt and covert messages.
5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of media's impact on their daily lives.
I. General Introduction to the Mass Media in Western and Non-Western
A. The theory of mass communication
1. The process of communication
2. Media convergence
3. Comparative media systems -- theories of the press
4. Historical, economic and geographical influence on
communication content and structure
5. Cultural domination
6. Differences between interpersonal and mass communication theory
B. The history of mass communication
1. Print as the first mechanical mass media
2. The language of photography
3. Electronic communication
4. Digital communication
C. The effects of mass communication
1. The social effects of the media
a. Cultural -- racial, ethnic, and gender perception
b. Individual -- personal needs, identity, and attitudes
2. Audience fragmentation
3. The aesthetic effects of the media
4. The relationship between media and politics
5. The strategies for critical awareness and visual literacy
6. Overt vs. covert messages: identification and interpretation
II. Electronic Communications
1. History of radio
2. The unrealized potential of radio drama
3. Advertising and radio
4. News and radio
5. Education and radio
6. Government and radio
7. International radio
8. Radio production techniques
1. History of television
2. Television genres
3. Gender and racial stereotypes
4. Film and television
5. Advertising and television
6. Journalism and the TV photo-essay
7. Education and television
1. History of film
2. Film genres
III. Digital Communication -- the Internet
A. History of the internet's development
B. Examination of uses
1. Email, Instant Messaging, Skype
2. Online communities
4. News and information
5. Entertainment downloading
6. Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, and emerging social networks
C. Impact on society
1. "Global Village"
2. Evolving language -- emoticons and online lingo
3. Online education
5. Social relationships
6. Journalism and the internet
7. Advertising on the internet
8. Convergence: radio, magazines, TV, movies, music, ebooks
10. File-sharing and piracy
D. Wireless Web (mobile technology) and the Evernet
IV. Popular Music as Communication
V. Legal Responsibilities of the Mass Media
1. The five rights of the First Amendment
2. The legal obligations of the mass media: privacy,
pornography, copyright and freedom of information
1. 30-40 pages of assigned weekly readings from the text.
2. 2-4 in-class exams, including a final.
3. 2-4 writing assignments of 3-5 pages each, such as:
a. An assignment demonstrating understanding and application of mass
communication theory to print advertisements.
b. An assignment critically analyzing persuasive techniques in
c. An assignment demonstrating awareness of mass communication theory
related to the process of political campaigning via the media.
d. An assignment analyzing the underlying cultural mythology of a
secular icon of contemporary American culture.
e. An assignment evaluating social relationships and the internet.
f. An assignment evaluating propaganda in advertising and journalism.
g. An assignment evaluating editorial bias in print, radio, television and internet
h. An analysis of cultural, ethnic, racial and gender portrayals on
i. A comparative essay on news, political, editorial, advertising, or
entertainment content of Western and Non-Western countries.
The Dynamics of Mass Communications: Media in Transition, 11th edition. Dominick, J. McGraw Hill: 2010
Hanson, R. E. Mass Communication: Living in a Media World. "The Press Effect," 3rd edition. CQ Press: 2010
Introduction to Mass Communication: Media Literacy and Culture, 6th edition. Baran, S. McGraw-Hill: 2009
The Media of Mass Communication, 10th edition. Vivian, J. Allyn & Bacon: 2010