Click here for a PDF version of this document.THE COLLEGE OF NEW ROCHELLE
SCHOOL OF NEW RESOURCES, DC 37 CAMPUS
COM406A – Mass Communication and Society
Spring 2008, Wednesdays 6:00-9:30 PM
Professor Jen Heuson
This seminar examines the interrelationship between media and the current social and political environment. Class discussions focus on the attitudes and values of a medium (film, television, radio and print), the content and style of information presented through particular media, and the impact of each media upon family, religion, education and political-economic institutions. Topics to be covered are: the power of the media to change values and attitudes, reinforce stereotypes, and mold public opinion; media as a mass market tool; commercial vs. alternative media; ethics of production; censorship; media as a political tool; bias in news; and future developments in communication (cable TV, federal subsidies). A Life Arts Project is required.
- Compare and contrast communication types, emphasizing the techniques and purposes specific to mass communications. Identify how communication systems impact society.
- Identify media important to information societies. Define “mass media” and outline its impact upon cultural values, political-economic institutions and social organization.
- Understand foundational media theories. Analyze the relationship between a medium and its message, and identify media techniques used to inform, to persuade and to entertain.
- Outline the primary activities of media organizations, and understand their industrial structure. Evaluate the roles of media watchdogs and regulatory agencies upon media.
- Investigate ethical issues relevant to mass communications and public opinion.
- Analyze readings, media samples and course lectures through weekly online assignments.
- Draft a written evaluation of a public service campaign, examining its rhetorical devices.
- Create a public service campaign integrating mass media and persuasion techniques.
- Students are expected to finish ALL required reading and assignments. Students will complete weekly journal assignments online at: http://mcrochelle.blogspot.com/.
- Students are expected to complete AND to present a Life Arts Project and a campaign analysis. All written work must be in proper APA style with an annotated bibliography.
- Students are required to attend and to participate fully in every seminar. Arriving late and leaving early will count against your final participation grade.
- Students are expected to attend all field trips, guest lectures and film screenings.
Chomsky, N. (2002). Media control: The spectacular achievements of propaganda. (2nd ed.). New York: Seven Stories Press.
Additional Required ReadingAll required articles will be available to students either online (through our course blog) or at the DC37 Campus library. For more details on required readings, please see the complete bibliography here. Articles can also be found in one of the following readers:
- Durham, M. G. & Kellner, D. M. (Eds.). (2001). Media and cultural studies: Keyworks. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Marris, P. & Thornham, S. (Eds.). (2000). Media studies: A reader. New York: NYU Press.
- O’Sullivan, T. & Jewkes, Y. (Eds.). (1997). The media studies reader. New York: Arnold.
Weekly Online Journals 20%, Campaign Analysis 20%, Life Arts Project 40%, Life Arts Project Presentation 10%, Class Participation/Attendance 10%
- Late assignments will be downgraded. The LAP will not be accepted late.
- The final presentation cannot be rescheduled. Students MUST attend to pass this class.
- Students who miss a class will be expected to complete the reading and view material screened for that week. Students will be allowed two excused absences. Each additional absence will result in a grade reduction of one letter regardless of reason.
- Students who do not attend field trips, guest lectures or film screenings will be counted absent. Missing such events will count toward the allotted two absences.
- Students are expected to be in the classroom when class begins, at the top of the hour, and to stay for the entire period. Students who leave early will be counted absent.
- The use of cellular phones is prohibited in class.