Mass Communication


Courses and Special Projects

I enjoyed the Media Criticism class because it encouraged me to really think about and understand the messages that are continuously conveyed through media. Analyzing these images and messages helped me to become more media literate. I now notice crucial things that I often times overlooked before I took this class.

- Twanisha Mitchell ‘07



Twanisha Mitchell

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MC100 Communication, Media and Society                     3 credits

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MC200 Rhetoric and Society                      3 credits
Provides an introduction to the roots of modern public communication by exploring three basic questions: How do we come to hold our beliefs? How are we persuaded to maintain our beliefs? How are we persuaded to change them? After looking at the ancient quarrel between Plato and the Greek Sophists, the course traces the path of rhetoric into the twentieth century, examining rhetorical areas of social action such as mass movements, propaganda, cults, and brainwashing. Investigates the arguments made by those who claim that the modern mass media hold great powers of persuasion over their audiences.

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MC211 Journalism I                       3 credits
Students learn and practice basic skills essential to effective news writing. Ethics and current issues in journalism are discussed in depth.

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MC212 Broadcast Journalism            3 credits
A foundational course designed for students to learn the essential skills for producing broadcast news: how to procure and develop sources, fundamentals of beat reporting, developing news judgment, and broadcast writing technique including writing to video. Prerequisite: MC211.

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MC230 Introduction to Media Production            3 credits
Designed to introduce students to the techniques of media production by familiarizing students with the basic operations of audio recording equipment and single-camera video production equipment (camcorders and digital editing software). Each student will gain experience in the pre-production (planning, writing, scheduling, casting), production (shooting, recording), and post-production (editing, audio sweetening) of various single-camera genres. Materials fee.

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MC242 Principles of Media Literacy          3 credits
Focuses on media literacy as a perspective from which we view media messages. It proceeds from the basic awareness that all media consumption is fundamentally an exercise in interpretation and leads up to the abilities to critically appreciate diverse media messages and to accept social responsibility for the engagement with media producers.

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MC252 Journalism II            3 credits
Students polish reporting and writing skills while exploring such topics as the “new media” and tackling journalism’s latest dilemmas.  Prerequisite: MC211.

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MC273 Writing for the Electronic Media                    3 credits
Students learn how to write short-form messages for the broadcast media. Students write and critique radio and television news segments, public service announcements, and spot advertisements. Students also learn the basic script formats for longer form non-fiction and fiction programs. Prerequisite: MC100.

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MC274 Broadcast Performance             3 credits
A course for students planning careers in front of the camera or microphone. Emphasis on pronunciation, analyzing commercial copy, and television and radio performance techniques.  Materials fee. Prerequisite: MC230 or instructor’s permission.

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MC281 Understanding Film                 3 credits
Examines film as a cultural text; focusing on aspects such as genre, movement, and style. Both formulaic and avant-garde approaches are studied. Prerequisite: MC100.

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MC282 Visual Communication              3 credits
A visual literacy course dealing primarily with electronic media and film. Explores the theory and practice of visual communication by studying the principle components of modern visual media – language, pictures, and sound. Materials fee. Prerequisite: MC100.

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MC294 Interpersonal Communication              3 credits
Focuses on face-to-face communication, its distinct aspects, and the ways in which it is affected by an increasingly mass-mediated cultural environment. The course assists students in improving their own interpersonal communication skills and relationships through specialized collaborative learning exercises. Prerequisite: MC100.

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MC301 Media Criticism                  3 credits
Examines the most important methodologies currently being used to critique the mass media. The media are studied as social, cultural, and political commentary, as well as art, within the broad field of mass communication. Prerequisites: MC100, MC200.

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MC304 Media Law            3 credits
Designed to study the role and application of law in the field of mass communication. A variety of issues are discussed, including how the law is currently being applied to issues of privacy, libel, speech, and access. Prerequisites: MC100, MC200.

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MC311 Advanced Broadcast Journalism                  3 credits
Concentrates on writing to video, fundamentals in gathering sound and shot selection for news video, producing video reporter-packages, voice-overs, and enterprise reporting. Materials fee.
Prerequisites: MC211, MC212, MC230.

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MC321 Media Policy and Economics                  3 credits
Focuses on the relationships between governmental policy, media economics, and how the public is served by the media.  Prerequisites: MC100, MC200.

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MC331 Single-Camera Production               3 credits
This intermediate course is designed to further develop the students’ conceptual and technical skills in single-camera video production. Students will take part in all stages of the production of ENG (Electronic News-Gathering) and EFP (Electronic Field Production) programs. Each student will gain experience in the pre-production (planning, writing, scheduling, casting), production (shooting, recording), and post-production (editing, audio sweetening) of various single-camera genres. Materials fee. Prerequisite: MC230.

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MC332 Multi-Camera Production          3 credits
This intermediate course is designed to further the students’ understanding of studio-based video production. It focuses on honing the students’ abilities to produce, direct, and crew multi-camera television productions. The students will create two television shows, and take them from conception to “on-air” delivery in a live-to-tape format. By working at various crew positions the student will learn both the technical duties and the group dynamics that go into producing successful programs. Materials fee. Prerequisite: MC230.

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MC341 Media and Culture             3 credits
Seeks to foster a greater appreciation and understanding of the impact that the mass media exert on society. Emphasizes especially the power of mediated imagery with regard to race, gender, and class and the ways in which media representation can serve to either reify or subvert existing practices of social stratification and control. Prerequisite: MC242.

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MC342 Mass Communication Theory                3 credits
Engages specific models and concepts that guide both the production and the consumption of mass-mediated messages. To perfect media literacy skills, students will explore the body of research which describes the specific and cumulative effects that the mass media exert on individual media consumers and on society at large. Prerequisite: MC242.

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MC/SO 344 American Political Culture and Media               3 credits
This seminar is designed to provide students with an opportunity to develop a greater appreciation for, and deeper understanding of, the relationships among political culture, media ownership, media presentation and media consumption. Such appreciation is intended to enable a more developed awareness of the complexity of the relationships among political culture, media and ourselves and, in turn, enable us to become more purposeful and intentional in our relationship with those institutions. Prerequisites: MC100 or SO101, or permission of instructor.

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MC351 Television News Producing                          3 credits
Focuses on producing a complete 15-minute newscast, twice weekly, simulating a newsroom atmosphere that incorporates producing, reporting, and anchoring skills and introduces live reporting. Materials fee. Prerequisite: MC230.

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MC352 Feature Writing                        3 credits
Students will learn and practice all steps involved in becoming a successful newspaper feature writer. In addition, students will learn how to market freelance features and how to write features for magazines and trade journals. Prerequisite: MC211.

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MC353 Convergent Journalism                   3 credits
Students will gain the knowledge and skills to enable them to work in the newsroom of the future where print, broadcast, and on-line journalists will be expected to work side by side. Students will work in teams and individually as they practice the various roles found in the converged newsroom. They will edit the work of lower level journalism classes as they carry out reporting assignments. Prerequisites: MC211, junior or senior standing or permission of instructor.

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MC364 Media Marketing                3 credits
Provides a survey of basic broadcast sales and marketing techniques for students who wish to pursue careers in this area. Prerequisites: MC100, MC200.

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MC373 Sports Broadcasting            3 credits
Students will be exposed to the theories and practices of reporting sports for both radio and television. Provides an historical perspective of the field, as well as emphasizing the development of skills and techniques to develop and deliver a sports broadcast. Materials fee. Prerequisites: MC211, MC230.

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MC374 Audio Production               3 credits
Designed as an introduction to the basic theories and practices of audio production. Exploration of basic production techniques for radio production and audio in film/video and new electronic media through a series of production exercises and assignments designed as concept building blocks. Materials fee. Prerequisite: MC230.

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MC/GC376 Animation Fundamentals                     3 credits
This intermediate course is designed to introduce students to the field of animation. Focuses on the creation of 3-D computer animations and students will create traditional animations as well. Course will provide an overview of animation history from traditional animators in the silent era to modern-day computer animators. Students will experience all stages of the animation process from pre-production (storyboarding, creating a soundtrack) to production (modeling, skeletons, key framing) and post-production (lighting, rendering, editing). Materials fee. Prerequisites: MC230 or GC371, or permission of instructor.

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MC/WL382 Women in Media Representation                 3 credits
Devoted to the critical analysis of representations of women in normative mass media content. It proceeds from the knowledge that gender roles are highly differentiated across all forms of modern mass communication and focuses especially on the repetitive process of one-dimensional signification of women in the realm of popular culture discourse. Prerequisite: MC200.

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MC384 Persuasion Through Media                3 credits
Covers the analysis and understanding of persuasive mass communication used to alter others’ beliefs and actions in various contexts. Examines discourse in the most powerful contemporary practices of persuasion, including political communication, legal communication, and public relations. Prerequisite: MC200.

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MC400 Senior Seminar                     3 credits
Provides the tools and skills needed for securing employment, such as resume and cover letter writing, job searching, and interview skills. Seniors will also learn how to research, choose, and prepare for graduate school. Seniors will systematically examine, review, and finalize a Portfolio of work -- integrating IC Core elements and elements of the MC major into their Portfolio. Also provides seniors with the opportunity to engage in current issues affecting the discipline and pays particular attention to the connections between mass communication and currents in other areas of academic inquiry. Prerequisites: MC301, MC304

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MC412 Advanced Journalism Seminar                           3 credits
Culmination of study and practice in the concentration. Students will prepare for entry into the professional world while addressing current topics, particularly ethical ones that are facing working journalists. Prerequisite: MC252 and senior standing.

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MC431 Advanced Media Production                  3 credits
Students propose extended video projects (dramatic, documentary, or experimental). Students then write, design, produce, direct, and post-produce their projects. Builds on skills learned in intermediate production courses. Materials fee. Prerequisites: MC331.

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MC441 Advanced Media Studies Seminar                   3 credits
Focuses on the complex diversity of modern communication forms, their multiple levels of personal engagement, and resulting multi-dimensionality in self-conceptions that they demand of the individual. Prerequisite: MC342.

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MC291, MC391, MC491 Internship in Journalism        1-6 credits each
These field-based experiences allow students to work with media specialists in a professional setting to enhance their employment potential upon graduation. Credits are based upon the work hours per week; a maximum of 6 credits may be earned per term. A student may take up to 15 credits towards graduation credit. Prerequisite: MC211.

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MC293, MC393, MC493 Internship in Media Production      1-6 credits each
These field-based experiences allow students to work with media specialists in a professional setting to enhance their employment potential upon graduation. Credits are based upon the work hours per week; a maximum of 6 credits may be earned per term. A student may take up to 15 credits towards graduation credit. Prerequisite: MC230.

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MC284, MC394, MC494 Internship in Media Studies       1-6 credits each
These field-based experiences allow students to work with media specialists in a professional setting to enhance their employment potential upon graduation. Credits are based upon the work hours per week; a maximum of 6 credits may be earned per term. A student may take up to 15 credits towards graduation credit. Prerequisite: MC242.

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MC299, MC399, MC499 Independent Study               1-6 credits each
Offers an opportunity to explore an area of study not included in the catalog listing of approved courses. The topic of an Independent Study must be carefully designed by the student in conjunction with the faculty sponsor and must meet with the approval of the Division Chair. To be eligible for independent study, students typically must have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher and possess the appropriate study habits and time management skills to pursue the proposed area of study. A “Proposal for Independent Study” form may be obtained from the Registrar or the office of the Division Chair. Course numbers are assigned based on the level of difficulty of the course proposal.

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3 students out to dinner with a guest speaker for the Tuesday Briefing Lecture Series

3 students out to dinner with a guest speaker
for the
Tuesday Briefing Lecture Series

Examines the roles of communication media in society, including the philosophy of mass mediation and the study of media effects on public issues, social values, and cultural tastes. Presents a historical overview of the main technologies of communication and surveys the discipline’s most salient theoretical paradigms.