Course Listings - Mass Communication

MCOM 105 Intro Mass Media Law and Regulation 3 s.h. This course would be of value to any student wishing a basic exposure to current issues in how the law and common practice and procedure interface with the mass media production and journalism interests. This course will cover issues like the first amendment, libel, invasion of privacy, free press, fair trial, regulation of erotic material, regulation of advertising, copyright, and new regulation. This course will examine the above issues as they relate to the modern mass media. This course can be used as an elective for the mass communication production or media track.

MCOM 151 Understanding Mass Communication 3 s.h. Comprehensive survey of the nature, development, operation, functions, and effects of various mass media (print, radio, television, film, cable, and new communication technologies). Designed to help students become more critical mass media consumers, and to introduce them to concepts applicable to production courses. (LA)

MCOM 210 Writing for the Newspaper 3 s.h. Writing for the newspaper. Practice in news, feature, and editorial writing. (LA, BC3) Prerequisite: SoS and COMP 100.

MCOM 215 Photojournalism 3 s.h. This course introduces the student to the basics of photojournalism. Students will aspire to create photos consistent in quality and content with images taken for the media. The course will cover various seminal aspects of photojournalism, including historical, ethical, legal, and artistic issues. The emphasis will be on digital photography. Students will utilize Photoshop and PowerPoint in presenting their work. There will be a mix of field assignments, writings, class discussions and lectures. (LA) Prerequisite: JrS and 12 s.h. of MCOM

MCOM 250 Mass Media and Celebrity 3 s.h. This course will explore the pervasiveness of celebrity culture in the United States—an inordinate amount of media content is currently dedicated to the professional and personal lives of entertainment celebrities. A focus will be placed on the role of the mass media in the production of celebrity, as well as the historical antecedents and potential psychological effects of modern-day celebrity. In 1962, Daniel Boorstin defined “celebrity” as a “person who is known for his well-knowness,” and claimed that, “Every year we experience a larger number than the year before.” This sentiment certainly holds true in the 21st century, which is why the topic warrants examination in a semester-long seminar. (LA) Prerequisites: MCOM major, JrS, MCOM 151 and MCOM 259

MCOM 252 Writing for Radio, Television, and Film 3 s.h. A study and practice of writing techniques for radio, television, and film. Emphasizes writing "for the ear" and for visual elements. Projects include writing of commercials and PSAs, news, drama, and comedy. (BC3) Prerequisites: SoS and COMP 100.

MCOM 253 Audio Production 3 s.h. Provides students with fundamental knowledge of audio production theories and techniques, as well as hands-on practice. Prerequisites: SoS and MCOM 151.

MCOM 256 Broadcasting 3 s.h. A study and practice of the principles and techniques of performing for radio microphone and television camera. Emphasizes the role of the radio and television announcer/performer and contemporary broadcast announcing styles. Prerequisites: SoS and COMM 100.

MCOM 257 Fundamentals of Broadcasting 3 s.h. An introduction to the American broadcasting system and related electronic media with emphasis on industry structure, history, economics, regulations, and programming . Introduces theories and principles applicable to production courses. (LA) Prerequisites: MCOM 151 and SoS.

MCOM 258 New Media 3 s.h. The interactive nature of technology-enriched new media has changed the relationship between the individual and the larger society and has raised questions about the traditional relationship between audiences and media producers. This course will examine the ways that new technologies are changing the global political, economic, and social contexts surrounding today’s media. Emphasis will also be placed on comparing and contrasting what’s "new" about new media and technology with traditional media. Students will be expected to engage with and critique new media technologies. (LA)
Prerequisite: SoS.

MCOM 259 Mass Media and Culture 3 s.h. Analyzes the philosophy, standards, and practices of the mass media system in the United States. Examines the relationship between American media and American culture in a variety of political, social, economical, and cultural contexts. Addresses ethical problems in mass communication and examines different methods of moral reasoning relative to their solutions. (LA) Prerequisites: MCOM 151.

MCOM 260 Multi Camera Video Production 3 s.h. Introduction to the elements of television production: equipment, lighting, audio, graphics, scenery, special effects, floor directing, switching, videotape recording, creative camera works, directing, and picture composition. Includes hands-on labs in campus studio. (LA) Prerequisite: SoS or 3 s.h. THTR, COMM or MCOM.

MCOM 261 Videography & Digital Editing 3 s.h. Study and application of advanced television production elements, with emphasis on writing, producing, and directing. Includes single-camera and editing exercises, writing, and viewing assignments and group projects.

MCOM 262 Reporting 3 s.h. A study of news in the mass media. Emphasis is on reporter's obligation to transmit news efficiently as possible for print and air media. (LA, BC3) Prerequisites: JrS, COMP 100, and 3 s.h. humanities.

MCOM 279 The Documentary Tradition 3 s.h. This course is open to students interested in understanding the history and philosophy of the documentary genre as represented in American and world media cultures. It is oriented toward defining the concept of documentary, understanding the origins and development of the genre, and analyzing the philosophical and ethical debates surrounding this mode of communication. Epistemological questions about the nature of truth, knowledge/knowing, the social construction of reality, and the difference between objectivity, accuracy, authenticity, and fairness will be highlighted. The course will also address the role of documentaries as means of public information, social and political criticism, education and propaganda. The impact of technology on the making and distribution of documentaries will be a consistent thread throughout the course. (LA) Prerequisite: SoS.

MCOM 280 Basic Motion Picture Production 3 s.h. This course is an introduction to expressing fictive narratives using motion pictures. Emphasis will be placed on seeing and thinking in cinematic terms. Movie making exercises will be assigned, screened, and discussed. (LA) Prerequisite: MCOM 261.

MCOM 281 The Art of the Motion Picture 3 s.h. Survey of the many facets of film. Discussion and illustration of the basic nature of the film medium itself, the varieties of technique and content encountered, and the different styles and formats employed. (LA, A3) Prerequisite: SoS or 3 s.h. THTR. or MCOM

MCOM 283 The Development of Film 3 s.h. A survey of motion pictures from their beginnings to the present. The nature of the film medium itself, the changes in technique and content, the reflection of social and historical conditions, and the styles of different countries and of individual directors will be illustrated through film screening, reading, discussion, and lecture. (LA, A3) Prerequisite: SoS or 3 s.h. THTR. or MCOM.

MCOM 284 Great Films of Great Directors 3 s.h. The motion picture studied from the point of view of the director as the central creative force. Examines careers of several major directors through the screening of films made by each. Discusses directors' themes and the ways these themes are conveyed. (LA, A3) Prerequisite: SoS or 3 s.h. THTR. or MCOM.

MCOM 285 Film Genres 3 s.h. A study of representative examples of such film genres as the Western, comedy, gangster, social comment, musical, and science fiction. Content centers on the nature of their appeal and popularity, their relationship to the contemporary social scene and relative quality of individual films. (LA, A3) Prerequisites: SoS or 3 s.h. THTR. or MCOM.

MCOM 286 Research Methods in Mass Media: 3 s.h. This course is designed to develop understanding, encourage critical thinking, and provide practice in research related to the Mass Media. This course will introduce students to the principles and basic techniques of mass communication research and the application of the results of such research. The course will provide the student with the opportunity to apply current research methods towards the creation of a research proposal related to the areas of journalism, broadcasting, various media production, film, video, and other mass media. (LA) Prerequisites: SoS and 3 s.h. MCOM.

MCOM 294 Special Topics in Film and Television 3 s.h. Specialized and/or advanced topics in film or television. Film subjects range from films of a single genre, country, or director to an in-depth examination of acting, writing, or photography. TV topics range from seminar studies to production and writing. (LA) determination based on course content. Prerequisite: SoS and 3 s.h. or MCOM.

MCOM 295 Teaching Assistantship in Mass Communication 1-3 s.h. Designed to provide a college-level experience for students who are exceptionally qualified to undertake appropriate responsibilities and demands including such activities as tutoring, grading and recording of exams, assisting in research, assisting in the setup and supervision of video presentations and/or production classes, and/or participating in classroom presentations. Assistant works directly under the guidance of a faculty member. Prerequisite: See College minimum Teaching Assistantship requirements.

MCOM 301 Broadcast Journalism 3 s.h. Study and application of broadcast/cable news standards and practices. Emphasizes writing, editing and performance skills as well as current ethical issues. Projects include radio features, television packages and live-on-tape newscasts. (LA, BC3) Prerequisites: Jrs, MCOM 151 and either MCOM 252, 253, 260, or 262.

MCOM 330 Mass Media Law & Regulations 3 s.h. Study of the American judicial system and its impact upon and interaction with the mass media dissemination of news, opinions, entertainment, education, and advertising. Discussion of legal challenges presented by the emerging digital communication technology, including the information super-highway. (LA) Prerequisites: JrS and MCOM 151

MCOM 350 Seminar in Mass Communication 3 s.h. Major theories and research findings related to the processes and effects of mass communication, primarily in America; emphasis on immediate and long-term cognitive, affective, and behavioral effects of exposure to mass media stimuli. (LA) Prerequisites: SrS and 12 s.h. of 200-level COMM or MCOM courses.

MCOM 353 Audio Documentary Production 3 s.h. This course is designed for students interested in producing in-depth non-fiction pieces. The course is oriented toward field production, exploring various approaches to audio documentary work, from the journalistic to the personal. The focus will be on student’s individual projects, but they will also share and workshop their ideas and work in progress. The course will begin with the process of selecting a topic, background research, planning interviews and writing scripts. The course will also include reading assignments and listening sessions combined with discussion. The final project will be a short documentary piece. Prerequisites: SoS and MCOM 253.

MCOM 361 Video Practicum 3-6 s.h. Application of advanced television production principles and skills. Work with color cameras and editing controller. Requires major television project from proposal and treatment to final script and possibly production. Prerequisites: JrS.

MCOM 362 Video Documentary Production 3 s.h. This course will explore the creative, technical, and practical aspects of creating a video documentary. Students will receive hands-on instruction in conducting background research, concept development, pre-production analysis, production development, post-production, and distribution of productions. The final project for the course will be a short documentary. Prerequisites: SoS and MCOM 261.

MCOM 380 Advanced Film Production 3 s.h. Designed for students with experience in film production. Filmmaking exercises assigned, screened, and discussed. Prerequisites: JrS and MCOM 280.

MCOM 397 Mass Communication Internship 1-15 s.h. Full-time/part-time internship experience related to students' academic and career interests in the field of mass communication. Faculty sponsor must be a member of the Communication Arts Department qualified in area of internship. Internship must involve actual work with bona fide professional organization strongly involved with mass communication. Prerequisites: See department minimum Internship requirements.

Major Program areas

Communication Studies

introduces students to the theories and practices of oral communication and persuasion. Students in this major usually seek careers in business related fields, as well as corporate communication, advertising, sales, public relations, and events management.


Mass Communication

is designed to meet the needs of students who seek careers in the fields of broadcasting, journalism, film, audio production and video production.