JMS 200 – Introduction to Contemporary Media
Spring 2014
MWF 8:00 AM – 8:50 AM
HH130
Instructor: Carrie O'Connell
Office: PSFA 311
Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: Wed., & Fri. 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM & by appointment
Communication with instructor: I am available in class MWF during class sessions if you need to discuss
course-related questions. I urge you to address these questions to me in class for the benefit of your
fellow students. If you need to reach me above and beyond this, please schedule see me during my
office hours or by email.
Ideally, communication should follow these guidelines:
 In-Class: Course-related questions regarding clarification of reading assignments, quiz
availability, and chapters covered on exams.
 Office Hours / Email: Questions regarding grades* or any other private matter.
*Before discussing grades, please make sure you have reviewed your status in the grade book in
BlackBoard.
Course Information:
Textook: Contemporary Media (4th edition) by T. Wulfemeyer
Catalog Description: Mass media and emerging forms of niche media in the global community.
Theories, structures, functions, practices, problems, interrelationships, economics, critical analyses,
history and ethics.
Course Description: This GE course is one of two “Foundations of Learning” courses that you will take in
the area of Social and Behavioral Sciences. When you complete this area, you will be able to:
 Explore and recognize basic terms, concepts and domains of the social/behavioral sciences
 Comprehend diverse theories and methods of the social/behavioral sciences
 Identify human behavioral patterns across space and time and discuss their interrelatedness and
distinctiveness
 Enhance your understanding of the social world through the application of conceptual
frameworks from the social/behavioral sciences to first-hand engagement with contemporary
issues
Specifically, this course is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of contemporary
media (mass media) in the United States. Discussions will include information about current practices,
problems, issues, developments and significant trends.
Special emphasis will be placed on the economic, political, societal and organizational aspects that affect
contemporary news media organizations. Topics will include history, roles and responsibilities, theories,
contributions of minorities and women, ethics, legal rights and restrictions, news elements, advertising,
public relations, photojournalism and the structures/procedures of newspapers, magazines, radio
stations and television stations. The film industry, recording industry, book publishing, online
communications, network/cable television and global communication issues will be covered, too.
LEARNING OUTCOMES/OBJECTIVES: Each student will be able to:
 List and define the elements of the major models of communication, especially mediated
communication, plus analyze how such models can be used to improve the quality and
effectiveness of communication
 List and define the major roles and responsibilities of media organizations, plus evaluate how
well media organizations live up to such roles/responsibilities
 List and define the major theories of media effects, plus analyze the strengths and weaknesses of
such theories
 List and define the major news media theories, plus analyze the strengths and weaknesses of
such theories
 List and define the major economic models used to support media organizations, plus describe
how convergence and consolidation are affecting such models
 List and define the major structures associated with media organizations, plus evaluate the
effectiveness of such structures
 List and define the major news elements/values, plus analyze how such elements/values
contribute to news decision-making
 List and define the major types of newsgathering opportunities, plus describe how quality news
professionals could/should practice their craft
 List and define the major types of news stories, plus evaluate how effective news professionals
are in reporting such stories
 List the major findings from research studies associated with the content of media products,
especially news media products, plus discuss how such findings could/should be used to improve
media content
 List the major classifications of newspapers, magazines, books, radio stations, television stations,
online organizations, film companies, recording companies, advertising agencies, and public
relations agencies, plus speculate about how such classifications are changing in the Information
Age
 List the major statistics associated with newspapers, magazines, books, radio stations, television
stations, online organizations, film companies, recording companies, advertising agencies, and
public relations agencies, plus suggest ways such statistics can be used to improve media content
 List the major jobs associated with newspapers, magazines, books, radio stations, television
stations, online organizations, film companies, recording companies, advertising agencies, and
public relations agencies, plus analyze how new media are changing traditional jobs
 List the average salaries associated with different job classifications in newspapers, magazines,
books, radio stations, television stations, online organizations, film companies, recording
companies, advertising agencies, and public relations agencies, plus analyze the impact of
salaries on content and employee demographics
 List and define the major legal issues, rights and restrictions associated with mediated
communication, plus evaluate how effective U.S. laws are in guaranteeing freedom of
speech/press and protecting the rights of citizens
 List and define the major ethical issues and problems associated with mediated communication,
plus analyze how effective codes of ethics/standards of practice are in guaranteeing ethical
practices in the various mediated professions
 List and define the major issues, problems and solutions to problems associated with mediated
communication, plus suggest innovative alternative strategies for dealing with issues/problems in
mediated communication
 List the major historical figures in the development of the various forms of mediated
communication, plus be able to cite and critique the specific contributions made by each figure
Points Breakdown:
Assignment
Points
Percent of Grade
Weekly Quizzes
100 (10 quizzes x 10 pts each)
20% (2% each)
Textbook Exams
100 (2 exams x 50 pts each)
20% (10% each)
Midterm Exam
150 (1 exam x 150 pts)
30.00%
Final Exam
150 (1 exam x 250 pts)
30.00%
Explanation of Assignments:
Weekly Quizzes: Quizzes will cover all material covered since the previous quiz. Quizzes will be available
in BlackBoard from 10:00 AM on Fridays and due the following Monday by 10:00 AM. Passwords to the
quiz will be given at the end of class on the Friday they are posted. You will have one opportunity to
complete each one hour, ten-question quiz once you have begun. Please make sure you have your class
notes and textbooks available before you start the quiz. No re-dos will be allowed.
Textbook Exams: Textbook exams will be topic specific and cover the following chapters:
 Exam #1: Newspapers and Press Freedom - Chs 5, 14
 Exam #2: Mass Communications and PR Research - Chs 2, 12
Midterm: The Midterm Exam will be cumulative and cover all chapters discussed weeks 1-7.
Final Exam: The Final Exam will be cumulative and cover all chapters discussed weeks 8-16.
**Please bring a red ParScore Scantron to all Textbook Exams, the Midterm, and the Final Exam**
Grading:
Absolute Scale--93%+=A, 90%-92.9%=A-, 86%-89.9%-B+, etc.
Course Policies:
Late Work: No late work will be accepted. All exams must be completed in class during the scheduled
class sessions unless ADA-approved accommodations have been previously arranged.
ADA Accommodations: Students with ADA-approved accommodations should contact me privately prior
to the third class meeting to discuss specific accommodations.
Attendance: Your attendance in this course is necessary for a passing grade. PowerPoint presentations
will be available in BlackBoard after the lecture has been presented. While tests and quizzes are rooted
in textbook material, information will be delivered during lecture that may appear on the exams and
quizzes; therefore, failure to attend class sessions may result in a significantly lower course grade.
Privacy and Defamation: I realize this is a contemporary media course and you may be personally wellversed in social and otherwise contemporary media. If you choose to communicate regarding this course
on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Storify, etc., please remember to use
discretion. Inappropriate communications have the potential to become privacy issues for class
members and/or the instructor, as well as defamation risks for yourself. Absolutely no photography or
video recordings are permitted during class sessions unless otherwise authorized by instructor for ADA
purposes.
Grade Book: Quiz scores will be posted in the grade book upon completion of the quiz. Exam scores will
be tallied and posted within one week of completion of the exam. Please check the BlackBoard grade
book frequently to stay abreast of your class standing.
JMS 200 MEETING SCHEDULE
Week 1: Course Introduction
1/22
1/24
Syllabus Review
Emerging Media Throughout History
Week 2: Ch 4 – History of the Mass Media
1/27
1/29
1/31
Due:
Development and Diffusion of the Printing Press
Early Formats
Politics, War, and Social Issues
Quiz # 1 in BlackBoard (2/3)
Week 3: Ch 7 – Books
2/3
2/5
2/7
Due:
Printing Press – The 20th Century
The Publishing Industry
Electronic Books and the 21st Century
Quiz #2 in BlackBoard (2/10)
Week 4: Ch 5 – Newspapers
Ch 14 – Legal Rights / Limitations
2/10
2/12
2/14
Due:
News Organizations and Production
Reporter's Privilege and Free Press
The Future of News
Quiz #3 in BlackBoard (2/17)
Week 5: Ch 6 – Magazines
2/17
2/19
2/21
Magazine Purpose and Production
Types of Magazines
Textbook Exam #1 (in class)
Week 6: Ch 8 – Radio
2/24
2/26
2/28
Due:
Radio Technology
Radio Formats
Operation and Industry
Quiz #4 in BlackBoard (3/3)
Week 7: Ch 9 – Television
Ch 13 - Advertising
3/3
3/5
Programming, Ratings and Violence
Television in the 21st Century
3/7
Due:
Advertising
Quiz #5 in BlackBoard (3/10)
Week 8: Ch 11 – Motion Picture Industry
3/10
3/12
3/14
Due:
The Birth of Motion Pictures
Ratings and Audiences
Film in the 21st Century
Quiz #6 in BlackBoard (3/17)
Week 9: Review and Midterm
3/17
3/19
3/21
Review Chs 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14
MIDTERM (in class)
Guest Speakers – Audio Production
Week 10: Ch 10 – The Recording Industry
3/24
3/26
3/28
Due:
The Recording Industry
Audiences and the Digital Dilemma
Artistry and Changing Formats in the 21st Century
Quiz #7 in BlackBoard (4/7)
Week 11: Spring Break
3/31 – 4/4
Week 12: Ch 12 – Public Relations
4/7
4/9
4/11
Due:
History of Public Relations
Social Responsibility
Public Relations Research
Quiz #8 in BlackBoard (4/14)
Week 14: Ch 2 – The Process of Comm
4/14
4/16
4/18
Due:
Mass Communication Research
Theories of Message Effects
Theories of the Press
Quiz #9 in BlackBoard (4/21)
Week 13: Ch 1 – Converging Comm
4/21
4/23
4/25
Due:
The Big Seven
Journalistic Problems
Credibility and Mistrust
Textbook Exam #2 (in class)
Week 15: Ch 3 – Mass Media Economics
4/28
4/30
5/2
Due:
Legislation and Mergers
Newspapers and Magazines
Radio and Television
Quiz #10 in BlackBoard (5/5)
Week 16: Ch 15 – Ethics
5/5
5/7
5/9
Privacy and Ethics in the 21st Century
Review Chs 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 15
FINAL EXAM 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
*Schedule subject to change as course progresses. All changes will be noted in the “Announcements”
section of BlackBoard.
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JMS 200 – Introduction to Contemporary Media Spring 2014

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