COMM 330: Critical Issues in Mass Communication

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COMM 330: Critical Issues in
Mass Communication
Introduction
Course Objectives
• To introduce students to
– The media effects research tradition
– The political economy of media institutions in a
global environment
– Ethical and policy issues associated with mass
communication in culture
Assessment Goals
• Comm 330 serves 2 assessment goals
– “students should be able to demonstrate an
understanding of communication theory and
history and abstract thinking skills”
– “students should understand the contexts
(political, social, legal, and cultural) in which
messages are produced, disseminated, and
interpreted”
Syllabus topics
• Media Effects Research
• Political Economy and Cultural Analysis
Approaches to the Analysis of Media
– Business, government and freedom of speech
• Ethical responsibility
The Media Effects Tradition
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History of research
Methods of research
Time spent with media
Sexual content
Violence
News
Stereotyping
Media Business + Government
and Freedom of Speech
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Private enterprise vs. public interest
The Telecomm Act of 1996
The dominant media conglomerates
Mega-media and the European Union
How media business shapes media content
How media business influences society
New technologies
The future of the Internet
– The Internet in non-western countries
Ethics and the Media
• The Greek Tradition
– Aristotle
• Utilitarianism
– Bentham and Mill
• Social Contract Theory
– Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Rawls
• Duty Ethics
– Kant
– Ross
Evaluation
• Tests I and II
• Three written assignments and discussion
• Research paper
– Category A of the Advanced W Portfolio
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