Syllabus
Introduction to Mass Communication
Fall 2017
M/W/F COMM 101 - 002, 9:20am - 10:10am, Ely 339, 21205
M/W/F COMM 101 - 003, 10:25am - 11:15am, Ely 339, 21206

=============================================

Professor Nigel Dobereiner
Office: Ely 321
Office Hours:
Monday 11:15-12:15 and by appointment
Wednesday 11:15-1:15 and by appointment
Office Phone: (413) 572-5743
E-mail: ndobereiner@westfield.ma.edu

In this course we will conduct a comprehensive survey and critical analysis of mass communication. This will be accomplished through the study of the history and structure of mass media industries and an examination of social, economic, political, cultural, and global factors that create the context in which media operate. 

OBJECTIVES:

Among other things, when you finish this course you will be able to:

ATTENDANCE:

Students are expected to get to class each day. I will take attendance at every class and excessive missed classes will lower your final grade. (I define "excessive" as being in the bottom 10% -20% of the class in attendance.) Missing classes will almost certainly affect your final grade also in that much of the material on the exams will come from class lectures and participations. Anyone with borderline scores at the end of the semester will benefit from a good attendance record, and vice versa.

If you expect to be absent, please notify me as soon as possible. If feasible I will give you assignments ahead of time. I will not provide copies of my lecture notes. All make-up exams must be completed within one week of the date the exam was originally given. If you miss an exam, it's your job to arrange a time with me to make it up before a week has passed. If you do not take your make-up exam within the one week period, your ultimate score on that exam will be lowered by two full letter grades. NO EXCEPTIONS!

REQUIRED MATERIALS:
Media/Society (5th edition) by David Croteau, William Hoynes and Stefana Milan- available at the bookstore

GRADING:
Three exams will make up the majority (75%) of your grade. They will be spread throughout the semester. You will also receive several writing assignments (3 – 5) which together with attendance and participation will contribute (25%) to your grade. The writing assignments will be based on your text readings, case studies or films we watch in class. Attendance counts. Be here. If you miss a writing assignment you can hand it in up to a week late (TYPED!), but don't expect me to chase you down to complete it. A writing assignment that is more than a week late will not be accepted! 

It is my view that students, in effect, grade themselves. That is, I will make every effort to assist you and give you all the information you need to succeed. However, the ultimate responsibility for success (or failure) is your own. Below you will find the Grading Structure. 

GRADING STRUCTURE:

A

97-100

C+

77-80

 

A-

93-96

C

73-76

F

B+

89-92

C-

69-72

60 or below

B

85-88

D+

65-68

 

B-

81-84

D

61-64

 

You will also be graded based on class participation. During many classes I will lecture for part of the class, encouraging participation, and then have you participate in a group activity. I am a big believer in group-based activities in all my classes. This is a communication course, after all, and I feel you will learn best through communication with each other as well as with me. 

If you are having trouble, please arrange to meet with me during office hours. I will be happy to assist you in any way I can. Anyone whose final grade is close to a borderline status between two letter grades will receive the benefit of the doubt (or vice versa) by a consideration of class attendance and participation records. Again, it's all up to you.

A NOTE ABOUT PLAGIARISM AND CHEATING
Creating your own work is how you will get ahead your career, no matter what you choose to do. Using anyone else’s work; using a project that was submitted in another class; or having someone else write your assignment, are examples of plagiarism. I caught two students recently and followed procedure to sanction them both. In the real world, plagiarism is often simply called theft and will not be tolerated by companies who may be sued for having employees who steal. I know most people would never commit this crime. But you should know that plagiarism in any form will not be tolerated. Committing plagiarism also means you are not developing skills you will need in the marketplace. You can read more about what constitutes plagiarism here. http://catalog.westfield.ma.edu/content.php?catoid=8&navoid=356&hl=%22%26quot%3Bacademic+honesty%26quot%3B%22&returnto=search#Academic_Honesty_Policy

This policy may be updated this year so check for the latest version, if needed. If you have any doubts about whether something is considered plagiarism or not, please check with me.

CELL PHONES AND COURTESY:
I expect all cell phones to be turned off and not sitting in your desktop awaiting the next message. Messaging of any type in class is not allowed. It is considered rude, shows you don't care about the content of the class, and can have you ejected from the class. Don't let me tell you about this if I see a violation. I will work hard to embarrass you.

Respect other students. When someone is speaking or presenting, be quite and listen to them. They have the floor. They are not just speaking for my benefit. Always give others the respect you'd like to be shown. (See the Golden Rule.)

ONLINE RESOURCE:
All assignments and study guides will be available online at www.znod.com. 

CLASSES AND TOPICS
The following Classes and Topics listing is subject to change as our/your interests and progress dictate. However, barring instructions to the contrary, reading assignments should be listed in advance of the day of lecture on that topic. We'll use the lectures, movies and current events as talking points, and I don't just call on people who raise their hands; so be prepared to discuss the material.

 

Classes and Topics

#

Date

Topic

Assigned Reading

1

9/6

Course introduction, review of syllabus

 

2

9/8

Why study the media?
A Sociology of Media

Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 15-27

3

9/11

Fred and Wilma exercise: Media and Society

Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 2-15

4

9/13

Economics of the Media Industry Conglomeration

Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 32-45

5

9/15

Economics of the Media Industry Concentration and Conglomeration

Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 46-54

6

9/18

Video: “Behind the Screens

Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 61-64

7

9/20

In-class writing assignment #1

 

8

9/22

Media’s influence on Politics

Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 224-235

9

9/25

Video: “Rich Media/Poor Democracy

 

10

9/27

FCC: Regulating Ownership and Control

Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 72-91

11

9/29

FCC: Regulating Content

Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 91-104

12

10/2

Media Organizations and Professionals

Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 113-120
Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 123-130 

13

10/4

Exam prep and review

  

14

10/6

EXAM 1

 

 

10/9

Holiday - Columbus Day

 

15

10/11

Exams returned and reviewed

 

16

10/13

Media representations of society

Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 151 -166 Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 192 -203

17

10/16

Video: “Mickey Mouse Monopoly

 

18

10/18

Media and Ideology
Class and the media

 Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 187-189Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 209-221

19

10/20

In-class writing assignment #2  

20

10/23

Ethics in the Media and Objectivity Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 130-134

21

10/25

Video: Outfoxed (begin)  

22

10/27

Video: “Outfoxed” (cont.)
discussion and Objectivity reviewed
 

23

10/30

Video: “Advertising and the End of the World”

 

24

11/1

Advertising and consumer culture


Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 61-70
Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 178 -182

25

11/3

 

 

26

11/6

Advertising Exercise:
Magazines and Let’s make an ad

 

27

11/8

In-class writing assignment #3
Exam prep and review

 

 

11/10

Holiday - Veteran's Day

 

28

11/13

EXAM 2

 

29 11/15

Media Effects
Cultivation Theory


30

11/17

Children and Violence on TV

Croteau/Hoynes: page 240

31

11/20

Exams returned and reviewed

 

32

11/22

TBA

 

 

11/24

Holiday - Thanksgiving
 
33

11/27

Video: “Toxic Sludge is Good For You
Discussion of video

 

34

11/29

Globalization Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 182 -185
Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 254 -259
Croteau/Hoynes: page 308
Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 342 -351

35

12/1

Media and Social Movements

Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 109-112
Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 241-243

36

12/4

Knowledge and Opinion
Social Context of Media Use: Encoding/Decoding

Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 265-274

37

12/6

Media Technology and Social Change

 Croteau/Hoynes: pgs. 299-306

38

12/8

Internet Smarts

 

39

12/11

In class writing assignment #4

 

40

12/13

Internet Searches
Exam Prep

 

41

12/15

EXAM 3