BSU Catalog Home | Mass Communication Program | All-University Courses and Descriptions


UNDERGRADUATE COURSE OFFERINGS

Mass Communication (MASC)

College Program Codes: 2-02. Check with department for semester when these courses are offered. Read each course description for prerequisites.


1100 MASS MEDIA AND SOCIETY (3 credits) Theoretical aspects of the media in the United States. Focuses on current media industries, issues, and events from coverage of high-profile events to media criticism. Students should gain an understanding of the social, economic, and intellectual forces that have helped shape the media. The course, primarily through lectures and demonstrations, presents concise historical perspectives. Liberal Education Categories 7 & 9

1820 INTRODUCTION TO ELECTRONIC MEDIA (3 credits) Theoretical aspects of the history, development and role of the electronic media. An examination of the overall operation of radio, commercial and public television, cable, and other electronic media. Students should gain a broad overview of how the electronic media operate as businesses and as societal forces.

1840 INTRODUCTION TO MEDIA WRITING (3 credits) Applied aspects of techniques and styles of writing for mass media. Students should gain an understanding of elements common to all writing for the mass media and the differences among them. This course requires basic keyboarding skills. Liberal Education Categories 6 & 11

2100 MINORITIES IN THE MEDIA (3 credits) Theoretical and applied aspects of the coverage of disenfranchised groups by the mass media. Students should gain an understanding of the complexity of the cultural, political, and economic forces that shape media coverage of disenfranchised groups. Through case studies, research, class discussion, and reporting and producing one or more stories, students learn how groups outside the power structure in society are portrayed in the mainstream media. Liberal Education Categories 7 & 9

2180 COMMUNICATION HISTORY (3 credits) History of print and broadcast media in the U.S., and their interactions with technical, cultural, political, and economic forces. Theoretical framework for putting mass media organizations in historical perspective and understanding how these organizations affect our society. (Might not be offered every year)

2190 INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION (3 credits) Theoretical aspects of global communication processes: a comparative study of Communist, Third World, and Western media, and how systems affect global order in respect to economic, social, and political interaction. Students should gain a greater understanding of the diversity of communication systems throughout the world, the complexity of interactions between those systems, and the importance of such an understanding to maintaining successful global communication. The course incorporates lecture and discussion, and uses case studies of countries to study the theoretical issues. Liberal Education Categories 7 & 8

2221 INTRODUCTION TO AUDIO (3 credits) Theoretical and applied aspects of audio communication. Production techniques, FCC rules and regulations, and basic operation of radio stations are included. Students should gain practical skills in operating all types of audio equipment, as well as basic audio editing skills. The course incorporates lecture, demonstration, and hands-on opportunities. Students are required to spend several hours each week on the campus radio stations.

2231 INTRODUCTION TO VIDEO (3 credits) Theoretical and applied aspects of video communication, including international television systems. Students should gain basic skills in the operation of all types of video equipment, and video editing. The course incorporates lecture, demonstration, and hands-on opportunities to cover basic video production techniques. This course requires participation in the campus television station, or related video activities.

2280 PERFORMANCE AND PRODUCTION (3 credits) Applied aspects of the production of audio and video programs. Performance in front of studio cameras is stressed. Students should become proficient in on-air delivery and programming. Remote and studio operation is included for both audio and video facilities, using demonstration and hands-on sessions. This course requires participation in the campus radio and television stations. Prerequisites: MASC 2221 and MASC 2231.

2440 NEWS REPORTING (3 credits) Applied aspects of reporting and writing news stories for the mass media. Students should gain competency in gathering and synthesizing data and producing written news stories in a timely manner. Lectures, discussion, and projects cover the techniques of gathering information from a variety of sources and writing it in various news formats. This course requires several hours a week working closely with the campus media. Prerequisite: MASC 1840.

2450 PHOTOGRAPHY (3 credits) Theoretical and applied aspects of black-and-white photography, including camera handling and darkroom techniques. An introduction to the medium through examination of historical photos, followed by exploration of light, film, and camera. Students should become familiar with all aspects of operating a 35 mm camera and producing quality black-and-white photographs for self-expression and for media-related work. The course requires darkroom work and assignments that may require photography off-campus. Students must have a 35 mm adjustable camera, pay a lab fee of $20, and purchase about $35 worth of photographic materials.

2600 PRINCIPLES OF ADVERTISING (3 credits) Theoretical aspects of advertising processes: an overview of the field, concentrating on the sociological aspects. Students should gain an increased awareness of how advertising works, where it fits into the fabric of our society, and how it is used--sometimes ethically and sometimes not. The course incorporates lecture and discussion, and students gain appreciation for advertising techniques through weekly analysis of both print and broadcast advertising.

2640 ADVERTISING COPYWRITING (3 credits) Theoretical and applied aspects of writing advertising copy. Students should gain an understanding of the essentials of copywriting and how various appeals can be applied in specific situations. Rules of electronic and print copywriting are discussed in detail, supported by specific examples of copy. The course requires writing copy outside class and possible involvement with advertising efforts of local businesses. This is not a production class, however, so assignments and projects are not produced. Prerequisite: MASC 1840.

2810 ELECTIVE PRACTICUM (0 credits) A zero-credit, applied course for majors, this practicum requires students to spend a semester working on campus with a medium of their choice- either repeating an audio, video, or print experience or working with another area, such as the Publications Office or Sports Information. Gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in classes as well as become aware of areas in which they need further work. Students determine in conjunction with the department chair before the beginning of the practicum who their supervisors will be, and those supervisors are responsible for offering guidance and advice throughout the course. Grades of "S" or "U" will be assigned by the department chair in consultation with practicum supervisors. Prerequisite: MASC 2221 or MASC 2231 or MASC 2440, as appropriate.

2820 AUDIO PRACTICUM (0 credits) A zero-credit, applied course for majors, this practicum requires students to spend a semester working on campus with an audio medium, such as the campus radio stations. Gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in classes as well as become aware of areas in which they need further work. Students determine in conjunction with the department chair before the beginning of the practicum who their supervisors will be, and those supervisors are responsible for offering guidance and advice throughout the course. Grades of "S" or "U" will be assigned by the department chair in consultation with practicum supervisors.

2830 VIDEO PRACTICUM (0 credits) A zero-credit, applied course for majors, this practicum requires students to spend a semester working on campus with a video medium, such as the ITV office, the campus television station, or the public television station. Gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in classes as well as become aware of areas in which they need further work. Students determine in conjunction with the department chair before the beginning of the practicum who their supervisors will be, and those supervisors are responsible for offering guidance and advice throughout the course. Grades of "S" or "U" will be assigned by the department chair in consultation with practicum supervisors.

2840 PRINT PRACTICUM (0 credits) A zero-credit, applied course for majors, this practicum requires students to spend a semester working on campus with a print medium, such as the campus newspaper or the alumni newsletter. Gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in classes as well as become aware of areas in which they need further work. Students determine in conjunction with the department chair before the beginning of the practicum who their supervisors will be, and those supervisors are responsible for offering guidance and advice throughout the course. Grades of "S" or "U" will be assigned by the department chair in consultation with practicum supervisors. Prerequisite: MASC 2440.

2870 PERSUASION IN THE MEDIA (3 credits) Theoretical aspects of the use of persuasion in the media and everyday life. An examination of the theory, principles, and tactics by which persuasive messages are developed and conveyed, including defenses against unethical persuasive tactics. Students should gain the ability to recognize and critically analyze persuasive attempts. This is a lecture and discussion course in which students are expected to be involved in class discussions and to conduct mini-field experiments on the persuasive theories and principles learned and present their findings to the class.

2925 PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT: MASS MEDIA PERSPECTIVE (3 credits) For both majors and non-majors. Theoretical aspects of the effect of the mass media on environmental processes. Students should gain an understanding of the complexity of the cultural, political, and economic forces that shape media coverage of the environment, and the importance of such an understanding to maintaining a sustainable global environment. The course is a discussion section of the interdisciplinary lecture on environmental issues for liberal education. Liberal Education Category 10

3100 MEDIA ETHICS (3 credits) Theoretical aspects of social and professional ethical issues in the mass media, strengths and weaknesses of the media, and consequences of making critical judgments under pressure. Students are expected to be involved in class discussions, and to research and present relevant material. Assumes a good, basic understanding of the media.

3107 POLITICS AND THE MEDIA WORKSHOP (2 credits) Theoretical aspects of the interaction between politics and the media in the United States. Students gain an understanding of how the political process and the mass media work to shape each other nationally. Offered for both majors and non-majors in cooperation with the Washington Center in Washington, DC.

3110 ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION (3 credits) Theoretical and applied aspects of communication within organizations. A study of human interaction in the activities of organizations, including cooperation, conflict, decision making, compliance gaining, resistance, morale building, cohesion, the use of power and authority, and the creation and maintenance of professional relationships. Students should gain an understanding of how organizations use communication, and improve the communication skills they need to function effectively in organizations.

3130 VIDEO DIRECTING (3 credits) Applied aspects of scripted and non-scripted television programming. Students should gain experience in the direction of news, sports, and documentary television programs in studio formats. The production and direction of single-camera, edited video clips are covered through demonstration and hands-on experience. This course requires several hours a week of lab work to complete editing assignments. Prerequisite: MASC 2231. (Might not be offered every year)

3150 PHOTOJOURNALISM (3 credits) Applied aspects of press photography and picture editing. Students should gain competence in creating photographs and designing and laying out photo essays. Demonstration and hands-on experience covers darkroom processing, picture story planning and execution, and computer manipulation of images. The course concentrates on the application of basic principles of both photography and journalism, and requires laboratory work, as well as in-class participation. Prerequisites: MASC 1840 and MASC 2450. (Might not be offered every year)

3222 ADVANCED AUDIO PRODUCTION (4 credits) Applied techniques of audio production: hands-on experience in the techniques of audio script writing, multiple-source audio recording, and multi-track audio editing and production. Students should be able to use the techniques learned in class to produce advanced audio documentaries, information programs, audio dramas, or complex audio sound tracks for film or video productions. In addition to some lecture and demonstration, this course involves much hands-on experience. A considerable amount of laboratory time is devoted to a group term project. Prerequisite: MASC 2221.

3232 ADVANCED VIDEO PRODUCTION (4 credits) Applied techniques of electronic field production. Hands-on experience in the art and technique of writing and scripting, videography, and linear and digital video tape editing. Students should become familiar with the techniques and equipment of electronic field production, and should be able to produce basic news, documentary, informational, or entertainment video programs. In addition to lecture, discussion, and demonstration, students spend a considerable amount of time outside of class writing, scripting, story boarding, filming, and editing productions. Prerequisite: MASC 2231.

3440 ADVANCED REPORTING (3 credits) Applied aspects of advanced, in-depth reporting. Students gain a basic understanding of the techniques of researching story leads and cultivating sources, and competency in presenting information through print, broadcast, and new, emerging technologies. Lectures, discussion, and projects cover the techniques of writing about issues that affect the public. Prerequisite: MASC 2440. (Might not be offered every year)

3660 PUBLICATION DESIGN (3 credits) Applied aspects of the production process for both periodical and non-periodical publications. An overview of how design techniques can be used to enhance readership of newspapers and magazines, and how specialized publications can be used to communicate with targeted audiences to reach specific objectives. Students write copy for, design, and produce newspaper and magazine pages, and pieces such as posters, flyers, and brochures. The course incorporates lectures on design and production principles, and workshops in which these principles are applied. Prerequisites: MASC 1840.

3691 PUBLIC RELATIONS METHODS (3 credits) Theoretical and applied aspects of the field of public relations. A concentrated study of audience and objective analysis, planning a campaign, writing print and broadcast releases, and using both the mass media and interpersonal communication effectively. Students should gain a grounding in the history and philosophy of public relations, an understanding of how to conduct publicity campaigns, competency in writing publicity releases and public service announcements for all mass media, and a grasp of how to best utilize the media for publicity purposes. Weekly workbook assignments offer plenty of opportunity to practice what is learned, and semester-long internships allow students to apply their skills to benefit community organizations. Prerequisites: MASC 1840.

3880 COMMUNICATION LAW (3 credits) Theoretical aspects of the U.S. legal system as it affects the media. Students should gain a grounding in the history and application of First Amendment and media case law. Readings, class discussion, and case studies focus on statutes, case law and agency regulations that comprise the precedents for the laws that govern media professionals. Prerequisite: Junior status.

4130 ENGINEERING FOR ELECTRONIC MEDIA (3 credits) Applied aspects of electronic engineering, how electronic equipment operates, and entry-level trouble-shooting skills. Practical application of electronics to broadcasting is covered through demonstration and hands-on experience. Tours of local broadcast facilities, and lab work are required. Prerequisites: MASC 2221 and MASC 2231. (Might not be offered every year)

4150 DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY (3 credits) Applied aspects of digital photography. A survey of the history and principles involved in producing digital photographs, transferring them to computers, enhancing them with software, and incorporating them in publications. Readings, discussions, and individual productions are utilized to familiarize students with the production of digital photos. This course requires laboratory time. Prerequisite: MASC 2450. (Might not be offered every year)

4210 MEDIA MANAGEMENT (4 credits) Theoretical and applied aspects of broadcast media management, including technology, programming, and advertising sales. Students gain an understanding of the applications of programming to reach targeted audiences, and of how advertising sales provide operating capital. Students also become familiar with the new media technologies, such as the Internet, through lectures, role playing, case studies, and tours of broadcast facilities. Participation in campus broadcast operations is required. Prerequisite: Senior status.

4440 COMPUTER-ASSISTED REPORTING (4 credits) Applied aspects of computer-assisted reporting, writing, and editing. Students gain competence in using Web sites and the Internet, as well as spreadsheet, statistical, and data treatment programs to create a variety of in-depth news stories. Lectures and discussion cover techniques of producing material in a variety of formats for print, broadcast, and other new, emerging electronic media. Prerequisites: MASC 2440. (Might not be offered every year)

4610 ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS (3 credits) Applied aspects of advertising campaigns. A study of print and electronic campaigns and how they may or may not achieve their objectives. Students should gain an understanding of the philosophy of advertising campaigns and their effects. Research of academic journals and trade publications provides information that is used to develop campaign strategies for specific businesses. Prerequisites: MASC 2600, MASC 2640, and MASC 3691. (Might not be offered every year)

4670 MEDIA MARKETING (3 credits) Theoretical and applied aspects of media marketing and sales. Students should gain an understanding of how media organizations market themselves to businesses and the general public, as well as how businesses use various media in their marketing efforts. Salesmanship is an important aspect of this course, and students must be prepared to address marketing issues and perform in a professional manner. Prerequisites: MASC 2600, MASC 2640, and MASC 3691. (Might not be offered every year)

4692 ADVANCED PUBLIC RELATIONS (3 credits) Applied aspects of the field of public relations: a case studies course intended to provide students with the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge to the solution of simulated public relations problems. Through group discussion and problem solving processes, as well as individual analysis and reporting, students learn to address problems as efficiently and effectively as possible. Semester-long internships with local non-profit organizations offer the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge in everyday situations. Prerequisite: MASC 3691.

4800 ADVANCED COMMUNICATION SEMINAR (1 credit) Seminar for mass communication majors covering theoretical aspects in the discipline. The seminar topic changes each year, but usually centers on some sociological or philosophical aspect of the media. Students should gain an increased understanding of the complexity of interaction between the media and society, and a greater appreciation for the value of exchanging ideas with their peers. Prerequisite: Junior or senior status.

4891 COMMUNICATION THEORY AND RESEARCH (3 credits) For mass communication majors only. Theoretical and applied aspects of theory building and conducting research. Lectures and reading cover the theoretical underpinnings of inquiry in general, and communication research in particular. Students should gain the skill to conduct research useful for decision-making at a station, publication, or public relations office; or to publish an article in a scholarly publication. This course carries an exceptionally heavy reading requirement. It is taught in conjunction with Senior Thesis class, and by the end of the term, students have completed the hypothesis, methodology, and literature review for their thesis. Prerequisite: MASC 1840 and junior or senior status.

4892 SENIOR THESIS (3 credits) A capstone course for mass communication majors covering the applied aspects of writing a major research paper and intended as a culmination of their university experience. Students conduct the project independently, under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Students complete a thesis suitable for presentation or publication in an academic setting. Prerequisite: MASC 4891.


Mass Communication Program | All-University Courses and Descriptions
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