COM 107Spring08.3 Syllabus

COM 107Spring08.3 Syllabus - COM 107.3(35313 Communications...

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COM 107.3 (35313) Communications & Society Spring 2008 Tuesdays & Thursdays 2:00-3:20pm NHI A2 Professor : T. Makana Chock, Ph.D. T.A. : Zhang Di email: [email protected] email: [email protected] office: NH I, 309 office: NH1, 4 phone: 443-9238 phone: office hours: Mon. & Wed.9:35-10:50am; office hours: Tues. & Thurs., Thurs. 3:35-5:15pm or by appt 12:30-2:00 ____________________________________________________________ You are taking this introductory course, titled Communications and Society , at a crucial time in the history of the media in the U.S. We are in an historical period similar to the invention of photography in the 1830s; the invention of film in the 1890s; the invention of radio in the 1920s; the invention of television in the 1940s; and the emergence of cable television as a programming medium in the 1980s. Today the revolution is in digital communication and the riches of the Internet. Whenever a new medium such as the Internet appears to challenge the existing media, those media have had to adapt and change. That is the case today as the "old" media, along with advertising and public relations, struggle to adjust to the Internet. This is the revolution we are witnessing, and in which you will participate. A second trend, accelerated by the Internet, has been the steady movement over the past 50 years from mass media to niche media to personal media. No longer are media messages created only by big media companies. Now the public can create its own messages and disseminate them to audiences large and small. This undercuts the monopoly over information exercised by the old media. Thus the two over-arching themes for this course in the Spring 2008 are: o The impact of digital technology on the “old” media o The emergence of the individual (as opposed to the large media company) as a producer of content with both niche and mass appeal. Our focus will be on developments in the United States, but we will not overlook the global context in which our media operate. We will examine the power of the media, and the limits to that power; the meaning of freedom of the press; the structure of media ownership; the role of advertising in our for- profit media system; the current status of all the media as they adjust to the Internet; the nature of news and public relations; and we will examine the ways in which certain messages shape and reflect social norms, reinforce stereotypes, and influence our perceptions of others. At the conclusion of the course, I hope you will have a more critical (but not cynical) understanding of the role of the mass media in American life, and of the demands on the professionals who create and distribute media content. ____________________________________________________________ COM 107 Spring 08 Syllabus/Page 1
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Course Resources : There are three required texts for this course. A number of additional readings will be provided as the semester progresses. In order to keep up with class discussion and lectures, you will need to complete the assigned readings prior to coming to class.
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