S Y L L A B U S


Course Title:                   Introduction to Mass Media

Course Number:            COM200

Period:                            Fall 2006

Credits:                          Three hours.

Professor:                       Kristen Palana


                                        office phone. 06/58330919 ext. 323

Time:                            Mondays & Wednesdays 9:00- 10:25 AM

Office hours:                By appointment.

                                      Room: Writing Center, 5th Floor, Building B.

Required text:             Understanding Mass Communication (7th edition.) by M. DeFleur & E.Dennis. Houghton Mifflin,                                       Boston2002. ISBN: 0618128573

                                     Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 16.

                                     Additional readings from handouts and online sources.

Course Description:

An introduction to the history and functioning of the mass media based on lectures, reading, and analysis of various media products


Course Objective:          

To teach students about the history and development of the various mass media we deal with every day, their origins and principles, and some ethical and legal issues which media users and practitioners may face.

Course Procedure:

Class lectures, guest lectures, reading and analysis of media products. Course work includes writing assignments, and occasional pop quizzes on reading assignments.  

Expected Outcomes:

The students will learn about the origins and history of the various media, and how they developed to become a major influence in our lives, and why we call ourselves an information society today.

Outcome Assessment:

Periodic quizzes, writing assignments, media journal, a term project and a midterm and a final exam, to evaluate students’ increasing media literacy and awareness in their consumption of media products.

Term Project:

An 8 to 10 page research paper on a topic related to material covered in the course. Minimum 5 sources in your bibliography, internet sources accepted but the material referred to MUST be printed out and attached to the paper. Complete and accurate footnotes/endnotes must be included.


Grading:                    Midterm Exam                                         20%

                                    Final Exam                                              20%

                                    Term Project                                           25%

                                    Writing Assignments/Media Journal       15%

                                    Participation                                            10%

                                    Attendance                                              10%  


Courtesy Policy:

Make sure your cell phone is turned off. If you have an emergency situation that requires your phone to be on, please speak with me first.

Ringing cell phones, late arrival, leaving early, and walking in and out of class while class is in session is disrespectful to your Professor and to your fellow classmates and will result in the lowering of your Class Participation Grade and Overall Grade.

Attendance Grading:    0-2 unexcused absences   A

                                        3        “              “            B

                                        4        “              “            C

                                        5        “              “            D

                                        6   and above                   F

An unexcused absence is one without a valid medical justification, or a written note from the Provost. No make-up exams or quizzes will be given without a documented medical excuse. Incomplete grades are not given.

Attendance is taken at the start of each class. Late arrival will be marked as such. Each 2 late arrivals count as an absence. Arriving more than 10 minutes late counts as an absence.

Grade Scale:

A    =   94 - 100                B    =   83 - 86                C    =   70 - 74

A-   =   90 - 93                 B-   =   80 - 82                D    =   60 - 69

B+   =   87 - 89                C+  =   75 - 79                F    =     0 – 59


*This outline is subject to change. Tentative: Guest speaker or field trip. TBD.

WEEK                     TOPIC

1   Day 1.                     Introduction to mass comm. and mass media. The functions of the media.

                              Read Ch.1 for next class.

     Day2.                    Ch. 1 : The Nature of Mass Communication. Read ch.2 for Mon. and handouts on news for Weds.

2   Day 1.                   Ch.2 Books : analysis and understanding as per chapter.


    Day 2.                   The power of news. Read ch. 3 and handout for next class


3   Day 1.                   Ch.3 Newspapers : analysis and understanding as per reading.

     Day 2.                   Newspapers continued. Read ch. 4 for next class.

4   Day 1.                   Ch.4 Magazines : analysis and understanding.

     Day 2.                  Magazines continued. Magazine writing. Read ch.5 for Mon..

5   Day 1.                     Chapter 5. Film. Read ch.6 for Weds. 

                                      Term Paper proposals due.

     Day 2.                   Ch. 6 Radio. Listening to various shows, analysis. Read ch. 7 for Mon.

6    Day 1                   Ch. 7 Television. Analysis of some shows as per reading.

      Day 2                  Television continued.

7     Day 1                  Review for Midterm exam                  

       Day 2                 Midterm exam.

                              Read over break handouts on media literacy.                              

   Day 1                What is media literacy? Why is it important?

       Day 2                 How do we make sense of the world through the media? 

                              Read ch. 13 and handout for Mon.

   Day 1                  Ch. 13 : Audiences

       Day 2                     Continued.

                              Read handout on entertainment for Mon.15 Nov.

10   Day 1                  What is entertainment? Development of media industries.

                                      Term projects due.

        Day 2                Continued.

                                       Read ch.8 for Mon.

11    Day 1                Ch. 8: The New Media.

                                     Read ch. 16 for Weds.

       Day 2                Media ethics.              

12    Day 1                Ethics continued.

                                     Portfolio with all assignments due.

                                      Read handout for Weds.

       Day 2                Putting it all together: the media literacy perspective.

                                      Final re-write of term projects due.

13   Day 1                  Strategies for increasing media literacy.

       Day 2                 Round-up and review for final exam.