Communication in the Information Age
Professor: Billy D. Montgomery, MSJ
Office Hours: By arrangement only!
Cell Phone: 708-228-6127
THE ONLINE DESCRIPTION: "This course provides an overview of the various print and broadcast media, and arenas of communication, with particular focus on politics and the marketplace that create, reflect, maintain and evolve contemporary mass culture. Students will examine key issues within the context of rapid technological development and diffusion, and from a variety of perspectives."
We live in an age in which we constantly are being bombarded by messages. The "Information Age," as it's called, can be informative, overbearing, educational, inspirational and irritating. One human being now has the power to influence millions of other people, but one human being does not possess the time or the ability to absorb all of the information that's out there.
This course is a survey of media history and culture. Some of the questions which we'll consider throughout the course are:
??How have the media changed or had an impact on your life?
??How have changes in media changed society?
??What is "information?"
??Does more information make us better people?
??Are some kinds of information better than others?
??Do media really draw the world closer?
??What are the dangers and the benefits of different media?
??How can one person deal wisely with so much information every day?
Upon completion of JOUR 201 students will possess the knowledge, understanding and skills to:
??Demonstrate knowledge of specific industry histories, cultures, vocabularies, current bodies of knowledge, and in some instances, theoretical foundations.
??Recognize and describe the impact of mass media messaging on public perceptions of reality.
??Perform critical analysis of media practices and the cultural, social, political and economic implications of the different media.
??Identify the impact of mass communication on consumer behavior.
??Identify the impact of mass communication on the democratic process.
Textbook: Media & Culture; an Introduction to Mass Communication, Sixth Edition Update, by Richard Campbell, Christopher Martin & Bettina Fabos.
RECOMMENDED: Any recent version of the Associated Press Stylebook.
Your attendance and participation in class are very important. If illness, a work conflict or family obligations interfere, please let me know in advance. Make arrangements to get notes from another student. PLEASE! Turn all cell phones and pagers off during class.
Unexcused missed deadlines will mean a drop of one grade.
No hand?written copy, please. Use a computer; double?space all copy. Be sure to proof?read your work??DON'T RELY ON SPELL CHECK??it's not reliable; you don't want an easily detected and corrected mistake to remain in your copy and detract from your grade.
Media Watch Assignments: 20%
Mid?Term Exam: 15%
Reading Quizzes: 15%
Enterprise Assignment: 15%
Final Exam: 20%
An "A" means your work was coherent, well?organized and well?written. It contained few grammar, spelling, usage and typing errors and you showed that you knew how to properly attribute information taken from sources.
A "B" means your work had problems in one of the areas above: establishing or supporting its theme, properly attributing material, or keeping grammar, spelling, usage and typing mistakes to a minimum.
A "C" means your work had some problems in more than one of the areas mentioned above that pulled down the overall quality of the work.
A "D" means your work had problems in all of the areas mentioned above, or its problems in one or two areas were so substantial that they pulled the overall quality to below the average for students at this level.
An "F" means your work either had serious problems in all the areas mentioned above or it didn't fulfill the assignment.
There will be one mid?term exam, one final exam and a few reading quizzes, probably weekly, throughout the semester.
The following outline of the course work is tentative. Much may change depending on the availability of guests, discussions of breaking developments, etc.
WEEK ONE, Jan. 28
Getting to know you, developing a class roster, discussion of what we're going to do in this class.
1. For next week, write a 350-400 word autobiography (not for grade), telling me about yourself, about what aspects of media and communications interest you most, and what you'd like to be doing ten years from now.
2. Find one example of American culture that has spread to other parts of the world; be prepared to talk about it next week, and cite your source by writing a footnote in the proper style. You don’t have to write a paper for this, just be prepared to discuss it and attribute your sources.
3. Read chapter one of the text. Pay close attention to Media Literacy and the Critical Process on page 28. You will need to know the process for your future papers. Evaluate any one of the five statements in the “Questioning the Media” section on page 32. You don’t have to write a paper, but be prepared to discuss it next week.
WEEK TWO, Feb. 5
In Class: Media and Culture, the critical process and the process of mass communication. Assigning groups for group projects.
“Advertising and the End of the World” – Viewing
Due: Your autobiography and paper on the American cultural example you found.
Homework: Read chapter 3 and be prepared to discuss #4 and #5 from the “Questioning the Media” section.
WEEK THREE, Feb. 12
In Class: Sound Recording and Popular Music
Homework: Read chapter 4 and be prepared to discuss assigned questions.
WEEK FOUR, Feb. 19
In Class: Popular Radio and Origins of Broadcasting
Due: Group Presentation: Radio.
Homework: Read chapter 7 and be prepared to discuss assigned questions.
WEEK FIVE, Feb. 26
In Class: Movies and the Impact of Images
Due: Reflections #1.
Homework: Read chapter 8 and be prepared to discuss assigned questions.
WEEK SIX, March 4
In Class: Newspapers and the Ride of Modern Journalism
Homework: Read chapter 5 and be prepared to discuss assigned questions on March 25. Study for your mid-term.
WEEK SEVEN, March 11
March 17—NO CLASS…SPRING BREAK!
WEEK EIGHT, March 25
In Class: Television and the Power of Visual Culture.
Due: Group Presentation: Television
Homework: Read chapter 6 and be prepared to discuss assigned questions.
WEEK NINE, April 1
In Class: Cable and the Specialization of Television
Due: Reflections #2
Homework: Read chapter 10 and be prepared to discuss assigned questions.
WEEK TEN, April 8
In Class: Books and the Power of Print
Homework: Read chapter 2 and be prepared to discuss assigned questions.
WEEK ELEVEN, April 15
In Class: The Internet and New Technologies
Due: Group Presentation: The Internet and New Technologies.
Homework: Read chapter 9 and be prepared to discuss assigned questions.
WEEK TWELVE, April 22
In Class: Magazines in the Age of Specialization
Media and Culture, the critical process and the process of mass communication.
Homework: Read chapter 11 and be prepared to discuss assigned questions.
WEEK THIRTEEN, April 29
In Class: Advertising and Commercial Culture
Media and Culture, the critical process and the process of mass communication.
Homework: Read chapter 12 and be prepared to discuss assigned questions.
WEEK FOURTEEN, May 6
In Class: Public Relations and Framing the Message
Due: Reflections #3
Viewing – Taco Bell PR Move
Homework: Work on your final paper.
WEEK FIFTHTEEN, May 13
Final exam--open book, open notes
NOTE--AND THIS IS IMPORTANT: Roosevelt University's Academic Dishonesty Policy: Please read it??it's in your student handbook. It's important that you understand the value and gravity of doing your own work.
Billy Montgomery received his B.A. in Speech Communication from Chicago State University and his Master's Degree in Journalism at Roosevelt University. He is free-lance writer/editor for several small publications and conducts journalism workshop for high school publications. When he is not teaching, he does commercial and editorial photography.
APA [American Psychological Association] Style
A good resource for APA style (which is preferred by Roosevelt University) can be found at www.refdesk.com. Near the bottom of the right hand column there is a section of Style references.
In general, the APA style for an online reference should be in this form:
Author (last name first), Title of Article, Title of publication or Web site, Web site address, Date of article or date accessed.
ENTERPRISE ASSIGNMENT [Due May 6]
This Media Watch assignment is your term paper for the course. It is similar to all the others, except that you get to choose the topic, and you get to write more extensively about it. Any form of media is acceptable, so choose what interests you.
Write at least six and up to 10 pages about it, and include at least three properly foot?noted sources. Be sure to keep in mind the critical process that we studied way back on page 28 of the textbook. Good luck!