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Media & Communication

Course Description

From banner ads to billboards, newspaper articles, and Facebook feeds, people are constantly sharing ideas. This course looks at the many facets of mass media. Students will learn how the media shapes every aspect of our lives. We examine the role of newspapers, books, magazines, radio, movies, television, and the growing influence of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Unit 1: Introduction to Mass Media and Communication

This unit will lay the foundation for the rest of the course. Beginning by defining “Media” and “Mass Communication,” this unit will introduce you to a variety of media types and will briefly look at the history of media in the world and in America. It will also take a look at both new media and the globalization of media.

Unit 2: Print Media: Newspapers, Magazines, & Books

In this unit, we will review the history of printed media, including newspapers, magazines, and books. We will learn about how printed media functions as a business industry and will discuss some of the ethical issues that arise from the commercialization of print media. Also, we will define several forms of print media and will learn important events and ideas in the evolution of the press over time such as the invention of the printing press, America’s movement toward digital text, and issues concerning censorship

Unit 3: Electronic Media: Radio, Movies, and Televisions

In this unit, we will review the history of electronic media, including radio, movies, and television. It will also explore how each medium is used as well as how it has shaped our culture and our history. Additionally, will also learn important events and ideas around each medium.

Unit 4: The Internet & Social Media

In Unit 1, we defined new media in two ways: first, as an “emerging technology” that is usually related to the Internet; second, as information that can be manipulated, networked, dense, and impartial. In this unit, we will take a closer look at the rise of Digital technology, specifically as related to the Internet. We’ll begin by examining the history and the impact of the Internet on mass communication. We will then explore various types of social media and examine a few issues the Internet has raised.

Unit 5: The Powerful Influence of Media

In this unit, we will talk about the powerful impact media has on our identities, society, culture and politics. We will begin by looking at how objectivity and bias work in the media. We will then explore different events and concepts related to media influence. We will conclude by looking at the complicated relationship between the media and war.

Unit 6: Advertising and Public Relations

In the previous unit, we discussed the way the media can act as a powerful tool of change. Sometimes the change is social; sometimes it is political. Sometimes the change affects a group of people or a country; other times, it affects the individual. In this unit, we will look at the role the media plays in advertising and public relations. We will begin by defining both of these terms. We will then look at some of the strategies used in both advertising and public relations. Finally, we’ll end by looking at the effects of advertising and PR on politics and consumers.

Unit 7: Media Law and Regulations

In this unit, we will address the regulations on the media and the laws that govern it. We’ll begin by looking at how regulations have changed throughout history (from the Alien and Sedition Acts to the Patriot Act). We will then take a closer look at some of the factors that affect these laws and regulations, including prior restraint, defamation, privacy, the right to know, and copyright laws. We’ll end the unit with an overview of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Unit 8: The Ethics of Media

In this unit, we’ll first take a look at how ethics function to aid and assess media actions and decisions. We’ll begin with an overview of ethics and its defining principles. We’ll then look at the process of weighing an ethical decision. We’ll conclude the course by examining the ethical concerns in relation to journalism, photojournalism, entertainment, advertising, public relations, the Internet, and the media as a business.

Course Details

  • Date August 21, 2012
  • Tags High School Electives, Social Sciences
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