Courses in Communication (Division 352)

100. Public and Interpersonal Communication. Not open to seniors. (3). (Excl).

The goal of this course is to develop a substantive understanding of the communication process (as well as to develop the ability to articulate this understanding) within the medium of public speaking in order to become better communicators. The course is organized around cultivating situationally-specific rhetorical and performance-based strategies for individuals seeking to achieve a particular goal. Because we only have so much time to work with, the course will put a great emphasis on analysis as a means of building an informed base from which one may improve more significantly, as well as on the broadening of our "performance vocabulary" to encourage more creative and effective work in this highly artificial setting. The "analyses" will include such issues as: the relationship between speaker and audience, the construction of meaning, the cultural functions of public speaking, among others. Cost:1 WL:1

103. Introduction to Mass Communication. Not open to seniors. (4). (SS).

This course is designed to provide an introductory overview of the historical, social, political, economic, and cultural contexts, structures and processes of the mass media. We will concentrate primarily on communication technologies, practices and perspectives in an American context. The course objective is to analyze the historical and current factors influencing the development of mass media and our relationships to them. The class consists of three lectures or viewings per week and one discussion section. Grading is based on two essays, two exams and critical/analytical questions handed in during discussion sections. (McLaughlin)

202. Freedom of Expression. (3). (SS).

This course focuses on First Amendment protection of speech and expression. There is study of U.S. Supreme Court decisions and general principles of First Amendment law. Emphasis is given to how discrimination against oppressed groups has been involved in struggles for free expression. Topics covered include civil rights protests, television and film censorship, book banning, libel, advertising restrictions and free speech on university campuses. There are three exams of equal weight and students may write extra credit papers. Cost:2 WL:1 (Lowenstein)

206. Evaluating and Communicating Information. (4). (SS). (QR/1).

This course teaches the fundamental thinking skills necessary for critical evaluation and presentation of arguments, especially those based on quantitative information. Such skills are required for one to be a competent mass communicator of information, a critical consumer of information relayed by the mass media, or an intelligent scholar of media processes and effects. The course introduces generic logical and statistical concepts through analysis and discussion of specific cases drawn from research reported in the mass media (e.g., health and business news, public opinion polls), research on the media (e.g., the impact of media violence), and research for the media (e.g., audience research). Students' logical and quantitative reasoning skills are improved through a variety of "hands-on" exercises and projects (many involving computerized spreadsheet programs). The course is introductory in nature, and no prior statistical or computing expertise is required. Cost:2 WL:1 (Traugott)

217/WS 200. Women in Popular Films and Television. (3). (Excl).

This course is an introduction to the representation of women in popular film and television. Taking a critical perspective, we will examine the historical roles of women as images, producers, and audiences for each medium. Special attention will be given to female sexuality and women's roles in the family and the outside workplace, with particular emphasis on the recurring theme of women's moral and social responsibility for both order and disorder. These issues will be considered from the various points of view in forming feminist film theory. The course will consist of one viewing and one lecture/discussion each week. Grading will be on students' writing three papers during the term, handing in four questions based on critical inquiry each week, and participating in class discussion. (McLaughlin)

250. Information Gathering for Mass Media. (3). (Excl).

This course teaches the strategies used in finding information, evaluating its validity and reporting the results in a number of mass media applications, including journalism, public relations, marketing, and advertising. The approach combines research methods used by media professionals and by librarians. Problem-solving assignments are applied to the information industry. Cost:2 WL:1 (Hall)

290. News Writing. (3). (Excl).

Covers the fundamentals of newspaper reporting and writing, including: defining news, information gathering, interviewing techniques, enterprising story ideas, with emphasis on writing clarity and accuracy. Weekly assignments. Cost:2 WL:1 (Kubit)

301(401). Mass Communication Theory. (3). (SS).

This lecture and discussion course will present a broad overview of the various theories of mass communication processes and effects on individuals and the social system. Mass communication effects on knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of individuals, as well as influences on the functioning and ideology of social systems will be covered. After initial review of basic social scientific concepts and methods necessary for an understanding of the reading material, the course will give to the examination of theory and research efforts, proceeding, in general, from investigations of individual to societal-level processes. Critical reading and evaluation of social scientific theory and research is expected, and is developed. Grading will be based on midterm, a final, and a paper, in addition to occasional section assignments. Cost:2 WL:1 (Oshagan)

302. Writing for the Mass Media. Comm. 290, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits with permission of concentration advisor.
Sections 001 & 002 Feature Writing for the Mass Media.
The course provides an integrated approach to mastering the basic concepts and techniques for feature writing for the mass media. It is anticipated students will offer their work to area media for publication. Multiple writing assignments will foster improved writing and test students' mastery of course material. It is anticipated students will write three papers of approximately five pages each, revised one or more times. In addition, students will write additional assignments on outlining, character development, and the analysis of other writing. Students will receive written criticism, as well as oral evaluation by the instructor. Students will also be expected to attend one or more readings by visiting writers, as well as participate in class discussion. Cost:1 WL:1 (Hall)

Sections 003 & 004 Corporate Communication/Integrated Marketing. This course is designed to improve general writing skills and develop specialized media writing styles including news release, speech, brochure, advertising, business memorandum, technical writing for annual reports, position papers, and advertising, marketing, public relations strategic plans. Students are exposed to the writing skills, concept development, research methodology, and analytical process required in corporate communication. The current and future underlying management theories of the corporate culture and how corporate policy and goals affect American society and specific market populations will be discussed and analyzed including critical thinking regarding corporate responsibility for the 21st century. The final writing project which is a comprehensive marketing/ advertising/public relations strategic plan with collateral creative elements represents 60% of the grade and replaces the standard final exam. Attendance is mandatory. (Moseley)

Section 005 Advertising. Copywriting for print radio and TV. Weekly writing assignments both in-class and take-home. Individual and team efforts. Final project will be the creation and execution of a complete advertising campaign. Professional guest speakers. Cost:2 WL:1 (Kalisewicz)

Section 006. This section focuses on magazine feature writing. Students will study potential markets and research, write and rewrite appropriate articles. Frequent exercises and writing assignments throughout the term will determine course grades. No exams. Computer literacy essential. Comm. 290 required; however, this may be waived for students with writing or publication experience. Cost:1 WL:1 (Stevens)

310. Persuasive Communication. (3). (Excl).

In this lecture course, we will investigate the ways in which people try to influence the attitudes and behavior of others. This course is intended to serve three basic functions. First, it is intended to inform persuasive practice, enabling potential persuaders to maximize their opportunities for social control. Second, it is intended to enable us to become more intelligent and discriminating consumers of persuasive communication. Finally, it is intended to add to our understanding of human psychology and the individual's place in society and culture. WL:1 (Allen)

312. Communication and Contemporary Society. (4). (Excl).

This course begins by introducing several psychological models of mind. With these models as the theoretical basis, the relationship of the mass media to various aspects of contemporary American society is examined. Topics covered in this survey course include: mass communication and the maintenance of cultural norms, social roles, and stereotypes; media as a force for social change; influences on socialization; and the impact of American mass media on governmental, economic, and educational institutions. Popular concerns about particular effects of the media are examined critically in light of research findings. (Thornhill)

400. The Media in American History. (4). (SS).

This lecture course places the development of American mass media in broader social, economic, and political perspectives. While there are no specific prerequisites, a general grounding in American history is recommended. Grades are based on one hourly exam and a series of short papers plus a term paper and a final comprehensive examination. Cost:3 WL:1 (Stevens)

403. Ethics of Journalism. (3). (Excl).

This course will examine standards of performance and codes of conduct for journalists. Students will apply those standards and codes to real and hypothetical cases and situations faced by journalists in the gathering and reporting of the news. Class discussion will be emphasized. Cost:1 WL:1 (Bishop)

405. The Media and the Arts. Comm. 103 and upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).

This course will combine lecture and discussion to examine how the arts are reported on and reviewed in the mass media. It focuses on the analytical skills demanded of art's critics and on the writing they produce, and looks beyond to broader ethical, political and economic issues. To help you become more knowledgeable about the subject matter, the course includes background information on the arts. Lively interest, rather than pre-existing "expert" status, is what students will be expected to contribute in class sessions. (Nisbett)

409. The Michigan Journalist. Comm. 290 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Editing the News.
Introduces students to theories and practices of news, story and copy editing for daily and weekly newspapers. Includes discussion of editing for magazines and broadcast news programs. Students learn basics of assignment, supervision and editing for news value, sense, style, grammar, spelling, syntax, and factual accuracy. Course looks at how editing functions differ from reporting duties and examines newsroom structures and how they affect decisions about coverage and play of stories. Guest editors from print and broadcast discuss newsroom organization and management and ethical issues that arise in news editing practice. Laboratory sessions deal with technical production requirements such as story length, placement, grammar, spelling, and fact-checking. Students edit stories for content and style, prepare headlines and other display type, design pages and organize news reports for different media. Cost:2 WL:1 (Friendly)

417. Analyzing Television. Comm. 103 and junior standing. (4). (HU).

Treating all of the familiar programs of popular American television as meaningful cultural documents, this course challenges students to explore new ways of thinking about the social, moral, political, artistic and economic implications of the television experience. Key topics addressed in the course include: historiography, narrative theory, the representation of race and gender, genre theory, intertextuality, and postmodernism. Students should expect to encounter two major writing assignments, as well as two exams (a midterm and a final). (Reeves)

420/Pol. Sci. 420. Politics and the Mass Media. Pol. Sci. 111, 300, 410, or 411. (4). (Excl).

This course is designed to make students aware of the mass media's impact on the American political process. Topics examined include the people behind the media's political coverage and how they operate, how politicians interact with and use the media, and how the mass media affect voters and politics in this country. These topics will be approached from journalistic, communications and political science perspectives. WL:1 (Hubbard)

425. Introduction to Radio and Television Directing. Comm. 421. (3). (Excl).

This course is designed to give students continued experience in planning, writing, producing, and directing radio and television productions, and to provide further insight into the concepts and methods of electronic media production. Projects will cover both in-studio and on-location production. Instruction will consist of lectures, laboratory exercises, guest speakers, and in-class analysis and critique of student and professional broadcast programming. Grading will be based on production exercises and projects, short papers and exams. Students must have completed Communication 421 and must be present at the first lecture and lab session to maintain enrollment. Laboratory sessions are held at the Frieze Radio Studio and at the LS&A Television Studios at 400 Fourth Street; students should allow for travel time. (Sarris & Young)

427. Preparation of Radio and TV Continuity. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

This course is designed to give students experience in writing scripts for non-dramatic radio and television programs. The writing assignments include: radio and television commercials, public service announcements, commentaries, features and documentaries. Emphasis is on use of language and visuals to communicate ideas and to influence viewer perception, as well as adapting writing to script formats and precise lengths of time. Instruction is through lecture, written comments on scripts, individual conferences, in-class critique and discussion of student writing, and evaluation and analysis of professional broadcast scripting through the use of video and audio tapes. Attendance and participation in class discussions are mandatory. Cost:2 WL:1 (Oswald)

428. Writing Drama for Film and Television. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

This course is a workshop in writing dramatic narrative scripts for feature-length films or Made-for-TV Movies. The objectives of this class are to teach skills for the development of dramatic concepts (structure, character, dialogue, etc.), to provide a better critical understanding of the devices used by screenwriters and filmmakers, to encourage an appreciation of the writer's role in filmmaking (both possibilities and limitations), and finally to teach the standard format of the screenplay. This class requires completion of a feature-length (90-120 page) screenplay (1 draft and 1 rewrite); analysis of film and TV scripts; group critiques of student works-in-progress, and various other assignments. Cost:1 WL:1 (Burr)

450. Undergraduate Internship. Junior standing, concentration in Communication and permission of instructor. (2). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (EXPERIENTIAL). May be elected for a total of six credits.

Communication 450 is the department's internship course, designed to give junior or senior Communication concentrators credit for appropriate practical work experience. Time requirement for a 2-credit internship is approximately 15 hours per week for a 14-week term (approximately 210 hours). Student evaluation is based on satisfactory completion of the internship, written recommendation of the internship sponsor, and two short papers. Internship credit is not retroactive and must be pre-arranged. Internship credit can not be used to fill communication electives in the concentration plan. Cost:None WL:Registration is by P.I. only. For further information and approval, Communication students should contact the internship coordinator in the Department of Communication.

500. Seminar. Open to senior concentrators. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 Literary Journalism.
Reading survey course with discussion seminar which covers literary nonfiction from New Journalists to current practitioners. This course is open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. (Kubit)

Section 002 Cinema of Resistance. This course surveys the cinematic/media practices of the developing nations of Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. This filmic practice, at once revolutionary and ideological, has not only produced some of the world's most striking filmic innovations, but is now recognizes as having initiated a new phase and expanded definitions of the art of cinema. Despite this accomplishment, such films remain virtually unknown in the United States. Our purpose will be to study some of these rarely seen narrative/ fictional and documentary films, video and television productions in order to provide an historical, theoretical and comparative analysis of the wide variety of styles and themes found in contemporary media practices. The issues to be addressed include: the development of a national cinema; the impact of politics on film style; video and television culture; the commonalities and differences in modes of production; the relationship of film to the society's values and cultures (ideology); and the role of cinema as a mediation of history. Screenings, readings and writing assignments required. (Open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students.) WL:1 (Ukadike)

528. Advanced Television Writing. Comm. 428 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course involves the study of narrative strategies in the preparation of dramatic scripts for the electronic and celluloid media: radio, television and film, respectively. Students are expected to have a knowledge of mass media history and theory, but more significantly a solid grounding in classic fiction and drama. Class members prepare a finished script (length optional) for evaluation in a writer's workshop format as time allows. Attendance, preparatory assignments and the final script serve as the basis of the course grade. This class emphasizes the art of provocative story-telling through mass media channels rather than the writing of speculation scripts designed specifically for existing programs. (Beaver)

550. Reporting the Sciences. Comm. 302, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Endangered species, air pollution, toxic waste. Everywhere you look these days, environment stories are in the news. What decisions do journalists make in defining and presenting news about the environment? How do these choices influence public debate on everything from local development to the future of the planet? Students will both critique environmental journalism and learn how to practice it. The course is team taught by Emilia Askari of the Detroit Free Press and Julie Edelson, who writes for the New York Times and environmental trade journals. The give detailed, individual feedback on student assignments and lead roundtable discussions sparked by reading assignments and a stellar series of guest speakers. Last year's roster included the best-known environmental reporter in the country (Keith Schneider of the New York Times); a Pulitzer Prize-winning environmental reporter (Mike Mansur of the Kansas City Star) and other leading journalists from the management and reporting ranks of the Detroit Free Press and News, the Ann Arbor News, a Lansing television station and Michigan Public Radio; a high-paid Washington Lobbyist; a higher-paid spokesman for the Dow Chemical Company; several media-shy scientists; a man with the HIV virus who want better AIDS coverage; and media-bashing activists with Greenpeace and the National Wildlife Federation. Field trips to place like the Environmental Protection Agency's Ann Arbor lab are also central to this popular course. Students must enjoy thinking critically, debating rigorously, and re-writing extensively based on the instructor's comments. (Edelson & Askari)

551. Investigative Reporting. Comm. 302 or 600; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

The course is designed to help students participate, conceive and investigate a project and carry it through to completion. Course work will cover all the basics, from how to unearth details about corporations and individuals to the use of databases and computer tapes, ethical dilemmas, and how best to structure a series of stories. (Wark)

554. Media and Government. (3). (Excl).

This seminar class is concerned with the relationship between American government and the mass media. How is the government covered? How do government officials interact with the press? How do people respond to media coverage of the government? How is public opinion affected by mass media? Do the media have some quasi-mythical "mission" as "the fourth estate" or fourth branch of government? If so, are they fulfilling this mission? These are some of the questions the class will attempt to answer, or at least gain some insight into, as many of these questions are unanswerable given the current scope of social science. (Hubbard)

559. Foreign Correspondence. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

The seminar compares news organizations on a cross-cultural basis by monitoring how publications and broadcast organizations cover the same news event. Students select organizations from around the world, research them, and report to the class. Reading knowledge of a foreign language is preferred. (Eisendrath)


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