Courses in Communication Studies (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 two 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

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. 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 and 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 and 004 Advanced Public Affairs Writing. An issue oriented advanced public affairs writing course that analyzes and evaluates theories, relationships, strategies, responsibilities, and ethics regarding media conduct and coverage of public policy and selected elected officials at the national, state, and local level. Students research and analyze the changing role of media in American politics and the public impact. Contrasting and comparing the upcoming 1996 presidential campaign to the 1992 and previous campaigns includes political media coverage of issues, candidates and party ideologies. 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 Points of View. This course deals with opinion and commentary writing in print and broadcast. It will examine how writing from a point of view about current affairs differs from "objective" news and feature reporting. It will look at the reporting methods and content and structure of these articles and their place within the publications and broadcasts. The emphasis will be on political and social commentary rather than arts criticism. Assignments include writing three major pieces in this form. Working in teams, students will critique each other's work, conduct research and present their findings to the class as a whole. The intent of the course is to make students more effective as consumers of mass media commentary and to improve their skills as critical writers. Lecture and recitation. WL:1 (Friendly)

305/Ling. 305/Poli. Sci. 305. Political and Advertising Discourse. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

See Linguistics 305. (Heath)

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 introduces students to the sociological and political analysis of mass communication by focusing on significant contemporary mass media issues. After a brief introduction to social theories of the media, the course will examine three current debates that center on media effects and their policy implications: (1) the issue of the effects of media violence and the further question of what, if anything, society should do about it; (2) the current debate over funding PBS, which raises a number of issues, including the function of the public sphere in democratic societies, the question of market versus government control, the liberal or conservative bias of the media, and whether or not a commercial or public system best fulfills the public interest; and (3) the Information Superhighway the implementation of new technologies raise a number of important issues concerning privacy, consumerism, community, economic quality, and public policy. Each of these issue areas will be examined in terms of the effects of the media on individuals, the broader social and cultural effects of the media, and the implications for media policy. Cost:2 WL:1 (Sholle)

330. Analyzing Print Journalism. (3). (Excl).

This course examines the performance of print journalism in American democratic society today. It looks at the press in its traditional roles as informer, popular educator, advocate, watchdog, investigator, storyteller, imagemaker and creator of social reality. It examines press criticism from inside and outside during twentieth century and evolving standards of professional journalism. Students will do short exercises designed to develop their critical abilities and two longer critiques of press coverage: one in a traditional news area and one in controversial and lesser covered areas, such as women's issues, minorities and racism, quality of life, social change and social welfare and education. Students should develop the ability to read and critically analyze news reporting and support their evaluations with evidence and argument. WL:1 (Stevens)

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)

407. Television and Children. (3). (Excl).

Examines the influences of television on children in American society. The course is designed to explore in-depth the literature on media effects, emphasizing the interaction of mass media, psychological development, and social behavior. The focus is interdisciplinary. Course readings will examine both methodological and theoretical issues, drawing from work in communication, psychology, human development, and public policy. (Wright)

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

This course examines critical approaches to the study of television and its central role in American culture. The course investigates social, political, economic, aesthetic, and moral issues regarding our relationships to television as a culture industry and develops strategies for understanding and confronting these issues. Critical approaches to television analysis (including semiotics, narrative theory, ideological analysis, and cultural studies) will be examined and applied to selected media representations. The main focus of these applications will be on advertising and consumerism, television narrative and the representation of social groups, talk shows and public discussion, and television event coverage of the Persian Gulf War. (Sholle)

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

This course is devoted to a simple proposition: that the mass media have become an inescapable element of the American political system at every level from state to national government. This course will examine how the press covers politics, the impact of press coverage on politics and policy, government officials' strategies for using the media to their advantage, and how the press influences public opinion and shapes the political agenda. A special focus of the course will be the role of the press in the presidential election process, with an emphasis on what we can learn and predict about the 1996 race already underway. (Thrall)

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)

440/CAAS 440/Film-Video 440. African Cinema. (3). (Excl).

See CAAS 440. (Ukadike)

500. Seminar. Open to senior concentrators. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001.
This is a primarily reading/writing seminar discussing creative non-fiction works from the 1964 advent of New Journalism to 1995 current representations. Style and Substance of story-telling will be emphasized in mandatory class discussions. Students will be evaluated on participation and assigned writing exercises. There will be an assigned reading text and an evolving course pack. Cost:2 WL:1 (Kubit)

Section 002 Mass Media and Democracy. This seminar analyzes the role of mass media in democracy and the democratization process. It begins with the assumption that since information is power, the mass media can be said to play an inextricable, constitutive part in the shaping of public life. The course will invite students to consider philosophical and cultural/historical foundations for a democratic media and society, as well as theoretical and practical considerations in the development of democratic media systems. The seminar also addresses the role played by the mass media in current public debates on welfare, "family values," affirmative action, and gun control. (McLaughlin)

Section 003 Screening Social Change: Social Movements in a Globalizing World. For Winter Term, 1996, this section is offered jointly with Film-Video 420.020. (Clark)

518. Cross-Cultural Communication. Senior standing or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Examines some of the major issues concerning the nature of international communication: the flow of information across national boundaries, the unequal distribution and access to information worldwide, the varying points of viewing concerning the New World Information Order, the worldwide consequences of the Information Age (post-industrial society), the new paradigms that are being developed to explain and predict the development of media in underdeveloped societies and propaganda analysis. A major concern of this course is to understand how communication and the media, especially, operate in an international context and to evaluate some of the arguments and notions concerning their future global operations, with particular reference to the developing world. WL:1 (Allen)

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)

555. Media History. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 War in the Media Age.
America now wages war in the Media Age. Journalists in foreign capitals interviewing enemy leaders, presidential diplomacy via CNN, Pentagon films of guided missiles, and live television newscasts from the war zone have become as much a part of war as death and destruction. Even more important, they are all most people will ever know of war personally. News-hungry publics rely on the media to tell them how wars are going, how their troops are fighting, and how their political leaders are leading. What makes the evening news, therefore, matters more to both the public and to officials than ever before. This course examines the role of the media and its impact on the public, politicians, and policy during wartime, focusing on four cases: Vietnam, the 1983 invasion of Grenada, the 1989 invasion of Panama, and the Persian Gulf War. (Thrall)

Section 002 Documentary Film. For Winter Term, 1996, this section is offered jointly with Film and Video Studies 420.001. (Ukadike)

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

This 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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