Mass Communication and Society

Course Number: COMM 228
Transcript Title: Mass Communication and Society
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: June 6, 2017
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121.

Course Description

Explores the symbiotic relationship of the mass media and society from a rhetorical perspective. Examines the technological advancements in mass communications and their subsequent effect on public discourse and the individual in society. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the role of media freedoms in preserving our democracy and building and maintaining a free society.
  2. Recognize the impact of political and economic influences on media content.
  3. Recognize the importance of ethical standards within mass media, as they relate to the pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity.
  4. Evaluate media information through the application of media literacy and critical thinking skills.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

Not Addressed 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)


4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)


5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment strategies may include:

  • Qualitative examinations
  • Quantitative examinations
  • Essays
  • Journals
  • Research papers
  • In-class participation
  • Portfolios
  • Projects
  • Oral presentations
  • Group work
  • Reaction papers
  • Service Learning

Course Activities and Design

  • Weekly readings from course textbook and chapter quizzes.
  • In-class activities including case studies, analysis of advertising, media vehicles, films.
  • In-class discussion of the concepts and principles of mass communication, including monopolistic ownership, political and corporate influences, reflection of society.
  • Supplemental films.
  • Presentation and sharing of media-related research projects.
  • Field exercises.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts & Issues:

  • Histories and growth of different media
  • Connections between types of media
  • Print media
  • Radio
  • Electronic media
  • Persuasive Professionals
  • International Media
  • Connection between media and society
  • Political Economy analysis of media
  • Media literacy
  • Media and democracy

Competencies and Skills:

  • Be able to analyze the functions of mass communication systems and their effect on society.
  • Be able to explain the histories and connections between different media.
  • Be able to see how the dissemination of information influences individual perceptions.
  • Be able to identify the differences and similarities in the broad range of mass media.
  • Be able to make connections between and among the different elements influencing mass media.