DEPARTMENT: Journalism and Mass Communications

COURSE NUMBER: 599                                                                      CREDIT HOURS: 3


        I.            Title

American Mass Media


      II.            Catalog            description

Guided independent study in the structure of the mass media in the United States and the impact of American media content on audiences; a Pass/Fail course that cannot be used for credit toward any JMC degree. Completion may be required of students as a condition for admission to the JMC graduate program. Students seeking graduate credit must be admitted to graduate status prior to enrolling in this course and will be required to complete assignments beyond those required of undergraduate students. Prerequisites: Consent of the Graduate Coordinator


    III.            Purpose

To provide a fundamental knowledge of the American media system for international students and American students who did not earn an undergraduate degree in a mass communications discipline


   IV.            Course objectives

Students will learn the history, structure, and economic and political foundations of the mass media in America, their function in society, and the nature of media messages and their effects on audiences.


     V.            Content outline

A.     Development and structure of major American media

B.     Development and structure of journalism, advertising and public relations as American media professions

C.    American mass media audiences

D.    Regulation and ethics of American mass media

E.     Fundamentals of mass media research and theory


   VI.            Instructional activities

This is a guided independent study. Students proceed at their own pace through the modules, writing a graded essay at the end of each one. Undergraduate students complete modules A - D; graduate students must complete all five.




 VII.            Field and clinical experiences







VIII.            Resources

Resources employed will include holdings at the MSU and correspondent libraries and a variety of on-line sources.


  1. Grading


All grades are Pass/Fail. Students may repeat any exercise as often as necessary, but must receive a passing grade on each one to complete this course with grade of Pass. 


     X.            Attendance policy


This class is designed for distance learning.


   XI.            Academic honesty


Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.  In accordance with the Academic Integrity policy of Murray State University, the normal penalty for plagiarism or cheating of any kind will be automatic failure of the course and possible dismissal from the program and the university. For details of this policy, see the current issues of the Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletins.


 XII.            Text and references

The Dynamics of Mass Communication, 8th Edition (2005), Joseph Dominick, ISBN 0072885793


 And for Graduate Students only


Milestones in Mass Communication Research, 3rd Edition (1995), Shearon Lowery and Melvin DeFleur, ISBN 0801314372


XIII.            Prerequisites

Consent of the Graduate Coordinator