COURSE SYLLABUS OUTLINE

 

DEPARTMENT: Journalism and Mass Communications

COURSE NUMBER: 670                                                                      CREDIT HOURS: 3

 

        I.            Title

Philosophical and Ethical Concepts of the Mass Media

 

 

      II.            Catalog            description

Lecture and seminar course in the concepts of the role of mass media in society.  Philosophical background to include legal and ethical issues. Prerequisite: Graduate standing

           

    III.            Purpose

To expose the master’s student in mass communications to the philosophical background of the basic types of press systems in society and the ramifications on media management, ethics, and law.

 

   IV.            Course objectives

To acquaint the graduate student with the philosophical background of the role of media in society and how the various philosophies affect media management, ethics, and law.

 

     V.            Content outline

The following content areas will be emphasized:

            – Authoritarian Theory

            – Libertarian Theory

            – Social Responsibility Theory

            – Ethics

            – Law

            – The Press vs. The Government

 

   VI.            Instructional activities

The class meetings will consist of lecture and discussion in a seminar setting.  Please complete the assigned readings by the day they are indicated on the class calendar (attached).  The readings were chosen as a good basis from which we all can begin our class discussions.

 

 VII.            Field and clinical experiences

 

Library Research (Reserve Desk).

 

VIII.            Resources

The class meetings will consist of lecture and discussion in a seminar setting.  Please complete the assigned readings by the day they are indicated on the class calendar (attached).  The readings were chosen as a good basis from which we all can begin our class discussions.

 

 

  1. Grading

      procedures

There are three examinations (including a comprehensive final) and one paper due.  The final and paper are worth 150 points each: the two remaining examinations are worth 100 points each.  You must do all of the work, meet deadlines (i.e., turn things in on time), and attend class.  If media professionals are driven by anything, they are driven by professionalism, punctuality, and deadlines.  You are in training for a competitive, professional environment.  I wouldn’t be doing you any favors by letting you goof off; your future employers certainly won’t.  Therefore, our deadline policy is a follows:

 

Late assignments or tests will not be accepted.  Of course, legitimate reasons for missing a deadline such as illness, a university-related trip, or job interview will cost you no penalty at all.  Please let me know as soon as possible of your legitimate reasons. 

 

 

Work that is unreadable, either because of failures of grammar and/or syntax, or because of physical presentation, will not be accepted.  Computer and/or printer problems are not legitimate reasons for missing a deadline.  Additionally, overcrowded or closed computer laboratories do not constitute a legitimate reason for missing a deadline.  It is your responsibility to plan ahead (or use a typewriter).  In the real world your employers will expect deadlines to be met, the computer revolution notwithstanding.       

 

Grades will be determined as follows:

 

            Points                        Percent         Grade

            465-500         93-100                A

            425-464         85-92                  B

            385-424         77-84                  C

            345-384         69-76                  D

            < 345              < 69                     E

 

Points will be earned according to the following breakdown:

 

            Test No. 1                              100 points                  20%

            Test No. 2                              100 points                  20%

            Final                                        150 points                  30%

            Paper                                     150 points                  30%

            TOTAL                                    500 Points                 100%

 

     X.            Attendance policy

 

Attendance and punctuality are required.  As you would be expected to be punctual and present on a professional job, you are expected to attend all classes and labs.  A legitimate reason for being absent such as illness or a university-related trip should be brought to the instructor’s attention by notifying the instructor of an absence ahead of time, just as you would notify a professional employer.  Thus, unexcused absences will negatively affect a student’s grade.  A test missed because of an excused absence may be made up at the discretion of the instructor, but a test missed because of an unexcused absence may not be made up.  In the case of excused absences, homework assignments due on the missed day(s) are due at the next class meeting. For details of this policy, see the current issue of the Graduate Bulletin.

 

   XI.            Academic honesty

      policy

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.  For details of this policy, see the current issue of the Graduate Bulletin.

 

 

 XII.            Text and references

1. Altschull. From Milton to McLuhan, New York: Longman.

2. Postman. Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century, New York: Knopf.

 

XIII.            Prerequisites

Graduate standing