Media & Communication Required Courses

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COM 201 - Media & Society

1 course unit

Examines influences of mass media on participatory democracy and its cultural forms and the history, production, representation, and consumption of media in society.  Introduces students to social science approaches to the study of communication phenomena, including the logic of inquiry, standards of evidence, and grounds for making claims about communicative behaviors.  Topics may include social media, images and effects, corporate media culture, organizational structures of journalism, emergence of consumer culture, the Internet and digital media environments, and audience identification and interpretation of media.
Meets general academic requirement SL.

COM 231 - Documentary Research

1 course unit

Explores the American tradition of social documentary, focusing on milestone projects, including the work of James Agee and Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, William Carlos Williams, and Robert Coles.  Oral, visual, and textual modes of production are examined.  Special focus is given to new digital forms of representation and their impact on production, distribution, and consumption.  Framing this investigation are the ethical issues that emerge when rendering and representing individuals’ lives.  Students are introduced to the fundamental skills of investigative research, interviewing, gathering and interpreting information, and using print and electronic archives and research, and produce their own multi-media documentary projects.
Required 8-week lab.

   Prerequisite(s): COM 201 Media & Society.
   Meets general academic requirement W.

COM 301 - Media Theory & Methods

1 course unit

Explores classic and contemporary media theories and research methodologies, including the historical and philosophical foundations of paradigm formation in media research, the social and institutional contexts that led to the emergence of the communication discipline, and current controversies within the field.  This course builds upon principles and concepts introduced in Media & Society.

Prerequisite(s):COM 201 Media & Society and COM 231 Documentary Research.