[Catalog Icon]

Mass Communication


School of Media Arts and Design

MCOM 200. Foundations of Mass Communication. 3 credits.

Study of the history, nature, economics and regulatory problems of mass communication systems. Emphasis on the evolving nature of contemporary problems involving new technologies. Consideration of ethical issues facing the print and broadcast industries.

MCOM 205. Mass Communication and Society. 3 credits.

Study of the personal functions and societal effects of mass communication in America. Emphasis on contemporary theories of media influence. Consideration of the global impact of American mass culture. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

MCOM 210. News Writing. 4 credits.

The study of the fundamentals of news writing, including news gathering techniques and modern news style. Emphasis on day-to-day coverage of meetings, events and breaking news stories. Prerequisite: Passing score on the school's English proficiency test.

MCOM 220. News Editing. 3 credits.

The study of editorial functions in the modern newsroom. Consideration of problems in news judgment, news style and the laws of libel. Emphasis upon layout and headline writing. Prerequisite: Passing score on the school's English proficiency test.

MCOM 225. Visual Communication. 3 credits.

The study of visual information gathering for print media including photojournalism. Emphasis on photographic techniques and print media layout. Consideration of new visual technologies including the use of computers for electronic photo editing and design. Students must provide their own camera. Prerequisite: MCOM 200 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 240. Sight/Sound/Culture. 3 credits.

The study of mass communication technologies and their influence upon the individual and the cultural setting. Emphasis on how such communicative tools mold perception and affect cultural change. Consideration given to the future impact of new mass communication systems. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

MCOM 245. Electronic News Writing. 4 credits.

Study of the fundamentals of newswriting for the electronic media, including news gathering techniques and electronic news style. Emphasis on writing and producing news packages. Corequisite: MCOM 240 or, for corporate media concentrators, MCOM 225. Prerequisite: Passing score on the school's English proficiency test or permission of instructor.

MCOM 250. Scriptwriting. 4 credits.

The study of the principles and practices of writing scripts for commercial, non-commercial and corporate media applications. Emphasis on preparing dramatic and informational forms for broadcast or recording. Corequisite: MCOM 240 or, for corporate media concentrators, MCOM 225. Prerequisite: Passing score on the school's English proficiency test, or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 260. Telecommunication Business Fundamentals. 3 credits.

Students achieve a basic understanding of different media delivery technologies (broadcast radio, microwave, fiber optics, cable, twisted pair), and different modes of electronic transmission (amplitude and frequency modulation, pulse-code modulation, digital signaling, etc.), their limitations, advantages, disadvantages and how these realities affect management decisions. Prerequisite: MCOM 200 or permission of instructor.

MCOM 295. Practicum in Mass Communication. 1 credit, repeatable to 3 credits.

Freshmen and sophomores participating in cocurricular media activities may receive one hour of credit for field work at The Breeze , WMRA-FM, the JMU Video Network or other university-related media outlets. Students are limited to one practicum per semester. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and the media operation involved. Application procedures will be available from the school prior to registration.

MCOM 300. Mass Communication Law. 3 credits.

Principles and case studies in communication law, constitutional guarantees, libel, privacy, contempt, copyright and governmental regulatory agencies. Emphasis on recent cases and their effects on mass communication. Prerequisite: MCOM 200 and junior standing, or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 303. Telecommunication Policy and Regulation. 3 credits.

An overview of the regulatory issues encountered in the telecommunication industry. Emphasizes post 1982-FCC changes deregulating telephone, CATV and broadcast industries. Includes regulation of emerging services and technologies, First Amendment issues, ownership and distribution of new information forms, and limitations and uses of technology. Prerequisite: MCOM 200 or permission of instructor.

MCOM 305. Topics in Mass Communication. 3-4 credits, repeatable to 6-8 credits.

The study of current topics and issues in mass communication. Emphasis on contemporary themes of immediate concern. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

MCOM 310. Advanced News Writing. 3 credits.

Advanced study and practice of news writing and news gathering techniques. Emphasis on in-depth and investigative stories. Prerequisite: MCOM 210 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 311. Feature Writing. 3 credits.

The study and practice of advanced techniques in planning and writing feature stories. Emphasis on individual performance through criticism of student work in conference with instructor. Prerequisite: MCOM 210 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 312. Editorial Writing. 3 credits.

The study of the development and nature of the modern newspaper editorial page. Emphasis on planning and writing staff editorials and opinion columns. Consideration of the role of editorial cartoons, letters to the editor and reprints. Prerequisite: MCOM 210 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 320. Advanced News Editing. 3 credits.

Advanced study of news editing and news editing techniques. Emphasis on layout and design, picture editing, and working with wire copy. Prerequisite: MCOM 220 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 321. Feature Magazine Production. 3 credits.

A practical course in which students apply their knowledge to the production of a feature magazine published regularly by the journalism area. Each student is assigned a specific staff position on the magazine. Prerequisite: MCOM 311 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 325. Advanced Visual Communication. 3 credits.

Advanced study of news photography with emphasis on covering news assignments and illustrating feature stories. Advanced techniques of reproducing and editing visual images using new technologies will also be considered as they apply to mass communication. Students must provide cameras. Prerequisite: MCOM 225 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 330. History of American Journalism. 3 credits.

The study of the history and development of the press in relation to American social, economic and political life. Emphasis on early attitudes that led to the establishment of a free press in the United States and the nature of press freedom as it has evolved in the 200 years since the nation's founding. Prerequisite: MCOM 200 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 340. Screenplay Writing. 4 credits.

Study of the principles of screenplay writing for feature films and television movies. Emphasis is placed on the structure of narrative film. Prerequisite: MCOM 250 or permission of instructor.

MCOM 350. Television Production. 4 credits.

The study of the fundamental skills and information underlying audio and video production. Emphasis on competency-based learning and laboratory applications. Consideration of relevant aesthetic principles and practical limitations. Prerequisite: MCOM 240 or, for corporate media concentrators, MCOM 225; corequisite: MCOM 250 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 351. Sound Production. 4 credits.

The study of the principles and techniques of audio production. Emphasis on radio-related issues, advanced skills and projects. Consideration of the sound media as tools of artistic expression. Prerequisite: MCOM 350 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 352. Electronic Journalism Production. 4 credits.

Advanced study of the writing, production and performance skills required of television news and public affairs programming. Emphasis on story research, field reporting and recording, video editing, scripting and studio presentation. Consideration given to the journalistic responsibilities and problems of local stations and cable systems. Prerequisite: MCOM 350 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 355. Telecommunication Systems and Standards Issues. 3 credits.

This course is an overview of electronic communication transmission fundamentals, basic system configurations, component strengths and limitations. The course is presented from a managerial perspective and includes discussion of current and future technologies and international technology standards organizations. This course builds on material presented in MCOM 260, Telecommunications Business Fundamentals. Prerequisite: MCOM 260 or permission of instructor.

MCOM 365. Media Analysis and Criticism. 3 credits.

The study and practice of journalistic and scholarly criticism of the mass media. Emphasis on interpretive writing about television, film and popular music. Consideration of contemporary analytical methods for researching mass-mediated culture. Prerequisite: MCOM 240 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 370. Media Management. 3 credits.

Comparative study of management structures, roles, and practices in print and electronic media organizations. Emphasis on meeting managerial challenges common to publishing, broadcasting and cable operations. Consideration of legal, regulatory and economic factors peculiar to media organizations. Prerequisite: MCOM 205 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 390. Directed Projects in Mass Communication. 2 credits, repeatable to 4 credits.

Supervised projects related to the study of any of the communication media. Credit given for original individual or group programs beyond the school's usual cocurricular activities. A suitable completed project or report is required before credit can be awarded. Prerequisite: Permission of the school director.

MCOM 395. Advanced Practicum in Mass Communication. 1 credit, repeatable to 3 credits.

Juniors and seniors participating in cocurricular media activities may receive one hour of credit for field work at The Breeze , Curio, WMRA-FM, the JMU Video Network or other university-related media outlets. Students are limited to one practicum per semester. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and the media operation involved. Application procedures will be available from the school prior to registration.

MCOM 456. Multimedia Direction. 3 credits.

Study of the skills and procedures involved in directing multimedia presentations for corporate and institutional settings. Emphasis on integrating desktop media with conventional audio, video and photographic technologies. Consideration given to the aesthetic and informational principles required of multimedia projects. Prerequisite: MCOM 350 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 457. The Multimedia Producer. 3 credits.

Study of the roles and functions of the multimedia producer in planning, implementing, and evaluating content for corporate and institutional presentation. Emphasis on production management in such non-broadcast settings. Consideration given to the integration of telephonic and satellite delivery systems. Prerequisite: MCOM 456 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 460. Movies as Mass Communication. 3 credits.

The study of the cultural impact of the film industry as an institution of mass communication. Emphasis on the interrelationship among social, economic and technological factors influencing the creation and consumption of motion pictures. Consideration of particular films as indicators of cultural change. Prerequisite: MCOM 205 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 461. Movies as Visual Communication. 3 credits.

Advanced study of how movies tell their stories in visual terms. Emphasis on the historical evolution and design of the moving image. Consideration of the latest imaging technologies affecting film narrative. Prerequisite: MCOM 240 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 462. Documentary in Film and Television. 3 credits.

The study of content, style, technique and effect of representative samples of the documentary form. Consideration given to informational and persuasive elements. Prerequisite: MCOM 240 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 470. Advanced Media Management. 3 credits.

Comparative study of promotion and sales in print and electronic media organizations. Emphasis on audience research techniques and promotional methods. Consideration of advertising practices across newspaper, magazine, broadcast and cable operations. Prerequisite: MCOM 370 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 472. Information/Entertainment Transmission Management. 3 credits.

This course is an overview of current managerial issues affecting the entertainment and information industries as they relate to distribution of product to the consumer through various telecommunication media. Regulatory, technical and marketing perspectives are covered. This course requires a technical understanding of telecommunication. Prerequisite: MCOM 260 and MCOM 355 or permission of instructor.

MCOM 475. Entertainment Programming for Electronic Media. 3 credits.

The study of programming theories and practices for electronic media. Emphasis on broadcast, cable and satellite networks, both public and commercial. Consideration given to microwave, videotext and other emerging consumer services. Prerequisite: MCOM 370 or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 490. Special Studies in Mass Communication. 3 credits.

An independent study for students to pursue individual research under the guidance of a faculty adviser. Prerequisite: Senior mass communication majors in good standing, and permission of the school director.

MCOM 495. Internship in Mass Communication. 2 credits, repeatable to 4 credits.

An off-campus program prepared and monitored on an individual student basis. Internships are designed to provide practical experience in journalism, electronic media, corporate media or visual communication. Prerequisite: Permission of the school director and the media facility involved. Students must meet criteria and application procedures established in each concentration.

MCOM 498. Senior Seminar in Mass Communication. 3 credits.

The study and research in the history and philosophy of the function of mass communication in society. Consideration of topics relating to problems of communication systems, technological freedoms, and press freedom and responsibilities. Prerequisite: MCOM 300, or senior standing, or permission of the instructor.

MCOM 499. Honors in Communication. 6 credits. Year course.


Catalog Table of Contents

JMU Home Page

Last reviewed: Sept. 10, 1994
Information Publisher: Academic Services