Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

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Mass Communication Courses and Descriptions

Mass Communication Courses

Core Course (15 credits)

Course Number            Course Title                                         Credit Hours

MCOM 501                     Research Methods                                3

MCOM 502                     Mass Communications Theory              3

MCOM 504                     Precision Journalism                             3

MCOM 511                     Internship                                              3

MCOM 598                     Supervised Research                           3                     

Concentration and Elective Courses (all tracks)

Course Number      Course Title                                Credit Hours

MCOM 503                     Ethics, Mass Media and Society            3

MCOM 505                     Investigative Reporting                           3

MCOM 510                     Health & Med. Report.                            3

MCOM 519                     African-Am. in Broadcast. & Film            3

MCOM 520                     Newspaper Layout                                 3

MCOM 521                     Media Management                                3

MCOM 523                     Digital Photojournalism                           3

MCOM 524                     Editorial Writing                                      3

MCOM 526                     Photo Essay                                           3

MCOM 527                     Public Relations Writing                         3

MCOM 529                     Public Relations Theory                         3

MCOM 530                     Adv.TV News Writing & Report.             3

MCOM 532                     TV Line Production                                3

MCOM 533                     Documentary                                         3

MCOM 535                     Digital Video Editing                              3

MCOM 538                     Public Relations Strategies & Tactics   3

MCOM 541                     PR Techniques & Campaigns               3

MCOM 544                     PR Case Studies                                  3

MCOM 555                     Crisis Communication                           3

MCOM 560                     Convergent Journalism                         3


Course Descriptions

Core Courses

MCOM 501. RESEARCH METHODS (Credit, 3 hours).

Scientific methods and techniques used by professionals to analyze the mass media and by students to pursue academic research in journalism.

MCOM 502. MASS COMMUNICATIONS THEORY (Credit, 3 hours).  An overview of historical and theoretical perspectives on mass communication and approaches to analyzing and developing original theories.

MCOM 504. PRECISION JOURNALSIM (Credit, 3 hours).  Study on application of social science research methods used by journalists to gather and produce news about social, economic, and political issues.

MCOM 511. INTERNSHIP (Credit, 3 hours).  Internship at a media organization, involving meaningful media- related duties.  Written report and work samples (where applicable) required.  (Prerequisites: MCOM 501, MCOM 502, MCOM 504; plus six hours of electives and chairman's approval.)

MCOM 598. SUPERVISED RESEARCH (Credit, 3 hours).  Special Project within the track of the student, including print journalism, broadcasting journalism or public relations.


Electives (all tracks)

MCOM 503. ETHICS, MASS MEDIA AND SOCIETY (Credits, 3 hours).  An examination of the roles, responsibilities, and ethics of journalists, other media practitioners, and the impact of their activities on society.

MCOM 505. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING (Credit, 3 hours).  Advanced reporting and writing skills, combining knowledge of techniques and resources.  Production of news stories that take an in-depth look at a subject or issue is required.  (Prerequisites: MCOM 501 and MCOM 504.)

MCOM 510. HEALTH & MEDICAL REPORTING (Credit, 3 hours),  Experience in the production of news reports based upon health and medical issues.

MCOM 519. AFRICAN AMERICANS IN BROADCASTING & FILM (Credit, 3 hours),  Studies of the contributions of blacks to film & Television.  Students are expected to write critiques based upon video presentations.

MCOM 520. NEWSPAPER LAYOUT (Credit, 3 hours).  Examination of contemporary trends in newspaper design and graphics with emphasis on pagination.  Semester project required.  (Prerequisite:  MCOM 404, Advanced Writing and Editing or its equivalent.)

MCOM 521. MEDIA MANAGEMENT (Credit, 3 hours).

Examination of the foundations of media operations and their interrelationships with the social milieu. Emphasis on case studies. (Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.)

MCOM 523. DIGITAL PHOTOJOURNALISM (Credit, 3 hours).  The application of digital technology to the traditions of still camera photo journalism. 

MCOM 524. EDITORIAL WRITING (Credit, 3 hours).  Analysis of subjective writing in mass media editorials, columns, reviews, and news analysis.  (Prerequisites: MCOM 501, MCOM 503, and MCOM 504.)

MCOM 526. PHOTO ESSAY (Credit, 3 hours). A portfolio development course aimed at advanced graduate photojournalism students. (Prerequisite: MCOM 523, or consent of instructor).

MCOM 527. PUBLIC RELATIONS WRITING (Credit, 3 hours).  The course covers the various forms of advanced PR writing including news releases, fact sheets, media lists, speeches, feature stories, letters, memoranda, company histories, annual reports, etc.

MCOM 529. PUBLIC RELATIONS THEORY (Credit, 3 hours).  The course explores theories of public relations appropriate for grounding the work with internal and external publics of an organization.

MCOM 530. ADVANCED TV NEWS WRITING AND REPORTING (Credit, 3 hours).  Study of techniques, styles and structures in writing and reporting news for television.  (Prerequisite:  MCOM 319 Television News Writing and Reporting, or its equivalent, MCOM 501, MCOM 502 and MCOM 504.)

MCOM 523. TV LINE PRODUCING (Credit, 3 hours). Develops skills necessary to produce local TV newscasts, including analysis of newscasts, examination of news judgment and values and the techniques of timing and pacing newscasts. (Prerequisites: at least one TV news writing and reporting course, MCOM 501, MCOM 502, MCOM 504).

MCOM 533. DOCUMENTARY  (Credit, 3 hours).  An examination of the traditional documentary techniques with emphasis on the production of television news documentaries.  (Prerequisite: MCOM 530.)

MCOM 535. DIGITAL VIDEO EDITING  (Credit, 3 hours). The application of digital video technology to motion picture editing.  Students are expected to produce and edit a broadcast quality video presentation.

MCOM 538. PUBLIC RELATIONS STRATEGIES AND TACTICS (Credit, 3 hours).  The course examines the principles, theories and strategies applied by practitioners of public relations.  Students apply the techniques of day-to-day public relations practice.

MCOM 541. PUBLIC RELATIONS TECHNIQUES AND CAMPAIGNS (Credit, 3 hours).  Familiarizes students with campaign techniques employed by various organizations and institutions in their attempts to affect public opinion.  Students are expected to write a public relations plan.

MCOM 544. PUBLIC RELATIONS CASE STUDIES (Credit, 3 hours). The course analyzes theoretical concepts of public relations practices that have been implemented in actual cases to solve problems in business, institutional and organizational situations.

MCOM 555. CRISIS COMMUNICATION (Credit, 3 hours). The course examines the critical terminologies, processes, and skills needed for understanding and responding to communication crises. The course prepares students for responding to crises in a variety of contexts, and reinforces strategies and tactics to be used during a crisis.

MCOM 560. CONVERGENT JOURNALISM (Credit, 3 hours). The course concentrates on the use of computers and other tools to produce content for online journalism that reflect understanding of the use of audio, print, graphics and video on Web environment for convergent media.