Summer  2010

Dr. Elliot Gaines,  Office: 411Millett


Class Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, 2:15-3:55 p.m.

Room UH 056



Annual Editions Mass Media 09/10, edited by Joan Gorman.  Boston: McGraw Hill Publishers. 2010.

Additional readings will be available on Course Studio in Files.



An in-depth examination of the major issues facing the American mass media, including such topics as media effects, content of programming, the commercialization of public broadcasting, media ownership, children's programming, and others.



To examine current issues and developments in mass communication,

To recognize the nature of communication media,

To develop media literacy skills and learn methods of media analysis,

To become critical media consumers and to present critical views about contemporary mass media issues.


Assignments and schedules may be changed to meet the needs of the class.  Each student is responsible for maintaining communication and staying aware of any changes.



Active participation is essential. Each student will be required to discuss readings, submit written materials, and make presentations to the class.


Reading should always be completed before class.


Part of this course will be conducted on-line.  All students have access to campus computers and are responsible for knowing how to use the technology necessary for participating.  Assignments must be submit at the designated times according to specific criteria.  Students are responsible for backing-up their own work.


Students must be able to access email using their Wright State address.  We will be using Course Studio for announcements and other on-line communications.

Assignments, Handouts, additional readings, and discussions will be accessed through COURSE STUDIO.


Attendance is required.  When we meet in class, it is essential to come prepared and participate.  When we meet on-line, you will be required to participate.  Even if you are absent, you are responsible for all material, including additional material introduced in class.  If you must miss a class, do not phone your instructor. You are responsible to establish relationships so you can contact other class members (not your instructor) to find out what you missed.




There will always be an opportunity to ask questions. Ask for clarification if you have questions or doubts about what you should be doing or learning in this class.


Always make a copy of your work for yourself in your computer or another storage device in case the original is lost or misplaced. Keep all your work on file until the course is satisfactorily completed.


Every assignment must be presented with professionalism.  All written work must have the author’s name on all pages.  Staple all pages.  Be sure to identify yourself when we are working on-line.


Turn off all cell phones in class.


All students should be familiar with Wright State University’s policy on academic dishonesty. Cheating and plagiarism--submitting someone else’s work or ideas as your own--will not be tolerated.





Grades are based on criteria specified in each assignment.


ALL ASSIGNMENTS WILL DUE AT A DESIGNATED DATE.  Deviations from assignment deadlines are not allowed unless permission from the professor is granted.


Each assignment will carry a designated value.  The general criteria for evaluation include demonstrated knowledge of the issues, critical thinking, and application of critical analysis methods.  Professionalism is essential; good writing and speaking demonstrate clear thinking, organized communication, and correct grammar, spelling, and citation style.


The course is intended to provide an opportunity to learn by participating in activities such as class meetings, readings, and assignments. There is an underlying assumption that each student that takes the class understands their own responsibility. That is, in order to succeed at accomplishing the course objectives, each student must follow the steps provided in the syllabus and by the instructor.  The best results come from getting things done on time, reading before class meetings, and generally approaching the subject with curiosity and motivation to get what you can out of the experience.


It is important to recognize each assignment as a small step toward accomplishing a goal. If you don’t understand the significance of the assignment and its relationship to the goals of the class, PLEASE ASK WITH ENOUGH TIME BEFORE THE ASSIGNMENT IS DUE!  The real measure of your success in the course is determined by the quality of your performance. There is enormous value in questioning yourself about your level of commitment and motivation, and understanding your responsibility for the extent of your accomplishments in the course.




Tests:  40 points


Group Project/presentation   20 points


Participation: 40 points



THIS SYLLABUS MAY BE MODIFIED AS THE TERM PROGRESSES: Assignments and schedules may be changed to meet the needs of the class.  Each student is responsible for maintaining communication and staying aware of any changes.


COM 365 Schedule


DATE                                   Activity

Week 1

JUNE 14.        Syllabus: Introduction to the class.  Discuss readings, and Knowledge Forms. Handouts and criteria discussed.

GROUPS ASSIGNED. Group assignments described: each group will complete a Knowledge Form before the on-line discussion; each group will submit a response to the on-line discussion.


Listen to ON THE MEDIA


JUNE 15.       Reading should always be completed before class.  Discussion of  “The Necessary Ambiguity of Communication” available at Dr. Gaines’ web site: or Course Studio.

Handouts and criteria discussed.


JUNE 16. Discussion In Class.  Participation is always required.   Read “Language, Symbols, and Media” by Robert E. Denton  ” available on Course Studio.


Group assignment: each group will complete a Knowledge Form for each reading assignment.  A class discussion will follow.


JUNE 17.     Test and discussion.


Week 2

JUNE. 21      Discussion of  MediaCriticism&SettlingOpinion.pdf  posted in the files on Course Studio.


JUNE. 22      Discussion of Annual Editions  Ch 34. “The Massless Media,”


JUNE. 23      Group Discussion (in class) of Annual Editions  Ch 34, and “Media Criticism and Settling Opinion.”  Each group will complete a Knowledge Form of the assigned readings.


JUNE. 24.     Test and discussion.


Week 3

JUNE. 28     Discussion of Chapter 12 Annual Editions.



JUNE. 29     Discussion of Chapter 14 Annual Editions.  


JUNE 23 Group Discussion (in class) of Annual Editions  Ch 12, and and Ch 14. Each group will complete a Knowledge Form of the assigned readings.


JULY 1      Test and discussion.


Week 4

JULY 5.     NO CLASS  (prepare reading of Chapter 27 Annual Editions)


JULY 6      Discussion of Chapter 2. “Discovering What Democracy Means,”


JULY 7    Group Discussion(in class)  of Ch 27, “Copyright Jungle”.and Ch 2  Group assignment: each group will submit a Knowledge Form for each.


JULY 8       Test and discussion.  Group and Individual Presentation outlines DUE


Week 5

JULY 12        Group Presentations.   


JULY 13         Group Presentations.


JULY 14            Group Presentations..


JULY 15         FINAL EXAM Class discussion