Courses

COMS 133 Introduction to Mass Media (each semester)
This course studies the evolution of mass media and its relationship with our culture. In addition to gaining an understanding of mass media, students will critique various forms of media, and explore basic writing skills necessary for media production. (HBSSM, W)

COMS 246 The Internet and American Life (next offered: Spring '16)
This course explores the history and development of the internet and the various communication media that have emerged from it, such as email, websites, blogs, IM, listservs, mobile networks, podcasts, multi-player online games, virtual environments, etc. Through reading and discussion, students will consider how these technologies have impacted daily life, interpersonal relationships, and American culture. (HBSSM)

COMS 247 Electronic News Gathering (next offered: spring '16)
In the modern technological environment, journalists construct the news for a variety of media in a style that is fast-paced, visual, and highly standardized. This project-based course explores the process of establishing a story focus, gathering appropriate audio and video, scripting, presentation, and final editing to produce spot news packages. At the same time, students will be challenged to critique both the process, as well as the structure of the news industry, and to consider social, legal, ethical, and aesthetic issues that affect audience perceptions of newsworthy events. Prerequisites: COMS 133, or consent of the instructor. (W, S)

COMS 270 Rethinking Freedoms of Religion, Speech & Press (next offered: Fall '14)
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and the press, along with freedoms of religion and assembly. This course reviews the history of the First Amendment with a particular focus on media law and Supreme Court decisions, and will examine the ethics of news reporting on controversial matters.

COMS 354 Persuasion Theory (next offered: Spring '15)
The course examines contemporary persuasion theory and its applicability to the media of news, advertising, and political communication.

COMS 463 Communication and Public Relations (next offered: Spring '15)
This course examines concepts of public relations in organizational systems with emphasis on communication theory and development of a problem-solving perspective. Students apply theory directly to practical public relations problems. Prerequisite: junior or senior status. (HB)

COMS 132 Public Address (each semester, but taught by Johns only occasionally)
A study of the principles of speech composition, organization, and delivery; emphasis on the role of public address in a democratic society. Each student gives a series of speeches. (HE, S)