Journalism and Mass CommunicationsAngela M. Powers, Director
Professors Adams, Lubbers, and Simon; Associate Professors Bergen, Chastain, Gordon, Grimes, MacFarland, Meeds, Pearce, and Smethers; Assistant Professors An, Bressers, Freeland, Gould, Jin, R. Johnson, Landholm, O'Malley, Puntney, Smith, Vernberg, and Walton.
The study of mass communications provides students with the tools to function effectively in an information-intensive society, whether as creators or as consumers of information.
Students follow a general course of study in the College of Arts and Sciences and a specialized professional curriculum in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The general college curriculum prepares students to be knowledgeable persons in a complicated world. The professional curriculum educates students in skills, theory, law, ethics, and other essentials for a mass communications career.
The program offers a hands-on education that provides students with practical experience. Students can serve on the staffs of the Kansas State Collegian, the student newspaper published five days a week, and the Royal Purple yearbook. Twice, the Collegian and the Royal Purple have simultaneously won the prestigious national Pacemaker Awards, a combination achieved by only one other school. Majors also have access to campus radio station KSDB-FM and to television studio and field equipment for producing programming for cable television. The school houses two student-run production enterprises: Orion Online, specializing in client-based design and content management web services, and MediaCats, an audio, video, and multimedia production firm.
The school is national headquarters of the Journalism Education Association for high school journalism educators and has created the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media. The school offers more than $130,000 in scholarships each year to its outstanding majors, and students participate in the Society of Collegiate Journalists, the Advertising Club, the Public Relations Student Society of America, the Society of Professional Journalists, and Mass Communicators of Many Cultures.
The program is housed in Kedzie Hall, with radio-television studios and offices in McCain Auditorium, K-State Student Union, and in Bob Dole Hall.
Updated information on the school's scholarships, faculty, and curriculum is available on the World Wide Web at jmc.ksu.edu.
Becoming a major
Transfer students must have a 2.5 GPA on transferable course work plus a 2.5 GPA on at least 15 credit hours at K-State, for a total of at least 30 credit hours. MC 110 and ECON 110 (or their transferable equivalents) with grades of C or higher must be completed within the 30 hours. No more than 3 credit hours out of 30 may be in MC 300, 305, 310, 320, or 325.
Students must pass the school's writing test prior to applying to be a major. Students who fail the test may retake it in any subsequent fall or spring semester.
Students who have met the academic requirements listed above may seek to become majors. Admission to the major and to a sequence in the major is by application only. Students who are pre-majors must apply for admission upon completion of 30 credit hours at Kansas State University. Those who were not pre-majors as entering freshmen must apply for admission upon completion of MC 110 and ECON 110 if they have more than 30 credit hours.
Transfer students must meet the requirements listed above and apply for admission upon completion of at least 15 credit hours at K-State.
To apply, a student must submit an application packet to the school. The packet must include the following: a statement of purpose that outlines academic and career plans; a statement outlining the sequence, sequences, or specialty areas the student plans to study in the school; a portfolio of the student's media work; and, evidence of accomplishment in course work, including a transcript.
Review of applications for admission to the major will be based on the following factors: academic achievement, including GPA and types of courses taken; promise for success in academic and professional objectives of the major; and clarity of the applicant's career and academic focus.
Students who are not admitted may pursue a second application in one subsequent fall or spring semester. The second application, if the student requests, may be for admission to the major in a different sequence or sequences.
Students who are not admitted after a second application will meet with the pre-major advisor to discuss academic options. No more than 6 credit hours from the following classes may be counted within the 39 credit hours required in the major: MC 300, 305, 310, 320, or 325.
Enrolling in courses
Enrollment is also open for four other introductory courses: Journalism in a Free Society (MC 300), Radio-Television and Society (MC 305), Visual Communication in Mass Media (MC 310), Principles of Advertising (MC 320), and Fundamentals of Public Relations (MC 325). Enrollment is restricted in all other courses in the major.
Students can take lab courses and advanced courses only if they have passed the JMC composition skills test and have a 2.5 GPA based on 12 or more hours at the 100-level or above. Freshmen who currently have a 2.5 GPA or better but have yet to complete 12 hours and pass the JMC composition test may provisionally pre-enroll in the beginning writing classes on the expectation they will have a 2.5 GPA on 12 hours after completing the semester in progress.
If so, they remain enrolled; if not, they are dropped. Our curriculum requires at least four semesters to complete, since the lab courses progressively build upon one another.
Mass communications major
A student must fulfill the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences for either the B.A. or the B.S. degree.
Beyond this, a student selects a 15-hour outside concentration. Two of the outside concentration courses must be advanced (500-level or above, or requiring a prerequisite course that the student has taken). Up to two of the courses also may apply toward general arts and sciences requirements.
To graduate, a student must achieve a 2.5 GPA in courses within the school. In addition, K-State requires a cumulative 2.0 GPA in all course work (a C average) to graduate.
Students in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications must complete the requirements of one of the school's sequences in print and electronic journalism, advertising, public relations, and radio-television.
A curriculum guide for majors and pre-majors is available in the school office and on the website for the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Any student may apply to test out of professional practice courses in journalism and mass communications by presenting to the appropriate sequence head a portfolio, tapes, or other suitable evidence of performance that would allow assessment of course-related experience. After review of the material, the sequence head may refer the application to the appropriate instructor who will determine the number of credit hours, if any, and the method of examination or evaluation to be employed to determine whether credit shall be given. Such credit shall be granted on a Credit/No Credit basis. No more than 12 semester hours may be earned through quiz-out and at least 24 of the student's journalism credit hours must be K-State resident hours.
Transfer course work
When transfer students present an accumulation of credits in courses that consist of laboratory work, the school may accept a maximum of 3 credit hours for all such work, equivalent to courses such as Media Practicum.
No transfer credit will be given for Editing and Design, Advanced News and Feature Writing, or Law of Mass Communications unless such work was taken at a college or university accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.
Mass communications courses
MC 110. Mass Communication in Society. (3) I, II, S. A historical, social, legal, economic, and technological study of mass communication and its role and impact in society. Open to majors and nonmajors.
MC 295. Information Gathering. (3) I, II. Search strategies for journalists and other mass communicators, with emphasis on identifying, locating, and evaluating information and sources. Skill development in interviewing and focus groups; use of library and government documents; use of online sources; use and creation of polls, surveys, and databases. Pr.: MC 110.
MC 300. Journalism in a Free Society. (3) II. Emphasizes the role of journalism in building an informed citizenry in a democracy, serving as a watchdog of government, providing news in a context that gives meaning to the people, and being socially responsible in the midst of a changing economic structure. Open to majors and nonmajors.
MC 305. Radio-Television and Society. (3) I. Influence of electronic media in today's culture. Examination of the dynamics of telecommunications including production techniques. Open to majors and nonmajors.
MC 310. Visual Communication in Mass Media. (3) I. An overview of concepts and theories of communicating through visual means, including the physiology and psychology of seeing and perceiving; the basics of design and aesthetic principles; and examination of the uses of these concepts and principles within the mass media. Pr.: MC 110.
MC 320. Principles of Advertising. (3) I, II. An examination of the advertising field and its relationship to marketing and journalism. Open to majors and nonmajors.
MC 325. Fundamentals of Public Relations. (3) I, II. Contemporary persuasive social science principles, processes, and issues involved in the management of communications between an organization and its publics. Open to majors and nonmajors.
MC 365. KSDB Audition. (0) I, II, S. Production of music, news, and/or sports audio tapes to be evaluated by faculty in preparing students for an on-air position with KSDB-FM.
MC 399. Honors Seminar in Mass Communications. (3) Pr.: Honors students only.
MC 400. News and Feature Writing. (3) I, II, S. Instruction in information gathering and writing techniques for the various media. Pr.: Passing score on JMC composition skills test and 2.5 GPA upon completion of 12 or more credit hours.
MC 410. Writing for the Electronic Media. (3) I, II. Study of forms and the preparation of written material for news, commercial announcements, and promotion for the electronic media, and of the regulations concerning advertising copy. Pr.: Passing score on JMC composition skills test and 2.5 GPA upon completion of 12 or more credit hours.
MC 420. Advertising Writing. (3) I, II. Fundamentals of writing for the various media to solve advertising problems. Setting communication goals within the context of writing to persuade and inform mass audiences. Pr.: Passing score on JMC composition skills test and 2.5 GPA upon completion of 12 or more credit hours.
MC 430. Digital Photography for Mass Media. (3) I, II. Basics of composition, exposure, cropping, and editorial judgment using converted analog and digital images and image-handling software. Introduction to uses of digital photography in mass media such as newspapers, magazines, brochures, and websites. Pr.: 2.5 overall GPA on completion of 6 MC credits.
MC 440. Editing and Design. (3) I, II. Survey of graphic arts principles, fundamentals of the editing process, and the relationship to the elements of newspaper design and the editing function. Pr.: MC 400 with a grade of C or better.
MC 445. Public Relations Writing. (3) I, II, S. Examines various forms of contemporary public relations writing, with special emphasis on preparation of messages for different media and audiences. Pr.: MC 325 and MC 400 with a grade of C or better.
MC 450. Topics in Mass Communications. (1-3) I, II. Selected topics in the study of mass communication practices and principles. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.
MC 465. Intermediate Web Communication. (3) I, II. Develop expertise in the construction of websites with a solid emphasis on the appropriateness, integrity, and quality of the content provided. Pr.: MC 110 and one of the following: MC 400, 410, or 420.
MC 475. Concepts of Electronic Media Production. (3) I, II. Covers aesthetics, vocabulary, and preproduction planning for audio, video, and multimedia production, with an emphasis on developing critical analysis skills. Pr.: MC 400, 410, or 420 with grade of C or better, and a 2.5 GPA upon completion of 30 or more hours.
MC 484. Media Practicum. (1-4) I, II, S. Practical work in student media operations of the school under supervision of an instructor, preparing students for work in the various media industries. Topics include publications, KSDB radio, yearbook, web, video, multimedia. Variable hours of credit equivalent to three hours of lab a week for each hour of credit. Enrollment requires a study and work plan approved by the instructor of record to be on file with the school director. Pr.: Instructor permission.
MC 490. Junior Seminar in Electronic Media. (3) II. Current issues in electronic media, including regulation, law, technology, and programming. Preparation for careers in the electronic media. Pr.: MC 410 with grade of C or better, and a 2.5 GPA upon completion of 30 or more hours.
MC 499. Senior Honors Thesis. (2) Pr.: Honors students only.
MC 500. Advanced News and Feature Writing. (3) I, II. Intensive course emphasizing reportorial principles and practices. Students serve as reporters for the Kansas State Collegian, writing for an audience of 20,000 readers daily. Pr.: MC 440 with grade of C or better.
MC 505. Electronic News Reporting. (3) I. Practical experience in gathering, writing, editing, producing, and presenting news for the electronic media, and study of related issues. Pr.: MC 500 with grade of C or better.
MC 510. Yearbook Editing and Management. (2) I. Planning, editing, layout, writing, and financing a publication.
MC 515. Internet Journalism. (3) II. Issues involving journalism and the use of the Internet for delivery of news, including the relationship of the new medium with traditional journalism, new content opportunities and challenges, profitability, standards, and ethics. Pr.: MC 465.
MC 520. Advertising Sales. (3). Advertising sales applied to print and electronic media. Includes designing and writing retail ads, campaign development, production, and sales techniques. Legal, ethical, and regulatory issues covered. Pr.: MC 320 or MKTG 400 with a grade of C or better, and a 2.5 GPA upon completion of 30 or more hours.
MC 522. Global Advertising. (3) I, II. Issues associated with advertising in a global environment, including cultural impact, international media, regulation, ethics, and new media technologies. Pr.: MC 320 with a grade of C or better.
MC 530. Media, Race, and Social Change. (3) Examines how the media cover social change, particularly racial issues, and studies the development and current status of selected ethnic media in the United States. Pr.: Junior standing.
MC 535. Photojournalism. (1-3) The materials, principles, and processes of photography directed toward visual reporting in newspapers, magazines, and other media. Content and credit vary. Potential topics include documentary picture story, essay, and sequence; spot news, feature, and sports photography; combining words and pictures effectively; marketing techniques; legal restrictions. Lectures, demonstrations, and laboratory. Pr.: MC 400 and 430 with grades of C or better. May be repeated for a maximum of 4 semester hours.
MC 540. Advanced Editing and Design. (3) II. Advanced study of the editing processes with emphasis on handling the story, writing headlines, use of all elements for packaging the news, and creative use of the editing tools. Students work on the Kansas State Collegian about six hours each week. Pr.: MC 500 with grade of C or better.
MC 550. Mass Communications Internship. (1-3) I, II, S. The student works in a professional capacity under proper professional and faculty supervision with reports from student and supervisor required. Pr.: 12 specified semester hours of MC courses and consent of instructor.
MC 557. Advanced Advertising Techniques. (3) II. Emphasis on individual enhancement of creative concept development, advanced technical skills, and portfolio development. Self-directed projects allow in-depth knowledge, understanding, and practice of advertising production methods. Pr.: MC 555 with a grade of B or better.
MC 560. Advanced Web Communication. (3) I, II. Management of websites with a focus on solutions to the problems generated by vast quantities of information. Pr.: Instructor permission.
MC 565. Law of Mass Communications. (3) I, II, S. A study of legal issues relating to mass communications. Emphasis on defamation, privacy, copyright, administrative controls, and other areas related to the mass media. Pr.: Junior standing, with a 2.5 GPA.
MC 570. Audio Techniques. (3) I. Theory and practice of radio remotes, automation, and multichannel recording and editing in the production of commercials, dramatic narrative, documentary programs, and multimedia. Pr.: MC 475 with grade of C or better.
MC 575. Multimedia Techniques. (3) I. Theory and practice of multimedia mass communication, with an emphasis on preproduction planning, authoring, and development of computer-based audio, video, and graphic materials. Pr.: MC 475, MC 500, MC 555 or MC 635 with grade of C or better.
MC 585. Advanced Electronic News Reporting. (3) II. Reporting of issues of local importance, information- gathering techniques, in-depth writing, and electronic media news production methods. Pr.: MC 505 with grade of C or better.
MC 595. Mass Communication Research. (3) I, II. Formulation of mass communication research and design. Appropriate methods of data collection and data analysis. Pr.: MC 235, a 2.5 GPA upon completion of 30 or more hours, and completion of a mathematics or statistics course.
MC 605. Supervision of School Publications. (3) A methods course for those planning to teach secondary or community college journalism courses and advise high school or community college publications.
MC 612. Gender Issues and the Media. (3) II. The portrayal of women and men by the media, and media employment issues based on gender. Pr.: Junior standing and one course in MC or women's studies.
MC 625. Media Relations. (3) II. Examines management skills necessary for establishing, maintaining, and evaluating a media relations program. Discussion includes working with journalists, conducting media events, preparing spokespersons, and developing crisis communications. Pr.: MC 445.
MC 630. Public Relations Case Studies. (3) Study of historic and contemporary public relations situations using a case-method approach. Attention is directed at strategic planning and implementation by public relations managers. Students establish criteria on what constitutes a public relations program and theories and norms for the selection of objectives and strategies under varying conditions. Pr.: MC 325 with grade of C or better, and a 2.5 GPA upon completion of 30 or more hours.
MC 635. Public Relations Techniques. (3) I, II. Focuses on the use of communications techniques in achieving organizational goals. Includes planning, application, and ethics of messages for print, electronic, and online media and for special events. Pr.: MC 325, MC 440, and MC 445 with grades of C or better.
MC 640. Advertising Campaigns. (3) I, II. The managerial development and execution of consumer, industrial, and institutional advertising campaigns. Pr.: MC 545, 555, and 595 with grades of C or better; senior standing.
MC 645. Public Relations Campaigns. (3) I, II. Advanced study of an organization's public relations needs. Includes researching the situation, analyzing audiences, and preparing strategic plans for approved clients. Pr.: MC 595 and 635 with grades of C or better.
MC 650. Newspaper Management. (3) II. The management of newspapers dealing with organization, ownership, promotion, research, production, equipment, markets, personnel, legal aspects, advertising, buying and selling of newspaper properties, business practices, and news policy. Pr.: MC 540 or concurrent enrollment.
MC 655. Electronic Media Programming. (3) II. The principles, planning, and development of radio-television-cable programs, schedules, and related regulation. Pr.: MC 410 with grade of C or better, and a 2.5 GPA upon completion of 30 or more hours.
MC 660. Global Culture and the Internet. (3) Intersession only. Examination of the impact of Western influences through Internet communication and technology on the shaping of a global culture; includes issues of commercialism, capitalism, colonialism, and tribalism and conflicts created by cultural clashes. Pr.: MC 235 or instructor permission.
MC 665. Advertising/Public Relations Management. (3) II. Investigation of managerial decision making in advertising and public relation programs. Emphasizes strategic and logical thinking in the decision-making process. Theories and practices from media management, social/cognitive psychology, and integrated communication. Pr.: MC 420 or 445 with grade of C or better or instructor consent.
MC 670. Advertising and Social Responsibility. (3) Examines social, ethical, and legal issues and problems facing the advertising industry, and its relationship to the consumer. Pr.: Junior standing with a 2.5 GPA and completion of MC 320.
MC 680. Readings in Mass Communications. (1-3) I, II. Investigation of the literature of mass communications. Three books per credit hour. Pr.: Senior or graduate standing and consent of supervisory instructor.
MC 685. Electronic Media Management. (3) I. Management practices of broadcast, cable, and nonbroadcast facilities including regulation and sales. Pr.: MC 410 or MANGT 420 with grade of C or better, and a 2.5 GPA upon completion of 30 or more hours.
MC 690. Problems in Mass Communications. (1-4) I. II. Pr.: Background of courses needed for problem undertaken.
MC 705. Fund Raising by Non-Profit Organizations. (3) Theory and practice of fund raising as a function of public relations in non-profit organizations. Focuses on why and how people give to philanthropic causes. Pr.: Graduate standing, or senior standing with a 2.5 GPA and completion of MC 325.
MC 710. History of Journalism. (3) I. Growth and development of the news media in the United States and their economic, political, and social significance. Pr.: Graduate standing, or senior standing with a 2.5 GPA and completion of a U.S. history course.
MC 712. Environmental Communications. (3) II, in even years. Combines theoretical discussions with practical experience regarding communications about environmental issues and provides introduction to natural and applied science topics related to the communications plan. Three hours lec. per week. Pr.: Senior standing.
MC 715. History of the Electronic Media. (3) I, II. Growth and development of the electronic media in the United States and their economic, political and social significance. Pr.: Graduate standing, or senior standing with a 2.5 GPA and completion of a U.S. history course.
MC 720. Ethics in Mass Communications. (3) I. Moral analysis, argument, and decision-making by the mass communicator, with linkage of ethics to the conduct of media professionals in the United States. Pr.: Graduate standing, or senior standing with a 2.5 GPA and completion of a philosophy course.
MC 725. International Communications. (3) I. Comparative study of world media systems and the role of mass communications in national development. Pr.: Graduate standing, or senior standing with a 2.5 GPA.
MC 730. Seminar on Issues in the Media. (3) A study of philosophical and technological advances in mass communications with emphasis on projected patterns of future growth and development. Pr.: Graduate standing, or senior standing with a 2.5 GPA.
MC 740. Colloquium in Mass Communications. (1-3) Discussion of selected topics in mass communications research and practice. May be repeated once for credit when topic varies. Pr.: Senior or graduate standing.
MC 765. Communication Theory. (3) I. An examination of major communication theories as they relate to mass communications. Pr.: Graduate standing, or senior standing with a 2.5 GPA.
MC 770. Professional Journalism Practicum. (1-4) For advanced students. Supervised practical work in professional journalism and mass communications. Includes laboratory investigation, field work, and internships. Pr.: MC 440 or 505 and consent of supervising instructor.
MC 780. Research Methods in Mass Communications. (3) I. Survey of research methods used in the study of the mass media. For graduate students.