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Journalism and Mass Communications

Angela M. Powers, Director

Professors Adams, Grimes, and Simon; Associate Professors Bergen, Chastain, Gordon, MacFarland, Meeds, Pearce, and Smethers; Assistant Professors An, Baltrip, Brock, Bressers, Freeland, Gould, Jin, Johnson, Landholm, Muturi, Mwangi, Puntney, and Yun.

785-532-6890

Fax: 785-532-5484

E-mail: journalism@k-state.edu

jmc.ksu.edu

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, a specialized professional curriculum in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and a focused selection of courses in an outside discipline.

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; the Royal Purple yearbook; and campus radio station KSDB-FM. Students can also produce television programs for local cable television, including Manhattan Matters, a weekly community newsmagazine, and the Purple Power Hour, a sports show highlighting K-State athletics. 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.

Becoming a major

To become a major, a student must have a 2.5 GPA based on at least 30 credit hours at the 100-level or higher. MC 110 and ECON 110 with grades of C or higher must be completed within the 30 hours.

Transfer students must have completed a total of 30 credit hours before applying for admission to the major. Fifteen of those accumulated hours must be completed at K-State, where the student is expected to have earned a 2.5 minimum GPA, as well as a 2.5 minimum GPA on all transfer hours. MC 110 and ECON 110 (or their transferable equivalents) with grades of C or higher must be completed before applying to become a major. No more than 3 credit hours out of 30 may be in MC 111, 120, 180, or 210.

Students must pass the school's grammar and skills test prior to applying to be a major. Students who fail the test may retake it during any subsequent fall or spring semester.

To apply, a student must submit an application packet to the school. The application forms must be obtained from Kedzie 105 or from the JMC website.

Admission to the major will be based on academic achievement, writing skills, and promise for success in the major.

Students who are not admitted after a second application should meet with the pre-major advisor to discuss academic options.

While awaiting eligibility to become a major, all freshman and new transfer students from other institutions are eligible to be pre-majors and enroll in Mass Communication in Society (MC 110), which is the required first course in the major. Other courses open to pre-majors include: Journalism in a Free Society (MC 111), Principles of Advertising (MC 120), Fundamentals of Public Relations (MC 180), and Visual Communication in Mass Media (MC 210). Enrollment is restricted in all other courses in the major.

Students may take restricted courses and advanced courses only if they meet the prerequisites. Students who expect to fulfill one or more prerequisites in a current semester may provisionally enroll on the expectation they will be eligible to take the course the next semester.

Mass communications major and outside specialty area

Requirements for a mass communications major consist of 39 credit hours in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. No more than 6 credit hours from the following classes may be counted within the 39 credit hours required in the major: MC 111, 120, 180, or 210. National accreditation standards require all mass communication graduates to complete at least 87 hours of course work outside the school, with at least 65 hours of that course work in the basic liberal arts and sciences.

A student must fulfill the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences for either the BA or the BS degree.

Students in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications must complete the requirements of one of the school's options in journalism (print or electronic), advertising, public relations, and electric media.

Beyond this, students are also required to develop an area of expertise outside of journalism and mass communications, which entails taking a minimum of 15 hours in another department on campus. Students can meet this requirement by completing one of the following plans:

Outside concentration

Option 1

A minimum of 15 credit hours of course work taken in another department or academic program will satisfy the outside concentration requirement. At least two of the courses must be advanced courses (numbered at the 500-level or higher) or classes with a prerequisite in the same department or program.

Up to two courses used to fulfill general College of Arts and Sciences requirements, but not English 100, English 110, English 125, English 200, Speech 105, or Speech 106, may be counted toward completion of the outside concentration.

Option 2

A minimum of 15 credit hours of related course work from two or more departments or academic programs will satisfy the outside concentration requirement. Students choosing a “custom” outside concentration such as this must have their course work plan approved by their faculty advisor in JMC. At least two of the courses must be advanced courses (numbered at the 500-level or higher) or classes with a prerequisite in the same department or program. Custom concentrations will be reviewed by the associate director for undergraduate studies. If the associate director has doubts about the appropriateness of approval, the question will be taken to the school's curriculum committee.

Up to two courses used to fulfill general College of Arts and Sciences requirements, but not English 100, English 110, English 125, English 200, Speech 105, or Speech 106, may be counted toward completion of the outside concentration.

Other ways to develop the outside concentration requirement

Complete a minor

Students who declare a minor entirely within a single department or academic program are expected to complete the academic requirements of the minor. Students who declare an interdisciplinary minor are expected to compete the academic requirements of the minor. Completion of a minor satisfies the outside concentration requirement.

Complete a secondary major

Students who declare and complete a secondary major—a major that is interdisciplinary and not within a single department—automatically satisfy the outside concentration.

Complete a “dual” major

Students who declare and complete a second or “dual” major in another department or academic program automatically satisfy the outside concentration.

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.

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.

Journalism

Print

MC 110Mass Communication in Society3
MC 195Information Gathering3
MC 200News and Feature Writing3
MC 241Editing and Design3
MC 303Advanced News and Feature Writing3
MC 341Advanced Editing and Design3
MC 466Law of Mass Communications3
 
Select one of the following:
MC 404Public Affairs Reporting3
MC 416Photojournalism3
MC 426Magazine Article Writing3
 
Select one of the following:
MC 685Media Management3
MC 710History of Journalism3
MC 720Ethics in Mass Communications3
 
Electives (at least 3 hours at 500-level or above)12
39
 

Electronic

MC 110Mass Communication in Society3
MC 195Information Gathering3
MC 200News and Feature Writing3
MC 251Video News Production3
MC 303Advanced News and Feature Writing 3
MC 306Audio News Production 3
MC 406Advanced Electronic News Reporting3
MC 466Law of Mass Communications3
 
Select one of the following:
MC 471Audio Techniques3
MC 481Video Techniques3
MC 404Public Affairs Reporting3
MC 491Mass Communication Internship3
 
Select one of the following:
MC 685Media Management3
MC 710History of Journalism3
MC 720Ethics in Mass Communications3
 
Electives (at least 3 hours at 500-level or above)12
39
 

Advertising

MC 110Mass Communication in Society3
MC 120Principles of Advertising3
MC 221Advertising Writing3
MC 396Mass Communication Research3
MC 446Advertising Media Planning3
MC 456Advertising Techniques3
MC 466Law of Mass Communications3
MC 640Advertising Campaigns3
 
Electives (at least 6 hours at 500-level or above)15
39
 

Public relations

MC 110Mass Communication in Society3
MC 180Fundamentals of Public Relations3
MC 200News and Feature Writing3
MC 241Editing and Design3
MC 280Public Relations Writing3
MC 396Mass Communication Research3
MC 466Law of Mass Communications3
MC 480Public Relations Techniques3
MC 491Mass Communications Internship1-3
MC 645Public Relations Campaigns3
 
Electives (at least 3 hours at 500-level or above)9-11
39
 

Electronic media

MC 110Mass Communication in Society3
MC 211Writing for Electronic Media3
MC 276Concepts of Electronic Production3
MC 396Mass Communication Research3
MC 466Law of Mass Communications3
MC 471Audio Techniques3
MC 481Video Techniques 3
MC484Media Practicum 2
MC 491Mass Communication Internship 1
 
Select one of the following:
MC 421Advertising Sales3
MC 655Electronic Media Programming3
MC 685Electronic Media Management3
 
Electives (at least 3 hours at 500-level or above)12-14
39
 

Credit through quiz-out

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

Students may transfer a maximum of 12 semester hours in the major. Courses in journalism and mass communications above the 12-hour maximum will not be accepted as electives outside the major and will not be accepted as part of the graduation requirement. No journalism and mass communications course will transfer to K-State without a grade of C or better.

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 010. Pre-Major Orientation. (0) I. An orientation to studies in mass communications for pre-majors. Provides an overview of the curriculum electives, extracurricular activities in mass communications, the advising process, and career options.

University General Education courseMC 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 111. 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 120. 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 165. 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 180. 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 195. 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 200. 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 210. 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 211. Writing for the Electronic Media. (3) I, II. Study of writing formats and the preparation of written material for news, commercial and promotional announcements, and entertainment programs for the electronic media. Pr.: MC 110 with minimum grade of C or better, passing score on JMC composition skills test and 2.5 GPA upon completion of 12 or more credit hours, majors only.

MC 221. 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 241. 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 200 with a grade of C or better.

MC 251. Video News Production. (3) I. The fundamental production skills associated with producing video news, including basic news writing, camera operation, and editing techniques. Pr.: MC 200 with grade of 2.0 or better.

MC 276. 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 200, 210, or 221 with grade of C or better, and a 2.5 GPA upon completion of 30 or more hours.

MC 280. 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 180 and MC 200 with a grade of C or better.

MC 303. Advanced News and Feature Writing. (3) I, II. Intensive course emphasizing reportorial principles and practices. Pr.: MC 200 with grade of C or better.

MC 306. Audio News Reporting. (3) I. The fundamental production skills associated with producing audio news, including basic news writing, audio recording, and editing techniques. Pr.: MC 200 with grade of 2.0 or better.

MC 316. 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 200.

MC 331. 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 341. Advanced Editing and Design. (3) I, 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 241 with grade of C or better.

MC 385. 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 396. Mass Communication Research. (3) I, II. Formulation of mass communication research and design. Appropriate methods of data collection and data analysis. Pr.: MC 110, a 2.5 GPA upon completion of 30 or more hours, and completion of a mathematics or statistics course.

University General Education courseMC 399. Honors Seminar in Mass Communications. (3) Pr.: Honors students only.

MC 404. Public Affairs Reporting. (3) I, II. Investigative reporting of local, state, and national affairs. Pr.: MC 303 with grade of C or better.

MC 406. 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 306 with grade of C or better.

MC 411. Yearbook Editing and Management. (2) I. Planning, editing, layout, writing, and financing a publication.

MC 416. 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 303 with a C or better.

MC 421. 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 120 or MKTG 400 with a grade of C or better, and a 2.5 GPA upon completion of 30 or more hours.

MC 423. 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 120 with a grade of C or better.

MC 426. Magazine Article Writing. (3) I. Preparation of feature stories and articles; techniques of market analysis, and marketing of articles written in course. Pr.: MC 303.

MC 436. Magazine Production. (3) II. The practical application of theory to writing, editing, graphic reproduction, layout, and management of magazines. Pr.: MC 303.

MC 446. Advertising Media Planning. (3) I, II. The selecting, scheduling, selling, and buying of the various advertising media. Pr.: MC 221 with 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 456. Advertising Techniques. (3) I, II, S. The planning, creation, and production of advertising messages for the various mass communication media. Pr.: MC 221 with grade of C or better.

MC 461. Web Techniques. (3) I, II. Development of websites for use in media companies with a solid emphasis on audience, appropriates, integrity, and quality of the content provided. Pr.: MC 110 and one of the following: MC 200, 211 or 221.

MC 466. 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.

MC 471. 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.: MC475 with grade of C or better.

MC 480. 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 180, MC 241, and MC 280 with grades of C or better.

MC 481. Video Techniques. (3) II. Theory and practice of field and studio production, video editing, and using video for web-based applications. Pr.: MC 276 with grade of C or better.

MC 491. 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 499. Senior Honors Thesis. (2) Pr.: Honors students only.

MC 501. 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 531. 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 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.: MC555 with a grade of B or better.

MC 561. 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 110 or instructor permission.

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 276, MC 303, MC 456 or MC 480 with grade of C or better, or instructor permission.

MC 593. Producing and Directing for Video. (3) II. Practical experience in planning, producing, directing, and posting studio and field video productions. Special emphasis on advanced production techniques and managing project development. Pr: MC 276 with grade of C or better.

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.: MC445.

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.: MC325 with grade of C or better, and a 2.5 GPA upon completion of 30 or more hours.

MC 640. Advertising Campaigns. (3) I, II. The managerial development and execution of consumer, industrial, and institutional advertising campaigns. Pr.: MC545, MC555, and MC595 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.: MC595 and MC635 with grades of C or better.

MC 655. Electronic Media Programming. (3) II. The principles, planning, and development of radio-television-cable programs, schedules, and related regulation. Pr.: MC410 with grade of C or better, and a 2.5 GPA upon completion of 30 or more hours.

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 221 or 280 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 MC320.

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. Media Management. (3) I. Issues, ethics, and practices in managing media companies, with special emphasis on problems and practices in converged media operations. Pr.: MC 110 or junior standing.

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 MC325.

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.: MC440 or MC505 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.