Undergrad Catalog 2010


Media Studies Course Descriptions

MDS 1950-4950. Study Abroad in Media Studies (1-16).

MDS 1990-4990. Special Studies (1-3).
MDS 2990 Gen. Ed. Designation: EL (S – Service Learning).

MDS 1130. Basic Newswriting (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1500. An introduction to the journalistic field focusing on the structure, purpose and function of news, from story inception to completion. Students will also be exposed to ethics and legal limitations and rights of the journalist. Typing skills required.

MDS 1180. Introduction to Public Relations (3). A study of the profession of public relations, including the historical and theoretical underpinnings of the field and an examination of the range of career opportunities available to PR practitioners. This course will introduce students to what public relations is and how they can have a career in the field.

MDS 1450. Introduction to Audio and Video Production (3). An introductory course in the basics of audio and video production employing both lecture and practical experience. Emphasis will include video and audio acquisition and Avid nonlinear editing techniques.

MDS 1500. Mass Media and Society (3). This course serves as an introduction to mass media, including radio, television, film, and newspapers. It is designed to lead the student to basic media literacy by exploring the evolution of  mass media and their effects on society – politically, economically, and socially.

MDS 1550. Introduction to Sports Production (3). The course is designed to introduce the student to the theory and process of multi-camera video production of sporting events. The principles of program design, live audio mixing, camera operation, and directing are covered. The course includes both in-class and lab components. The in-class component covers logistical and aesthetic concepts that are part of the planning and implementation of live sports production, while the extensive lab component gives the student the opportunity to apply those concepts in an actual live production context for A-Sun TV.

MDS 1800. Sports Writing (3). This course is designed to offer students an introduction to writing in the world of sports media. Topics covered include team and game coverage, media guides, game notes, press releases, and sports writing protocol.

MDS 1900. Journalism Practicum I (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1130. This is a laboratory course with instruction from Professionals-in-Residence and Belmont faculty in topics that include: Editing and Design for Print, Responsible News Selection, Online Research and Reporting, Photography and Economics of Print Media.
Gen. Ed. Designation: EL (CI – Community Based Research & Internship).

MDS 2000. Media Performance (3). The course is designed to be an introduction to the communication concepts and skills involved in on-microphone and on-camera tasks, such as interviews, voice-overs, and announcing. Attention will be given to both aural and visual components of talent development.

MDS 2100. Voice and Diction (3). A study of the production of speech as it applies to American English as a spoken language. Designed to improve speech patterns through application of vocal mechanics and appropriate diction techniques.

MDS 2130. Advanced News (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1130. This course deals with principles and techniques for in-depth reporting on such topics as crime, education, public utilities, politics and science. Students will focus on information gathering and advanced newswriting. Fieldwork is required.

MDS 2140. Broadcast News Reporting (3). Prerequisites: MDS 1130 and MDS 1450. A laboratory course combining classwork and independent practice, introducing students to the techniques of electronic newsgathering for television, including interviewing, reporting, script writing, production, and performance. Additional emphasis includes developing skills in videography and non-linear editing.

MDS 2170. Desktop Publishing (3). Prerequisite: ENG 1010 or approval of instructor. Students will receive training on computer-based typesetting and desktop publishing equipment widely used in the professional print media. A combination of class work and independent practice. Typing skill required. ($50 course fee).

MDS 2180. Public Relations Writing and Production (3). The skills-based course teaches students how to write and produce public relations materials, including news releases, backgrounders and talking points, media kits, advertising copy, fund-raising letters, grant proposals, speeches, and other promotional copy.

MDS 2200. Visual Journalism (3). This course offers training and practice in visual presentation for the Internet and traditional print media. Projects will include Web slide shows and basic Web video production, brochures, newspaper and magazine layouts.

MDS 2210. Feature Writing (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1130 or approval of instructor. This course provides a study of the practical techniques of researching and developing feature stories for newspapers and periodicals. Students will also be instructed in methods and procedures for freelancing feature articles for publication.

MDS 2300. The Business of News (3). A study and analysis of current and emerging issues in the news industry from both practical and theoretical perspectives. Topics may include: media ownership, governmental regulation, technology and content distribution, economics and public trust.

MDS 2400. Magazine Workshop (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1130. Students enrolled in this course will act as the editorial staff for the annual College of Arts and Sciences magazine, Explore.

MDS 2450. Remote Video Production (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1450. This course is designed to teach students the common practices of electronic field production (EFP) including preproduction, production, postproduction, electronic graphics, and DVD authoring. Students will use Final Cut Pro nonlinear editing technology.

MDS 2460. Television Production (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1450. An introductory course in the basics of television studio production employing both lecture and practical experience. Emphasis will include gaining an overview of the major pieces of television production equipment and their operation, the specific responsibilities of production personnel, and becoming familiar with the language of television. Production emphases will include directing, creating electronic graphics, studio camera operation, and audio mixing techniques.

MDS 2470. Broadcast Workshop (3). A practicum designed for students who wish to participate in a variety of broadcast activities at the co-curricular level. Students may receive from 1 to 3 credit hours on a graded basis. Students may enroll each semester but no more than three credit hours will apply to the major or minor program.

MDS 2480. Audio-Video Production Workshop (1-3).  A practicum designed for students who wish to participate in a variety of audio-video production activities at the co-curricular level. Students may receive from 1 to 3 credit hours on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may enroll each semester but no more than three credit hours will apply to the major or minor program.

MDS 2500. Mass Communication Theory (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1500. This course provides an examination of and research in mediated communication processes, and potential barriers to effectiveness. It involves a review of literature on effects of mass communication on individuals and groups, contrasting channels and message structures, and considers media as social, economic and cultural institutions.

MDS 2650. PR Fundraising (3). This course will provide a foundation for operating a devleopment program, including how to find donors, manage the fundraising process, write grants, and other financial skills needed in the public relations arena.

MDS 2700. Media History (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1500. A survey of the history of the American media, emphasizing appreciation and understanding of the technological, social, political and cultural factors affecting print, broadcast and online media. Students complete a historiographic study as part of the course requirements.

MDS 2800. Sports Presentation (3). The course is designed to offer students an introduction to on-mic and on-camera presentation of sports content. Topics covered include interviewing, sports reporting, play-by-play, color commentary, public address, editing, production, and game-day operations and protocol.

MDS 2810. Public Relations Cases (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1180. Analytic study of guiding public relations principles illustrated by current and historical public relations cases. Emphasis on strategic managment, ethics, and two-way organizational communication. Oral and written analysis of illustrative cases; application of principles in service-learning projects.

MDS 2900. Journalism Practicum II (3). Prerequisite: MDS 2140. This laboratory course combines classwork and extensive independent practice in the development of advanced electronic newsgathering and basic electronic field production skills as related to the common techniques of documentary production.
Gen. Ed. Designation: EL (S – Service Learning).

MDS 2960. International Public Relations (3). This course will analyze the growing impact of international public relations – one of the fastest growing aspects of the field in the 21st century.

MDS 3010. Television Programming (3). A course designed to provide students with the principles for understanding and interpreting programming strategies and to familiarize them with the concepts, vocabulary, and practices of programmers in the electronic media. Emphasis will be on television, cable, and satellite delivery systems.

MDS 3015. Junior Cornerstone Seminar (3). The junior cornerstone expereince.
Gen. Ed. Designation: EL (R – Undergraduate Research).

MDS 3020. Radio Programming (3). A course designed to provide students with the principles for understanding and interpreting programming strategies and to familiarize them with the concepts, vocabulary, and practices of programmers in the electronic media. Emphasis will be on commercial radio and public broadcasting.

MDS 3100. Covering Diverse Populations (3). This course will encourage students to utilize their critical thinking skills as they learn about stereotypes, perceptions, bias and prejudice. They will analyze different populations and how those groups are represented on the news and in the media including but not limited to television, radio, newspapers, Internet, cable and satellite. Further, students will begin to address their own attitudes and feelings based on their experience and exposure to different people, cultures and beliefs.

MDS 3140. TV Newscasting (3). Prerequisite: MDS 2440 or permission of the instructor. Students in TV Newscasting will provide the content for weekly cable television news and public affairs programming. Students will research, write and edit original news stories for broadcast.

MDS 3180. Public Relations Research (3). Prerequisite: MDS 2180 or permission of the instructor. This course will focus on research areas necessary to be an effective public relations practitioner, including informal research techniques, such as record keeping, key contacts, focus groups, casual monitoring, and formal research techniques, such as content analysis, survey research, experimental research, and sampling methods. The course also will explore measuring public opinion and identifying publics, among other related areas.
Gen. Ed. Designation: EL (R – Undergraduate Research).

MDS 3200. TV Newscasting (3). Prerequisite: MDS 2140. This performance-based studio and laboratory course introduces intermediate and advanced students to common practices, techniques and skills utilized in writing, producing and anchoring broadcast television news briefs and newscasts.

MDS 3300. Media Research Methods (3). This course provides an introduction to methodological approaches to the study of media. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies will be introduced. The class emphasizes learning and applying research skills to scientifically evaluate messages, media and audiences. Each student executes a research project.
Gen. Ed. Designation: EL (R – Undergraduate Research).

MDS 3400. Media Operations (3). This course is designed to acquaint the student with the structure and function of the various departments in a broadcast station or cable system and the relationship between those departments.

MDS 3450. Advanced Video Production (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1450 and MDS 2450, or permission of instructor. This course is designed to provide students exposure to advanced video production techniques and technology. Emphasis will include lighting, chromakey, color correction, and HDTV. Students will be required to produce creative and in-depth productions.

MDS 3500. Media Advertising and Sales (3). This course is designed to introduce the student to the concepts and theories of Media Advertising, as well as the skills necessary to successfully sell media advertising in a competitive environment.

MDS 3550. Broadcast Scriptwriting (3). This course is designed to familiarize students with the process of scriptwriting for the electronic media. Emphases will be on the complete production process. Students will be required to complete individual and group productions.

MDS 3600. Journalism as Literature (3). This course will explore literary journalism and examine some of the foremost works of this genre. In addition to their literary value, the selection of books provides a cursory social historyof the United States.

MDS 3700. TV, Vietnam, Watergate & the News (3). Three significant events of the 20th Century have had tremendous impact on the news industry today. This course will examine how the advent of television, America's involvement in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal have transformed the news business - for better and for worse. In particular, we will examine the news media's role as a watchdog on government, and how that function impacts American democracy.

MDS 3710. Event Planning (3). Prerequisite: MDSD 2180 or permission of the instructor. This course will focus on an area of specialization within the public relations profession. Students will learn how to plan, promote, implement, and evaluate events, including news conferences, fund-raisers, concerts, community sponsorships, and more.

MDS 3800. Media Relations (3). Prerequisite: MDS 2180 or permission of the instructor. This course will go beyond writing news releases and speeches to how to conduct full-fledged publicity campaigns. The course will focus on media management techniques and strategies.
Gen. Ed. Designation: EL (C – Community Based Research).

MDS 3900. Journalism Practicum III (3). Prerequisite: MDS 2900. This is a laboratory course with instruction from Professionals-in-Residence and Belmont faculty in topics that include: Digital Imaging, Website Production, Information Theory, Interactive Media, Online Journalism, The Internet and Global Society, Economics of New Media.

MDS 3940/4940. Directed Studies (3). Student development of a project or study of special interest. Consent of the instructor is required.

MDS 3970. Journalism Workshop (3). Students who work on the news-editorial staff of campus student media may receive from 1 to 3 hours per semester credit. The criteria for credit is established by the faculty advisor to the publication, online or broadcast operation. No more than 6 hours of credit may be applied toward a major and no more than 3 hours toward a journalism minor.

MDS 3980. Journalism Workshop II (3). Prerequisites: MDS 1450 and MDS 2140. This laboratory course assimilates skilled broadcast students into the environment of a fully converged television newsroom, sharing resources with integrated print and Web operations. Students will utilize advanced electronic newsgathering, videography and non-linear editing skills to help develop multi-platform content for campus student media.

MDS 4100. Communication Law (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1130 or MDS 2600. Examines governmental regulations affecting news media, advertising, radio broadcasting and telecasting, and the direct effects of such regulations upon management and daily operations.

MDS 4110. Media Ethics (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1130 or MDS 2600. A study of the social ethic for mass communication, establishing a system of checks and balances to measure fair and truthful news and diversified entertainment. Course work involved case study analysis to help understand the roles of the communicator and the audience as individual and group.

MDS 4190. Public Relations Campaigns (3). Prerequisites: MDS 1180, MDS 2180, and MDS 3180. Capstone course involving extensive team-based research, planning, implentation, and evaluation of a public relations campaign on behalf of an assigned real-world client. Oral and written presentation of the project; service-learning applications. EL (S – Service Learning).

MDS 4200. Media Leadership (3). Prerequisite MDS 3900 or MDS 3400. The course encourages students to strategically address personnel and organizational issues and opportunities presented in media leadership roles. It includes study of leadership strategies, seeks to foster an appreciation for the responsibilities of media organizations, and encourages ethical decision making. It also addresses challenges faced by leaders in developing better-performing media organizations and the employees who work within them.

MDS 4300. Global Media Systems (3). A comparative study of major media systems around the world, the course is designed to explore the role that public policy plays in the creation and distribution of media content (both information and entertainment), as well as the cultural impact of that content.

MDS 4450. Producing and Directing for Audio and Video (3). Prerequisite: MDS 1450; MDS 2450 or permission of instructor. This course is designed to familiarize students with the responsibilities of the producer and director. Emphasis will be on the complete production process. Students will be required to complete individual and group productions.

MDS 4900. Journalism Internship (3-6). On-the-job training in a communication organization. Student assignments will be consistent with vocational objectives. Normally taken during senior year. May be taken up to six hours in student’s major. Permission of instructor is required for 6-credit-hour internship.
Gen. Ed. Designation: EL (I – Internships, Clinicals, Practica).

MDS 4910. Public Relations Internship (3). On-the-job training in a media organization / public relations setting. Student assignments will be consistent with vocational objectives. Normally taken during the junior or senior year.
Gen. Ed. Designation: EL (I – Internships, Clinicals, Practica).

MDS 4960. Senior Project (3). Prerequisites: MDS 3300, Media Research Methods and MDS 3900, Journalism Practicum III. Students will research and produce a capstone senior project under the guidance of faculty and professional journalists.

MDS 4975. Audio-Video Production Internship (3-6). On-the-job training in a communications organization. Student assignments consistent with vocational objectives. Normally taken during senior year. May be taken up to six hours in student's major. Permission of instructor required for 6-credit-hour internship.

MDS 4980 Mass Communication Internship (3-6). On-the-job training in a communications organization. Student assignments consistent with vocational objectives. Normally taken during senior year. May be taken up to six hours in student’s major. Permission of instructor required for 6-credit-hour internship.
Gen. Ed. Designation: EL (I – Internships, Clinicals, Practica).