Intl Communications

J-541: International Communications

Most of the Jour courses that you take are focused on journalism and mass communication in the United States. Courses that you take outside of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications may have an international component, but they probably are not related to journalism and mass communications. This course fills an important gap: it covers journalism and mass communication in countries other than the United States.

Why should you care about this topic? Will you ever work for an international news organization or an international advertising/public relations organization? Maybe; maybe not. Do journalism and mass communications industries and practices from other countries have any effect upon you personally? Yes. But even if the answer was “no,” isn’t it possible that you would be curious about how journalism and mass communications are practiced in other countries? I hope so.

I would argue that communication, in general, is very important. We live in a biological-chemical-physical world. But we also live in a social-cultural world. In fact, we spend most of our time, energy, and so on in the social-cultural world, and it is communication that shapes this social-cultural world. Interpersonal communication is important, but so is group communication, organizational communication, mass communication, and intercultural communication. Communication at all of these levels determines what is right and wrong, true and false, beautiful and ugly, valuable and worthless. Since people, groups, organizations, and mass media from other countries are involved in constituting our social reality, we really should care about what they are saying and why.

Another way of thinking about this course is making connections. We will constantly be seeking to make connections between a) our personal and professional interests; and b) journalism and mass communications outside the United States. When you read a book chapter or article, do not simply try to understand what the author wrote; do not try to pick out the key ideas; and do not guess what will be on the test. Instead, think about how the chapter’s ideas can be related to your life, and if that doesn’t seem possible, then make connections between the chapter and other things you’ve read in newspapers, or on the Web, or that you’ve seen on TV, or that you learned about in other courses, and so on. Everything that I ask you to do will require you to make connections.

You will demonstrate your ability to make connections in four ways: 1) via class discussion; 2) via in-class writing assignments; 3) via an oral presentation; and 4) via a group project.

At the end of the course, I hope that you will appreciate the importance of global communication and will have sufficient interest that you continue to follow global journalism and mass communication issues throughout your life.

Additional resources:

J-541 Syllabus (Fall 2010)

Essay writing rubric

Sample essay with feedback 1

Sample essay with feedback 2

Sample essay with feedback 3

Oral presentation (Amstel Light)

Oral presentation (Government PR)

Oral presentation (UK Game Shows)

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