COMS407-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Communicating Through Independent Media

30 points

Details:
Start Date: Monday, 16 July 2018
End Date: Sunday, 18 November 2018
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 27 July 2018
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 12 October 2018

Description

The course aims to equip students with an understanding of independent media within democracies. It provides students with the critical skills to analyse the economics of mainstream media and the impact of independent media on government policy, mainstream media, and social change.

This course begins by critically analyzing how marginalized groups are represented in mainstream media. We will explore the political, economic, legal, historical and social implications of the relationship between the mass media and marginalized groups. Given that modern media assist in the construction of social reality, this course explores how media representation is related to social issues of gender, race and class. The course then moves to explore how disempowered, marginalized groups use alternative media to improve their social capital. Independent media are defined most broadly as those media practices falling outside the mainstreams of corporate, commercialized communication. The course will examine the culture and politics of alternative/independent and community media and situate them within a theoretical framework. Case studies will examine visual communication, “underground” print media, community radio, small-scale independent documentary film and video, alternative music, and a variety of uses of the Internet for maintaining and mobilizing social movements. The course will address topics such as the construction of reality, ideology, race, gender, sexuality, class structure, hegemony, and the struggle for marginalized groups through present media systems.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:
 make well-reasoned arguments about how and why marginalized groups are represented in mainstream media
 explain the purpose of independent media in a democracy
 demonstrate a critical understanding of hegemony and how the concept manifests throughout institutional and individual layers of society
 articulate the role of media in the social construction of reality
 describe and explain shared characteristics among independent media
 make critically-informed arguments about how independent media challenge and/or support corporate media
 apply the core concerns of the course to creative and academic projects of their own choosing
 demonstrate a firm grasp of concepts such as power and resistance

Pre-requisites

Entry is subject to approval of the Head of Department. RP: have qualified for a Bachelor's degree (with at least a B average in 300-level courses); or
have qualified for a Bachelor's degree and provided evidence to the satisfaction of the Dean of Arts and Head of Department of relevant professional or
other work experience

Recommended Preparation

have qualified for a Bachelor's degree (with at least a B average in 300-level courses); or have qualified for a Bachelor's degree and provided evidence to the satisfaction of the Dean of Arts and Head of Department of relevant professional or other work experience

Course Coordinator

Erin Harrington

Assessment

Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Independent Media Idea Presentations 10% Two 3-minute Independent Media Idea Pitches (5% each) Due weeks 4 and 6 in class
Secondary Research Essay 30 Aug 2018 30% 3000 words. Electronic copy uploaded to Learn by deadline.
Discussion Leadership/Alternative Media Analysis 20% Due in a class period to be assigned in term 4
Idea, Outline & Methodological Approach for Final Essay/Project 21 Sep 2018 No marks assigned, but one whole letter grade will be deducted from your final assignment if this is not submitted
Final Extended Essay or Successful Pitch Project/Reflection Paper Mix 26 Oct 2018 40% 4000 words. Electronic copy uploaded to Learn by deadline

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,811.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All COMS407 Occurrences

  • COMS407-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018