Bowling Green State University Fall 2004

TCOM103 Media/Information Society

Instructor: Dr. Louisa Ha
Class Time: MWF 9:30 - 10:20 a.m. Classroom: West Hall 121
Office: West Hall 320
Office Hours: MWF 10:30 a.m.-11:20 p.m. 12:30-1:00 p.m. and by appointment
Telephone/Voice-mail: (419) 372-9103
Home page:
Teaching Assistant: Angela D. Prater (E-mail:
Course Web Site: 

Course Objectives


Stanley J. Baran (2003). Introduction to Mass Communication:  Media Literacy and Culture, third edition.  NY: McGraw-Hill.

Course Structure

The 3-day week is assigned for different purposes. The Monday and Wednesday classes are for lectures and class discussion of course materials. The Friday classes are mostly a review and working session, generally consisting of quizzes, group project meetings, and short case discussions.

E-mail and Web Access
You must have a usable e-mail address for correspondence in this course.   You also are expected to have access to the Web for conducting research for the group project and other assignments.


Self Introduction Survey
10 points
Quizzes (5)
100 points
Mid-Term Exam
120 points
Final Exam 
120 points
Web Site Report
20 points
Group Project
120 points
Class Participation/Contribution
70 points
Web Wizard Module
10 points
Case Studies (3)
30 points
600 points

540 points or above  A
480-539 points  B
420-479 points  C
360-419 points D
Under 360 points F

Make-up Policy

You will not be granted any make ups for your quizzes, exams, in-class assignments or group projects. Under special circumstances with legitimate written excuses, a student may request the instructor for a special arrangement to make up for the loss of grade or score during his or her absence.

Attendance and Classroom Policy

Class attendance is mandatory and you are obliged to observe classroom disciplines such as no chatting with classmates during the lecture session. This class will follow the University Student Code of Conduct as specified in your student handbook.  You will be asked to leave the classroom if you violate standard classroom disciplines.  You are encouraged to raise questions in class. Feel free to ask for further explanation.  Up to three absences are allowed without any effect on your grade.  However, 4-6 absences will result in a 10% deduction toward your class participation total score, 7-10 absences will result in a 15% deduction toward your class participation score.  10 or more absence will result in a 25% deduction of your class participaton score. If you are a student athlete, having an illness, or on university businesses, absences can be excused. But the instructor must received written notice specifying reasons for absence and dates from appropriate authorities. The attendance sheet is displayed on the table in front of the class.  You can sign (no initial please) the sheet before or after the class.  If you could not sign up in time, you can put your name in the question box for record purposes.  The instructor will sign the sheet for you.  Don't ask anybody else to sign the attendance sheet for you.


All exercises or projects handed later than the due date are considered as late. Late submissions will be penalized with 10% deduction of the scores of that assignment unless a written evidence such as a physician's letter is accompanied with the request for late submission.

Question Box

A Question Box/Bag will put in the classroom at least 5 minutes before the class and in front of the instructorís office. This box is used for any questions to be answered during the class or suggestions to the course. Submissions can be anonymous or with names. Submissions with names will be counted toward class participation based on the quality of the submission.  Questions to the instructor can also be submitted via e-mail.

Students with Disability Statement

If any member of the class feels that he or she has a disability and needs special accommodations of any nature, please advise the instructor of such disability and the desired accommodations at some point before, during, or immediately after the first scheduled class period. The instructor will work with you and the Office of Disabled Student Services to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in the class.


There will be six quizzes for this course. The lowest score will be dropped from counting in the final score for the quizzes. Therefore, only five quiz scores will be computed in the final grade for the quizzes. The format of the quiz will be either true and false or multiple choices as appropriate for the course materials. You will be notified on the quiz format a class before the quiz. Only topics covered during the lecture period preceding the quiz and have not been included in previous quizzes will be included in each quiz. An example of the quiz can be found on the course web site. The materials for the quizzes include the course lecture, textbooks and other reference materials distributed during the class.

Web Site Report
Each student will turn in a web site report from the course web site at  The report is due on
September 3 Friday in class.  The web site report should be one-page, single-spaced, typed, and consists of the following:

Part I.  Review of ONE of top 3 group projects in Spring 2004 (with red asterisks). Don't write a review of any other projects although you are welcome to read them.
- Name of the project you reviewed
- What do you like most from the project report?
- How does the report meet the "tips on doing good group project" listed in the project showcase section on the course web site?
Part II.  Summary of any ONE of the reference source listing on the course web site. Report on the general contents of the web site, NOT an individual article/web page of the web site (e.g., you select the "Media Criticism" Section on the site and choose "Accuracy in Media" site and write about it)  The reference source listing is NOT the references/citations listed in the individual projects or something you found on Google or Yahoo, but the listing on the course web page written by Dr. Ha.  Turning in reviews of sites not listed on the course web site will result in a 0 on Part II.  If you are not sure which sites are acceptable for the review, please ask Dr. Ha or Ms. Prater.
-  Name of the web site visited from the course web site
-  Describe the content of your selected web site
-  Discuss how you can use it to prepare for your group project (e.g., on what topics the site will be most useful).

Both the mid-term and final exam will consist of multiple choice questions and in true and false format. The final exam is a comprehensive exam covering all topics in the syllabus. According to the university policy, the final exam date cannot be changed. Warning: Some questions which have appeared in the quizzes may reappear in the exams.

Group Project

The group project is essentially a media newsletter of your groupís choice. The objective of the group project is to develop your ability to explore the latest development of a media topic/issue and to consolidate your knowledge of your course materials. This is accomplished through the use of external sources, working with other group members with different skills and expertise, and reviewing other groupsí newsletters. The report should be prepared in both 1) a hard copy AND 2) a floppy disk containing the report in MS word or HTML format. The report will be displayed on the courseís web site newsletter showcase section for your classmatesí comments. The group report with the most positive comments from your classmates will receive 5 bonus points for each member of the entire group. Hence, it is important that you encourage non-group member classmates to view your groupís work and provide comments to the instructor. Further instruction will be given on the grading of the group project.

Firing of Group Members and Defection
With a written petition to the instructor signed by more than 50% of the group members, an individual can be fired from the group.  Acceptable justifications for the petition include consecutive absence from group meeting for 2 times or more, failure to turn in the agreed assignment during the meeting, or bad attitudes toward group members during group meetings.

The person who was fired must find a group that allows him to join and notify the instructor in writing within one week after the mini presentation of the group project work-in-progress. If he/she was unable to find a group to accept him/her, he/she can turn in the project alone with a 10% lowering of the grade as the penalty.  But the person must submit a topic for the project and obtain the instructor's approval prior to proceeding on individual work on the project. If the instructor is not notified of any of the changes within the deadline stated above, the individual being fired will receive 0 score for the project.

A group member who does not like the topic chosen by the group to which he/she is assigned can defect to another group within one week after the mini presentation of the group project work-in-progress. He/she must notify the originally assigned group's group leader and the instructor in writing immediately after he/she obtained written permission to join the other group.  Each individual can defect ONLY ONCE.

To ensure that everyone in the group will contribute his or her fair share, a peer evaluation will be conducted after the report is submitted to the instructor.  Failure to submit the peer ratings will decrease your own individual group project grade by 10% in addition to any adjustment on your grade. The peer ratings will affect your grade on the project as follows:
Average points allocated
to you by group members
Impact on your grade
91 - 100 points Grade increased by 10%
71 - 90 points No grade adjustment
50 - 70 points Grade lowered by 10%
Below 50 points Grade lowered by 25%

All groups will hand in the group project (media newsletter) on the same day.

Class Participation

Class participation grade is determined by your participation (asking and answering questions) in class discussions and in-class assignments.  Suggestions to the instructors on improving the course are also counted as class participation. Both quality and quantity will be counted in the class participation scores.


In preparing any written assignment such as your media tycoon profile report, you have to give a complete reference list to the sources of information. You should paraphrase (write in your own words) any information you obtained from another source and write the source according to the reference style guide distributed in this class. DONíT DIRECTLY COPY WORD BY WORD from any source except you put them in "Quotation Marks". Violation of this guideline will constitute plagiarism and is a serious academic dishonesty. Please refer to your student handbook on the university's academic honesty policy.

Scholastic Honesty

Except the group project and case discussions, all assignments or exams must represent individual effort. An individual who copies from another individual's work will automatically receive a grade of F for this class.

Course Schedule

The following schedule is tentative. Students are responsible for any changes made in class.


Aug 23  Introduction   
Aug 25-Sep 1 Mass Communication and Culture:  A Critical Approach  Ch. 1
Sep 3 First Group Project Meeting 
Web Site Report Due
Sep 6 Labor Day.  No Class.
Sep 8 Media Literacy and Media Industry Structure Ch.2
Sep 10 Quiz #1 & Group Project Meeting


Sep 13-15           New Media Technology and Information Society  Ch. 10       
Sep 17 Quiz #2 Information Literacy and Research Sources in the Library 
Web Wizard Module due


Sep 20-22      Sound Recording and Popular Music           Ch. 7     
Sep 24 Quiz #3 & Group Project Meeting
Sep 27-29 Radio Broadcasting Ch. 7
Oct 1 Quiz #4 & Group Project Meeting
Oct 4-6 Movies and Videos Ch. 6
Oct 8 Group Project Work-in-Progress Mini Presentation
Oct 11 Fall Break. No Class
Oct 15 Homecoming Alumni Speaker Panel
Oct 13-20 Broadcast Television Ch. 8
Oct 22 Quiz #5 & Group Project Meeting
Oct 25-27 Cable Television and Satellite TV Ch. 9
Oct 29 Mid-Term Exam


Nov 1-3                     The Business of Mass Media: Advertising  Ch.12             
Nov 5 Quiz #6 &  Group Project meeting
Nov 8-12 The Business of Mass Media: Public Relations(case discussion and presentation on Friday)  Ch. 11


Nov 15-Nov 19    Books (case discussion and presentation on Friday) Ch. 3          
Nov 15 Group Project due
Nov 22-Dec 3 Newspapers and Magazines (case discussion and presentation on Friday) Ch. 4,5
Nov 24-26 Thanksgiving Recess. No Class.


Dec 6-8     Social Effects of Media and Public Policy        Ch. 13 
Dec 10 Final Exam Review
Dec 17 Final Exam 8:30-10:30 WH 121