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Course : Mass Media and Society

Course Number
MCOM 1233
Section Number
Fall 2023
Fain Fine Arts Center, D202
Days & Times
Final Exam Day/Time
Tuesday, December 12, 2023 8:00 am - 10:00 am

As a result of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand and define mass communication.
  • Understand and explain the function of the mass media.
  • Analyze critically mass media and mass media messages.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of media literacy and consumption of mass media.
  • Understand the economic and social imperatives affecting message content, delivery and effects.
  • Understand the influences of media content on cultural perceptions.
  • Understand the characteristics of contemporary mass media, including the influence and roles of media history, media law and ethics, governmental regulation, and evolving technology.
  • Analyze and discuss media message content using critical thinking skills.
  • Understand media history and technology and their effects on contemporary messages.
  • Develop an increased understanding and awareness of media influences on perceptions of multiculturalism and diversity.
  • Understand the evolving roles of social media messages on politics, behavior, and culture.
  • Understand the effects of globalization and consolidation on the media.


  • 40% Attendance, participation, weekly quizzes and daily grades (including current events)
  • 10% Your editorial cartoon (Sept. 28) (cartoon and reflection)
  • 10% Media law discussion (Oct. 5)
  • 10% Photojournalism presentation and reflection (Oct. 10, 12) (Google slides)
  • 10% Movie presentation and reflection (Nov. 7-9) (show trailer, discussion)
  • 10% Advertising discussion (Nov. 16)
  • 10% Online discussion of what’s next (Dec. 7)

The knowledge and skills students will gain in this course highly depend on participating in class learning activities. Because of that, I expect students to attend all class sessions. Attendance helps students learn the course material. Absent students cannot contribute their unique perspectives to class discussion or other group work, negatively affecting other students’ learning opportunities. Attendance promotes professionalism. However, we all realize that, as adults, students should learn to be responsible for their own education and to manage their time. 

In the event of a planned absence, students should e-mail Dr. Wilson prior to the absence as a courtesy. 

Students are responsible for making up any work missed on their own time, working with classmates.

Students will not be able to make up unannounced quizzes given in classes they miss. Students will not be able to make up any material missed for being late.

Students who miss class due to University-sponsored events such as field trips or athletics, should visit with the course instructor in advance and will be required to complete the assigned work on or before the due date. Students should submit an official notification form before the absence.

Exams (all of which will be available in D2L/Brightspace for an extended period of time), projects and stories with advance deadlines will not be accepted late. Plan ahead.

After a warning, a student with more than four absences may be dropped from the course by the instructor or summarily given a failing grade. Students who are late to class will be counted as absent.

Late work receives a grade of zero.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MSUTexas e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and 2) earned 60 hours. Students may meet this requirement in one of three ways: by passing the Writing Proficiency Exam, passing two Writing Intensive Courses (only one can be in the core), or passing English 2113. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police at