Communications course descriptions

CM 109. Introduction to Mass Media. 3 Credits.

The mass media are so pervasive in contemporary society that students in many disciplines will find this course valuable. It provides a comprehensive overview of the development of such media as newspapers, magazines, books, radio, television, film, recordings and the Internet. In addition, it introduces students to issues of regulatory control, audience analysis, media ethics and international mass communications.

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CM 207. Journalism I: News Gathering. 3 Credits.

This course covers the fundamentals of news gathering, reporting and writing on assignment. Students learn to evaluate how the media relate events. The course also treats such issues as the right to privacy, the risks of libel, and the ethical contexts of gathering information.

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CM 208. Journalism II: Advanced News Gathering and Design. 3 Credits.

This course continues CM 207 and concentrates on in-depth and investigative reporting, interviewing and feature writing, as well as basic newspaper layout and design. Students explore the patterns of thinking and feeling that enable the reporter to make sound observations and judgments. Prerequisite: CM 207 or permission of instructor.

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CM 209. Broadcast Writing. 3 Credits.

This course acquaints the student with the theory and practice of writing for broadcast media. Students are introduced to writing styles used in radio, television, and film. They also learn about news gathering, documentary techniques, and dramatic writing. Prerequisite: CM 109 or permission of instructor.

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CM 211. Broadcasting Techniques. 3 Credits.

This survey of broadcasting in America stresses the basic principles and professional techniques of radio and television. In addition to learning historical and contemporary applications of broadcast technology, students use campus radio broadcast facilities and the video production studio as working laboratories. Students develop perspective on changing industry standards. Prerequisite: CM 109 or permission of instructor.

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CM 261. Interpersonal Communications. 3 Credits.

This course provides an overview of the theories, practices, and processes of human communication, studying such subjects as language acquisition, signs and symbols, body language, proxemics, paralanguage, and feedback. The effects of communication on individuals, society, and intercultural issues are explored. Students identify communication problems and propose creative solutions to them.

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CM 271. Television Production. 4 Credits.

An introduction to electronic field production (EFP), electronic news gathering (ENG), and multi-camera studio production with a special-effects switcher. This course is a required course for communications majors. Students will learn how to use professional camera equipment and to construct a news feature segment on the Avid media Composer editing suite platform. Classroom 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. Offered spring and fall semesters.

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CM 303. Advertising. 3 Credits.

A survey of advertising practices and advertising campaigns. Students analyze the visual and verbal properties of successful advertising, discovering the key elements of creative strategy and design.

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CM 304. Principles and Practices of Corporate Communications. 3 Credits.

An analysis of the theory and practice of public relations, its functions in organizations, and its role in society. Students apply course material to public relations program planning and management by working individually and in groups on case-study projects. Prerequisite: CM 109 or permission of instructor.

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CM 335. Television Criticism. 3 Credits.

This course develops critical perspectives on television programming and introduces students to the complexities of dramatic and non-dramatic programming, including serials, series, sitcoms, docudramas, documentaries, and news stories.

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CM 351. Radio Production. 3 Credits.

This course, a continuation of CM 211, is designed for students interested in developing their broadcast production skills as well as their understanding of the entire range of issues associated with radio work. In addition to discussing the most recent cable, satellite, and computer broadcast applications, the course emphasizes work on voice and diction, interviewing, radio news gathering and editing, cultural and public affairs programming, and commercial production. Prerequisite: CM 211 or permission of the instructor.

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CM 390. Topics in Communications. 3 Credits.

A course designed to introduce students to a special area or current topic in communications. Course material varies each semester. Analytical writing required. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

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CM 391. Advanced Television Production. 3 Credits.

This course draws on skills learned in CM 271: Television Production. Students gain confidence in their abilities, explore advanced techniques, and learn how to become working members of a professional production team. Advanced areas of instruction include an introduction to the SONY BetacamSP and the development of skills necessary to function as an assistant editor (logging, digitizing, and rendering effects). This is the first in a track of advanced digital technology courses that must be completed in sequential order.

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CM 392. Documentary Television Production. 3 Credits.

In this course, students learn the basic fundamentals of traditional long-form documentary production. Early units emphasize research skills, including letters, telephone contacts and archival research. Later units cover on-camera interviewing, logging and organization of footage into off-line drafts. Students learn the functions of the assistant editor on major projects. This is the second in a track of advanced digital technology courses that must be completed in sequential order. Prerequisite: CM 391.

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CM 393. Non-linear Digital Television. 3 Credits.

Emphasizes the principles of non-linear post-production. Through discussion,practical exercises and demonstrations, students analyze the differences between linear and non-linear editing systems, the potential and limitations, of digital technology. Students digitize and organize footage, edit sync and non-sync material and assist in the development of sophisticated finished projects for professional portfolios. This is the third in a track of advanced digital technology courses that must be completed in sequential order. Prerequisite: CM 392.

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CM 407. Senior Communications Seminar. 3 Credits.

A required course for Communications majors, designed to provide students up-to-date information about the fields of radio, television, journalism, advertising, public relations, public information, wire services and the Internet. Special applications of these fields in business, the military, politics, law, and other professions will be considered. As part of this capstone course, seniors will be required to present and analyze before an audience of department faculty and/or other faculty, a portfolio of prior work. Prerequisite: senior status or permission of instructor.

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CM 408. Communications Internship. 3 Credits.

A course designed to combine practical work experience with college-level study in such communications areas as radio, television, advertising, film, journalism, and public relations. Normally, students are required to find their own internship location and must provide their own transportation. Prerequisite: senior status or permission of instructor.

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CM 436. Communications Law and Ethics. 3 Credits.

A survey of laws pertaining to journalism, broadcasting, and advertising, emphasizing ethical problems facing journalists and media specialists. Students study the history of press freedom and control and explore First Amendment issues such as the right to privacy; obscenity; and libel. Special emphasis will be placed on media ethics. Prerequisite: CM 109 or permission of instructor.

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CM 491. Media Composer Techniques. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the basic technology and aesthetic possibilities of the Avid Media Composer (the industry non-linear post-production standard). As producers and editors, students lead teams of assistants in creating long-form projects. The course combines instructor-led discussion, hand-on demonstration and mentoring assistance. This is the fourth in a track of advanced digital technology courses that must be completed in sequential order. Prerequisite: CM 393.

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CM 492. Advanced Media Composer Techniques. 3 Credits.

This course prepares students for professional careers as Media Composer producers and editors. It includes an introduction to mediabase management and stresses speed and efficiency of organizing and editing material using Media Composer software, multiple digital audio tracks, and image compositing. Students create a finished program by course completion. This is the fifth in a track of advanced digital technology courses that must be completed in sequential order. Prerequisite: CM 491.

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CM 493. Media Composer Graphics and Effects. 3 Credits.

This course includes a study of the basics in designing multi-layered and multi-nested titles, graphics and effects using the Pinnacle 3D Effects Module. Exercises help students learn to create both real-time and rendered effects. Topics include preparing and importing graphics, creating and using alpha matte keys, the use of Adobe Photoshop and third party packages, creating and saving effects templates and short-cuts and tips for maximum quality and optimal render time. This is the sixth in a track of advanced digital technology courses that must be completed in sequential order. Prerequisite: CM 492.

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CM 494. Advanced Media Composer Effects and Graphics. 3 Credits.

Features use of advanced graphics software and broadening of skills learned in CM493: Media Composer Graphics and Effects. Students design complex program openings utilizing 3D templates, mattes, chroma keys, advanced nesting and title features. Third party packages utilized include Adobe After-Effects, BlueICE and Artel BorixFX. This is the seventh in a track of advanced digital technology courses that must be completed in sequential order. Prerequisite: CM 493.

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CM 495. Systems Configuration and Media Data Management. 3 Credits.

Offers an overview of systems configuration and maintenance as well as media data-base management to minimize systems downtime and maximize Media Composer productivity. Laboratory work and role-playing give students practical experience. Topics include SCSI, storage, hardware and software troubleshooting, signal flow, systems integration and issues involving external peripheral devices. Features a practicum conducted at Avid Technology. This is the eighth in a track of advanced digital technology courses that must be completed in sequential order. Prerequisite: CM 494.

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