Department of Mass Media
Professor Maria Raicheva-Stover, PhD, Chair
Assistant Professor Kristen Grimmer, PhD
Assistant Professor Matthew Nyquist, MFA
Assistant Professor Andrew Anglin, PhD
Senior Lecturer Regina Cassell, MS
Lecturer Sam Finch, MA
The mission of the Department of Mass Media at Washburn University is the pursuit of excellence. Through excellence in teaching, scholarly, creative, and community activities, students are empowered to discover and express their voices in today’s mass media landscape. With students at the forefront of all of its endeavors, the Department of Mass Media strives to build exceptionally ethical, professional, critical, strategic, and socially responsible leaders who are prepared to make an indelible impact in a diverse and engaging media environment. Through cooperative partnerships, projects, and internships with global, national, and local organizations, students are provided opportunities to apply the skills developed in the classroom to their professional endeavors. Upon graduation, students are prepared to create responsible, effective contemporary media for a mobile and global society. Driven by its faculty and students, the Department of Mass Media aims to promote media literacy, freedom of expression, and socially responsible communication.
Vision Statement: You want to change the world and get a job. We’ll help you do both.
Description of the Department
We live in a society dominated by the media where it is more important than ever to master the art of communication. At the same time, the mass media landscape is changing almost daily. That's why the mass media program is designed to be flexible and help our students adapt and thrive in an era of rapid transformation.
Washburn's program prepares students to become successful communicators. Our students learn through real-world experience combined with education in the theory, the art and practice of communications in today's media environment.
Our students graduate ready to take their place in a wide range of fields including online, broadcast and print journalism, advertising, media analysis, film and video production, digital media management, as well as public relations and event planning. The major and minor can be selected in combination with other majors offered in the College of Arts and Sciences and other schools within the university.
Student Learning Outcomes
Mass media students at Washburn University, upon graduation, are expected to:
- Recall and list important historical developments of media in American Society.
- Explain and describe the increasingly changing media environment in terms of technological, regulatory, economic, legal, ethical, and societal trends.
- Demonstrate the ability to use technology to research, compare, create, and organize appropriate information and analyze its use for various audiences.
- Critically evaluate questions, reflect on their meaning, compare multiple viewpoints and examine evidence to make an informed judgment.
- Create original professional media projects for community organizations.
- Plan and produce information campaigns that meet specific organizational needs.
Mass media majors have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in advertising, public relations, journalism, as well as film and video at Washburn University. Most mass media courses are highly involved with learning skills in technology, as well as producing work for real-world clients. Mass media majors also gain much needed experience in film and TV broadcasting by using Instructional Media’s television studio, WUCT-CH 13 cable channel, and the public TV station, KTWU. Student Media offers paid opportunities for print, digital media, radio, advertising and promotions. The writing, design and editing courses are taught in the Stauffer Mass Media computer lab. The film and video editing courses are taught in the film editing lab facility in Henderson Learning Center.
Internships are required for all students. The mass media faculty members maintain a network of contacts, but students are responsible for finding and setting up their own internships. The process of signing up for the internship program starts during the semester immediately preceding the internship semester. To enroll in the internship class, students must first obtain the consent of the Internship Coordinator. Students work a total of 128 hours for the organization. Twenty-four hours of credit in the major, with at least nine hours in the area of concentration, must be completed prior to the internship experience.
MM 100 Introduction to Mass Media (3)
The subject of this course is mass media. It is designed to acquaint students with newspapers, magazines, books, radio, recordings, television, films, advertising, public relations, and the interactive media of computers and information technology. Prerequisite: None.
MM 128 The Impact of The Walt Disney Company on Society (3)
This course will explore the impact that the Walt Disney company has had on society in both the domestic and international cultural spaces. Topics explored include the company's influence on society and culture through: 1) mass media, such as film, television, radio, publishing, literature, online, and gaming; 2) business, such as tourism, merchandising, licensing, franchising, marketing, and promotions; 3) innovation, such as technology, creative development, engineering, and architecture; 4) history, such as historical, gender, race, and colonial representation. Prerequisites: None.
MM 155 Sports and the Media (3)
Mediated sport is an important facet of modern life. In this course, you will explore the fundamentals of media as related to both collegiate and professional sports. Prerequisites: None
MM 199 Mass Media Boot Camp (3)
This class implements technology processes and the construction of messages to be used in commercial, social and mobile media while creating an understanding of the significance and application of basic media terminology. Prerequisite: None.
MM 202 Creative Media Writing (3)
MM 212 Digital Filmmaking I (3)
This basic lab course will provide an introduction, through lab activity, to the process of creating a film or video product for a variety of applications. Students will learn basics of project development, camera operation, visual composition, sound recording, editing, and exhibition on the web or other expanded media. Prerequisites: MM 199 or Consent.
MM 222 Cinematic Storytelling (3)
The focus in this course is to develop knowledge and skills relating to visualization of cinematic story elements, and writing a narrative film script. Topics include: formatting, structure, character development, conflict, dialogue, and other script elements. Prerequisites: MM 100 or consent.
MM 300 Mass Media Law (3)
This class will study ethical and legal issues in mass communication contexts. Examines the limitations and responsibilities of communicators. Prerequisites: MM 100 or consent.
MM 301 Mass Media & Cinema (3)
Investigation into how the cinema portrays the media of radio, television, film and the press. Discussion of various types of film analysis and criticism, including production analysis, sociological, genre, and ideological criticism of film form and content. Prerequisites: MM 100 or consent.
MM 302 Cinematic Storytelling (3)
This course analyzes modern American films with particular attention to storytelling techniques, genre, cinematic rendering and thematic meaning. Films will be examined against the backdrop of their specific historical-socio-political context. Prerequisites: MM 199 or consent.
MM 311 Broadcast Performance (3)
MM 312 Cinematography (3)
This course will show students the similarities and differences between film camera systems and electronic camera acquisition, using lecture, demonstration, and example. Students will understand how basic functions and relationships in camera systems and support have similar qualities, but with different consequences relative to the production process. This course will have a central role for student filmmakers in creative storytelling. Prerequisite: MM 199 or MM 302.
MM 319 Public Relations I (3)
MM 321 Visual Communication (3)
MM 350 Film Editing and Theory (3)
This course will examine the craft and art of editing in the digital age and will explore film history and theory as related to the editing process. Students will engage in editing assignments to apply continuity and non-linear techniques. Prerequisite: MM 222 or consent.
MM 351 Mass Media Research (3)
This class includes an introduction to the study of quantitative and qualitative research techniques and of the interpretation and reporting of research findings. Prerequisites: MM 100 or consent.
MM 352 Advertising I (3)
MM 355 Sports & The Media (3)
MM 360 Minorities & The Media (3)
This class is an examination of the portrayal of underrepresented groups in the media, and how these audiences can be reached via media messages. Prerequisite: MM 100 or consent.
MM 372 Filmmaking I (3)
This course is designed to give each student an overview of the many aspects of digital filmmaking, including development, writing, producing, directing, lighting, shooting, and editing. This will be achieved partially through lecture time, partially through studying the work of other filmmakers, including your fellow classmates, and partially through hands on production. You will also be engaged in online tutorial video course material. Prerequisites: MM 312 and MM 350 or consent.
MM 375 Murder, Mayhem and Media (3)
This course teaches real-world skills and provides valuable information for students interested in covering crime or courts for media outlets; working in law enforcement or judicial public relations; or telling crime stories through books, movies or TV. The course provides insight into what police officers do, how the criminal justice system works and how the media covers crime, with an emphasis on social media and current events. The class seeks to help enable students to serve as the eyes and ears of their readers and viewers, telling stories in a descriptive manner that helps people hear the sirens and smell the smoke. Prerequisite: MM 202.
MM 393 Special Topics/Mass Media (1-3)
Special subject courses not covered in the department catalog listing. May be repeated when topics vary. Prerequisite: MM 100 or consent.
MM 400 Media Literacy (3)
MM 401 Media Analysis & Criticism (3)
This class includes a discussion of various levels of media analysis and criticism, including production analysis, sociological, feminist and ideological criticism of media form and content. There is also an emphasis on news analysis and television criticism. Prerequisites: MM 100 or consent.
MM 403 Journalism (3)
This course offers advanced exploration of storytelling techniques and writing styles. Students will use text, audio and video to create story packages for Student Media. Prerequisites: MM 202.
MM 405 The Documentary Film (3)
Through readings, screenings, and assignments, this course will develop an understanding of the background and methods for producing independent documentary films, and the accompanying issues commonly encountered in this process. Students will develop a documentary project and script treatment on a topic of their choosing. Prerequisites: MM 302 or Consent.
MM 409 Electronic Journalism (3)
This course is designed to provide students with essential writing and reporting skills for broadcast journalism. Special emphasis will be given to the writing, shooting and editing of television news stories, the process of news discovery, and how to deliver those stories for broadcast, web, and other interactive media. Prerequisites: MM 199.
MM 411 Entrepreneurial Media (3)
The class emphasizes how business principles are utilized to explore entrepreneurial opportunities in media. Students gain insight into how media content and service enterprises are conceived, planned, financed, and managed. The legal, ethical, and social implications of independent digital media ventures are considered. Prerequisites: MM 100 and MM 199 or consent.
MM 414 Filmmaking II (3)
This lab course explores the craft of creating the documentary or narrative film. At an advanced level, students gain theoretical and practical experience in the production of a dramatic narrative or documentary film. Students create original works and fill crew positions as needed. Prerequisites: MM 312 and MM 350 or consent.
MM 415 Promotions Writing (3)
MM 420 Public Relations II (3)
This class covers the design and use of communication messages in a comprehensive study of the public relations field. Students will have a practical application of a public relations campaign. Prerequisites: MM 319.
MM 422 Editing (3)
Study of principles of correct and appropriate writing and creative expression in design. Prerequisite: MM 321.
MM 425 Creative Strategies In Advertising (3)
MM 431 Creative Media Practicum (3)
Students will work with on and off-campus clients to produce, edit, and design communication materials, both print and online, associated with business, industry, and non-profit groups. Students will also write, design, edit, and sell advertising for the department alumni magazine, the Mass Media Messenger. Prerequisite: MM 321.
MM 432 Advertising II (3)
This course involves planning, creation and production of advertising messages for various mass media. Students engage in the design, execution, and presentation of an advertising plan for a real-world client. Prerequisites: MM 352 or consent.
MM 485 International Media Systems (3)
MM 492 Independent Study (1-3)
Investigates a mass media area of interest not covered in regular courses. Involves producing research or creative projects. Prerequisites: Consent of faculty and chairperson; majors only.
MM 493 Special Topics/Mass Media (1-3)
Special subject course not covered in the department catalog listing. May be repeated when topics vary. Prerequisites: MM 100 or consent.
MM 494 Internship (1-2)
Experience and training in professional setting related to mass media careers. Mass media faculty and the sponsoring organization supervise students. A total of 64 hours of work pa er credit hour is given to the sponsoring organization during the semester. Usually requires 8-12 hours per week. Prerequisites: consent; second semester junior or senior standing; 24 credit hours completed in the major and 9 hours completed in concentration.
MM 499 Career Development & Digital Portfolio (2)
Students in this class explore career options and make preparations for a transition from academic life to professional careers or graduate school. A significant portion of this class will be devoted to developing and/or improving the credentials needed to land a job in the media field. In particular, this class will provide students with the opportunity to finalize their resume and digital portfolio. Prerequisites: majors only; senior status.