Media and Communication

Students in the Media and Communication program (formerly Media and Culture) examine how media products, practices, institutions, and technologies allow us to communicate and connect with others and shape how we experience the world. 

Media are diverse and integrated into every dimension of human life. That variety is reflected in the MAC program’s attention to a wide range of media, including television, film, podcasting, popular music, video games, and social media.  It is also reflected in an interdisciplinary curriculum that prepares students to successfully navigate professional and personal lives defined by rapidly changing media.  The program allows students to focus on areas they are most interested in.  Students can learn how to make a short film or podcast; critique media messages that contribute to social inequalities or social change; examine the role algorithms and data play in the world of advertising and our wider culture; investigate the ways media technologies shape our everyday lives; or go behind the scenes of various media industries.  By graduation, MAC students will gain the cultural competencies and media skills required to be successful media producers, ethical media consumers, and responsible media citizens.

MAC majors will develop expertise in up to three areas: 

  1. Researching and analyzing media representations, technologies, industries, and practices to assess their impacts on individuals, cultures, and society. 
  2. Gaining the skills and experiences necessary for success in a wide range of media and related industries.  
  3. Producing high-quality audio, video, and film content in our professional grade studios. 

F.A.Q.

What are the features of the Media & Communication major?

Interdisciplinary approach

The program's interdepartmental framework brings together insights and applications from various disciplines while providing access to resources across several departments.

 

Small classes

Writing and production classes are limited to 18 students in order to facilitate an effective learning environment.

Practical experience

Students have obtained internships in television and film production, broadcast management, social media communication, broadcast news, public relations, and political messaging and analysis, among others. Miami’s Inside Hollywood and Inside Washington programs also provide first-hand experience in the entertainment industry and political media. There are also a number of Miami student organizations such as Miami Television News that provide practical experience.

What are the special admission requirements, if any?

None.

What courses would I take?

During your first year, you will take two introductory courses that will give you a broad overview of the media world. You will then take four core classes that will equip you with necessary skills spanning a variety of areas, including video production, media history, and writing for media. The following years, you will focus on completing your five electives that you will choose from 15 media courses. You will also choose two signature experiences during your final semesters, such as Inside Hollywood, Inside Washington, or a Senior Project in Communication.

What can I do with this major?

Our graduates have had successful careers in a wide range of areas including film and television production; media sales and management; media promotion; public relations; corporate communications; law; public policy and broadcast journalism.

Who can I contact for more information?

Ron Becker, Area Coordinator
230 Williams Hall
Oxford, OH 45056
513-529-3540
beckerrp@MiamiOH.edu

Curriculum

Major in Media and Communication

Students who entered Miami in the Fall of 2021 or later must complete the Media and Communication curriculum. 

Students who entered Miami before Fall 2021 will complete the Media and Culture curriculum.

OR

If they choose, students who entered Miami before Fall 2021 can switch to the Media and Communication curriculum.  To make that switch, they must also officially change their catalogue year to 2021-22 (which means they must adhere to all requirements inside and outside the major that appear in the 2021-22 General Bulletin).  To explore the possibility of doing so, students must meet with their MAC faculty advisor or an advisor in the CAS advising office.

Course Descriptions

MJF 105 - Introduction to Media and Culture (3 credit hours). Designed to be the first class for Media & Communication majors, this course also fulfills the General Miami Plan Humanities requirement. Students learn to think about the media in new ways through an introduction to the history of various media technologies and industries, and by applying various theories to the media-saturated culture in which students live. Course readings and short writing assignments encourage students to reflect on their roles as media consumers, media producers and media-age citizens.
MJF 146 - Foundations of Production (3 credit hours)  This course introduces concepts and practices central to video production work across MJF areas. Students learn the basics of graphic design, sound, image composition, editing, and story through lectures, hands-on workshops, and assignments in which students make short films.
MAC 202 The Smartphone and Society (3 credit hours) Explores the impact of media and communication technologies on our individual lives as well as wider political, economic, and cultural practices. This course will help students to think critically about the tools they use in their everyday lives and the ways in which technology and society mutually shape each other.
MJF 205 - Introduction to Communication and Society (3 credit hours) This course introduces students to the critical study of informational media and persuasion-oriented communication technologies such as newspapers, magazines, books, advertising, broadcast media, and social media. Students will learn to think critically about the relationship between technology, information, and communication in their daily lives and future careers, using lenses such as affordances and constraints, the political economy of media; framing, bias, and objectivity; materiality and infrastructure; privacy and surveillance; technology and inequality; and the public sphere. Tracing the historical and contemporary development of communication and information technologies in and outside the United States, students will explore how media operate as forms of power, meaning-making, and influence through their production, interpretation, and use.
FST 206 – Diversity and Culture in American Film (3). Study and analysis of the representation of diversity and culture as portrayed in American motion pictures. The goal is critical analysis of both the narrative and visual elements found in motion pictures, and the impact/effect these elements have on viewers in terms of diversity and culture in America. Film screenings provide the backdrop for class discussions, while serving as the source and basis for written analysis.

MAC 211 - Intermediate Video Production (4). Students become acquainted with the fundamentals and techniques of sound production, and with the elements involved in the design and production of video messages. Prerequisite: major status and MAC 146.

MAC 212 – Media, Representation, and Society (3). A survey of the place of electronic media in society. The topics covered in the course will include media and culture; media economics, industries, and institutions; the politics of media content; media and social representation. Prerequisite: major status or permission of instructor.

MAC 213 - Writing for Film and TV (3). Basic course in writing for radio and television, with emphasis on documentary, dramatic, and specialized formats for film and video. Prerequisite: major status and MAC 146; cross-listed with ENG 257.

MAC 258 Copywriting for Digital Media (3 credit hours) Basic course in writing for radio and television, and new media with emphasis on commercial, noncommercial, and promotional copywriting.
COM 259 – Introduction to Strategic Communication & Public Relations (3). Introduces public relations as a profession of applied communication. Analyzes public relations in its place, purpose, processes, tools and the many publics to which it applies.

MAC 267 – Practicum in Electronic Media Production II (3). Exposes majors to the video and television production process. Students participate in production work and are involved in pre- and post- production sessions. Offered credit/no-credit only. Prerequisite: Major status, MAC 146, and MAC 211.

FST 282—Sexualities and Film (3). An exploration of film representations of diverse sexualities (e.g. gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered) from the silent era to the present. Cross-listed with FST 282.

MJF 301 Media Law and Ethics (3). Focuses on statutory and common law limitations on freedom of the press in America, and the legislative and judicial rationales for them. Considers ethical theories and their applications to situations that journalists commonly encounter. Prerequisite: major status. Cross-listed with JRN 301.
MAC 309 – Advertising and Consumer Culture (3). Introduces students to the historical development and socio-economic functions of mass mediated advertising while assessing its impact on culture. The course investigates the ways in which mass mediated advertising conveys messages that shape attitudes, values and behaviors. The ethical issues of contemporary advertising are addressed throughout the course.

MAC 310 Topics in Media History (3 credit hours) Through specific case studies in media history, students will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of historical context for understanding media practices and institutions and the process of communication. They will also acquire skills in historical research methods.

MAC 311 – Digital Film Production (3). Experience in the production and direction of television formats with emphasis on applied media aesthetics. Field production theories and exercises. Prerequisite: Major status, MAC 146, and MAC 211.

MAC 312 - TV Studio Production (3). Experience in the production and direction of television formats with emphasis on applied media aesthetics. Studio production theories and exercises. Prerequisite: Major status, MAC 146, and MAC 211.

JRN 314 - Digital Video Reporting (3). Advanced-level coursework emphasizing digital video writing, reporting and editing. Students will learn to produce video news stories across broadcast television and mobile platforms. Prerequisite: MAC 211 and JRN 202, major status, or permission of instructor.

MAC 325 – Social Media Cultures (3). Research and study of the relationship between social human interaction and media. Students consider both analog and digital forms of social media, comparing the two. They then apply theories from cultural studies, mass communication, and communication studies to both online and offline social media, yielding an understanding of the interaction between social practices and contemporary media cultures.

MAC 334 Sound and Music in Media Cultures (3 credit hours) Students develop skills in audio production while analyzing the roles of sound and music in media and culture.

MAC 340 – Internship (1-16). Applied experience in communication for qualified students meeting departmental and area requirements. Find out about the application process and opportunities by clicking here.

MAC 343 – Advanced Audio Production (3). Introduces students to theory, practice and criticism in advanced electronic media production, focusing on music recording, narrative and journalism. Includes practical work in studio methods, microphone techniques and control room operations. Students learn sound aesthetics and values while getting an overview of traditional sound production equipment and software.

MAC 344 Working in Media (3 credit hours) Exploration of issues related to working inside media industries that produce and distribute creative media content, including video games, television, film, radio, podcasting, and music. Topics covered include dynamics of creative content production; social power in workplace cultures; and employment trends and labor practices.
MAC 351 Media Ethnography (3 credit hours) Introduction to media ethnography, a qualitative research method used by academics and market researchers to observe and analyze people’s real-world media use.
MAC 353 - Audience Studies (3). Introduction to audience analysis, including review of services provided by media research organizations and procedures of applied survey research for the media. Prerequisite: major status or permission of instructor.

MAC 355 - Media Technology & Culture (3). Focuses on the relationships among technology, society, and communications (the mass media and information systems), exploring the key historical, cultural, and political/economic issues raised by new communication technologies. Prerequisite: major status or permission of instructor.

MAC 362 Media and the Data Society (3 credit hours) Examines the relationships among communication technology platforms, media systems, and consumer data. Analysis of organizational, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of data collection and use.

MAC 414 Capstone Pictures: Project in Digital Narrative Film Production (4 credit hours) In-depth production of a digital narrative film. This may involve conceptualizing, researching and writing; comprehensive budgeting and planning; creative design of visual and aural elements; management of a production team. Students meet regularly with other students to discuss progress, problems, issues and integrate ideas. Students work together to produce the film and present it to the Miami University community.

MAC 415 - Practicum in Television News (3). Students report, write and produce a regularly scheduled television newscast aired on Oxford's cable television system. Students participate in and evaluate all aspects of television news gathering and reporting process. Prerequisite: major status, MAC 146, MAC 211 or JRN 202, and either MAC 314 or applied journalism experience. Crosslisted with JRN 415.

MAC 421 - Advanced Workshop in Feature Film Screenwriting (3). Analysis of examples of contemporary screenplays, with emphasis on the craft of writing screenplays. Class discussion and sharing of student-written screenplays. Prerequisites: Two of the following: MAC 213, ENG 320, ENG 420. Course is crosslisted with ENG 422.

MAC 426 – Inside Washington Summer Program (8 credit hours). Intensive study of the contemporary Washington, D.C., community–government institutions, public officials, journalists, consultants, staff, and interest groups through reading, lecture, on-site observations, expert presentations, discussion, research, writing and internships. Program conducted in Washington. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor, crosslisted with JRN426/526 and POL426/526.

MAC 427 – Inside Washington Semester Experience (4 credit hours). Intensive study of the contemporary Washington, D.C., community–government institutions, public officials, journalists, consultants, staff, and interest groups through reading, lecture, on-site observations, expert presentations, discussion, research, writing and internships. Program conducted in Washington. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Concurrent course(s): MAC/JRN/POL 453, MAC/JRN/POL 377 or 477, CON/JRN/POL 340.

MAC 443 – Media Industries and Economics (3). Intensive study of the management process as applied to mass media industries Prerequisite: major status or permission of instructor.

MAC 445 - Senior Seminar in Media Policy (3).  Explores key concepts and processes related to media policy and policymaking. Students will produce a culminating capstone project that explores a media and communication topic as it intersects with questions of policy and regulation.

MAC 446 – Media Globalization (3). Survey of international communication systems, with emphasis on comparative analysis based on current typologies, and economic, social, political, and regulatory variables. Prerequisites: major status or permission of instructor.

MAC 447 Senior Seminar in Applied Media Analysis (3). Students will produce a culminating capstone project that applies the methods and concepts gained during their coursework to the analysis of a real world topic related to the texts, institutions, practices or technologies that form our media and communication environments.  

MAC 450 - Topics in Media & Film Studies (3). Study or research of issues and problems associated with media and culture under the guidance of a faculty member of the Media & Culture Program. Prerequisite: senior standing or written approval of the instructor.

MAC 454 – The Washington Community (3). Focuses on the Washington, D.C., as a complex political-social system that is both the seat of American democracy and a metropolis plagued with typical urban problems. Students complement their study of the formal political and media systems in the main Inside Washington course, MAC 426 or 427, by focusing on the development and behavior of constituent communities within the city of Washington.

MAC 461 - Gender, Sexuality & Media (3). Examines how media help to shape notions of gender in society, how gender ideologies influence mass media perspectives and practices, and how mediated representations may reinforce or challenge social hierarchies based indifference of gender, race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation. Prerequisite: major status or permission of instructor. Cross-listed with WMS 461.

Faculty