Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
COMM 228
Course Title:
Mass Communication and Society
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Surveys media of mass communication and the effects on society. Introduces the history, development and technological advances of mass communication systems and their subsequent role in society, public discourse and the individual. Includes an analysis of print and broadcast journalism, advertising, public relations, television, film and new media. Course may be taken one time for credit as J201 or COMM228. Audit Available. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  1. Use an understanding of the effects of mass media on culture and society in order to make responsible personal and professional decisions.
  2. Recognize the connection between journalistic/media freedoms and democracy in order to maintain balance between freedom of the press and freedom of the society.
  3. Provide community leadership through the recognition of the political and economic influence of the media.
  4. Critically and thoughtfully respond to both explicit and implicit communication of media.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The forms of assessment will be determined by the individual instructor. 

Assessment strategies may include:

  • Qualitative examinations      
  • Quantitative examinations
  • Essays 
  • Journals
  • Research papers
  • In-class participation
  • Portfolios
  • Projects
  • Oral presentations
  • Group work
  • Reaction papers
  • Service Learning

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Histories and growth of different media
  • Connections between types of media
  • Print media
  • Radio
  • Electronic media
  • Persuasive Professionals
  • International Media
  • Connection between media and society
  • Political Economy analysis of media
  • Media literacy
  • Media and democracy

Competencies and Skills: Students will: 

  • Be able to analyze the functions of mass communication systems and their effect on society.
  • Be able to explain the histories and connections between different media.
  • Be able to see how the dissemination of information influences individual perceptions.
  • Be able to identify the differences and similarities in the broad range of mass media.
  • Be able to make connections between and among the different elements influencing mass media.

SAC Approved Textbooks:

  • Mass Media Revolution, Sterin,  Pearson
  • Media Essentials, Campbell.  Bedford-St Martin