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Mass Media Syllabus

T-Th, 10:50 am-12:05 pm

Your Host:
Mr. B (Steve Beverly)

Office Phone: 5380 | Home: (901) 783-5295

E-mail: or

Important Instructor Websites
Electronic Media
Broadcasting & Cable

Course Objectives

       Let's not waste time on this. You should find this a course, no matter your communications major area, which challenges your insight, curiosity and critical thinking into the history, current issues and ethical questions of the Mass Media.
       Class discussions are a premium in this class. With more than 30 students, we should have a lively exchange about the current state of the mass media, as well as looking back at how we arrived to the current climate with several historical perspectives.

Materials Needed

  • Read your textbook, Mass Media Special Editions: '01-'02 and any assigned readings and articles beyond the text. College students don't like to do that today. But how can I say it any more specifically? The readings are not 60 or 80 pages long but they contain plenty of depth and food for debate. You can't do well on exams or analyze concepts if you don't read daily as assigned.

  • Access to a computer with internet access---either your own, or one in the computer lab or library. You will be expected to have downloaded and read assigned occasional online material. Often, you will be assigned to use the links above to go to specific new articles which correspond to subject matter.

    Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT come to class and tell me, "Mr. B, I couldn't get through to the website." Servers do go down, but usually the complaint is from a student who will try one or two times for five minutes and then never again before coming to class. Be persistent at different intervals if you cannot make a web connection the first or second time after an assignment is made.


  • Tests: Approximately five. Each exam counts 100 points. The professor reserves the right to institute quizzes if the class fails to adequately prepare for class discussions.

    Content Analysis: This research will serve as a combined effort. You will work as a group to analyze a measure of mass media content and receive a maximum 150 points for your effort, for which you will be required to turn in an individual research paper. Your group will then do a final presentation based on your content analysis, which will be worth another 100 points. The presentations will be the final week of the semester.

    Total Maximum Points for Semester: 750.

           No, I don't make up tests for absences on the day a test is given or a project is due, unless it is a university-approved absence and documentation is given. No matter how much I like you and your family.

  • Grades: 93-100 (A), 85-92 (B), 75-84 (C), 65-74 (D), Below 65 (lovely parting gifts of Turtle Wax and Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco Treat).. Don't even come to my office and tell me, "I need an 'A,' Mr. B." I need $100,000 but Dr. Dockery isn't going to give it to me because I go up to him and tell him I need it. You'll get and "A" if you make one. My charitable giving and community service ends in my gradebook. You will receive what you make---plain and simple!

Attendance Policy

    BE HERE! I don't penalize for university-approved absences, but even in those events---I frown in this class VERY, VERY STRONGLY against absences on the days of exams or presentations. You will be required to bring a written excuse from a doctor, mortuary, or a university professor (in the event of field trips) or forfeit your opportunity for makeup work. Just don't make up an excuse. I've heard them all. NOTE: payment of traffic fines in court, or sudden weddings you just remembered, are among several excuses I do not accept.

Final Instructions

       NOTE: If you call me and leave a message, please leave your return phone number. I am not going to have your number automatically at my disposal.

       This syllabus is also available at this link online: Mass Media Syllabus

       Let's quit talking about it and just do it! The tribe has spoken.

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