Model Projects: Media, Self and Society Fall 2005

JOUR 1871

Media, Self, and Society

Listed as "The Ethical Communicator"

Fall 2005

Class sessions: MWF 11:00-11:50

Armory 107

Class web page:

Dr. Lynn Schofield Clark

Assistant Research Professor

Office: 103 Armory

Office Phone: (303) 735-5632 Home Phone: (303) 278-4171

Email: (this is the best way to reach me)

My web page:

Office hours:

M and W 1:00 – 2:00

I'm on campus MWF, and I hope to see you often.

Please make an appointment or stop by.

What does it take to be an effective professional in the communication field today? Certainly, it takes a love of writing and a desire to communicate. It also takes problem-solving skills, professional industry-related work experience, and knowledge of the media industries – all of which you'll be gaining throughout your college career. But what kind ofpersondoes it take to be successful and effective in your chosen profession? At the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, we believe that it takes a person with a deep commitment, not only to one's own professional advancement, but to the belief that the communication professions offer a unique way for us to contribute to justice issues, to human rights, and to democracy – in short, to the betterment of society for all.

One of the few small-sized courses in the Journalism school offered specifically for pre-journalism majors,Media, Self, and Societyoffers opportunities for close interaction between faculty and students, experiences outside the classroom, and the development of practical skills in knowledge-gathering, reflection, and writing. Using a model of service-learning, this course also gives first-year university students an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the community around us and its needs. The course is based on the belief that working with and providing service to people whose economic backgrounds differ from our own gives us all a chance to enhance our reporting, advertising, magazine writing, broadcasting, public relations, and any other kind of work we will do as a professional in the field of communication. The course therefore acquaints you with the role of the communication professions in a society increasingly stratified by race, class, and gender. Its goal is to prepare you to become an innovative and empathic communicator while learning about yourself and the basis for your own work- and life-related commitments, as well.

The course learning goals, grading policies, statements of nondiscrimination and honor code, descriptions of assignments, links to blogs and additional readings, and tips for doing well in this course are listed on the course website. Please check it frequently. Any changes to the schedule, assignments, deadlines, etc., as well as special opportunities during the semester, will be posted on the home page and announced in class.

The course schedule is below and online. Some changes will be made to accommodate the schedules of upcoming guest speakers and to take advantage of opportunities that arise during the semester.

Course Expectations:

Class attendance

Attendance at special events

6 visits (minimum) to service site


1 Short paper

2 Scout Days

2 Blog entries

5 Blogged responses to others' blogs

1 long paper (with credit for producing a bibliography and outline beforehand)

1 final presentation


Assignment #1: Paper. Reflections on a previous service experience. 2-3 pp. typed in 12-point font and double spaced. This can be a reflection on an ongoing service commitment (e.g., a mentoring relationship; a volunteer coaching experience; work with a nursing home, assisted living, or veterinary hospital; etc.) or a one-time event of two hours or more (e.g., serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Rescue Mission; organizing a food or clothing distribution program at a school or religious organization; etc.). In this paper, describe the service experience and your role in it. Talk about at least one thing you learned about yourself and one thing you learned about other people. What did you learn from this experience that will inform your college experience? (e.g., you might or might not want to seek out similar service experiences; you might want to take a course or write a paper to learn more about an issue or group of people that your service experience introduced to you, etc.). 10 points. Due the end of the first week of class (August).

Asssignment #2: Blogging on a social need or social problem and serving as a scout on a chapter fromSoul of a Citizen. 1 page typed with one link. Write a blog that reflects on a class reading from Loeb and a current event that you read about in an online newspaper, forum, or other online source. Assignment takes place in mid- to late September. You need to submit your blog by midnight before the scheduled class time set aside for its discussion.10 points.

Assignment #3: Responding to the blog of a fellow student. As each person in the class will have to blog at least twice over the course of the semester, you will need to write a response blog at least five times (twice on blogs about SC, three times on blogs about ME). These responses do not have to be long (one paragraph and no longer than one page is sufficient), and they should be civil at all times and gracious when possible. 5 points.

Assignment #4: Blogging on your first three service experiences. In a short paper (1 page), reflect on what you did, how you felt about it, what you learned about yourself and/or about other people. No links or citations needed this time. Due early October. 5 points.

Assignment #5:Blogging on media ethics issue and serving as class scout for a chapter ofMedia Ethics. Write a 1-page blog that reflects on a class reading and links it to a contemporary ethical issue. Assignment takes place in October/November. 10 points.

Assignment #6:Annotated bibliography for admirable person or organization biography (minimum 1 book or 3 chapters/entries from different books, 3 newspaper or magazine articles, 2 citations from class-assigned reading). Select someone who has performed some service similar to your service experiences this semester or in your previous service commitments. Keep in mind you'll be looking for their interactions with (or representations in) media. Due October 24. 5 points just for turning it in.

Assignment #7:Expanded outline of final paper. 2-3 pp. Due Nov.14. 5 points just for turning it in.

Assignment #8:Final Paper and Presentation.Write a paper (10 pp.) on the person or organization you've selected, including reference to your experience in your class service project and to the references you assembled in your bibliography. As you did in your first paper, use this paper to talk about at least one thing you learned about yourself and one thing you learned about other people. What did you learn from this experience that will inform your college experience? (e.g., you might or might not want to seek out similar service experiences; you might want to take a course or write a paper to learn more about an issue or group of people that your service experience introduced to you, etc.). How do you reconcile your experience, as well as the experiences of the person or group you studied, with our discussions about coverage of not-for-profits and disadvantaged groups, from either a PR, reporting, advertising, or entertainment placement perspective? Presentations during last three weeks of class. 10 points for paper, 10 points for presentation.

Summary of Grading:

Class attendance and class participation: 15

Attendance and participation at special events: 15

Assignment #1: PAPER on service reflection 10

Assignment #2:SCscout and blogger 10

Assignment #3: blog responses 5

Assignment #4: service blog 5

Assignment #5:MEscout and blogger 10

Assignment #6: biblio 5

Assignment #7: outline 5

Assignment #8: Final PAPER/presentation 20


A 93 and above
A- 90 to 92

B+ 86 to 89

B 83 to 85

B- 80 to 82

C+ 76 to 79

C 73 to 75

C- 70 to 72

D 65 to 69

F 64 and below

How to get a B: Attend every special event and every class, complete every assignment adequately and on time, visit your service place 6 times, and contribute to class discussions minimally when it's your scout or response day.

What makes the difference in receiving a grade above B: your scout work, your final paper and presentation, and your participation in class discussions.

Because you will get a lot of credit just for showing up and doing what's required, the papers and scout work will be graded like this:

5 = adequate (B)

6 = fair (B+)

7 = good (A-)

8 = very good (A)

9 = very, very good (A+)

10 = extraordinary (A++)

(numbers doubled for final)

Most scouts and papers will be graded in the 6 – 8 range (I hope!). If you do everything required, talk some in class, and get 8 on both scouts, 8 on your first paper, and 16 on your final, you'll get an A.

You lose five points (or the equivalent of half a letter grade) for a missed deadline. Obviously, if you're more than a day late, you will not receive any credit for blog responses, the blog on your service experience, the bibliography, or the outline. Don't miss these deadlines; they're designed to help you prepare for the final paper.


You can miss one class with a valid excuse and one for personal reasons (aka, you don't need to tell me about it). Save these for conflicts and illnesses you can't avoid. Bring an official notice of the conflict before the event (e.g., note from a coach). To be valid, an excused absence involving illness must include a phone call before the class and a letter from an authority within the week of the miss (Health Services, parent). In the unlikely event that you become ill when you're to be a respondent or scout, an excused absence will earn you an opportunity to be a scout or respondent at a future class (Remember: this is a class on ethics. Please just plan ahead so as to avoid ethical dilemmas concerning this policy).

Special events are not to be missed unless you have an excused absence (class conflicts or participation in sports events qualify, but I must have a note). You will lose five points for any unexcused missed special event or any unexcused class absence. If you miss more than three classes you will be encouraged to drop or withdraw from this class.

Course Schedule

Part I: Introduction to Civic Engagement in the Context of the Communication Professions: Civic Engagement, Communication Ethics, and Service Learning

Week 1:

Monday, 8/22: Introductions and welcome: Outlining course expectations

Dean Paul Voakes, guest

Readings for today:Check out the class web page, where you'll find more info about this class, grading, assignments, and more.

Wednesday, 8/24:Self, Community, and Responsibility, and discussion of first one-page assignment

Read"To the Students of the Third Millennium," pp. 296-297,ME

ReadIntro and Ch 1., pp. 1-33,SC

Friday, 8/26: Your own service learning experiences

Assignment # 1 due (service reflection)

Discuss pr work for Loeb visit

Sunday, 8/28: 1 – 4 PM **Pot Luck Welcoming Picnic at the Clark's**(directions and car pooling plans to be arranged)

At the end of this week, you'll know about the class expectations, and you'll know a little more about your professor and fellow classmates. You will also have had an opportunity to reflect on what you're bringing in to this class experience in terms of prior experiences with service learning.

Week 2:

Monday, 29: Being a "Good Enough" Citizen

ReadChs. 2 & 3, pp. 34-75,SC

Choosing a service site for the semester

Wednesday, 31: Blogging and Political/Personal Expression

Readexcerpts from The Fifth Estate blog (link on class website)

Locate and read a blog related to citizenship andbring ina printout for discussion

Discuss Loeb pr plans

Friday, 9/2:Blogging workshop (meet in computer lab)

Lunch Dates: (3)

At the end of this week, you'll have a basic idea about citizenship and about the emerging phenomenon of blogging, and you will have some basic skills to do blogging on citizenship yourself. You'll also have an opportunity to select your service learning site. And, you'll have done some publicity/pr work. (Phew! Good thing we have Monday off!)

Week 3:

Monday, 9/5: NO CLASS – LABOR DAY

Wednesday, 9/7: Cynicism and Irony

ReadCh. 4, pp. 76-97,SC

Assignment #2 Scout/Bloggers of the day: (3)

Responders: (2)

Friday, 9/9: The Power of Stories

ReadChs. 5 & 6, pp. 98-148,SC

Assignment #2 Bloggers of the day: (4)

Responders: (4)

Lunch Dates: (3)

At the end of this week, you'll have experience reading and writing blogs and/or responses to blogs that have to do with citizenship, cynicism, and storytelling. You will have also participated in or arranged a visit to your service learning site.


Part II: Learning from Those Further Along on the Journey: Mentors, Encouragers, Prophets, and Mistake-Makers in Civic Engagement and Communication

Week 4:

Monday, 9/12:Work and Community

ReadCh. 7, pp.149-184,SC

Assignment #2 Scout/Bloggers of the day: (3)

Responders: (2)

Tuesday, 9/13:Paul Loeb lecture at 7 PM!!

Wednesday, 9/14: Paul Loeb, guest lecturer

Lunch w/Paul Loeb

Friday, 16: NO CLASS

What a great week: an interesting reading/blogging, a cool guest speaker you've met twice, and a day off. Be sure to visit your service site at least once this week or next.

Week 5:

Monday, 19: Enlarging your Community

Read Chs. 8 OR 9, pp. 185-213 or 214-242,SC

Assignment #2 Scout/Bloggers of the day: (4)

Responders: (4)

Wednesday, 21: Burnout

Read Ch. 10, pp. 243-281,SC

Assignment #2 Scout/Bloggers of the day: (2)

Responders: (4)

Friday, 23: Vision and Inspiration

Read Chs. 11 OR 12, pp. 282-309 or 310-349,SC

Assignment #2 Scout/Bloggers of the day: (4)

Responders: (4)

Lunch dates: (3)

At the end of this week you'll be finished with the first book of the semester. Congratulations! Be sure to take some notes so that you'll be able to reference Loeb's Soul of a Citizen in papers later in the semester. Go to your service site.

Week 6:

Monday, 26: Guest speaker, Habitat for Humanity

Locatereadings on Denver/Boulder housing and Habitat and print out to share in class

Wednesday, 28: Guest speaker, Sam Smith, author: The Fifth Estate blog

Readexcerpts from The Fifth Estate (link on website)

Friday, 30:Introduction to Media Ethics

Readthe Introduction, pp. 1-12,ME.

Question for discussion: Do you understand Potter's Box? Blogger, bring in an example of an ethical dilemma from last's week's news or advertising world that will enable us to walk through it together.

Assignment #5 Scout/Bloggers of the day: (2)

Respondents: (2)

Lunch dates: (3)

At the end of this week, we will have heard from two guests who are mentors and prophets in civic engagement, and will have been introduced to Potter's Box as a way of thinking through ethical dilemmas. You will have also visited your service site another time.

Week 7:

Monday, 3: Introduction to Ethical Principles

Read pp. 12-25,ME

What are the five ethical principles?

Assignment #5 Scout/Bloggers: (2)

Respondent: (2)

Wednesday, 5:News Ethics, I

Read Ch. 1, Institutional Pressures, pp. 31-51

Bloggers of the day: (1)

Respondent: (2)

Friday, 7:News Ethics, II

Watch Habitat documentary in class

Read Ch. 2, Truthtelling

Bloggers of the day: (1)

Respondent: (2)

Lunch dates: (4)

At the end of this week, you'll have gained an understanding of some of the ethical principles that guide behavior and current ethical struggles in the news media. You'll also have visited your service site and you will have seen the first of several news documentaries of the semester.

Week 8:

Monday, 10:News Ethics, III

Read Ch. 3, Reporters and Sources OR Ch. 4, Social Justice

Bloggers of the day: (2)

Respondents: (4)

Wednesday, 12:Field Trip to Denver Post

Assignment # 4 (Service experience blog) DUE

Friday, 14:NO CLASS: Fall Break

At the end of this week, you'll have discussed more news issues, visited the Denver Post, and have written a blog on your experiences at your service site so far. You might want to start your bibliography over the break. Have a good weekend!

Week 9:

Monday, 17: Advertising Ethics, I

Read Ch. 6, Special Audiences, OR Ch. 7, What to Advertise

Bloggers of the day: (2)

Respondents: (4)

Wednesday, 19: Advertising Ethics, II

Read Ch. 8, How to Say It

Blogger of the day: (1)

Respondent: (2)

Friday, 21: Advertising Ethics, II, guest speakers, pro bono advertising

Read Ch. 9, Media Considerations

Blogger of the day: (1)

Respondent: (2)

Lunch date with guest speakers

At the end of this week, you'll have read and thought about advertising ethical dilemmas, and you will have heard from professionals in the industry. Plus, you'll have gone back to your service site. Does it seem different now that you've reflected on it? Keep thinking, and journaling if you want to – it'll help with your final paper. And plan to spend some time this weekend on your bibliography – it's due Monday.

Week 10:

Monday, 24: Discussion of final paper plans

Assignment #6 due (annotated bibliography)

Wednesday, 26: PR

Read Ch. 10, Public Communication

Blogger of the day: (1)

Respondent (2)

Friday, 28: PR, guest speakers from tv/multimedia, Eagle Ridge Media

Read Ch. 11, Telling the Truth in Organizational Settings

Blogger of the day: (1)

Respondent (2)

Lunch date with guest speakers

At the end of this week, you'll have completed your bibliography for your final paper and you will have had an introduction to ethical issues and decisions in PR. You will have visited your service site, too.