Mass Media and Society


CA1/JRN1 Mass Media and Society    Professor J. Mike Reed

Text: The Dynamics of Mass Communications

By Joseph R. Dominick

Mass Media and Society: Study Guide/Workbook by J. Michael Reed


Week 1

Text: Chapters 1 and 18: Communication: Mass and Other Forms and Social Effects of Mass Communication. Lecture:  Media effects and media theory.

Study Guide: Chapters 1 and 2.

Week 2

 Text: Chapter 15: Formal Controls: Laws, Rules, Regulations

U.S. Constitution, prior restraint, related Supreme Court cases.

Prior restraint, theories of the press, Schenck v U.S. 1919 (Supreme Court)

Near v Minnesota 1931, Hazzelwood v Kuhlmeier, Pentagon Papers.

Study Guide: Chapters 3 and 4.

 Week 3

Text: Chapter 16: Ethics and Other Informal Controls

Libel Law,  Milkovich v Lorraine Journal Co. 1980,  New York Times v Sullivan 1984.

Study Guide: Chapters 5,6, and 7.

Week 4

Text: Chapter 2,  Perspectives on Mass Communication

Chaplinsky v New Hampshire 1942, Skokie v National Socialist Party 1978

R.A.V. v St. Paul 1992, Cohen v California 1971, Texas v Johnson 1989, U.S. v Eichman et al. 1990, Doe v. University of Michigan, Virginia v Black 2003

Study Guide: Chapter 8.

Week 5

Text: Chapters 4 and 12, Newspapers and News Gathering and Reporting

The Power of Owning the Press, History of the Los Angeles Times

Video:  Absence of Malice

Study Guide: Chapters 9, 10 and 11.

Week 6

Text: Chapter 5 Magazines Lecture: Baby Boomers impact, Ad Week “Hottest Magazines”

Study Guide:  Chapter 16.

Week 7

Text: Chapter 7, Radio

Impact of radio on politics, William S. Paley, Franklin D. Roosevelt

Study Guide:  Chapter 12.






Mass Media and Society Syllabus/page 2/ Reed


Week 8

Text: Chapter 10 Television 

Impact of television on politics, Dwight D. Eisenhower,  Impact of CBS’s James T. Aubrey on TV programming. Study Guide: Chapters 13 and 14

Week 9

Mini Papers Due

Discussion and review of mini papers

Catch-up week preparation for Mid-term exam.

Week 10

Mid-term Exam.

Week 11

Text: Chapter 14,  Advertising

Lecture:  Common Fallacies of Logic Thinking

Study Guide: Chapter 18

Week 12

Obscenity and pornography law

Study Guide Chapter 15    

Week 13


Study Guide: Chapter 19

Video: Faces of the Enemy

Text: Chapter 17, The Global Village: International and Comparative Media Systems

Week 14

Chapter 9 Motion Pictures and chapter 11 The Internet and the World Wide Web.

Orson Welles, Citizen Kane.  Movie and lecture.

Study Guide: Chapter 20

Week 15

Chapter 6, Books and chapter 8, Sound Recording

Lecture: Impact of new media of sound recording and publishing industry.

Week 16

Chapter 13, Public Relations

Lecture: Actual P.R. campaign for a non-profit organization

Study Guide: Chapter 21.

Week 17


Final Exams


Special Notice:  Due to the nature of the field of study in this course, the instructor reserves the right to alter or change the course syllabus at any time.

I will be available to students during office hours and/or by appointment.

Office phone: 949-582-4368   email: