Wilkes University

Communications, B.A. - Multimedia Journalism Concentration

All students choosing to major in Communication Studies must fulfill specific department core requirements. These courses contain skills, theory, analysis, performance, writing, and research. They are as follows (29 credits):

COM-101

Fundamentals of Public Speaking

COM-102

Principles of Communication

COM-124

Mass Media Literacy

COM-144

Practicum (2 credits minimum with at least one in each concentration taken)

COM-202

Interpersonal Communication

COM-260

Basic Newswriting (WI)

COM-261

Multimedia Communication

COM-304

Intercultural Communication

COM-324

Communication Research Methods

COM-397

Senior Seminar

Concentration Requirements

MULTIMEDIA JOURNALISM

The multimedia journalism concentration prepares students for this continually evolving field where new trends and technologies are constantly having an impact on traditional practices. The Communication Studies Department addresses this transformation by incorporating these changes into its classes or developing new courses that deal with specific needs in the field. However, the core to any journalism training is the ability to work with words, gather information and synthesize that into meaningful messages for its intended audience regardless of format- print, broadcast or digital.

All students pursuing a concentration in Multimedia Journalism must take the following two courses (6 credits):

COM-321: Advanced Multimedia Reporting
COM-362: Mass Communication Law

In addition, students pursuing a concentration in Multimedia Journalism will complete 6 credits selected from the following courses:

COM-262: Visual Communications
COM-300: Communication Criticism
COM-302: Fundamentals of Public Relations
COM-361: Feature Writing
COM-399/CPE-399: Cooperative Education

Recommended Course Sequence

First Semester Credits

 

COM-101 Fundamentals of Public Speaking

3

Distribution Requirements

6

ENG-101 Composition or

4

Distribution Requirement

3

FYF-101 First-Year Foundations

3

Total Credits

15-16

Second Semester

 

COM-102 Principles of Communication

3

COM-124 Mass Media Literacy

3

Distribution Requirements

6

ENG-101 Composition or

4

Distribution Requirement

3

Total Credits

15-16

Third Semester

 

COM-202 Interpersonal Communication

3

COM-260 Basic Newswriting

3

Free Electives

 9

COM-144 Practicum

1

Total Credits

16

Fourth Semester

 

Concentration Selection

3

Distribution Requirements

9

COM-261 Multimedia Communication

3

Total Credits

15

Fifth Semester

 

COM-304 Intercultural Communication

3

Concentration Selections

6

Free Electives

6

Total Credits

15

Sixth Semester

 

Concentration Selection

3

COM-144 Practicum

1

Distribution Requirements

6

Free Electives

6

Total Credits

16

Seventh Semester

 

COM-324 Research Methods

3

Free Electives

12

Total Credits

15


Eighth Semester

 

COM-397 Senior Seminar

3

Free Electives

12

Total Credits

15

 

Communication Studies

COM-101. Fundamentals of Public Speaking

Credits: 3

Principles of study, application, and evaluation of public speaking. Emphasis will be upon meeting the needs of students through individualized instruction in oral communication settings. The course is taught each semester.

COM-102. Principles of Communication

Credits: 3

A study of the theory and process of communication. Required of all department majors. Taught every spring semester.

COM-124. Mass Media Literacy

Credits: 3

This is a survey course that takes a literacy approach to the study of mass media and their role in society. Taught every spring semester.

COM-144. Department Practicum

Credits: 1-2

A-Debate and Forensics; B-P.R. Agency; C- WCHL Radio; D-The Beacon; E-Television; F- Department. The Department Practicum may be taken for one or two credits per semester with the total not to exceed six credits. Students may earn credit for major roles and positions of major responsibility in the above co-curricular activities. Credit for participation in these activities is optional, and voluntary participation (without credit) is also encouraged. The department, through the advisor or instructor of the activity, has the authority to approve or reject any contract for credit under this designation. Credits earned are applicable toward graduation, but do not count toward the degree requirements of any concentration in Communication Studies. Written approval of credit must be by advisor and Department chairperson.

COM-201. Advanced Public Speaking

Credits: 3

Inquiry into the practice and principles of speech composition and presentation. Detailed analysis of the areas of invention, arrangement, style, and delivery, and an introduction to speech criticism.

Pre-Requisites
COM-101 or consent of the instructor.

COM-202. Interpersonal Communication

Credits: 3

This course focuses on interpersonal communication theory and its application to improving the student’s interpersonal skills in managing conflict, negotiating, interviewing, and in developing relationships. Taught fall semesters.

Pre-Requisites
COM-101 or consent of the instructor.

COM-203. Small Group & Team Communication

Credits: 3

This course is designed to enable students to improve their decision-making abilities within group and team settings. Emphasis will be placed on team-building, as well as task, leadership and interpersonal skills needed for effective group communication. 

Pre-Requisites

COM-204. Argumentation and Debate

Credits: 3

Training in the fundamentals of argumentation and debate, with practice in gathering and organizing evidence and support materials. Course taught every other fall semester.

Pre-Requisites
COM-101 or consent of the instructor.

COM-206. Business and Professional Communication

Credits: 3

Course will concentrate on communication theory as applied to business and professional settings. Students will make several oral presentations and participate in interviewing and conferences. Course taught fall semester in alternate years.

COM-220. Introduction to Electronic Media

Credits: 3

An overview of the history, institutions, and message systems of the radio, television, cable, satellite, and internet industries.

COM-222. Broadcast Production

Credits: 3

A study of the principles and techniques of audio and video production. A special emphasis is placed on the utilization of these techniques in broadcast settings.  

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COM-223. The Art of Film

Credits: 3

An introduction to the aesthetics, techniques, and critical analysis of cinematic art through the study of representative films of current and past film directors. Screenings and writing intensified.

COM-252. Internship

Credits: 3-6

A supervised program of work and study in any of the concentrations. Written permission of the department is required. Offered every semester.

COM-260. Basic Newswriting

Credits: 3

Fundamentals of newsgathering, newswriting, and news judgment for all media; study of news sources; fieldwork, research, and interview techniques.

Pre-Requisites

COM-261. Multimedia Communication

Credits: 3

This course offers a skills-focused and theoretical approach to multimedia communication. Through a variety of readings, discussions and practical workshops, students will earn basic skills for navigating through multimedia platforms, including, but not limited to social media, apps, and audio/visual modes of communication. Students will be given the tools and information to adapt their knowledge and expertise as media and software packages change. Students will also critically analyze multimedia platforms to better understand their functions and the repercussions of releasing information on (or through) them.

Pre-Requisites

COM-262. Digital Storytelling and Design

Credits: 3

This course offers a hands-on approach to exploring the visual aspects of design and storytelling. Students will be introduced to basic principles of design that are applicable to a variety of career fields.  Students also will learn about visual storytelling, the power of visual messages, and the interconnectedness between verbal and visual messages. Through readings, class discussions and workshops, students will gain the knowledge to not only produce effective and quality visual messages, but they will also be challenged to critically analyze visual messages and discuss the ethics behind the messages and the message making process.

Pre-Requisites

COM-300. Communication Criticism

Credits: 3

Theories from classical to contemporary will be applied to the analysis of written, visual, and electronic messages. Emphasis on speech writing and criticism.

Pre-Requisites

COM-301. Persuasion

Credits: 3

Study and practice of persuasive speaking. General theories of persuasion, the role of persuasion in a democratic society, and an introduction to modern experimental research in the field.

Pre-Requisites

COM-302. Fundamentals of Public Relations

Credits: 3

An introduction to the fundamentals of public relations practice, including program planning and evaluation, working with the media, writing for PR, and coordinating special events and functions. Taught every fall semester.

Pre-Requisites

COM-303. Organizational Communication

Credits: 3

Course focuses on traditional and modern concepts of communication channels in simple and complex organizations. Considerable attention is given to interviewing and conducting communication audits.

Pre-Requisites
COM-102 or consent of the instructor.

COM-304. Intercultural Communication

Credits: 3

Intercultural Communication is a systematic study of what happens when people from different cultural backgrounds interact face-to-face. The course is a balance between theoretical and practical knowledge, with emphasis on immediately usable knowledge. Guest speakers, in-class simulations, cross-cultural interviews, and research projects ask students to apply communication skills to actual intercultural situations.

Pre-Requisites
COM-102 or consent of the instructor.

COM-305. Studies in Public Address

Credits: 3

This class is a hybrid or comparative approach to the study of public address in the United States. We will study traditional and critical rhetorical theories of public address. We will also engage with speakers and texts that both challenge and reinforce the "great speeches" mold. As we pursue these objectives, we will focus our study on selected social movement rhetorics in the United States, including those of women's and feminist movements, civil rights movements, labor movements, and LGBTQ movements.

Pre-Requisites
COM-102 or consent of the instructor.

COM-320. Media Management

Credits: 3

This course will provide a framework for understanding the functions and methods of media managers in both print and non-print media.

Pre-Requisites
COM-220 or consent of the instructor.

COM-321. Advanced Multimedia Reporting

Credits: 3

This course combines advanced reporting techniques with multimedia production to create news 'packages'. Students  will discuss audience analysis and determine  what makes a solid news package for a pa1iicular audience and/or demographic. The class will analyze existing news packages and then split into teams to create their own multimedia  news stories that relate not only to the university, but also to the Wilkcs-Barre area. Teams will be responsible for all reporting and multimedia work, including,  but not limited to, video, online  and photo components.  Near the end of the semester, students  will present  their  work  to a panel  of industry and/or academic professionals for feedback. 

Pre-Requisites

COM-322. Advanced Video Production

Credits: 3

A study of the principles and techniques of video production. Scripting, producing, and editing videography are subjects covered extensively by this course. Each student will produce several video productions. Taught every spring semester.

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Pre-Requisites
COM-222 or consent of the instructor.

COM-323. Advanced Audio Production

Credits: 3

This advanced  level course builds on the basic skills learned in Broadcast Production with an emphasis on radio and the radio industry. Students  will learn the theory and techniques of in depth radio production, including multi-track recording, mixing, signal processing, editing, mastering, creative radio production, and sound design for media. Students will be expected  to work independently and within the group to produce broadcast quality production content suitable to be aired on WCLH.

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COM-324. Communication Research Methods I

Credits: 3

A study of the basic foundations in the theory and practice of communication research.  The course will review the varied concepts and methods used in designing and conducting research specific to the discipline of Communication Studies and introduce students to the process of applying to the Institutional Review Board for research permission involving human subjects. Emphasis on ability to hone research topics, identify research sources, and write literature reviews. Required of all majors. Course taught every fall semester.

Pre-Requisites

COM-325. Communication Research Methods II

Credits: 3

A focus on the principles and techniques of sampling, data analysis, and data interpretation as applied to communication research.  Qualitative and quantitative analyses will be explored, as will fundamental aspects of both descriptive and interpretive statistics.  An emphasis is placed on students’ ability to work independently to gather, analyze, interpret, and report original research findings.  Required of all majors. Course taught every spring semester.

Pre-Requisites

COM-352. Advanced Public Relations Campaigns

Credits: 3

COM-352 is an advanced course in public relations, taught in seminar format. Emphasis is placed on planning, researching, budgeting, carrying out and evaluating actual public relations campaigns. The course is both writing and speaking intensive. In cooperation with various community-based businesses and non-profit clients, student 'teams' conduct actual semester-long promotional campaigns. Students should be competent in basic newswriting, interviewing, and fundamentals of public relations. Course taught in alternative spring semesters.

Pre-Requisites

COM-354. International Field Experience in Communication

Credits: 1-6

One to six creditsInternational Field Experience in Communication is an international service-learning experience that focuses on social and communication issues. Students will do a service project related to an area of communication studies including, but not limited to, Broadcast and Print Media, Public Relations, or Strategic Communication. Qualifies for Study Tour Experience (STE) credit pricing.

COM-360. Advanced Newswriting

Credits: 3

A study of specialized reporting and an introduction to news editing.

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Pre-Requisites

COM-361. Feature Writing

Credits: 3

A study of feature articles for newspapers, syndicates, magazines, and specialized publications. Practice in research, interviewing, and writing.

Pre-Requisites

COM-362. Mass Communication Law

Credits: 3

Current legal problems, theory of controls in journalism, television, and radio; libel, copyright, privacy law, and other legal issues affecting the mass media. A case study approach will be used.

COM-372. Managing a Public Relations Agency

Credits: 3

Focus on difference between in-house public relations and agency operators. Students work with several clients.

Pre-Requisites

COM-397. Senior Seminar/Communications

Credits: 3

An in-depth investigation of current research and ethical issues in communication. A research paper and senior project required. Required of all majors. Course taught every spring semester.

Pre-Requisites
COM-324 and junior or senior standing.

COM-398. Topics

Credits: 1-3

A study of topics of special interest not extensively treated in regularly offered courses.

COM-399. Cooperative Education

Credits: 1-6

Professional cooperative education placement in a private or public organization related to the student’s academic objectives and career goals. In addition to their work experience, students are required to submit weekly reaction papers and an academic project to a Faculty Coordinator in the student’s discipline. (See the Cooperative Education section of this bulletin for placement procedures.)

Pre-Requisites
Completion of Sophomore year, 2.25 cumulative GPA, consent of academic advisor, and approval of placement by department chairperson.

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