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Who Controls the Media?


Mass Communication


Professor Joan Wesman

Program Summary

Who Controls the Media?
This will be a fast-paced look at how media works—where we’ve been and where we’re heading in consuming news, advertising, and entertainment. We’ll explore the forces at play in how information is delivered, whose interests are served, and how to decipher fact from fiction through a variety of media platforms. Through studying the media in the content course, Intro to Mass Communication, and then applying this knowledge in the Integrated Learning Course, you will learn about the impact of media messages on our behavior and our culture, and you’ll become better-informed, critical consumers and creators of media content.

MCOM 110: Intro to Mass Communication (3 SH, GESS)
In Intro to Mass Comm, you’ll study the major media industries and the economic and social forces shaping and transforming them. This course is an introduction to the ways scholars study the media and its impact on our culture and values. Subjects covered include the history, economics, and organization of traditional mass media such as print, broadcast, and film, as well as the role social media plays in contributing to many of the most important issues facing the media industries and our culture today. A heavy emphasis is placed on the importance of developing critical thinking and media literacy skills, to help students interpret media messages in an intelligent, balanced, and realistic way.

GEN 101 WC: ILC Who Controls the Media (3 SH)
This is a foundational course used to develop, practice, and apply college-level reading, critical thinking, writing, information literacy, and speaking skills. As part of the FYE program, this course will help you dig deeper into the concepts you learned in the content course and set you up for success during the rest of your college experience. Projects will include an annotated bibliography, a written research project, a reflection essay, and other writing and discussion assignments.

Photo credits:,, You Tube: The Joe Rogan Experience, NBC News,, C.J. Burton, Washingtonian, 22 April 2018.