Comm 348 or News Practicum is described as “A course in which students study the practice and politics of news reporting and journalism using traditional and new media.”
YES! That statement by the Shepherd Catalog is right on the button and yet misses the richness and opportunity for expression that the course offers. Professor Cecilia Mason spearheaded my experience with local politics and happenings in the region. We wrote news stories to be posted alongside podcasts that we recorded and edited and then posted onto the wordpress page that Cecilia had set up. (https://cecemaso.wordpress.com)
I had never considered doing a real-live newsworthy interview nor had I fathomed what questions I might ask. Professor Mason, who is part of The West Virginia Public Broadcasting organization, was a perfect fit for helping me ferret out unnecessary information in both text and interview. My interest in getting a unique story and learning to put it in perspective grew each week during the course.
I fell in love with finding out what made a happening a happening or what put the air in the lungs of a story. Two stories I wrote and reported on (I love them!) were one on a local ArmWrestler, Bill MacPherson and a local singer/songwriter
Go ahead, CHECK IT OUT!! AT… https://cecemaso.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/189/ and the story on Chelesa McBee at TXMAS_Chelsea_McB_COMM348_voiceover.
The course was fun and easygoing. Cecilia expected us to be self motivated and on time. Deadlines do not wait! She gave us the right tools to complete our work and we worked as a group in many instances.
Take this class. You won’t be disappointed!
SOOOOO…the Advertising and Imagery section of the core curriculum is nothing short of EPIC! Yeah, buddy. Monica Larson was the perfect professor to take us on the wild ride of photoshop hunting and semiotics. The content of the class was nothing short of earth shattering. Everything I thought I knew about advertising was usherd out with the trash. Dr. Larson expected alot from us and gave us the perfect ladder to climb in reaching her lofty expectations.
The course was rife with discussion and insights into how the industry targets our Id, Ego and Superego to serve its consumptionists addiction. Jean Killbourne was one of the pioneers in semiotics and identifying the objectification of women in advertising. We analyzed movies, ads in magazines and watched eye-opening videos.
One of three images I created for my “SNEEKS” ad campaign. Photo by me. (That’s my kiddo in the pic)
Monica (Dr. Larson is down to earth and allows we students to address her by her first name) challenged us at every turn. After researching methodology and the good design elements of a great ad campaign, we (read..tried valiantly) created rockstar ads for a fictitious shoe called “Sneeks”.
To critically analyze the incessant barrage of media content is a skill everyone should posses! I mean when and ad shoves a shackled woman with pouty red lips and six inch stilletoes at me in an effort to make some brand of shampoo seem alluring, hi[p and sexy…. I say “Thank you Monica”, for the ability to read between the handcuffs.