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CMST 2DD3 Media Organizations (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2020

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Selina Mudavanhu

Email: mudavans@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 307

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 25220

Office Hours: Wednesday, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. or by appointment



Course Objectives:

This course examines the structure of various media organizations, in Canada and elsewhere, and issues that may arise within these. This examination will focus both on general principles and theories of media organizations, looking at the history of certain organizations and examining societal changes that are interlinked with these organizations, their evolution, and the effect on actors functioning within these organizations. Topics under investigation will include media convergence, fragmentation, political economy, regulation and privacy concerns. Organizations may include news organizations (e.g. CBC, CTV), cable and satellite television (e.g. CNN, Al Jazeera), diasporic media (Bollywood, Nollywood), alternative online media (rabble.ca), and regulatory bodies (CRTC).

Course Objectives

  • To understand the operations of various media organizations
  • To understand the social and political context within which media organizations operate
  • To acquire the ability to research and analyze a specific media organization
  • To improve critical thinking and communication skills


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

The required readings for this course are either designated with hyperlinks or will be made available on Avenue to Learn prior to the class. There are no texts that need to be purchased for this course. You are expected to come to class prepared for discussion with all the readings done for the week. Various videos will be screened in class. In that regard, you are required to treat all screenings as course texts. Please watch actively, taking notes in preparation for discussions that follow.

We will be using the Top Hat (www.tophat.com) classroom response system in class. You will be able to submit answers to in-class questions using Apple or Android smartphones and tablets, laptops, or through text message.

You can visit the Top Hat Overview (https://success.tophat.com/s/article/Student-Top-Hat-Overview-and-Getting-Started-Guide) within the Top Hat Success Center which outlines how you will register for a Top Hat account, as well as providing a brief overview to get you up and running on the system.

An invitation will be sent to you by email, but if don’t receive this email, you can register by simply visiting our course website: https://app.tophat.com/e/762887

Note: our Course Join Code is 762887

Top Hat will require a paid subscription, and a full breakdown of all subscription options available can be found here: www.tophat.com/pricing.

Should you require assistance with Top Hat at any time, please contact their Support Team directly by way of email (support@tophat.com), the in app support button, or by calling 1-888-663-5491.


Method of Assessment:

Evaluation (Grading)

Your grade will be based on the following:

10% Class attendance and participation (Due: Weekly/Ongoing)

15% In-class quiz (February 13)

20% Organizational analysis (February 27)

15% In-class quiz (March 19)

10% Essay (April 6)

30% Final exam (To be scheduled by the Registrar)

100%

ATTENDANCE & PARTICIPATION (10% of final grade)     DUE: Weekly/Ongoing

Students are expected to attend class on time as well as stay for the duration of the class. Attendance will be taken at every class. Absences due to illness, bereavement, etc. will not count against the student. In addition to attendance, students are expected to participate in a manner that reflects knowledge of the assigned readings. This may include contribution to discussion, answering questions and completing in-class exercises, such as written responses to questions, group work or mock debates. Disruptive behaviour (which includes texting in class and using laptops for non-course-related purposes) and tardiness will negatively affect the participation mark. Attendance in itself is not enough to secure full participation marks.

ORGANIZATIONAL ANALYSIS (20% of final grade)           DUE: February 27

Students will analyze a media organization – it can be Canadian or international, public or private, but it must be well known and have a substantial presence. Students will provide brief information on the organization including: its mission or agenda, content, political economy, target audiences, style, and any challenges it currently faces. Students will be expected to draw upon course content to assess the long-term viability of the organization as a relevant and financially-stable media enterprise. Papers should be 7 to 8 pages in length (or approximately 1,750 to 2,000 words), double-spaced, with standard one-inch margins, formatted using APA, and must include a list of references. Papers must be submitted to the course Avenue to Learn Dropbox. Guidelines will be posted to Avenue to Learn at the start of the term.

IN-CLASS QUIZZES (2 x 15% = 30% of final grade)                     DUE: In-class, February 13 & March 19

Students will write two in-class (closed-book) quizzes during the term. The quizzes will consist of a combination of multiple-choice and short answer questions. Each quiz will be based on material (both readings and lecture slides) covered up to the date of the quiz in question.

ESSAY (10% of final grade)       DUE: April 6

Select two media moguls not discussed in class and write an essay that: a) provides interesting facts about these moguls and b) critically reflects on the impact these moguls have on the media landscapes in their contexts. You are welcome to attach interesting and relevant visuals. This essay should be 3-4 pages long (approximately 750 – 1000 words), double-spaced, with standard one-inch margins, formatted using APA, and must include a list of references. Papers must be submitted to the course Avenue to Learn Dropbox. Guidelines will be posted to Avenue to Learn at the start of the term.

Note: Students must submit their own original work which is completed independently. Work that has been submitted elsewhere, uses unattributed passages from the work of others, or that has been borrowed from another source, is considered plagiarism and the consequences may be severe. Please see below for further information regarding McMaster’s policy on academic integrity.

FINAL EXAM (30% of final grade)        DUE: During the scheduled exam period

The exam will take place during the scheduled exam period. Students are expected to answer all the questions using concepts learned from course readings and lecture material over the course of the term.

Note: Omitting to submit any of the above assignments may result in automatic failure.


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Assignment Submission: All assignments must be typed, titled, dated, include student’s name and submitted on Avenue to Learn and also printed out and submitted in class upon arrival on the stated due date. Please do not submit your assignment to the CSMM Office.

Assignments must include proper in-text citations and a list of references. Please use APA citation style for in-text citation and the list of references. If you are unfamiliar with APA style, please consult a stylebook, or visit the OWL citation tutorial: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/01/

Turn It In: In this course we will be using a web-based service (Turnitin.com) to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. Students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to Turnitin.com or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by Turnitin.com) so it can be checked for academic integrity.

Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or Turnitin.com must still submit an electronic copy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to Turnitin.com or A2L. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., online search, other software, etc.). To see the Turnitin.com Policy, please go to www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity.

You must submit your own original work, completed independently. Work that has been submitted elsewhere, uses unattributed passages from the work of others, or that has been borrowed from another source, is considered plagiarism and the consequences may be severe. Please see below for further information regarding McMaster’s policy on academic integrity.

Missed Work, Extensions and Late Penalties: Late submissions will be penalized 3% for each day – including Saturdays and Sundays – that they are overdue. Students are responsible for retaining a back-up copy of their work; computer hardware or software malfunctions, network outages, data loss or failure, and other common problems of a technical nature are not in and of themselves sufficient grounds for having the penalties for late submissions waived.

If you need an extension on a paper, you must email the instructor to discuss the situation more than 24 hours before the paper is due. Requests for extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Extensions will only be offered in exceptional cases and students should not assume their provision.

Students are reminded that the MSAF form is designed for minor medical situations (e.g., the flu) lasting up to 3 days. The form does not substitute for communication with the instructor—in fact, students are required contact the instructor within 2 days of submitting the form. Further, the MSAF leaves consideration for missed work at the discretion of the instructor.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Integrity

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at https://secretariat.mcmaster.ca/university-policies-procedures-guidelines/

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  • plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  • improper collaboration in group work.
  • copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Authenticity / Plagiarism Detection

Some courses may use a web-based service (Turnitin.com) to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. For courses using such software, students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to Turnitin.com or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by Turnitin.com) so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.

Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or Turnitin.com must still submit an electronic and/or hardcopy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to Turnitin.com or A2L. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, other software, etc.). To see the Turnitin.com Policy, please go to www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity.

Courses with an On-Line Element

Some courses use on-line elements (e.g. e-mail, Avenue to Learn (A2L), LearnLink, web pages, capa, Moodle, ThinkingCap, etc.). Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of a course using these elements, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in a course that uses on-line elements will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

Online Proctoring

Some courses may use online proctoring software for tests and exams. This software may require students to turn on their video camera, present identification, monitor and record their computer activities, and/or lockdown their browser during tests or exams. This software may be required to be installed before the exam begins.

Conduct Expectations

As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the "Code"). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students' access to these platforms.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or sas@mcmaster.ca e-mail to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

Request for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar "Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work".

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students should submit their request to their Faculty Office normally within 10 working days of the beginning of term in which they anticipate a need for accommodation or to the Registrar's Office prior to their examinations. Students should also contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests.

Copyright and Recording

Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.

Extreme Circumstances

The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.


Topics and Readings:

January 6: Introductions, Course Outline, Expectations, Evaluation

No readings assigned for the first class

January 8 & 9: Media Organizations, Media People & Daily Routines

Westlund, O. & Ekström, M. (2019). News Organizations and Routines. In K. Wahl-Jorgensen & T. Hanitzsch (Eds.), Handbook of Journalism Studies, Second Edition (pp. 70-87). New York: Routledge.

Croteau, D., Hoynes, W. & Milan, S. (2012). Media Organizations and Professionals. Media Society: Industries, Images, and Audiences (pp. 113-150). Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

  • In-class viewing: SABC Digital News. (2018, October 22). Women’s struggles in media with Colleen Lowe. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/sb7ssyf
  • In-class reflection and discussion: While the video screened in class discusses struggles of women in media in the South African context, these challenges are not peculiar to South Africa. Critically discuss the challenges women working in Canadian media houses contend with.

January 13, 15 & 16: News Media Organizations & the Representation of Reality

van der Spuy, A. (2008). Mirror, Mirror upon the Wall – Is Reality Reflected at all? Global Media Journal – African Edition, 2(1), 96-105.

Stewart, C. & Kowaltzke, A. (2007). Representation. Media: New Ways and Meanings (pp. 35-68). Australia: John Wiley & Sons.

  • In-class viewing: Al Jazeera. (2015, January 8). Manhunt for Charlie Hebdo suspects as France mourns victims. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/rban9gm CNN. (2015, January 7). Terrorists on the loose after Paris attack. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/vjvbul7
  • In-class reflection and discussion: Discuss the ways in which Al Jazeera and CNN represented the people responsible for attacking the French satirical weekly magazine, Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015. What factors can account for the representations that you identified.

January 20, 22 & 23: Media Organizations, Shifting Environments & Media Responses

Nielsen, R.K., Cornia, A. & Kalogeropoulos, A. (2016). Challenges and Opportunities for News Media and Journalism in an Increasingly Digital, Mobile, and Social Media Environment. Retrieved from https://rm.coe.int/16806c0385  

Franklin, B. (2014). The Future of Journalism. Journalism Studies, 15(5), 481-499.

  • In-class viewing: TEDx Talks. (2014, December 2). Do Newspapers Matter in the Digital Age? (Lisa DeSisto, TEDxDirigo). Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/tkw6h2c
  • In-class reflection and discussion: Based on ideas discussed in class as well as in the video screened in class, how has the current digital environment impacted news media organizations in Canada? What shifts (if any) do you think need to be made by these organizations in response to the changes?

January 27, 29 & 30: Media Organizations, Shifting Environments & Media Responses 2

Tremblay, G. (2016). Speech: Public Service Media in the Age of Digital Networks. Canadian Journal of Communication, 41, 191–206.

Zboralska, E. & Davis, C.H. (2017). Transnational over-the-top Video Distribution as a Business and Policy Disruptor: The Case of Netflix in Canada. The Journal of Media Innovations, 4(1), 4-25.

  • In-class viewing: TEDx Talks. (2018, July 12). How Netflix changed entertainment and where it’s headed (Reed Hastings). Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/rrxcp9z
  • In-class reflection and discussion: Has Netflix disrupted the television industry in Canada? Explain your response.

February 3, 5 & 6: Who Owns the Media?: Political Economy of the Media

Richter, C. & Gräf, B. (2015). The Political Economy of the Media: An Introduction. In N-C. Schneider and C. Richter (Eds.), New Media Configurations and Socio-Cultural Dynamics in Asia and the Arab World (pp. 25-36). Germany: Nomos.

Stiglitz, J.E. (2017). Toward a Taxonomy of Media Capture. In A. Schiffrin (Ed.), In the Service of Power: Media Capture and the Threat to Democracy (pp. 9-18). Washington: The Center for International Media Assistance.

Canada Guide. (2019). Canadian News and Media. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/uv6rgfp

  • In-class viewing: Crash Course. (2018, April 17). Media Ownership: Crash Course Media Literacy. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/s7u97s9
  • In-class reflection and discussion: Giving examples to support your arguments, why should we be concerned about the political economy of the media?

February 10, 12, 13: Media Moguls

Freedman, D. (2015). Media Moguls and Elite Power. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/u9es4r6

Tunstall, J. & Palmer, M. (1991). Euro-Media Moguls. Media Moguls (pp. 105-113). London: Routledge (e-book available: https://tinyurl.com/rmpcr23).   

  • In-class viewing: The Guardian. (2012, April 26). Rupert Murdoch: The Life and Times of a Media Mogul. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/s29r3rm
  • In-class reflection and discussion: Discuss one media mogul in the Canadian context. What have been the implications of their ownership of media?
  • In-class Quiz 1 (February 13)

February 17, 19 & 20: – No Class – Midterm Break

February 24, 26 & 27: Convergence of Media Ownership

Winseck, D. (2018). Media and Internet Concentration in Canada Report 1984 – 2017. Canadian Media Concentration Research Project (CMCRP). Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/tnf49lh

Baum, M.A. & Zhukov, Y.M. (2019). Media Ownership and News Coverage of International Conflict. Political Communication, 36(1), 36-63.

  • In-class viewing: TEDx Talks. (2017, May 17). Whoever Controls the Media, the Images, Controls the Culture (Min Kim, TEDxLehighU). Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/r9h6mne
  • In-class reflection and discussion: With the help of examples, discuss the convergence of media ownership in Canada. What are the implications of the convergence?
  • Organizational Analysis Assignment Due (February 27)

March 2, 4 & 5: Media Organizations: Regulation & Self-Regulation

McQuail, D. (2010). Media Regulation. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/rncusge

Puddephatt, A. (2011). The Importance of Self-Regulation of the Media in Upholding Freedom of Expression. Brazil: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/wdzjjvz

  • In-class viewing: BBC Newsnight. (2018, February 7). How should the internet be regulated? Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/r4tjnmq
  • In-class reflection and discussion: Who regulates media organizations in Canada? What are the current debates on regulating the internet in Canada?

March 9, 11 & 12: Alternative Media Organizations

Anderson, B. (2015). Rising Above: Alternative Media as Activist Media. Stream: Culture/Politics/Technology, 7(1), 23-33.

Furness, Z. (2007). Alternative Media. In D. Macedo & S.R. Steinberg (Eds.), Media Literacy: A Reader (pp. 185–196). New York: Peter Lang.

Skinner, D., (2018). Alternative Media in Canada (The Canadian Encyclopedia). Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/rmv375n

  • In-class viewing: The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) News. (2018, April 20). Cowboys and Pretendians - APTN Investigates. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/v86b8tp
  • In-class reflection and discussion: In what ways is the news content of APTN different from content produced by the mainstream media in Canada? Using ideas discussed in the course on the political economy of the media, how do you account for the identified differences?

March 16, 18 & 19: Media Organisations in the Era of Citizen Journalism

Miller, S. (2019). Citizen Journalism. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.013.786

Noor, R. (2017). Citizen Journalism vs. Mainstream Journalism: A Study on Challenges Posed by Amateurs. Athens Journal of Mass Media and Communications, 3(1), 55-76.

  • In-class viewing: TEDx Talks. (2012, December 12). Citizen Journalism is Reshaping the World: Brian Conley at TEDxMidAtlantic. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/l2cnshj
  • In-class reflection and discussion: In what ways has citizen journalism disrupted the ways media organizations work?
  • In-class Quiz 2 (March 19)

March 23, 25 & 26: Researching Media Organizations

Erdal, I.J. (2007). Researching Media Convergence and Crossmedia News Production. Nordicom Review, 28(2), 51-61.

Moe, H. & Syvertsen, T. (2009). Researching Public Service Broadcasting. In K. Wahl-Jorgensen & T. Hanitzsch (Eds.), The Handbook of Journalism Studies (398-412). New York: Routledge.

  • In-class viewing: Viv & Jo. (2018, January 10). A day in the life of a TV news reporter. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/rkv4r45
  • In-class reflection and discussion: What research methods would you use to examine: a) the political economy of media organizations b) daily routines in news media organizations c) the impact of the digital environment on the ways media organizations operate? Explain your answer.

March 30, April 1: Summary

April 2, 6: & Exam Prep

  • Essay Due (April 6)


Other Course Information:

Online Learning (Avenue to Learn): This course has an Avenue to Learn site, where you will be required to learn about class updates and resources. You can log in at http://avenue.mcmaster.ca/.

McMaster Policy for Courses with an Online Element:

“In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn. Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster email accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.”

Use of Technologies During Class: Please use laptops, tablets and other electronic devices to take notes and for other class-related activities. Off-task technology-use negatively affects the learning environment; it distracts other students and the instructor.

Classroom Etiquette: No form of discrimination or harassment will be tolerated in the classroom. Every member of the McMaster University Community has a right to equal treatment with respect to the receipt of education services and related services and facilities without discrimination or harassment on the basis of the following grounds: race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status, disability, gender and identity. For more information visit the Equity and Inclusion Office website: https://equity.mcmaster.ca.

Professionalism: You are expected to engage with the teaching team in a professional manner. Some important values that constitute professional behaviour include (but are not limited to) respect and integrity. Please remember that TAs are part of the teaching team. The TA for this course is Niloofar Hooman (hoomann@mcmaster.ca)