The Media Studies concentration is designed for students who enjoy discussing, analyzing, and writing about film, television, advertising, and other media. In this concentration, students think about the interplay between media and society, exploring the messages in historical and contemporary media content, as well as examining how and why media influence audience perception and behavior.

media studies students

This conceptual concentration provides students with a wide repertoire of theoretical and methodological approaches to engage with media (print, broadcast, electronic, digital); enabling students to critically examine media systems, modes of production, representation, messages, and audience reception in local, national, and global contexts. Students learn and participate in academic media research and writing, therefore, the Media Studies concentration is ideal for those interested in a Liberal Arts approach to Mass Communication, especially students who may choose to pursue graduate studies.

Courses for the Media Studies concentration include an introduction to visual communication and media history, social science and cultural approaches to media, critical analysis of television or film, media diversity, and global media perspectives. Students also choose electives from advertising, health communication, and other areas, and conclude the concentration with a senior research course.

Sanjay Asthana

Sanjay Asthana
Mass Comm 264

Sanjay Asthana, professor in Journalism, earned his Ph.D. in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2003 from the University of Minnesota. He also holds an MPhil degree in Philosophy and an MA Communication from the University of Hyderabad in India. Dr. Asthana teaches courses in visual communication, globalization, communication technologies, and cultural studies. He worked as a radio broadcaster at the All India Radio (state-regulated network) in India, where he scripted and produced current affairs programs and numerous documentaries on social and political themes.

Dr. Asthana’s major research areas include media globalization, youth media, cultural and postcolonial studies. His research appeared in the Journal of Communication Inquiry, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Media, Culture & Society, International Journal of Cultural Studies, and essays in several other journals and books. Dr. Asthana is the author of Palestinian Youth Media and the Pedagogies of Estrangement (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016); Youth Media Imaginaries from Around the World (Peter Lang, 2012); Innovative Practices of Youth Participation in Media (UNESCO, 2006); and a co-author of the report, Media Information Literacy: Policy and Strategy Guidelines (UNESCO, 2013).
Curriculum vitae: (.pdf)

Kenneth Blake

Kenneth Blake
Mass Comm 224

Dr. Ken Blake, associate professor of journalism, earned his Ph.D. in Mass Communication in 1997 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He teaches courses in writing, reporting and quantitative research methods. Additionally, he is operations director for the MTSU Poll, a once-a-semester telephone poll measuring the opinions of residents living in the 39 counties that constitute Middle Tennessee. The poll is funded by the Office of Communication Research, the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellend in First Amendment Studies, and the MTSU School of Journalism. Dr. Blake’s research interests include mass media and society, public opinion theory and methodology, and Internet-based instruction. A former newspaper reporter, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.

Katherine Foss

Katherine Foss
Mass Comm 216

Dr. Katherine Foss, associate professor, earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 2008. Her teaching interests include health communication, gender and media, cultural studies approaches to media and qualitative methods. Her current research focuses on breastfeeding discourse in media (from advertising to entertainment television), constructions of health responsibility and representations of deafness and hearing loss. Her past research projects have examined gender and victimization in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Criminal Minds, the discourse of television theme songs, pioneer medicine in television and portrayals of journalists in comic book films.

Her work has appeared in Health Communication, Disability Studies Quarterly, Women & Health, International Breastfeeding Journal, Communication Quarterly and other peer-reviewed journals, along with book chapters in Beyond Health, Beyond Choice: Breastfeeding Constraints and Realities and The Harms of Crime Media: Essays on the Perpetuation of Racism, Sexism and Class Stereotypes.  She was an invited speaker at the 2012 Great Nurse-In, a breastfeeding advocacy event held on the West Lawn of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. She also won the 2012 James W. Carey Media Research Award for her co-authored article (with Dr. Kathy Forde), entitled “‘The Facts—the Color!—the Facts’: The Idea of a Report in American Print Culture, 1885-1910,” published in Book History.

Jane Marcellus

Jane Marcellus
COE 345

Dr. Jane Marcellus, professor, earned her Ph.D. in Communication and Society (Media Studies) at the University of Oregon, where her research examined representation of employed women in early twentieth-century magazines. She also holds a bachelor’s in English from Wesleyan University, a master’s in journalism from Medill at Northwestern, and a second master’s in English from the University of Arizona. Dr. Marcellus’s classes include media history, feature writing, and cultural studies theory.

She is the author of Business Girls and Two-Job Wives: Emerging Media Stereotypes of Employed Women (Hampton Press, 2011). She is also co-author, with Erika Engstrom, Tracy Lucht, and Kimberly Wilmot Voss, of Mad Men and Working Women: Feminist Perspectives on Historical Power, Resistance, and Otherness (Peter Lang, 2014), which was named to Teen Vogue magazines “most epic feminist reading list ever” in 2015. (See Her work has also been published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, American Journalism, Feminist Media Studies, Women’s Studies—An Interdisciplinary Journal, and the Journal on Excellence in College Teaching. Book chapters have appeared or are forthcoming in Friends, Lovers, Co-Workers, and Community: Everything I Know About Relationships I Learned from Television, Prison Narratives From Boethius to Zana, and Bad Men and Damaged Women: Gender, Violence and 21st Century Television. She is on the editorial board for Journalism History and the “Women in American Political History” series from Lexington Books. Her research has received several national awards from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA). She has served on the AEJMC Publications Committee, which she chairs in 2015-2016, as head of the Cultural and Critical Studies division, and on the selection committee for AJHA’s Blanchard Dissertation Prize.

Jason Reineke

Jason Reineke
Mass Comm 266

Dr. Jason Reineke, associate professor, holds masters and doctoral degrees in Journalism and Communication from The Ohio Sate University, and a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Miami University. His research and teaching interests are focused mainly on public opinion and political communication, especially involving freedom of expression and support for censorship, as well as research methods and statistical analysis.

Dr. Reineke is the associate director of the MTSU Poll, a statewide survey conducted twice each year to assess Tennessee residents’ opinions on a variety of issues. His work has been published in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, the Journal of Communication, the Journal of Health Communication, and Mass Communication and Society.

JOUR 1020 American Media and Social Institutions

Three credits. (Same as EMC/RIM 1020.) The power of the mass media and its effect on social institutions and practices. Develops skills of qualitative and quantitative social science research in the area of mass communication processes; examines media as social, cultural, and economic institutions that shape the values of American society,its political dialogues, its social practices, and institutions.

JOUR 2132 Introduction to Video Journalism

Three credits. Essential production techniques and applied technical skills necessary to arrange, shoot, edit, and produce a television news story in the field. All facets of electronic media news field production covered including camera work, lighting, audio, and editing. Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

JOUR 2710 Media Writing

Three credits. Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020 or equivalents. Theory and practice of writing for print and electronic media according to the techniques, styles, and formats of various media. Laboratory required.

JOUR 2720 Digital Media Skills

Three credits. Prerequisite: JOUR 1020/EMC 1020/RIM 1020. Professional skills necessary to create digital platform stories that integrate audio, photo, video, and text.

JOUR 3000 Introduction to Motion Pictures

Three credits. (Same as EMC 3000.) Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor. The development and role of motion pictures in America, including the history of films and filmmakers, the influence of film on American culture, and film criticism.

JOUR 3050 Principles of Health Communication

Three credits. (Same as EMC 3050) Introduces students to fundamental issues in Health Communication. The development of health communication, the role of interpersonal communication in health care, the design and challenges of public health campaigns, intended and unintended health messages in news and popular media, the structure of health care organization, and key ethical issues in creating and disseminating health messages to diverse audiences.

JOUR 3070 Introduction to Social Media Practice

Three credits. (Same as EMC 3070.) Prerequisites: EMC 2500 and EMC 3060. Introduces social media history, approaches, and practical application. Overview of social media usage within and on behalf of organizations and institutions through a practical analysis approach that focuses on the application of social media techniques.

JOUR 3090 Reporting

Three credits. Prerequisite: JOUR 2710. Theory and practice of basic journalism skills including content gathering, storytelling, evaluating, writing and processing of news.

JOUR 3100 Introduction to Popular Music Studies

Three credits. (Same as RIM 3100.) Prerequisite: RI major - admission to candidacy; others - permission of instructor. Introduces students to different academic and theoretical approaches to popular music as a social and cultural phenomenon. A discussion oriented class that is both reading and writing intensive.

JOUR 3430 Electronic Media News Writing

Three credits. Stresses reporting, writing, and presenting radio news. The history, philosophy, and regulation of electronic media news. Laboratory required. Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

JOUR 3450 Editing

Three credits. Prerequisite: JOUR 3090 with minimum grade of C. Theory and practice in the art of copy editing, including editing, language skills, newspaper style, news judgment, headline writing, photo editing, cutline writing, and page design.

JOUR 3500 Electronic Media News Reporting and Producing

Three credits. Prerequisite: JOUR 2132 and JOUR 3430 with minimum grade of C. Theory and practice in the gathering, editing, and writing of news for electronic media. Attention given to on-the-air presentation. Laboratory required. Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

JOUR 3510 Media History and American Culture

Three credits. (Same as EMC 3510.) Development of American journalism and the mass media from Colonial times to the present, including the role and influence of mass media on American culture, technical advances, and contributions of individual personalities.

JOUR 3520 Special Topics in Professional Issues

Three credits. (Same as ADV/PR/VCOM 3520.) Prerequisites: JOUR 3090 and admission to candidacy. Special topics in journalism, advertising, public relations, and visual communication focusing on practical applications. Topics change each semester and have included investigative, environmental, sports, and political reporting; visual editing; international public relations; and advertising account management. May be repeated up to 6 credits.

JOUR 3530 Feature Writing

Three credits. Prerequisite: admission to candidacy or permission of instructor. Theory and practice of writing feature stories for newspapers and magazines. Assignments in writing for professional publications as well as the student newspaper.

JOUR 3570 Broadcast Announcing and Performance

Three credits. (Same as EMC 3570.) Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy. Responsibilities and skills required of the individual performer in preparing, announcing, and narrating of various types of materials for television and radio.

3580 MC Practicum

One to three credits. Prerequisites: junior standing and permission of instructor. Practical experience in an on-campus mass communication setting. Note: Total credit for practicum and internship courses cannot exceed 3 credits. Pass/Fail.

JOUR 3590 Magazine Writing and Editing

Three credits. Prerequisite: JOUR 3530. Types of magazines and editorial needs; practice in magazine article writing.

JOUR 3600 Digital and Media Literacy

Three credits. (Same as EMC 3600). Prerequisite: EMC 1020/JOUR 1020/RIM 1020. Enables students to develop an informed and critical understanding of media messages and media culture as well as their social, cultural, and political contexts and implications. Students develop the critical thinking skills and methods of analysis necessary to interpret media content in a digital age. Offers ways to think critically about media as they relate to citizenship and democracy.

JOUR 3650 Free Expression, Mass Media, and the American Public

Three credits. (Same as EMC/RIM 3650.) A general introduction to the issues surrounding free expression and its relationship to mass media in contemporary America. Comprehensive analysis of the history, philosophies, cases, and controls associated with freedom of expression.

JOUR 3660 Strategic Communication Research

Three credits. Prerequisite: JOUR 2710, permission of instructor, or permission of the School of Journalism. Introduces research methods used in advertising, journalism, public relations, and strategic communication. Provides experiences in scientific research and data analysis, including quantitative and qualitative methods, content analysis, experiments, surveys and focus groups for diagnosing, planning, managing, and evaluating situations.

JOUR 3740 Advanced Electronic Media News Reporting and Producing

Four credits. Prerequisites: JOUR 3430, JOUR 3500, and EMC 3570. Theory and practice of television journalism, including use of electronic news-gathering equipment, evaluating and processing news for broadcast, and delivery of television news. Laboratory required. Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

JOUR 4000 MC Internship

One to three credits. Prerequisites: upper-division standing; permission of internship coordinator. Advanced students gain practical experience in a professional setting. Note: Total credit for internship and practicum courses cannot exceed 3 credits. Pass/Fail.

JOUR 4210 Mass Communication and Society

Three credits. (Same as EMC 4210.) Prerequisite: Junior standing. Theories of the process of mass communication, how media affect society, the evolution within a social and cultural context, ethical and social dimensions. Extensive reading in theory, history and research. Media-content emphasis varies depending on instructor’s expertise.

JOUR 4240 Television, Culture, and History

Three credits. Examines television as a cultural product, communication tool, “mirror on the world,” and as an agent for social change. Explores censorship, sponsorship, ethics, and the impact of context on content. Focuses on role that television has had and continues to have on constructing notions of gender, race, class, and difference.

JOUR 4250 Mass Media Law

Three credits. (Same as EMC 4250.) Prerequisites: JOUR 1020 and junior standing. Examination of legal guarantees and restrictions on the flow of information using the case-study method. Focus on libel, privacy, obscenity and the special restrictions placed on advertising, broadcasting, cable TV, and the Internet.

JOUR 4300 Reviewing and Criticism

Three credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Theories and practice of reviewing and criticism in the mass media. Overview of current trends in film, theatre, music, books, and other entertainment media. Practice in critical and analytical writing.

JOUR 4440 Advanced Reporting

Three credits. Prerequisite: JOUR 3090. Advanced theory and practice in news reporting, emphasis on coverage of governmental affairs and other public affairs-related assignments, including an introduction to interpretive and investigative reporting techniques.

JOUR 4660 Scientific Approaches to Media

Three credits. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Provides a critical overview of the historical, intellectual, and theoretical foundations of scientific inquiry with specific emphasis on quantitative research methods. Introduces major theories and methods of scientific inquiry in the field of communication including psychological and sociological perspectives, survey research, content analysis, experiments, observational research, and statistical analysis. Explores audience analysis, media effects, message testing, campaign evaluation, political communication, public opinion, and new media technologies.

JOUR 4670 Cultural Approaches to Media

Three credits. Provides a critical overview of the historical, intellectual, and theoretical foundations of cultural studies with specific emphasis on research methods. Explores popular culture, comparative media systems, global media flows, and new media technologies, among other topics pertinent to media and journalism.

JOUR 4700 Mass Media and National Security

Three credits. Prerequisite: Junior/Senior standing or permission of instructor. Examines the role of the mass media in maintaining national security. Topics include history, legal, and operational concerns from both media and the government perspectives. Discusses the tension between maintaining national security and American traditions of civil liberties and the role of both the media and government in these discussions.

JOUR 4780 Media and Markets

Three credits. Prerequisite: junior standing. Approaches to understanding media audiences. Examines tensions between the business and public functions of media, and social and ethical conflicts related to media marketing.

JOUR 4790 Global News and World Media Cultures

Three credits. (Same as EMC 4790.) Prerequisite: junior standing. Systems and philosophies associated with gathering international news and news coverage in different regions. Looks at global communication systems and ownership; examines how cultures shape news and the role of the individual in reporting news internationally. Includes discussion of development issues and roles of global advertising and public relations.

JOUR 4800 Seminar in Media Issues

Three credits. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Examination and critical evaluation of issues relevant to the operation and functions of mass media, including their relationships to each other and to government, advertisers, consumers and other publics. May be be repeated up to 6 credits.

JOUR 4810 Global Comparative Media Systems

Three credits. (Same as EMC 4810.) A close comparative study of chosen media systems in regions of the world. Examines print, broadcast, entertainment, and new media in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim Region, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. Media interactions with an influence on the geographic, demographic, linguistic, cultural, economic, and political structures of countries.

JOUR 4820 Race, Gender and Class in Media

Three credits. (Same as EMC 4820.) Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or permission of instructor. Critical examination of diversity in mass communication with particular emphasis on media representations of race, gender, and class. Also examines audience interpretations of media texts.

JOUR 4850 Ethics and Mass Communication

Three credits. (Same as EMC 4850.) Prerequisite: junior standing. Examination of ethical concerns of media practitioners illuminated by study of selected current ethical issues and an overview of the cultural and philosophical basis of socially responsive mass media.

JOUR 4880 Professional Development

One credit. Prerequisite: Senior status. Issues faced by graduates upon entering the professional world or graduate school. Topics include preparation of the professional portfolio, the resume and cover letter, post-graduate study, and professional advancement. Should be completed by majors in the School of Journalism in either of their last two semesters prior to graduation.

JOUR 4900 Independent Study In Mass Communication

One to three credits. (Same as EMC 4900.) Prerequisites: admission to candidacy; permission of instructor. Independent study projects or research related to media issues or professions. Pass/Fail.

JOUR 4910 Research in Media Issues

Three credits. Students work on developing good writing skills while conducting original research in their areas of interest. Students will critique each other’s writing in a peer-workshop environment, as they edit and revise their own writing-building to a journal-quality research paper presented to the class in a conference-like setting.

You should meet with the advisor for your concentration to create your course plan and to make sure that you meet all graduation requirements for your concentration. A list of Media and Entertainment advisors is here: Media and Entertainment Advising Center.

You should also use the upper division form for your concentration to make sure to meet all requirements. Download the Journalism upper division form: UD_Media_Studies.2016.pdf

Required courses in the School of Journalism are listed on the main MTSU site here:
Media Studies Concentration

Middle Tennessee State University, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution
1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132-0001 USA +1.615.898.2300

Middle Tennessee State University, in its educational programs and activities involving students and employees, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or age. Furthermore, the university does not discriminate against veterans or individuals with disabilities.

Tennessee Board of Regents Online Degree Program

Tennessee Board of Regents Online Degree Program