MASS MEDIA | Reach New Populations

 

At larger state schools, being a mass media major usually means a lot of waiting. But at Baker University, our students have the opportunity to contribute to award-winning, student-run print and online newspapers, radio, and TV stations as early as the second semester of their freshman year. To create a personalized education experience, we offer three tracks for media majors—public relations, multimedia, and sports media—designed with flexible, integrated curriculum to fit your interests.

 

GET INVOLVED

Baker mass media students have a multitude of opportunities for involvement in and out of the classroom, including the award-winning media outlets KNBU-TV, KNBU-FM, and the Baker Orange newspaper.

DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS

Professors will work with you in small classroom settings to learn the skills that interest you. You’ll have abundant opportunities to go above and beyond, building your portfolio as soon as day one.

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT

Our students, from freshmen to seniors, can be found in the press box at Liston Stadium, broadcasting Baker football games on ESPN3, winning Pacemaker and personal awards at national journalism competitions, and interning at multimillion dollar public relations firms in Kansas City.

MEET LIFELONG MENTORS

Relationships with professors extend beyond the classroom and beyond graduation. Students are regularly invited back to campus to speak after graduation, and professors continually provide graduates with career and professional advice.

TERA | Multimedia Major, Class of 2014

As a freshman, Tera joined the staff of the university newspaper. She was an award-winning photographer, print designer, and graphic designer. As a senior, she interned as a photographer for the Kansas City Chiefs. And after graduating, she worked with the Atlanta Falcons and she is now with the Daytona International Speedway.

TAYLOR | Mass Media Major, Class of 2016

Taylor’s main interest lies in graphic design, but when the position for editor of The Baker Orange opened up, she knew from her experiences in the Baker Department of Mass Media that she would be a perfect candidate. During her time as editor, she won many awards, both regionally and nationally, and even recruited many of her sorority sisters to the staff. She came to Baker with a passion and graduated with the knowledge needed to tackle any media job in her future.

KHADIJAH | Exercise Science Major, Class of 2016

Although she’s not a media major, Khadijah spent much time with the Baker Orange, working as the photography editor and logging numerous hours in the newsroom. She found a passion for photography and was able to earn a participation award and a work-study position, both of which helped her fund her college experience.

CAREERS

Our mass media majors have landed these jobs:

  • Digital media coordinator for NFL teams
  • Social media specialist
  • New York Times best-selling author
  • Broadcast journalist
  • Public relations coordinator

%

of graduates are employed full time or enrolled in graduate school within six months of receiving their diploma.

MASS MEDIA TRACKS

MULTIMEDIA
The multimedia track reflects the modern version of traditional journalism in online and digital forms. The multimedia track emphasizes strong writing skills and production knowledge including publications design and video editing. Students on this track are also exposed to the growing demand for digital skills such as website creation and management. Completing the multimedia track prepares students for jobs in traditional newsroom settings, internet-based companies, and graphic-intensive fields.
PUBLIC RELATIONS
One of the fastest growing professional fields is public relations. PR practitioners shape organizational messages and craft organizational images. Understanding the ways in which media operate and respond to PR messages is central to the Baker program. PR professionals are the ones who plan, execute, and evaluate an entity’s communication plan, be it through agency, corporate, or nonprofit positions. Students who complete the mass media major on the PR track will be ready to work in this exciting field, but they will also have the versatility to work in sales, marketing, advertising, and corporate communications.
SPORTS MEDIA
The sports media track takes the best elements of our multimedia and public relations tracks and combines them with elements of sports management and administration. Students on the sports media track will emerge from the program with valuable professional skills that are in demand for careers in sports public relations or college sports information offices. Sports media students are also well prepared to pursue careers in sports broadcasting.
Course Descriptions

R: course can be repeated for credit; P/NC: course graded on a pass/no credit basis

Courses required for these programs are listed in the current catalog.

MM 105 – Basic Video Production

This course will review and refine editing and camera skills while focusing on development of storyline, pre-production, and post production. Enrollment limited to students in Blue Valley’s CAPS concurrent credit program (3 credit hours)

MM 140 – Mass Media and Society

This course is a study of the technological growth and impact of our media environment on the individual and society as a whole. Special emphasis is placed on the political-legal, economic, sociological, and psychological effects of mass media on American life. (3 credit hours)

MM 170 – Digital Photography I

This course provides instruction in black and white photographic procedures including shooting, processing, and printing techniques. In addition to classroom time, weekly darkroom time is required as scheduled. The student must provide a camera appropriate for the course. (3 credit hours)

MM 205 – Introduction to Broadcasting

This course is designed to introduce both majors and non-majors to radio and television broadcasting. Television and radio will be explored as sources of both entertainment and information. Students will examine the historical roots of broadcasting but focus most of their attention on the modern-day challenges faced by the industry, such as shifts in media ownership, media convergence, and ethical dilemmas. Programming genres, including talk radio, reality TV, and news, will also be explored. (3 credit hours)

MM 230 – Digital Media I

This course will emphasize basic skills for digital media, including photography, Web design, and content management. Students will have hands-on instruction for incorporating a variety of media – such as text, graphics, audio, still photography, and video – onto a single platform. While the class primarily focuses on Internet-related media production, students may also be able to adapt content for other uses. (3 credit hours)

MM 232 – Graphic Design I

This course is an introduction to graphic design as a form of visual communication through the use of image, form, color, and type. The course will consist of a series of lectures, daily critiques, demos, in-class discussion, and in-class work time. Students will be introduced to the fundamental principles of graphic design and will explore formal composition principals, graphic design methodology, and approaches to digital layout. The course will include practical exercises in visual perception, visual organization, and visual communication. (Cross-listed as AS 232 and GD 232.) (3 credit hours)

MM 241 – Newspaper/Online Workshop

This is the laboratory course in newspaper. Students in this course are members of the newspaper staff and will participate in production of The Baker Orange and Orange Online in at least one of the following ways: writing, editing, layout and design, photography, pagination, circulation, or advertising sales. The course is designed to prepare students for internships and permanent employment in the print and online news media by acquainting them with the industry’s professional standards. Prerequisite: MM 170 or MM 250 or permission of the instructor. R (1 credit hour)

MM 243 – Radio

Students will work as members of the staff of KNBU-FM, the campus educational non-commercial radio station. They will be responsible for maintaining a weekly shift on the radio station as well as preparing the necessary production elements to support their on-air activities. R (1 credit hour)

MM 244 – Television

Students will work as members of the staff of KNBU-TV, the campus educational cable TV access channel. This class will focus on the creation of video projects that will be used as programming on KNBU-TV. Students will also discuss how to get a job in the television industry. R (1 credit hour)

MM 248 – PR Workshop

In this workshop, students will share and critique work created in the course, become familiar with the Public Relations Society of America’s code of ethics, and make presentations of their work to various constituencies. Students will prepare a portfolio of their work which will be evaluated at the end of the semester and can be used to seek professional internships and employment. Prerequisites: MM 250 and 260. R (1 credit hour)

MM 250 – Writing for Mass Media

This course teaches basic news reporting and writing skills for print and online media with an emphasis on recognizing and weighing news values and developing news judgment and news ethics. (3 credit hours)

MM 260 – Introduction to Public Relations

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts and principles of public relations. Students will learn the very different ways PR can be viewed from organization to organization and the various roles PR practitioners might play depending on corporate or organizational structure. Issues of message development, strategy, development of publics, research, writing, and post-message evaluation will also be emphasized. (3 credit hours)

MM 261 – Public Relations Writing

This course will include instruction and writing practice designed to develop the professional-level writing skills expected of public relations practitioners. The instructor will emphasize approaches required for corporate, agency, and non-profit approaches, as well as writing suitable for different audiences and media forms. Prerequisite: MM 260. (3 credit hours)

MM 270 – Sports Broadcasting

This course emphasizes performance with a focus on play-by-play in football and basketball. Students will also receive voice training. The course will teach students how to prepare and deliver game broadcasts and sports shows in a professional manner with lab work in the field and on campus station KNBU-FM. (3 credit hours)

MM 271 – Sports Broadcasting Lab

This workshop course is designed to give students an outlet through which they can practice and hone the skills learned during MM 270. Prerequisite: MM 270. R; P/NC (1 credit hour)

MM 285 – Introduction to Social Media

This course explores the ways in which social media have grown beyond interpersonal curiosities to become required tools of use for many professionals, including journalists, public relations practitioners, and those in business fields like marketing and advertising. Students will investigate the ways in which social media contribute to the public sphere beyond personal relationships, including political and economic power, reflections of culture, and privacy issues. Students will leave the course with a greater understanding of social media and the ways in which they contribute to personal and professional endeavors. (3 credit hours)

MM 310 – Sports Writing

This course will acquaint students with the professional expectations for sports writing and announcing. Students will write sports-related stories, including features, game coverage, and columns. Students will learn via hands-on assignments involving university athletic teams. Prerequisite: MM 250 or permission of the instructor. (3 credit hours)

MM 320 – Video Production

This class is designed to introduce students to the basic principles of video production. The course will emphasize knowledge of four major components of media production: content acquisition, encoding of data, editing, and data storage. Students will learn not only how to identify worthwhile media content and how to operate cameras and editing equipment, they will also learn the finer techniques of production including video shot composition, edit sequencing, and digital video effects. Upon completion of the course, students will create a major project that may air on KNBU-TV, Baker’s student-operated television station. (3 credit hours)

MM 325 – Advertising

This course focuses on the role of mass media advertising in a free market economy. Advertising is examined from both a management and creative perspective, emphasizing both the theoretical and practical aspects of organization and staffing, marketing research, consumer behavior, media buying, advertising/marketing strategy and tactics, planning, evaluation, design/art/graphics, copy writing, and advertising agency/client relations. (3 credit hours)

MM 330 – Digital Media II

This course will emphasize advanced skills for digital media, including photography, Web design, and content management. Following a two-week review of fundamentals and a three-week overview of interactive software, the class will be organized around a series of intensive hands-on projects requiring the integration of text, graphics, audio, still photography, and video. Students will produce projects intended for Baker University student media or area commercial media outlets. While the class primarily focuses on Internet-related media production, students may also be able to adapt content for other uses. Prerequisite: MM 230 with a grade of C or higher. (3 credit hours)

MM 331 – Mass Media Ethics

This course is designed to give mass media practitioners and consumers an understanding of ethical decision-making in American newsrooms and other venues in which media content is created. This discussion-based course is tailored to upperclassmen and exceptional sophomores who have a basic knowledge of the press and other media. A substantial research project is required. (3 credit hours)

MM 332 – Graphic Design II

This is an intermediate-level course increasing the skills acquired in Graphic Design I. The course will expand further into color theory, advanced typography, project portfolio creation, and client-based project development. Concepts that will be explored include planning procedures, creating thumbnail sketches, creating digital layouts, final design creation, and publication. Students will be expected to use math skills to calculate image size, resolution, and document layout/positioning. Each project is designed to develop problem-solving skills and encourage collaboration as well as portfolio management. Students will use computer applications in this course, including Adobe Illustrator for logo/vector images and Adobe Photoshop for photographic image editing. Prerequisite: AS/GD/MM 232. (Cross-listed as AS 332 and GD 332.) (3 credit hours)

MM 340 – Public Relations Cases

This upper-college level course is designed to apply many of the principles learned by students in introductory public relations coursework. Students will explore elements that contribute to successful strategy development for corporate, agency, and nonprofit public relations, and then examine specific case studies that illustrate the variety of challenges that might present themselves to public relations practitioners. Before learning final case outcomes, students will be challenged to identify positive and negative characteristics of the cases under examination. Prerequisite: MM 260. (3 credit hours)

MM 341 – Editing

This course provides instruction in the editing and rewrite techniques for print and online news, including spelling, grammar, headline writing, and style according to the Associated Press Style and Libel Manual. Prerequisite: MM 250 or two writing courses in English. (Cross-listed as EN 341.) (3 credit hours)

MM 342 – Publications Design

This course develops skills used in the design and production of newspapers and other print media. Special attention will be paid to page layout, publications design, and computer pagination. (3 credit hours)

MM 345 – Advanced Reporting

This course places emphasis on developing reportorial expertise within the student’s specialty, including developing interviewing techniques; writing multi-source stories; investigative, interpretive, public affairs, and sports reporting; feature and opinion/editorial writing; and special interests reporting (finance, education, music and culture, entertainment, science, etc.). Prerequisite: MM 250 with a grade of C or higher. (3 credit hours)

MM 370 – Digital Photography II

This course emphasizes advanced photographic techniques, with emphasis on producing pictures that tell stories. Prerequisite: MM 170 or AS 170 or permission of the instructor. (Cross-listed as AS 370.) (3 credit hours)

MM 376 – Media Theory and Methods

This course introduces students to key mass media theories in an effort to understand how media affect audiences and societies. Prerequisite: Junior or senior status. (3 credit hours)

MM 420 – Race, Gender, and Sports Media

Race and gender inequities form central tensions in American culture and historically have manifested prominently in sport. Media coverage of athletes and their competition has framed these issues for the American public and constructed narratives about race and gender that have informed public attitudes. Through a historical examination of such major sports stories as Jackie Robinson’s crossing of the color line in baseball and the Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs tennis match, this course will examine the way in which media coverage contributed to public perceptions of race and gender relations. Prerequisite: Junior or senior status. (3 credit hours)

MM 430 – Opinion Writing

This is a course for experienced and confident writers who want to develop their skills within the genre of opinion writing, specifically editorials, reviews, and columns. Students will read and discuss examples of these persuasive writing forms and will experiment with various approaches through written assignments. In addition, students will receive extensive practice critiquing the work of classmates. Students should be comfortable having their writing discussed in class. Prerequisite: MM 250 or two writing courses in English. (3 credit hours)

MM 450 – Teaching Scholastic Journalism

Fall semester only
This course focuses on the historical, legal, ethical, business, and editorial theory/philosophy of scholastic journalism with an emphasis on the problems and practical aspects of producing high school newspapers and yearbooks. Emphasis is placed on the styles and techniques of basic news, feature, sports, opinion, and editorial writing. Special emphasis is placed on the restrictions and restraints placed on scholastic journalism by recent court decisions and the legal and ethical parameters in which responsible student journalists must operate. MM 450 is designed to develop instructional skills required of secondary teachers. The course will involve many activities related to teaching including developing a) instructional strategies that will enhance the learning at all levels, b) lesson plans and delivering lessons, c) meaningful classroom learning activities, d) technology applications, e) student outcomes and assessments, f) teaching techniques for diverse learners, and g) effective communication with parents. Candidates will create a list of and use effective teaching strategies and develop technology applications and problem-solving skills for the classroom. In addition, candidates will develop student assessments and rubrics and create student behavior plans and learning modifications for the secondary classroom. Prerequisite: MM 250 and 341, ED 100, 243, and 244; junior status recommended. (3 credit hours)

MM 470 – Public Relations Campaigns

This course will allow students to take the informational and theoretical foundations from previous Public Relations courses and apply their knowledge to the development of a full-fledged PR campaign. Students will work with community organizations to develop a campaign that emphasizes research, planning, communication, and evaluation – all while keeping the client’s wants and needs in mind. Students will work in groups to develop campaigns, with the goal of producing an extensive portfolio outlining their proposal. Upon completion of the class, the plan will be handed off to the organization in hopes that they will carry out the proposal. Students will also emerge with a portfolio suitable for presentation to potential employers. Prerequisites: MM 260, MM 261, and MM 340. (3 credit hours)

MM 476 – Senior Seminar in Mass Media

This course is the culmination of study for Mass Media majors at Baker University. Students will use the class as an opportunity to review what they have learned in previous courses, to examine current issues relating to relevant topics, and to provide a sense of completion for coursework. Students will discuss ways to seek employment in the media and the reasons why one might wish to attend graduate school. They will also complete a major paper applying mass media principles and present it before peers and program faculty. Prerequisites: MM 376 with a grade of C or higher and senior status. (3 credit hours)

MM 478 – Mass Media Law

This course is designed to acquaint the student with the ramifications and interpretations of laws and court decisions relating to mass communications law. Prerequisite: Junior status or permission of the instructor. (3 credit hours)

MM 280, 480 – Media Practica

The Mass Media Practicum is a value-added internship experience designed to prepare future mass communicators for the media professions, to assist them with their entry into the working world, and to provide an opportunity for students to share their experiences with other students. Prerequisites: At least one semester’s participation in MM 241, 243, 244, or 248. For MM 480: MM 280 or permission of instructor. R; P/NC (3 credit hours)

Scholarships

The Department of Mass Media and Visual Arts gives these awards with financial prizes to be applied to the following year’s tuition:

  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Art
  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Mass Media
  • Lloyd E. Ligon Memorial Scholarship
  • Eulalia Weber Guise Scholarship
  • Eugene C. Pulliam Journalism Scholarship
  • David Sloop Memorial Scholarship
  • Sherri Wood Memorial Scholarship
  • Nancy and Carl Spear Scholarship
  • Jerry Holley Scholarship
  • Frank and Joyce Leitnaker Scholarship
  • Harold Davis Colburn Scholarship
  • Jesse L. Jones Scholarship

STUDENT LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

DIALOGOS RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM
Dialogos creates opportunities for the free exchange of ideas among scholars. Students from every part of the academy present original works, in a variety of forms and mediums, and engage with an interdisciplinary community of peers, staff and faculty. The symposium also features a keynote address from a prominent Baker alum. Through open and critical discussion, participants learn from and contribute to the betterment of the whole. At Dialogos, to quote John Wesley, we "think and let think."
Dialogos creates opportunities for the free exchange of ideas among scholars. Students from every part of the academy present original works, in a variety of forms and mediums, and engage with an interdisciplinary community of peers, staff and faculty. The symposium also features a keynote address from a prominent Baker alum. Through open and critical discussion, participants learn from and contribute to the betterment of the whole. At Dialogos, to quote John Wesley, we "think and let think."
BOOK Program
Students are encouraged to participate in the BOOK Program (Baker Organizational Observation for Knowledge) to enhance their internship experiences. The program encourages students to look deeper into organizations by researching the history, mission, structure, products and services, finances and management of the company. At the conclusion of the program, presentations are given in front of a panel of judges who choose the winner of a cash prize.
BOOK Program
Students are encouraged to participate in the BOOK Program (Baker Organizational Observation for Knowledge) to enhance their internship experiences. The program encourages students to look deeper into organizations by researching the history, mission, structure, products and services, finances and management of the company. At the conclusion of the program, presentations are given in front of a panel of judges who choose the winner of a cash prize.

FACULTY

Joe Watson

Dr. Joe Watson

Associate Professor of Mass Media, Chair of Department of Mass Media & Visual Arts | joe.watson@bakerU.edu

Dr. Joe Watson has always been a news junkie. And after an Emmy-winning career in the field, he took to teaching students the ins and outs of media. For him, the most rewarding part of teaching is being able to develop relationships with his students—ones that tend to last way past graduation. But more than that, he enjoys being a part of a department that “allows students to get their hands dirty.” When he’s not busy molding the minds of future journalists and broadcasters, he travels around the world and learns world languages.

B.A. Pittsburg State University, M.A. The University of Akron, Ph.D. Kent State University
Expertise: broadcasting, broadcast news
Office: Pulliam 205 | 785.594.7855

DaveBostwickDave Bostwick

Associate Professor of Mass Media, Adviser to Online Student Media | dave.bostwick@bakerU.edu
Like any media professional, Dave Bostwick is always learning. With the evolution of technology, he is able to keep growing and adapting his skills in order to teach his students what is current. He loves being able to see students contribute as early as day one on campus to student media outlets and apply many of the skills they learn in class with hands-on approaches.

B.A. University of Oklahoma, M.A. Fort Hays State University
Expertise: digital media
Office: Pulliam 302 | 785.594.8321

Tom Hedrick

Tom Hedrick

Instructor of Mass Media & Communication, Voice of the Wildcats | tom.hedrick@bakerU.edu

B.A. Baker University, M.A. University of Kansas
Expertise: broadcasting, member of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame
Office: Pulliam 304 | 785.594.4541

CONTACT US

Kathy Elliott
Department Assistant
Mass Media & Visual Arts
Office: Pulliam 206
785.594.4509
kathy.elliott@bakerU.edu