From the foundational principles of effective leadership to budgeting, this course is designed to familiarize students with the business of media management, from macro to micro. After reviewing the historical foundations of media industries in the 19th century, this course introduces students to the structures, processes, and economics of the modern digital media business. It explores the economics of media convergence and evolving communications technologies and their impact on the internal operations of media organizations, a knowledge of which will prove essential for students pursuing careers in broadcasting, marketing, advertising, public relations or content strategy.
This course provides an introduction to essential theories of communication and traces the history of communication from early oral traditions through the dawn of literacy, mass media and the digital age, with an emphasis on how technologies of the past two centuries have shaped communication, and how emerging technologies, social media and online communities are continually changing the nature, quality and, most importantly, the impacts of information we share with each other.
This course is an introduction to the theory and practices of visual communication design. Students learn how visual artefacts, as deployed in news and information media, advertising, marketing communications, publicity and social media, influence cultural understanding as well as consumer behavior. They consider the unique powers of visual media and explore ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of images. They also learn fundamental theories of good design and apply these to the critique and analysis of a range of visual communications such as posters, magazine covers, online publications and marketing materials.
This course introduces students to research and writing at the university level and in particular for media and communication studies. In addition to reviewing and refining grammar, construction and composition skills, students learn the fundamentals of effective storytelling as well as the basics of media writing; i.e. writing and researching for consumer media such as journalism, public relations and/or marketing platforms. It covers academic essay-writing, researching primary and secondary sources, crafting theses related to media and communication studies and using academic citation and style.
Students in this course learn and practice the fundamentals of operating a DSLR camera. They learn how to use and adjust the camera to achieve different kinds of images; the different contexts (e.g. commercial, news, portraiture) that require different styles and approaches to image-making and styling; basic use of software to modify photographs (and when this is appropriate); and how to prepare images for print. Students also explore the history and impact of photography on communication via mass media from newspapers and photojournalism, through commercial contexts such as advertising and promotion, to online uses including social media. Students study and analyze important and influential photographs and photographers.
Drawing on concepts and practices from the field of Organizational Behaviour, including understanding of group dynamics and communication skills, this course gives students the skills that will not only allow them to form and work in successful, collaborative groups throughout university, but also form the foundation for leadership roles in their professional lives. Students will learn how to properly communicate and work effectively with others while developing their leadership skills.
This course traces the history of journalism from ancient times to the networked digital age, exploring how political, economic, social, legal and technological contexts have shaped the news media and vice versa. Students learn the core concepts of journalistic theory, practice and ethics, how these are deployed across various media platforms. Students are also introduced to the components and practices of transmedia storytelling.
This course will introduce students to the historical and social contexts of advertising, marketing and public relations. It will explore how practices, theories, ethics and regulation have evolved, as well as the differences and similarities among promotion, marketing, advertising and public relations. Students will learn how practitioners deploy theories of communication to persuade audiences and to create and reinforce brand identity. They will examine the wide range of tools and methods these practitioners use, and create an integrated communications plan that demonstrates their knowledge of these methods.
In this course journalism students learn the essential skills of news story research and development including developing and mining sources of information and story leads; creating, refining and pitching concepts; conducting research and honing interviewing skills. They learn how to cover events and announcements and are introduced to the different demands of key beats such as crime, courts, government, entertainment and sports, as well as those by different media (print, online, audio, video).
Students study the diverse organizational and industrial structures of the media, and how they are affected by the political economy and political systems. They explore the roles of media in democratic and totalitarian states; and the role of politics and policy - with a focus on Canada - on the regulation of media. In addition to understanding debates over such issues as access to information and censorship, students learn and debate the ways political parties and governments communicate with citizens and vice versa, and how they use various media to influence each other.
In this course, students focus on the fundamental elements of writing, style, substantive editing and copy editing which form the basis of all journalistic content production. An understanding of news values aids in the selection and writing of stories for publication. In addition to identifying, pitching, researching and writing compelling news stories and features, students analyze the writing of peers and identify and fix factual, spelling, grammar and syntax errors in their own and colleagues' writing and communicate the needed changes in a clear and positive manner. Students learn the essentials of compelling packaging, including basic typography and display writing as well as incorporating images and video with text.
Focusing on a key element of public relations practice, students examine the range of roles and functions of journalists, analysts and commentators in news outlets, magazines and other media organizations, and learn how to work with these entities to achieve public relations goals. They dissect the impact of media coverage on organizations, discover how these media connect with other key stakeholder groups, learn to develop targeted media relations strategies and discover the tools and skills required to work both proactively and reactively with the media.
This course introduces students to the concept and practices of specialized or "beat" reporting. Students mine sources for, research and develop pitches for stories in assigned areas (e.g. government, politics, courts, education, the environment, entertainment, business, sports, etc.). They determine the best approaches and media for covering announcements, meetings, events and soft and hard news. and write such journalistic staples as news stories, features, reviews, opinion columns and editorials.
Students apply their foundational understanding of design theory to the practical creation of original designs. Using industry-standard software, students learn and practice digital tools to create graphic artefacts, manipulate and incorporate photographic images into designs, experiment with colour, choose, manipulate and integrate text and design basic but cohesive layouts involving multiple elements. This course is prerequisite to Visual Communication Specialization classes in Years 3 and 4.
In this course, students learn the differences and similarities between academic writing and writing and editing for popular and commercial media. They learn to use the principles, structures and tools deployed in producing media for popular consumption, to analyze classic news values deployed by media professionals and to apply these to creating original content. They develop interview skills and learn how to conduct background research and write stories using structures common to news, public relations, marketing, strategic communications and commercial content.
This course acquaints students with social media's "origin story" and allows them to explore the many forces that have shaped its evolution, such as the rapid development of technology and changing sociocultural and commercial attitudes toward their use. Students will examine social media's increasingly pronounced impact on the formation and expression of identity, public policy, and cultural values. Further, students will explore and debate current issues in social media discourse, such as bullying, addiction, the democratization of media, regulation and ownership.
In this course, students explore the evolving and increasingly complex relationship between narrative and what media theorist Henry Jenkins describes as "convergence culture." After getting acquainted with current theories on transmedia and its somewhat dependent relationship with developing communication technologies, students will storyboard a transmedia narrative for potential development in subsequent courses. Leveraging both established and burgeoning media platforms, students learn how to tell stories across multiple media rather than being restricted to the confines of just one platform.
In this course, students learn the history of alternative media, how and why alternative media have developed in Canada and how social media and the internet are driving the refinement and creation of new variations of the form, such as podcasts, social media posts and newsletters. The course explains how writers, producers and publishers both of alternative media and within legacy (mass) media have used these platforms to influence behavior and effect societal, political and public policy change.
In this course, students learn how professionals in almost every media sector - journalists, public relations practitioners, marketing professionals and content strategists - access, gather, store and use data. They learn how to source quantitative data as well as mine social and other public media for detailed and precise information that they can then use to create content for specific audiences, map and analyze consumer behavior, and influence public opinion. Students learn how data helps practitioners build a story that audiences will not only believe, but also feel.
This course allows students to develop proficiency in creating quality digital images using industry-standard software. Students learn capture management techniques including managing tethered capture and how to import, organize, select, manipulate, archive, proof and otherwise process and manage photographs. Students study and practice the image-making process from shooting through final production, including photo retouching and manipulation.
Students in this course learn and practice the fundamentals of working in a studio, concentrating on tethered image capture and lighting techniques. Students learn the terminology of, and differences between, types of studio lighting, and which are suited to disparate contexts and content demands. In the studio, they practice working with different light sources, equipment and accessories; learn safety protocols and experiment with different subjects, although the primary focus is on portraiture and commercial applications. Note: students use images taken in this class in concurrent photography courses.
This course gives students a thorough grounding in the magazine industry in Canada, including its history, role and sociocultural impacts, and evolution into multimedia, online formats and other technological innovations. Students learn the roles of various functions and personnel on a magazine team, and the stages of production from audience engagement to developing brand guidelines, mandates and concepts. They also apply writing, research and editing skills to writing a variety of magazine feature stories and editing those of their peers.
In this course, students learn and practice the writing and production techniques demanded by video journalism, including television broadcast, online news and video-sharing sites and as part of multimedia productions. Students learn how to write for the ear and for the eye; to use cameras, sound, and editing software; to interview on camera and incorporate clips and footage into compelling video journalism stories. Students review the work of professional video journalists, analyze how video is incorporated into online news sites and multimedia productions and critically evaluate the effectiveness of television newscasts.
In this course students develop their analytical, organizational, and creative thinking skills as they prepare detailed live and virtual special event plans, learn to conduct effective meetings with clients and colleagues, develop budgets, draft project plans strategies, detail elements of execution and consider evaluation methods
Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course critically examines how the media construct, reinforce, and maintain perceptions of the world, the development of cultures and concepts of identity. It explores the role of various media, including social media, on the development of a sense of self, including issues related to gender, sexuality, class, race, ethnicity and ability and disability, and that identity within the broader environments of culture and subcultures.
In this course, students acquire a working knowledge of the roles and functions of governments in Canada, from a public affairs perspective. They analyze the range of strategies and comprehensive communications tools used by public affairs practitioners, government activities, policies, and regulations, as well as those deployed on behalf of government departments and elected officials to disseminate information and influence public opinion and behaviours. Students study how Canada's multi-party, three level political systems coincide with bureaucratic structures to drive major decision-making and the parliamentary legislative process.
In this course, students apply their knowledge of CP style, grammar, syntax and composition to the creation of a variety of public relations content. Students learn to develop and pitch concepts, identify and mine credible research sources, interview sources and incorporate research, including quotes, into persuasive drafts. They also learn to edit the work of their peers, communicate required changes clearly and tactfully and incorporate feedback into revisions.
Students in this course acquire the skills demanded by shooting photography on location, including in a variety of interior and exterior environments and conditions. They study the use of portable lighting equipment in supplementing and manipulating natural and artificial light. They explore and practice all steps and aspects of location shoots including planning, research, preproduction and postproduction - through to compiling and presenting a complete portfolio.
Students in this course learn to design projects in different formats, and for specific audiences, messaging and objectives. They learn the fundamentals of typography; how to write and design according to a creative brief; the differences between designing for print and online, as well as between journalistic (news and information) environments compared to those of marketing and corporate communications. They learn how use visual language to execute branding objectives, and create a complex design project that demonstrates knowledge of the advanced capabilities of digital graphic design software.
In this course, students leverage writing skills by applying them to different audiences and projects such as speeches, annual/quarterly reports and employee newsletters. Students learn how to write in voices other than their own (for example, those of CEOs or other senior management). Working in a team, students hone organizational, teamwork, analytical and writing skills by such activities as drafting a response to a request for proposal and presenting an integrated campaign with multiple written components.
In this course, students discover the power and production techniques of audio journalism, including broadcast radio stories and features, podcasts and in multimedia productions. The course provides an overview of journalistic radio formats including public and private radio, as well as podcast distribution and consumption. Students learn and practice the essential skills of audio journalism including writing, interviewing, using sound and clips, creating a newscast lineup and editing using industry-standard software.
This course provides Media Studies students with focused exposure to the research methods most frequently employed in their field, along with practical experience evaluating the challenges and advantages of these methods. This course requires students to consider the methodological options available for their focused research initiative in their final year, conduct a review of scholarly literature related to a specific topic of thesis proposal, and outline a preliminary research proposal.
This course introduces students to the key terms, concepts and techniques required to plan, shoot and produce short videos for purposes such as promotion, documentation and corporate communication. Students work individually and in groups to plan, shoot, edit and produce video using cameras, lights and accessories; demonstrate basic storytelling skills; edit visuals and sound using industry-standard software; constructively critique and analyze their own work and that of peers, and incorporate feedback into final productions.
This course provides an overview as well as a foundation in the fundamentals of media management. The basic functions of media as a business and management to be examined include: operations, human resources, advertising sales and marketing, finance, and strategic management. Business ownership, competition within a digital environment, and the political and economic realities of media as a business in Canada today will also be discussed.
In this course, students learn how to proactively monitor, protect and enhance an organization's greatest asset - its reputation. Through case studies, individual and interactive group work, students learn how to earn and maintain the trust and loyalty of stakeholders, prepare for crises, prioritize audiences and messages and develop a social responsibility strategy to build reputational resiliency.
In this course, students explore the roles and responsibilities of art directors, production designers and production design teams in executing significant visual communications initiatives such branding and rebranding campaigns, marketing programs and major projects. Through case studies and assignments, students analyze and experience the entire design project lifecycle from pitching, budgeting, and negotiating with clients, through design and editing to the final presentation of a polished campaign.
This course provides an overview as well as a foundation for further studies of all aspects of marketing as practiced in Canada today. Product, price, promotion and distribution frameworks are examined both as separate and integrated subsets of the marketing mix within strategies oriented toward satisfying consumer wants and needs to achieve organizational objectives. Students will develop a specific marketing plan as well as related marketing strategies.
This course examines the advertising process, its role, use, methods, purposes and limitations in addressing the strategic objectives of organizations. Students become familiar with industry roles, agency operations, client management, media planning and budgeting while developing ethical and socially responsible advertising campaigns for broadcast, digital and print platforms.
In this course, students will examine a number of theories pertaining to leadership as well as describe and evaluate specific leadership styles. Through and case studies, students will analyze different perspectives on how leadership is evolving in a variety of large, small, and corporate media organizations within Canada and internationally.
Students in this course explore engaged (or "social") journalism, produced with and not just for communities and readers. They discover how to deploy this 21st-century concept to creating more impactful journalism by building relationships and collaborating with audiences. They learn the skills, tools and methods that journalists in the world's leading newsrooms use to prioritize and meet the information needs of audiences, and how to apply them in their own practices.
This course introduces students to content strategy as an increasingly prominent technique for businesses to reach their broader organizational objectives by starting and sustaining mutually beneficial relationships with their target audiences. Students develop fluency with not only the techniques and practices associated with this type of strategic communication, but also with the integral components of a strategic campaign. From understanding the concept of a project's lifecycle to engaging with its metrics to planning and creating content, students gain an overview of this field and understand its use and implications for a range of media practices including journalism, marketing and public relations.
This course introduces students to the language and terminology associated with Strategic Content Management. This course will familiarize students with foundational data measurement tools and teach them how to collect and analyze valuable user data. From usability to accessibility, this course will get students comfortable with collecting and interpreting information in order to evaluate the success of existing content and plan exciting new promotional campaigns.
Using industry best-practices and techniques, students will learn how to make richly interactive and animated websites to host their own media and content. Students will be exposed to some basic development in the current most popular languages, to help take their websites to the next level. Animation and design techniques to support both old and new browser technologies will be explored.
As an introduction to the concepts, tools and storytelling potential of Extended Reality (XR), this course allows students to experience and experiment with immersive technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR). In addition to gaining a theoretical understanding of the impactful tools offered by XR, students will explore its diverse applications including in immersive journalism, documentary film and video and marketing. Students will learn XR production and storytelling techniques that they will apply to the creation of their own XR media.
This course details strategic selling principles and models. Students develop skills required for planning and making sales calls and cultivating productive relationships with clients. The course covers prospecting, conducting sales meetings, making sales presentations and negotiating in the digital age. In addition, students learn the consultative approach to selling different media platforms either separately or in conjunction with one another.
In this course, students learn how the demands, genres and techniques of photojournalism differ from those of commercial, artistic and documentary photography, as well as the legal and ethical guidelines that photojournalists in Canada follow. Exercises and assignments allow them to develop techniques and skills on both smartphone cameras and multilens DSLRs for a variety of hard- and soft-news projects for both editorial and commercial applications.
In this course students learn, develop and practice the skills they need to apply academic learning (both theoretical and practical) to the real-world environments of internships, career development, employment and the workforce. Students explore the roles of media professionals, workforce structures and employment landscapes relative to their specializations, and become familiar with how media initiatives and projects are pitched, staffed, funded and delivered. They also learn the importance and methods of developing a professional identity and brand, including assembling an appropriate portfolio, pitching materials and interviewing for roles, jobs and positions.
This course shows students how media professionals, working in a landscape defined by abundance and complication, tailor content to cut through the distortion of an overcrowded market to reach a narrowly defined audience target with a particular set of interests and behaviours. Students learn how major search engines work and how they prioritize certain types of content by relevance and popularity, and explore the mechanics of search algorithms, mathematical optimization, and semantics in order keep their content current, relevant, and accessible.
This course guides students through the multifaceted process of designing and implementing a social media campaign that demonstrates an awareness of the client's brand identity and their relationship to the consumer base. Leveraging a case study approach, students analyze both the strengths and weaknesses of existing social media initiatives and apply this knowledge to their social media campaigns for theoretical clients. Depending on the needs of the client, students will explore the challenges of branding, choosing the appropriate combination of social media platforms, and selecting the visual and textual elements that properly communicate the client's desired brand identity.
In this course, students discover the many different roles within an organization that contribute to the planning, production, implementation and maintenance of quality content. In particular, students become familiar with the foundational stages of a strategic content campaign and learn to harness an organization's personnel and existing content assets in order to reach an overarching business goal. Students simulate the content strategy process, create a balanced, time-conscious workflow, design a realistic budget and learn to leverage and focus the talents of a UX designer, information architect, developer, data analyst and other members of a content strategy team. As part of a lifecycle overview, students will ultimately work toward the production of a content template map, process workflow diagram and content calendar.
Navigating a client relationship, whether as an agency employee or an independent practitioner, involves a number of skills: from effective and competitive pitching, to contract writing, to managing expectations, to navigating legal and ethical imperatives. In this course, students learn to manage clients of various kinds (i.e. small not-for-profits to large corporations) through all stages of a project or campaign and in an ongoing, profitable relationship.
Students in this course focus on the creation of motion graphics and incorporating them into compelling designs using industry-standard software. In addition to evaluating the uses, applications and effectiveness of motion graphics, students apply them to the creation of successful information and marketing vehicles such as advertisements, social media campaigns, PSAs and other communications vehicles.
Students in this course explore the ways in which social media have empowered consumers, while simultaneously creating a multitude of opportunities for organizations to engage with consumers in real time. They learn how marketers gather important data from social media and gain insights that allow them to create and deploy highly targeted campaigns. Students discover how to use powerful analytics tools, such as engagement analytics, social network analysis, sentiment analysis and targeted influence, to leverage social media data to meet marketing objectives.
In this course, students explore the various measurement and data analytic methods used to collect and interpret information about a client's competitors. They learn how to use basic content metrics to evaluate the success of existing content items, research and critique competitor content, and develop and execute a new promotional campaign designed to meet business goals.
In this course, students focus their broader investigation of the project lifecycle with an in-depth examination of content audit and analysis processes. To design an effective promotional campaign, the content strategist must analyze the efficacy of the organization's existing digital assets in order to determine which items are advancing, and which are hindering, the pursuit of business objectives. To this end, students will conduct detailed content inventories, qualitative and quantitative analyses of asset performance, and metadata analytics aimed at leveraging existing resources to promote audience engagement. Students will then propose a strategic campaign based on the results of a detailed positioning report that includes these metrics.
In this course, students explore the demands and practices that are specific to common specialties in public relations, such as community relations, employee engagement, donor or sponsor relations and investor relations. They learn how professionals in these areas define and target their audiences, about the tools and methods specific to each discipline and how they align and work with other functions in a professional or work environment. Students also examine key differences in the priorities and methods used by not-for-profit and for-profit organizations.
In this course, students learn how to leverage their existing skills to monetize the provision of a valued service with the development of a freelancing or small business agenda. Drawing on their project management skills, students will learn about bidding, contracts, and industry standards. Further, students will learn to harness their network and reputations to acquire new clients, position themselves as desirable industry experts, and develop multiple revenue sources in order to secure and maintain a consistent income.
In this class, students conduct the foundational research, analysis, project planning and organization required to execute their capstone projects the subsequent semester. By researching multidiscipline, multimedia projects such as publications, websites, communications plans, media events and showcases students hone their understanding of current practices, issues and media environments. They then organize and draft the teams, plans, timelines, budgets and other documents they will follow to execute a significant, multidiscipline media production.
Students gain practical experience in the media industry completing an internship, normally 240 hours, in a media-related environment. Instructors and placement staff meet with students to review the internship process and requirements. All internships require the completion of assignments, deliverable to the course instructor, that prepare students for the workplace and consolidate their understanding of their industry and profession.
Using the case study method, students review and analyze issues faced in public relations, including dilemmas, crises and opportunities that have presented themselves to professionals and agencies. In identifying, evaluating, developing, presenting and debating solutions, they apply their understanding of media environments, social media dynamics and tools, audience behavior models and public affairs.
In this course, students explore a series of case studies comprising both qualitative and quantitative data relating to existing promotional campaigns. Working in teams, they apply their knowledge of theory and practice to designing strategic solutions to shortcomings identified in different areas within the media industries. Students will be expected to manage themselves in teams, coordinate the production of persuasive rationalizations for case resolutions, and defend these solutions in the context of an inclusive class discussion.
This course allows students to apply knowledge and skills in multiple media formats and disciplines (for example, videography, audio journalism, online writing and production, data journalism, etc.) to the creation of an in-depth journalistic production incorporating at least three of these media. Students analyze and critique multimedia projects from several sources, then plan, create, edit and produce their own multimedia story from initial concept through publication.
In this course students examine how the communications technology, media and cultural industries have driven what we know as globalization and given rise to international political, social and media revolutions and counterrevolutions. The course surveys and critically evaluates the major debates, critical perspectives, and theories pertaining to the roles of media and media companies (including social media) on politics, social structures and cultures around the world.
In this course students learn to create complex corporate communications, marketing and/or promotional videos with clearly defined audiences, messaging and objectives. They learn to write and follow creative briefs, write proposals and scripts, work on location as well as in studio and evaluate the effectiveness of final productions.
In executing a capstone project, students in this course apply a a multi-platform, multi-disciplinary approach that reflects professional media practice. Working within their area of emphasis, students collaborate with students in other media disciplines on an immersive endeavour that reflects current media consolidation and integration, while showcasing creativity and professionally applied skills.
In this course, students learn to work as members of a production crew on a significant documentary or corporate communications video project. They learn to create multi-camera productions both in studio and on location; research, select and incorporate stock footage where appropriate; use advanced lighting techniques and equipment such as dollies and switchers; direct live-to-tape productions and apply advanced video and audio editing and mixing techniques.
This is the first of two courses intended to facilitate completion of an undergraduate thesis project and the development of research-related skills. The major goals of this course are to: 1) increase knowledge and applied research skill sets in a specific area of media studies; 2) enhance the understanding of research principles and project coordination; 3) increase understanding of the ethical issues in a research context; and 4) enhance scientific writing and presentation skills. Under the supervision of a faculty member, the student will develop a research proposal and make a formal presentation describing their proposal to the class.
This course provides students an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in carrying out research in the field of media. Students will build on work done in MDST 4510 to develop a research question, conduct a comprehensive review of the relevant literature and design a research study in Media. Under the supervision of a faculty member, the student will conduct the study, analyze the data, report on the findings and write a thesis paper.
The independent study course is designed to provide senior undergraduate students with an opportunity to pursue library or field research under faculty supervision and to prepare an integrated paper or literature review. Formal agreement between the student and the faculty supervisor is required, as is approval of the program head.
The independent study course is designed to provide senior undergraduate students with an opportunity to pursue library, field research or project under faculty supervision and to prepare a research report of literature review. Formal agreement between the student and the faculty supervisor is required, as is approval of the program head.