Journalism and Mass Communication Courses

JMC 141 Communication, Media, and Society
This course introduces students to the tools needed to critically assess mass media and its effects on political life, popular culture, and the presentation and selection of information. This JMC foundation course gives an overview of the development of book publishing; the newspaper, radio, and television industries; and advertising and public relations. It is a fitting elective for those interested in developing their critical acumen and media savvy. This course is open to students of all levels, preferably first-year students. Gen. Ed.: Social and Cultural Analysis. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every semester.

JMC 150 Writing for Media
This introductory JMC course teaches mass media writing skills relevant to journalism, web content, public relations, advertising, marketing, radio and television. These forms emphasize clarity, brevity, accuracy and writing for audience. This skills-based course is also vital and useful for anyone in any field who uses writing to communicate. Through frequent writing assignments, students learn to write for audience, to edit, to synthesize information, to analyze writing across media, to peer review, to research and to formulate text that is applicable across platforms. WIC. Prerequisites: ENG 102 and JMC 141. Cr. 4 (8 ECTS Cr.). Offered every semester.

JMC 200 Visual Communication
This course is an introduction to the world of communication through images, words, and graphics. This course surveys examples from the ancient world to the present and helps students develop a vocabulary for discussion of visual works. Major trends and styles are analyzed within a historical and theoretical framework. Students study the development of writing systems and technologies, analyze the use and effectiveness of messages with images and words, and present on a related topic of their choosing. Gen. Ed.: Aesthetic Expression. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every semester.

JMC 220 Digital Storytelling
Digital Storytelling is a project-based journalism course that uses digital tools to tell journalistic stories in a compelling and engaging way. Students use digital platforms to tell stories for audiences with sound, image and text. By exploring the roles of storytellers in the news, advertising, public relations, and marketing, students conceptualize, write, and create stories with a variety of digital tools. Prerequisites: JMC 141, JMC 150, and JMC 200. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every semester.

JMC 233 Introduction to Video Journalism
This course is focused on learning to produce video journalism for a variety of media platforms. Working in two- or three-person teams, students videotape and edit news stories and learn the basics of camerawork and video and audio editing. The emphasis is on gaining hands-on skills in quickly producing video news in a variety of forms. Through direct experience and practice, students refine their understanding of the very different demands video makes on their writing and interviewing skills. Prerequisites: JMC 141 and JMC 150. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every fall.

JMC 250 Advanced Writing for Media
This course builds on the media writing skills introduced and practiced in JMC 150. In a setting that replicates the work environment of a media writing company, students write, edit, and revise text for use across platforms and communications and media disciplines. The course also includes analyzing contemporary media writing and the creation of a digital magazine as an evaluation portfolio. WIC. Prerequisites: JMC 141 and JMC 150. Cr. 4 (8 ECTS Cr.). Offered in the spring.

JMC 321 Digital Photojournalism
This course explores the use of photography in journalism and multimedia storytelling. Students use the digital still camera as a journalistic tool, exploring a variety of techniques to photograph and prepare images for use across media. Emphasis is on effective communication through single photographs as well as through photo stories and picture packages. This course includes discussions on copyright, licensing, and ethics in the profession. Students prepare photographs for print, design layouts, and produce slideshows for online viewing. Captions, stories/articles, and audio provide context for the photographs they produce. Prerequisites: JMC 141 and JMC 150 Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every fall.

JMC 333 Television News Reporting
Building on the basic video journalism introduced in JMC 233, this course focuses on the more traditional broadcast television approach to news reporting. Students study the evolution of TV news and learn the techniques of field and live TV reporting. The emphasis is on reporting—getting the story—for television, advanced production techniques in the field and the editing room, working quickly but carefully to demanding deadlines, and building strong presentation skills. Prerequisite: JMC 233. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every spring.

JMC 356 Media Law and Ethics
This course examines the regulation and protection of the media in democracies and the making of ethical choices by professionals in a free legal environment. The legal focus is on laws and principles developed by U.S. courts and the European Court of Human Rights to promote vigorous scrutiny of government and the free flow of information and diverse opinions while protecting individual rights and such social interests as public order. The ethical focus is on classical and modern models of thinking that help editors and other professionals make ethically justifiable decisions about the conflicts of principles that confront them daily. Gen. Ed.: Moral and Philosophical Reasoning. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every semester.

JMC 363 History of Documentary Film
This course reveals how documentaries have influenced, persuaded, and entertained us. Topics may include the definitions and purposes of documentary filmmaking, the evolution of the genre, and the variety of approaches adopted by non-fiction filmmakers. Movements discussed may include Primitive Cinema, Poetic Documentaries, Government Propaganda Films, Holocaust Documentaries, Cinema Verite, Observational Cinema, Social Documentary, and Balkan Documentaries. Classes may discuss the ethical and practical considerations that arise in documentary production. Prerequisite: junior standing. Cr. 3 (6 ETS Cr.). Offered irregularly.

JMC 370 Public Relations Fundamentals
This course is designed to familiarize students with the basic concepts and principles of public relations. It serves as the foundation for other courses in public relations and explores public relations definitions, history, theories, principles, management practices, case studies, and career possibilities. This course counts for elective credit in the Business Administration major. Prerequisites: declared JMC or BUS major or IMC minor, and junior standing. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every semester.

JMC 389 Advertising Fundamentals
This introductory course seeks to give students insight into the fundamentals of all areas of advertising and a clear understanding of the effect of advertising. Students review and discuss examples of international print and television advertisements, do team exercises on the various aspects of the advertising process, and complete individual and group assignments. Prerequisites: declared JMC or BUS major or IMC minor, and junior standing. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered irregularly.

JMC 411 Design and Layout
This course builds on the concepts learned in JMC 200 and advances design and layout skills through the use of typography, graphics, photography, and page layout. Emphasis is on the presentation of information in newspapers, magazines, and online, as well as other communication media. Prerequisite: JMC 200. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every fall.

JMC 425 Advanced Communications Design
This course is designed to further develop graphic design skills through a variety of projects ranging from exercises in creative typography to posters, invitations, product packaging, brochures, and small book design. To complement their conceptual efforts, students learn advanced software techniques and study award-winning examples by some of today’s most celebrated designers. Topical readings and discussions provide further inspiration and stimulus for creative solutions to visual problems. Coursework culminates in a formal portfolio presentation. Prerequisites: JMC 200 and JMC 411. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every spring.

JMC 444 Documentary Filmmaking
In this course, students learn how to take an idea for a video documentary from concept to completion. This course is designed to emulate the experience of working in a production company. Students produce, shoot, and edit documentaries, and develop interviewing and storytelling skills. Prerequisites: JMC 220, JMC 233, junior standing, declared JMC major or Film and Theater Studies minor, or permission of the instructor. Cr. 3 (6 ETS Cr.). Offered irregularly.

JMC 455 Global Comparative Media
Starting from a base of the historical, cultural, and practical realities driving media in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the course investigates the differences between media through readings, lectures, video examples, and research. Under regular scrutiny will be the degree to which Western approaches to media are meaningful and appropriate (or not) to developing nations. The research will then expand to examine how journalism and media differ across the world, how journalists approach a subject differently, how governments and influential figures manipulate their efforts, and whether specific forms of media have the necessary market support for success. Prerequisites: declared JMC major and senior standing. Prerequisites: declared JMC major and senior standing. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every other year.

JMC 480 Topics in JMC
These specialty courses provide opportunities for the advanced study of a current issue in journalism and/or mass communication. Recent topics classes include Interviewing, Film and Media, Podcasting, Sound Editing, Writing for the Ear and Ethics in Bulgarian Media. Prerequisites: declared JMC major and/or IMC minor, and junior standing. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered irregularly.

JMC 481 Professional Internship [0 credits]
The professional internship is a practical professional experience, individually arranged to meet the specialized needs of the student, in preparation for a career in media. Possible settings include newspapers, magazines, radio or television stations, production houses, advertising or public relations agency. A minimum of eight working weeks (320 working hours) is required. Students are advised to do their internships following their junior year. Prerequisite: declared JMC major. Cr. 0 (0 ECTS Cr.). Offered every semester as contracted.

JMC 491 Capstone Project
JMC students in the final semester of their senior year with a minimum 3.25 GPA extend foundational skills and create a project that is approved by a committee before course registration. Projects may include a design or photography portfolio, a documentary, a social media campaign, or a series of magazine articles. The selection process is competitive with a proposal submitted in the semester before the intended capstone semester, a pitch at the start of the capstone semester, and a decision by the faculty capstone committee. The selected students work under the supervision of a JMC faculty member. The final project is presented and reviewed by a faculty capstone committee and may count as the Bulgarian State Exam. Prerequisites: JMC 141, JMC 150, JMC 200, JMC 220, and four JMC electives. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every semester as contracted.

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