MAVA 102

Course: MAVA 102 – Introduction to Media and Communications (Spring 2021)
Instructor: Lemi Baruh, Department of Media and Visual Arts
Office: Social Sciences SOS 209
Phone: (212) 338 1133
Email: lbaruh[at]
Class Hours and Location: Tuesday & Thursday 08:30 – 09:45, via Zoom
Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday 11:30-12:30 or by appointment


This course provides an introductory overview of contemporary media industries and communications, examining various factors—historical, economic, political, and cultural—that have shaped media industries and potential effects of media. The course will examine such culture industries as the internet, radio, television, movies, newspapers and journalism, advertising, and public relations, as well as larger issues such as globalization, media regulation, and ethics.


Throughout the semester, students will:

  1. Learn about main concepts and vocabulary related to media industries, mass communication, audiences, and media production.
  2. Learn how contemporary mass media operate-as industries, makers of meaning, and shapers of society.
  3. Develop a historically informed understanding of theories and research related to media effects and the relationship between media, culture, and society.
  4. Develop skills in critical thinking by exploring key questions and problems related to the contemporary communications environment.

The required reading for the course is an open access book:

  • Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication, ISBN: 978-1-946135-26-1

The book is available, for free, for download from


Lectures and Readings: The classes and readings are designed to complement each other. They are not substitutes for each other. Namely, classes will not only focus and clarify material in the readings but also provide additional information. Likewise, some issues covered in assigned readings may not be covered in class discussions. Students are responsible for both the content covered in the readings and the content covered in class. Students are advised that like most textbooks on media and communication, the textbook used for this course will have a lot of discussion on American media and culture. Students should use the book to learn about concepts, definitions and issues raised by the book rather than focusing on the specific examples (unless also covered in class). Lecture notes will be available on Blackboard.

Quizzes: After each topic (e.g., television) is completed, there will be a quiz on the lecture materials and the readings. Quizzes may have multiple-choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blanks, word-matching, short answer questions. Quizzes will be conducted online via Blackboard at the beginning of the class. There will be eight quizzes; two quizzes with the lowest grade will be dropped from the grade calculation.

Final Project: As a final project, create five “lightning summaries” about the two of the industries we are covering in this course. These topics are:

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Radio
  • Music and the Recording Industry
  • Motion Pictures
  • Television
  • Emerging Media (Internet, Gaming, Mobile Phone)

Lightning summaries have many different formats, including PechaKucha, Lightning Talk, Elevator Pitch, Ignite. Take a look at these concepts (Wikipedia provides a reasonably good overview). The point is to make the summary as catchy and (unlike my presentations) as entertaining as possible while summarizing the key concepts and issues we discussed in those weeks.

Each lightning summary should be a maximum of four-minutes long. These summaries can be in any format you are comfortable with, including a PowerPoint/Keynote presentation with voice over, animations, films, interactive infographics, they can even be songs.


Grade Components: Your final grade will be based on the following graded elements:

72% – Quizzes (Top six of eight x 12%)
28% – Final Project

Grading Scale: The following grading scale will be used for the course.

90+          A70+          C
87+          A-67+          C-
83+          B+64+          D+
80+          B60+          D
77+          B-0-59         F
73+          C+


  1. If necessary, the instructor reserves the right to curve students’ grades. In case this is the first time you hear about “curving” grades. Please click on this link to see how grades can be curved.
  2. A+ is a grade reserved only for students with exceptional performance and will be given at instructor’s discretion.

Please keep in mind that online classrooms are still classrooms. While engaging in communication with your peers and/or your instructor, please:

  • Do not dominate any discussion.
  • Do not insult or name call.
  • Do not defame anybody.
  • Do not make fun of someone.
  • Do not use offensive, racist, sexist, or otherwise discriminatory language
  • Use correct spelling and grammar.
  • Verify facts before you share any information.
  • Review and edit your post before clicking the “Send” button.
  • Always be respectful of others’ opinions even when they differ from your own.
  • When you disagree with someone, express your disagreement in a respectful way.
  • Be willing to express your opinion, even if you think your opinion is the minority opinion.
  • Do not assume that people will be able to guess what you have in mind.
  • Respect other people’s privacy.
  • Do not hesitate to ask for feedback.
  • When in doubt, always check with your instructor for clarification.
  • Always give proper credit to the sources you are using.
  • Know about Koç University’s and this course’s Academic Honesty Policy (see below).

Cheating, plagiarism or collusion in assignments, exams or papers are serious offenses that will result in a failing grade and more severe disciplinary action. There are no exceptions to this rule. You may also face additional, more severe disciplinary action. According to the Student Code of Conduct at Koç University, academic dishonesty includes and is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, multiple submissions, and collusion, the definitions of which are stated below:

  • Cheating includes, but is not limited to, copying from a classmate or providing answers or information, either written or oral to others, in an examination or in the preparation of material subject to academic evaluation.
  • Plagiarism is borrowing or using someone else’s writing or ideas without giving written acknowledgement to the author. This includes copying from a fellow student’s paper or from a text or internet site without properly citing the source. For more information, please read the “Statement on Academic Honesty” appended at the end of this syllabus
  • Multiple submission includes resubmission of the same work previously used in another course or project, without the permission of the instructor for both courses.
  • Collusion is getting unauthorized help from another person such as having someone else write one’s assignment or having someone else take an exam with false identification. Impersonating a student in an examination is also considered a grave act of dishonesty.
  • Fabrication includes, but is not limited to, falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, knowingly helping another student commit an act of academic misconduct (e.g., cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, multiple submissions).

Schedule is subject to change depending on the instructor and students’ needs. Students are expected to follow the Blackboard updates regarding changes in schedule

February 16, 2021: Introduction to the course, overview of syllabus
February 18, 2021: Introduction to Mass Media and Media Literacy
Reading:  Chapter 1

February 23, 2021: Introduction to Mass Media and Media Literacy
February 25, 2021: Quiz #1 – Introduction to Mass Media and Media Literacy
February 25, 2021: The “Business” and Economics of Media
Reading: Chapter 13

March 02, 2021: The “Business” and Economics of Media
March 04, 2021: The “Business” and Economics of Media

March 09, 2021: The “Business” and Economics of Media
March 11, 2021: Quiz #2 – The “Business” and Economics of Media
March 11, 2021: Media Effects
Reading:  Chapter 2

March 16, 2021: Media Effects
March 18, 2021: Media Effects

March 23, 2021: Quiz #3 – Media Effects
March 23, 2021: Print Media
Reading: Chapter 4
March 25, 2021: Print Media

March 30, 2021: Print Media
Reading: Chapter 5
April 01, 2021: Print Media

April 13, 2021: Quiz #4 – Print Media
April 13, 2021: Radio and Recording Industry
Reading: Chapter 7
April 15, 2021: Radio and Recording Industry

April 20, 2021: Radio and Recording Industry
Readings: Chapter 6
April 22, 2021: Quiz #5 – Radio and Recording Industry
April 22, 2021: Film and Cinema
Reading: Chapter 8

April 27, 2021: Film and Cinema
April 29, 2021: Film and Cinema

May 04, 2021: Quiz #6 – Film and Cinema
May 04, 2021: Television
Reading: Chapter 9
May 06, 2021: Television

May 11, 2021: Television
May 13, 2021: No Classes – Ramadan Holiday

May 18, 2021: Quiz #7 – Television
May 18, 2021: Emerging Media
Reading:  Chapter 11
May 20, 2021: Emerging Media

May 25, 2021: Emerging Media
May 27, 2021: Quiz #8 – Emerging Media
May 27, 2021: Emerging Media

MAR/30/2011 18:30 21:30 SCI 103

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