Message, Media and Political Communication – PPOL 631

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

Message, Media and Political Communications provides an in-depth analysis of the history, means, methods, and strategies of crafting messages and communicating with and persuading constituent groups and the public at large through various media. Topics covered will include, among others, writing and creation of radio and television issue ads, radio and television campaign ads, public service announcements, internet video, screenplays and film. The course will provide an historical overview of the use of radio, television and film in shaping cultural and political thought, provide case studies and provide practical instruction in cutting edge formats, media and techniques by experts in this genre of political communication.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

In today’s media age it is critical that those involved in the discussion, analysis, or formulation of public policy be versed in communicating, relating, and persuading through various media to people at the constituent level and the public at large. This course will prepare students to understand the various dynamics within the field of political communications and provide an understanding of the tools needed to engage the media.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Discuss the historical overview of the use of media in shaping cultural and political thought.
  2. Demonstrate the use of media by creating a fictional political communication strategy.
  3. Judge the benefits of media and the impact on political communications.
  4. Describe the challenges associated with modern media and the effect on political communications.
  5. Examine the positive and negative uses of media in various contexts.

Course Assignment

Devotional, textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (5)

The student will complete 5 Discussions in this course. The student will post one thread of at least 500 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned Module: Week. The student must then post 2 replies of at least 250 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned Module: Week. 

For each thread, the student must support his/her assertions with at least 3 scholarly citations in Turabian format. Each reply must also incorporate at least 2 scholarly citations in Turabian format. Most sources cited should have been published within the last five years unless it supports a historic narrative or thesis. Acceptable sources include books, online academic journals found in the Falwell library, contemporary news publications, speeches, the textbook, the Bible, etc. 

Reading Summary and Reflective Comments Assignments (7)

Reading and reflecting on the ideas of others is one of the principal methods of learning important concepts found in this academic sub discipline. A variety of topics and will be covered that will introduce the student to valuable concepts and by articulating the personal, academic and biblical values of the learning experience, grow in intellectual and spiritual maturity. Follow the prompt below.

The student will summarize the main principles of the reading and reflect on these principles to glean meaningful content. This will ensure better understanding of the reading and its relationship to current events. The reflective statements may draw on personal experiences or information from other readings. Critiquing ideas in light of a biblical worldview is encouraged.

Length of summaries must be 100–125 words and must be in paragraph form. The reflections must be 150–200 words. A minimum of two citations should be used and in Turabian format. Most sources cited should have been published within the last five years unless it supports a historic narrative or thesis. Acceptable sources include books, online academic journals found in the Falwell library, contemporary news publications, speeches, the textbook, the Bible, etc. 

Campaign Briefing Paper Assignment

The Campaign Briefing Paper will be submitted in 5 stages throughout the course with each stage revising and building upon the previous stage. The Campaign Briefing Final Paper is the Fifth and final Stage. The sequence of submissions follows.

Campaign Briefing Paper: Topic Proposal Assignment

For the Topic Proposal, you must supply a thesis statement (a declarative sentence, 25 words or less encapsulating the main idea of the paper) and brief outline not two exceed two paragraphs indicating what you will be studying. Select a topic addressing an issue related to a political campaign. You will continue to research your topic during the full extent of the course, so be sure to keep an ongoing list to add to your Annotated Bibliography.

No specified formatting or citations will be required for this assignment however when you begin your research, consider listing the references you might use in Turabian format so you don’t have to format a second time.

Campaign Briefing Paper: Annotated Bibliography Assignment

Review your Campaign Briefing Paper Topic Proposal and make revisions or edits as necessary. Then, prepare an annotated bibliography that includes least 10 scholarly, empirical, current sources (since 2000) that are directly related to your topic. Sources can include the various scholarly books and journal articles that have been assigned as part of the weekly readings throughout the course. Additional journal resources can be found through Liberty University Online Research Portal. Be sure that you select a variety of respected sources.

Format the annotated bibliography in current Turabian style.

Campaign Briefing Paper: Outline Assignment

Review your Annotated Bibliography and make revisions or edits as necessary. This step requires you to focus on the data collected through your review of the articles listed in your bibliography.

Prepare a 5–7-page detailed outline of your proposal. Include a summary, outline of key data, analysis, recommendation, and conclusion in Turabian format.

No citations are necessary.

Campaign Briefing Paper: PowerPoint Assignment

Create a PowerPoint as if you were delivering your findings to your client or principle group. In your PowerPoint, clearly identify the main issue, background on the main issue, a review of past, current, and proposed practices to address the issue. Include a recommendation as to what course of action to take.

The presentation must contain at least 12 slides and cover all of the categories listed in the Overview. Include graphics where appropriate. Be creative.

Presentation must follow current Turabian guidelines.

Campaign Briefing Paper: Final Assignment

Write a policy briefing paper that is based on your research over the previous Campaign Briefing Paper segments. Your paper must include a clear statement of the main issue, any background information needed to explain to the reader the extent of the issue, a detailed summary and analysis of past, current, and future practices to address the issue. Be sure to include the weaknesses of the campaign with a recommendation as to what course of action to take that will address the issues.

The final paper must be 10–15 double-spaced pages and conform to current Turabian guidelines.

The Campaign Briefing Final Paper must include an abstract, references, and appendices (not included in page total).

Issue Analysis Paper Assignment

The assignment is very similar to a case study, where the student makes decisions vicariously through the principal actors in a historic or contemporary political campaign. The major difference is the student has the benefit of seeing the action after it has already occurred. Hopefully at some point, the student will be the decision maker so this is a risk free opportunity to evaluate the decisions and imagine how it might be done differently when in charge.

You will submit a paper analyzing an issue related to political communications of a campaign. Upon review of the course material and topics of study, you will select a topic based on concepts you will study during the term.

You must identify a major crisis experienced by a candidate during a political campaign, provide a factual background, collect data describing the process used to resolve the crisis, explain whether the plan used was the best course of action, and explain the outcome.

You are required to compare the effectiveness of the plan in light of the entire campaign’s goal, identify the specific strengths and weaknesses of the approach, and note how the media and communications were used to address the crisis. You must also include a review of alternate plans that may have been effective in resolving the issue.

The paper must include a minimum of 3–5 scholarly sources (for example, books or peer-reviewed articles).

The assignment must be 5–7 pages and follow current Turabian formatting.

Book Review Assignment

The student will write a book review on Creatures of Politics. The review must be 4–6 pages. The student will format the body of the review in 3 main sections: summary, critique, and application. The review must follow current Turabian guidelines. A title page and reference page are not required for this project.