Message, Media and Political Communication – PPOL 631

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

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.

Prerequisite

PPOG 500 (may be taken concurrently)

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 Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (5)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 400–500 words, incorporate at least 2 peer-reviewed resources, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and conform to current Turabian formatting. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200–300 words, incorporate at least 1 peer-reviewed resource, and conform to current Turabian formatting.

Reading Summary and Reflective Comments (7)

The student will summarize and reflect on the main principles of the assigned readings in Modules/Weeks 1–7 using the form provided. The student must critique ideas in light of a biblical worldview. The summaries must be 100–125 words, and the reflections must be 150–200 words.

Campaign Briefing Paper

This is a multi-part project and will consist of a Topic Proposal, Annotated Bibliography, Outline, PowerPoint Presentation, and Final Campaign Briefing Paper. The student will prepare a Campaign Briefing Paper assessing a major political campaign in light of principles studied in this course. The student will assume the role of a campaign manager, using the paper to conduct an evaluation of a campaign. The goal is to prepare a final report for a “client” or “principle group” of 10–15 double-spaced pages exclusive of an abstract, references, and appendices. In addition to evaluating the campaign, the paper must also note weaknesses and steps that could have been taken to address the weaknesses. The Final Campaign Briefing Paper must include at least 10 scholarly references. Citations must be consistent with the current Turabian style guide.

Issue Analysis Paper

The student will submit a paper analyzing the role of the media on election coverage and the impact on a campaign. The student must identify a political campaign (national or state), provide a factual background, collect data describing the election process and results, explain whether the campaign plan used by the candidates (both winner and loser) was the best course of action, and explain the outcome (voter sentiment and impact media had on election). The student is required to compare the effectiveness of media in conveying the candidates message in light of all the course material, identify the specific strengths and weaknesses of the campaign, and note how the media helped or hindered the candidate’s message. The student must also include a review of alternate plans that may have been effective in running a better media strategy. The assignment must be 5–7 pages, include a minimum of 3–5 scholarly sources, and follow current Turabian formatting.

Book Review

After reading Creatures of Politics, the student will write a 4–6-page paper on the information in the textbook. In the first section of the paper, the student will summarize the book. In the second section, the student must provide a critique and evaluation of the text. The third section must analyze a current political campaign with application of the primary themes of the book. In the final section, the student will apply the reading to current events from a political campaign. The paper must follow current Turabian formatting.