Introduction to Mass Communications

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EGL 220

       Course Name: Introduction to Mass Communications

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course explores mass media’s roles in society. Content includes mass media historical development, contemporary characteristics, functions, responsibilities, and inter-relationships among media.

IV.   Learning Objectives

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Trace the historical development of various media forms.
  2. Comprehend methods of media organization, finance and regulation in a global environment.
  3. Describe the use and impact of the various media.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the reciprocal influence of the media and contemporary society.
  5. Critically analyze legal and ethical media issues.
  6. Apply knowledge of media production techniques.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Although the following sequence of instruction may be rearranged, the contents and objectives of the course remain the same.

  1. Communication and Prerequisites of Mass Communication
  2. Introduction to Producing a Media Presentation
  3. The Newspaper Industry
  4. The Magazine & Book Publishing Industries
  5. The Radio Industry
  6. The Television Industry
  7. The Movie Industry
  8. The Recording Industry
  9. Computers and Mass Communications
  10. Advertising & Public Relations
  11. Ownership and Ethical  Issues
  12. Legal and Regulatory Issues

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Course may be taught as a face-to-face, media-based, hybrid, or online course.

Methods of presentation include:  lecture, class discussions, media presentations, field observation and practical exercises.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students are expected to complete assigned readings and out-of-class media viewings, attend class meetings, participate in discussions, present the assigned Communication Celebrity  report as scheduled  and achieve passing grades on tests and quizzes.  Adherence to announced deadlines is essential for full credit.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  1. Appropriate text (such as):
    Dominick, Joseph.   The Dynamics of Mass Communication: Media in    Transition, Eleventh Edition.  New York:  McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011.
    Burton, Robert R.  Class Notes for EGL 220.  Oakton Community College, current semester edition.
  2. Audiovisual materials
    1. Videotapes
    2. Sound/slide presentations
    3. Movies
    4. Computer-based visual aids

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The final grade is calculated as follows (See "Course Practices.")
Quizzes (2 at 10% each) 20%
Unit Tests 1 & 2 (15% each) 30%
Cumulative Test 3 20%
Communications Celebrity Report 15%
On-site broadcast studio experience 5%
Class participation/attendance 10%

XI.   Other Course Information

Attendance Policy: For whatever information/procedures the instructor holds the student accountable.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.