Reflection 1: Theory & History of Communication

Mass Comm Final Paper   Focus Group Paper #5

The Knight School of Communication has most certainly done an excellent job in educating me in the theory and history of communication. My Knight School professors (and the coursework itself) has stressed the importance of knowing the fundamentals behind all aspects of communication. By learning theory and history, you are prepared to delve into studying knowledge of where communication and media are headed both today and also in the future.

Two notable courses that stuck out in my memory when reflecting on this learning objective are COM 218: Mass Communication Theory, and COM 219: History of Journalism. Mass Communication Theory was a very text and information heavy class, but the theories that we learned in class served as the backbone to information that I learned in future communication classes. I also found interestingly enough that many of the mass communication theories were similar to theories that I studied in my sociology courses at Queens (I am a sociology minor).

COM 219: History of Journalism, was one of the most useful classes that I have ever taken. While incredibly demanding in terms of the workload, this class educated students in all of the major journalistic historical moments from the beginnings of the United States of America through the present, and helped students to make connections about how the history of journalism plays into the future of the field. Notable topics that we studied in COM 219 included everything from Yellow Journalism to American broadcast news coverage during the Vietnam War, to the ethical concerns of plagiarism in journalism and how news and journalism played into the Civil Rights Movement. For my term paper, I developed my own research topic surrounding journalistic ideas that we had studied. My research was a detailed comparison and analysis of the way that American print media treated coverage of the Great Depression versus the Recession of 2008.

By taking time to study both the theories and history of communication, my chosen field of study, it prepared me well for future classes to come, and helped me to understand that in whatever I undertake in the future background knowledge is always essential. The workload and subject matter of both of these courses challenged me, but with hard work and a diligent attitude I was able to succeed in both.


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