Introduction to Mass Media Communication: Sophmore, Courtney Schrom, shares her reasons for why Introduction to Communications: Mass Media is her favorite class at Eastern.

      Introduction to Communication: Mass Media (COMM 105), is taught by Dr. Susannah McMonagle, or what her students call her, Dr. Mac. Dr. Mac got her B.A. in Communication Studies from Eastern University and then went on to get her M.A. in Strategic Communication at Villanova University. From there, she went to work at Leader’s Edge, a leadership development firm that serves businesses in the greater Philadelphia area. After working a few years at Leader’s Edge, she went back to school and received her PhD in Media and Communication from Temple University. After school, she came back to her alma mater to teach as one of the communication professors, here at Eastern.

      Any class Dr. Mac teaches begins with a “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” as she walks in right on time, or even a few minutes before. She then will ask students how their day is or weekend was, depending on the day of the week. After talking to a few students about their day, she then starts class and dives right into the class content. Some of the topics discussed in Introduction to Communication: Mass Media are the evolution of the media world, magazines and movies and how they affect society, as well as how to identify faux news in the media.

      One of my favorite things about this class is how she takes the content outside of the classroom. I mean this not only figuratively, through talking about current events, but also physically, to a Barnes & Noble field trip. On the field trip, she gives each of the students a hand out and they have to walk throughout the bookstore. The purpose of this activity is to observe where and how the different topics are portrayed in the store. It is a great example of how people try to display the “hot” items, meaning those that will sell best. These items are placed in the front of the store and are filtered to the back, where the least likely to sell products are placed. Anywhere in the media, you are able see this idea play out. For example, in the newspaper, you have the front page with articles that grab the attention of viewers. As for social media, posts are often organized by those with the most likes or comments first.

      My favorite topic Dr. Mac talked about in COMM 105, was faux news. It was a very eye-opening topic for me, because faux news is so prevalent, not only online, but also in print forms. This can make it hard for consumers to identify what is true, and what is false information. She goes in depth on this topic, and shows how it played a role in the 2016 presidential election. She also gives her students different strategies and methods to use to help identify faux news.

      I think this class is not only essential for communications majors, but it is also great for  all students. I believe this because it teaches material that is relevant to everyone, no matter what their major is. Everyone is exposed to media, whether it be through apps, radio, tv, newspaper, etc. This class has not only shaped the way I view media, but has also helped me be aware of how media has been shaping me.

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