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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - JOU6006
Tracking Number - 2430

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Current Status: Approved, Permanent Archive - 2011-04-04
Campus: St Petersburg
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):
Comments: USF STPT approved; To USF Inst fo rconcurrence. SCNS approved effective 3/1/11. Prefix/number changed from MMC 6xxx to JOU 6006

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2010-12-10
  2. Department: Mass Communications
  3. College: AP
  4. Budget Account Number: 120100
  5. Contact Person: Mark Walters
  6. Phone: 7278734544
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: JOU
  9. Number: 6006
  10. Full Title: Digital Media and Democracy
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: C - Class Lecture (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: N
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?:
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Digital Democracy
  19. Course Online?: O - Online (100% online)
  20. Percentage Online: 0
  21. Grading Option: R - Regular
  22. Prerequisites: None
  23. Corequisites: None
  24. Course Description: This course will provide perspectives on and historical development of the practice of journalism in the digital era. Students will also make determinations about the efficacy of digital journalism in building or diminishing democracy.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Needed to compete with national trends
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? Most journalism schools (let alone the journalism profession) have utterly failed to keep up with the rapid changes in technologies and values that have redefined the field of professional journalism. Retrofitting old approaches to create new understandings and insights has proven insufficient. Entirely new models and approaches to the remade profession are required. This new course will explicitly direct and support students in integrating all these technologies and approaches into an applied work of digital journalism. This course will be part of the essential training for journalists in the digital era.
  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? No
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) Professional experience in new digital media, especially in the convergence of various forms of media. Online teaching experience is also required.
  29. Objectives: Students will know how to:

    • Analyze the history and development of media and media theory through the digital era

    • Describe news practices and development in digital media

    • Evaluate role of digital media in democracy

    • Determine effects of digital media on diversity, multiculturalism

    • Explain, describe specific digital media news practices, and attempt to resolve issues

  30. Learning Outcomes: Specific Course Objectives, which also include the competencies of History(2), Theory(4), Diversity(3) and Critical Thinking(6).

    The modules have evaluations in each, and one or more of these can be used to measure course objectives/competencies. Evaluations include brief position papers, specific questions answered, tests and quizzes, and discussion participation.

    • Analyze the history and development of media and media theory through the digital era

    History: Module A (History/Development)

    Theory: Module C (Theory/History)

    • Describe news practices and development in digital media

    History: Module A (History/Development)

    Case Studies: Module G (Case Studies 1)

    • Evaluate role of digital media in democracy

    Values: Module D (Democractic Values 1)

    Values: Module E (Democratic Values 2)

    Future: Module I (Digital Media Futures)

    • Determine effects of digital media on diversity, multiculturalism

    Values: Module F (Democratic Values, Inclusiveness)

    • Explain, describe specific digital media news practices, and attempt to resolve issues

    Case Study: Module G (Case Studies 1)

    Case Study: Module H (Case Studies 2)

  31. Major Topics: • Historical development of media and theory through the digital era

    • Influences of digital media on news, news practice, and other media content; major issues

    • Current or potential role for digital media in development or maintenance of democracy, including inclusiveness

    • Potential futures for digital media

  32. Textbooks: Hindman, S.M. (2008). The Myth of Digital Democracy

    Cooper, M.N. (2003). Media Ownership and Democracy in the Digital Information Age

    Fenton, N. (2009). New Media, Old News: Journalism and Democracy in the Digital Age

    Hacker, K.L. and van Dijk, J.A.G.M. (2000). Digital Democracy: Issues of Theory and Practice


    Sunstein, C. (2001). "The Daily We: Is the Internet really a blessing for Democracy." In Boston Review, Summer

    Various authors (2001). "New Democracy Forum: Is the Internet Bad for Democracy?" In Boston Revieew, Summer

    Other online readers, as they come availabl

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: Online resources from above and elsewhere will be available; however, in this subject area they can change rapidly and substantially and will be updated routinely throughout the course.
  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: Modules each have their own evaluation elements, depending on how the course is delivered. Evaluations include brief reading papers, specific questions or short assignments, tests and quizzes, and discussion participation. The final Module (Overview) will include a significant test and/or some other appropriate concluding project/paper.
  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: Modules have exams, quizzes, reading papers and/or short assignments or questions. The final Module (Overview) will have an appropriate test or paper. In a typical 10-module class, students would have six to eight tests/quizzes, three or four short assignments or questions, and one project/final assignment. Students would be required to participate in discussion as part of the evaluation within a Module.
  36. Attendance Policy: First Day online "attendance" is required.

    Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation – Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: All scheduled sessions and meetings, and all assignments, are required. Discussions with other students may be required elements of the class.
  38. Program This Course Supports: Journalism and Media Studies
  39. Course Concurrence Information: NA

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