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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Anthony B. Chan
SIS 419
Seattle Campus

Comparative Media Systems

Provides students an understanding of policies that shape national communication processes and systems. Uses comparative analysis to identify both similarities and differences among media structures of nations at different levels of development. Primary emphasis on broadcast media. Offered: jointly with COM 420/POL S 468.

Class description

This course examines three distinct media systems with specific ideological, political and cultural traditions. During the first three weeks, the course will concentrate on the media systems of the People's Republic of China with its Marxist-Leninist ideology. The next three weeks will scrutinize the media systems of the blatantly free enterprise city-state known as Hong Kong which was once a colony of Great Britain. The final weeks will look at a mixed economy, but with a free market system in the nation of Canada.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture course.

Recommended preparation

Read widely.

Class assignments and grading

Readings: Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Marshall McLuhan, Global Village, and weekly readings from journals and essays of critical distinction. All students are required to read and understand specific topics in the readings, write 4 viewing analyses examining television programs and films of the places under consideration and two examinations, one of which will be based on Brave New World. A book report of the Global Village is also required.

The Viewing Analyses will be based on Paul Rutherford's design in his Prime Time Canada.

Post-B.A. or Graduate students will write an additional 5-10 page paper on a communications system of a country of their choice.

The examinations will be take-home with a study guide distributed a week before the due date.

40% of course grade is based on the 4 Viewing Analyses, 20% on the book report, 20% on the first examination and 20% on the second examination. Attendance at all classes is required (5 cut classes=F).


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Joanna M. Unze
Date: 10/16/1998