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Registration for the Fall 2019 semester begins June 25.  Watch your email for more details.

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New Media and Society

Course Code: CMNS 1223
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Communications
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter
course overview

This course offers students an overview of new media and how new media technologies are affecting society. Tracing the evolution of the media from tools of mass communication to key players in the new information society, this course will introduce students to key communication concepts with which they can evaluate critically new media's ability to create political, economic and social change. Students will examine fundamental communication theories that relate to media ownership and control, media and democracy, media and identity, and media governance. Students will apply these theories to understand new media, including ownership and control of new media, social media and digital technologies, and the Internet and democracy.

Course Content

Part 1: Changing Media Environments

From Mass Communication to Network Society: An Overview

Part 2: Analyzing a Changing Media Landscape: The Theoretical Foundations

Media and Democracy: Public Sphere Theory

Media Effects: Texts, Reception, and Cultural Studies

Media Ownership and Control: Critical Theory

Media Governance: Media Policymaking

Part 3: Understanding the New Media Environment

Celebrating/Critiquing the Information Society

Ownership and Control of the New Media

Internet, Social Media and Digital Cultures

New Media and Democracy

Labour in the Information Age

Globalizing Media

Global Media Governance

Methods of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  • Lecture/seminar
  • Media (including documentary film)
  • Discussion of class readings and materials
  • Student-provided materials (examples illustrating key ideas from course materials)

Means of Assessment

Students will be assessed using a variety of evaluations such as

Case study  – 15%

Midterm exam – 20%

Two presentations – 10% each, total 20%

Research Paper Proposal – 5%

Research paper – 30%

Attendance and class participation – 10%

Total - 100%

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will

  1. Develop a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes the new media landscape
  2. Identify the key communication theories that may apply to a study of new media
  3. Apply these communication concepts to understand the potential impact of new media
  4. Identify and critically evaluate key areas of concern that pertain to the rise of new media
  5. Understand how new media may cause significant political, economic, and social change through an examination of current events

course prerequisites




curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.