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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: MAMS 571
Course Title: The Military and the Media
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

An investigation into the relationship between the military and the media. Specifically, the course addresses the mass communication tactics and strategies used by military organizations. In addition to surveying literature about the nature and components of propaganda, students analyze the specific mediated composition of propaganda campaigns in recent history. The course  utilizes research on the military and the media for an understanding of ongoing propaganda messages produced today.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Militainment, Inc.: War, Media, and Popular Culture
By Stahl, Roger
A Century of Media, a Century of War
By Andersen, Robin
By Bernays Edward
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes
By Ellul, Jacques
Propaganda and Persuasion
By Jowett, Garth and Victoria O'Donnell
Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda
By Chomsky, Noam
Triumph of the Will
By Riefenstahl, Dir. Leni
Course Objectives
  • To become familiar with the historical and contemporary uses of propaganda.
  • To articulate the symbiotic relationship between media and propaganda.
  • To understand and recognize the elements and traits of propaganda material.
Measurable Learning


  • Understand and articulate the unique characteristics of mass communication mediums.
  • Identify historical trends within the military's use of mediated communication.
  • Recognize and articulate the evolution of propaganda as a communication and social method.
  • Identify individuals significant in the study and practice of propaganda.
  • Develop critical thinking and writing skills as they analyze propaganda artifacts.
  • Apply advanced level of organizational and analytical skills when discussing propaganda and persuasion research.
  • Demonstrate advanced level mastery of mass communication terminology and techniques.
  • Articulate critical analysis of the presence of propaganda in current military actions.
Topical Outline:
  • Understanding the complexity of mass communication mediums
  • Vilification of "The Military" and "The Media"
  • The elements of propaganda
  • Propaganda as a specific form and style of communication
  • Historical perspectives of propaganda
  • Institutional forms of propaganda
  • Propaganda and psychological warfare
  • Analyzing propaganda
  • Propaganda in contemporary society
  • Case studies of propaganda

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Amy Darnell Date: October 21, 2011
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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