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MSS at Newseum

Media, Self and Society

The impact of media and technology on the world

Introduction

Print, televised and social media impact every facet of our lives. Yet to what extent are we aware of how they affect us and our view of the world?

Media, Self and Society analyzes the role that various forms of media play in society, prioritizing critical thinking about media production and consumption. Students assess the source, message and meaning of different modes of media, examining:

  • The effects of social media on our self-perception, relationships and beliefs;
  • Viral deception and misinformation online; and
  • The ways in which news and entertainment media represent—or misrepresent—marginalized communities.

Students take part in discussions; create media, from TikTok videos to infographics, that focus on self-exploration and civic engagement; and learn from working journalists, media experts and other guest speakers. The goal: to become active, rather than passive, in our interactions with media.

The Media program welcomes students of all majors and provides critical thinking and analysis skills fundamental to all career endeavors.

Colloquium and Lecture Topics

  • Media transformation: The disappearing newspaper
  • The psychology of advertising
  • Media and violence: The role of video games
  • Technology and the music industry

I have had the opportunity to explore my interests through hands-on experiences while also developing my communication skills. I am so grateful to be a part of a community that not only encourages me to be myself but also challenges me to be the best version of it.

Rebecca Lin
Rebecca Lin '23

Other Learning Opportunities

Students get a real-world perspective on the media—both what it’s like to work in the media and the impacts of the media on society—through:

  • Field trips to media outlets and cultural sites, such as NBC4 Washington studios, NPR headquarters and the National Museum of African American History and Culture;
  • Visits to various news studios and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum during our annual trip to New York City; and
  • Guest speakers, particularly working professionals in journalism, advertising, technology and public relations.

During their sophomore year, students fulfill a practicum requirement, which allows them to gain professional experience in their chosen fields. Past Media students have:

  • Written for The Diamondback campus newspaper;
  • Broadcast sports games with WMUC, the campus radio station;
  • Worked on a political campaign; and
  • Interned at Microsoft.

In all cases, students were able to apply the analytical skills they learned in the program and assess the role that various media played in that organization.

Curriculum Overview

Over the two-year program experience (four semesters), students will complete 2 supporting courses, totaling 6–8 credits, that will count toward their Media Scholars citation. In most cases, these will also fulfill General Education requirements. Note that your Scholars courses—colloquium, practicum and supporting course(s)—will generally be in addition to any courses you take to satisfy major requirements.

The following table represents a typical two-year curriculum, but individual schedules may vary. Details about courses and requirements can be found on the Media Citation Checklist.

SEMESTER COURSES CREDITS
Freshman Fall Scholars Colloquium 1 credit
Academic Writing 3 credits
3–4 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course) 9–12 credits
Freshman Spring Scholars Colloquium 1 credit
4–5 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course) 12–15 credits
Sophomore Fall Analyzing Media Practice through Theory 3 credits
4–5 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course) 12–15 credits
Sophomore Spring Scholars Practicum (if not already taken in the fall) 1–3 credits
4–5 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course if not already completed) 12–15 credits

Residence Hall

Cumberland Hall

Office Address

1122 Cumberland Hall

Office Phone

301-405-3013

Faculty

Portrait of Alison Burns

Alison Burns

Program Director, Media, Self and Society
Portrait of Carole Lee

Carole Lee

Program Coordinator, Media, Self and Society

Social Media Etc.


Media, Self and Society News

Showing 1 - 6 of 30
  • Scholars Alum Wins Pulitzer for Washington Post AR-15 Series

    Emily Guskin ’06, a Media, Self ad Society Scholars alum, has a front row seat to Americans' perspectives on some of the day’s most pressing politics and policy matters. As a polling analyst at the Washington Post, the communication and government and politics alum conducts surveys, analyzes data and generates reports that provide insights into Americans’ attitudes, preferences and behaviors.

  • Numerous Scholars Earn University Student Leadership Awards

    The Annual University Student Leadership Awards program recognizes and celebrates the outstanding achievements of our student leaders and scholars. Through this program, the university aims to acknowledge the exceptional academic performances and contributions to the University of Maryland community and surrounding neighborhoods made by students.Numerous Scholars were finalists and recipients of several of UMD's top awards.

  • Fourteen Scholars Named Class of 2024 Senior Marshals

    Senior Marshals are graduating seniors who have demonstrated the highest levels of scholarship, service to the campus community, extracurricular involvement, and personal growth. The University of Maryland Senior Marshals represent graduating seniors who have demonstrated the highest levels of scholarship, service to the campus community, extracurricular involvement, and personal growth.

  • Scholars Shine at Do Good Challenge Finals

    Despite not capturing the top prizes at the 2024 Do Good Challenge Finals held earlier this week, four members of College Park Scholars and their respective projects shined.Two Scholars - Takiyah Roberts (STS) and Elias Laskey (GPH) - and their teams went head-to-head in the Project Track competition.

  • Two Scholars Programs Receive New Do Good Campus Fund Awards

    Dozens of projects were recently awarded $460,000 from the University of Maryland’s new Do Good Campus Fund. The Fund is part of a suite of new campuswide investments to expand the university's leadership and impact to advance the public good. These investments also include the Do Good Campus Strategic Leadership Council, composed of senior administrators from colleges, schools, and units across campus to celebrate the social impact already being made by faculty and staff across campus.This year's 27 grantees include faculty, staff, and student groups and two recipients are Scholars programs. Congratulations to Justice and Legal Thought and Media, Self and Society!

  • Five Scholars Named 2024 Do Good Challenge Semi-Finalists

    The Do Good Institute recently announced the selection of the 2024 Do Good Challenge semi-finalists. These student-led teams will compete for the opportunity to advance to the Do Good Challenge Finals on April 30 where they will present in front of a panel of expert judges and an audience of hundreds and vie for a share of more than $20,000 in prizes.Five of the 14 semifinalists are College Park Scholars. Congratulations to Ethan Adler (MSS), Sara Blau (IS), Mohammed Ndiaye (GPH), Srivishnu Piratla (IS), and Takiyah Roberts (STS).

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