POST-GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN MEDIA AND SOCIETY STUDIES (DMSS)

Overview

1. INTRODUCTION

The Post-Graduate Diploma in Media and Society Studies (PMSS) is a one- year full-time degree programme structured to media and communication needs in Zimbabwe the region and beyond. It intends to equip students with both academic and practical skills to enable them to enter the media industry as well as to do research and academic studies.

2. GENERAL AIMS

The general aims of the programme are to provide students with:

2.1 training theories of communication and the media, the production, distribution and reception of media products in concrete communities; national/social and international contexts with respect to basic appropriate methodologies.

2.2 appropriate social, cultural, political and economic theories that take cognizance of the concepts of democracy, development and social change and the role of new information technologies in enabling the creation of democratic and equitable societies.

2.3 A critical and informed understanding of communication and media system at national, regional and international levels.

2.4 The ability to conduct research informed by clearly articulated communication and media theories that promote people-centred development at community, national and international levels while respecting the cultural integrity of peoples as well as their basic inalienable human rights.

2.5 the ability to learn communication and media skills within existing media organizations and to judge and assess their theoretical and research skills in concrete industrial environments.

2.6 Skills that enable them to realize that communication and media are multidisciplinary fields whose operations are empowered by a diversity of social realities.

3. CAREER PROSPECTS FOR DMSS GRADUATES

3.1 MSS graduates have career opportunities in a wide array of industries which include the following:

· Mainstream and alternative (community) print and broadcasting media organizations.

· Social research organizations

· Advertising agencies

· Public Relations/Customer Care and Information and Publicity departments in different public and private sector organizations.

· Parliament of Zimbabwe.

· Non-Governmental Organizations

· Teaching and Lecturing.

· Media consultancy and entrepreneurship

Entry Requirements

4. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
4.1 NORMAL ENTRY

For normal entry a candidate should:-

(i) have satisfied the University’s General Academic

Regulations and,

(ii) have a pass in English Language and at least an “E” grade in Mathematics at “O” level, and

(iii) have a good first degree in any discipline preferably with a 2.1 classification.

5. GENERAL PROVISIONS

5.1 The number of modules taken by any student from outside the department may be restricted.

5.2 Not all modules offered by the department are open for shopping by students registered in other departments.

5.3 The offering of elective modules depends on the availability of staff and/or teaching loads of available staff.

6. CREDITS

6.1 Students shall earn at least 32 credits to be allowed to graduate.

6.2 Marks for the two semesters of the programming have equal contribution to the overall and final diploma classification.

6.3 To successfully complete the programme a student must at least pass all the core modules.

 

Assessment

7. ASSESSMENT

7.1 Examinations, which shall normally be written at the end of each semester, comprise three-hour papers for theoretical modules.

7.2 Continuous assessment that includes, among other things tests, essays, fieldwork, laboratory work, writing stories and projects is compulsory.

7.3 All practical modules shall be assessed by practical coursework and products produced during the semester. Such practical modules may demand 100% attendance and submission of assigned work.

7.4 Failure to meet dead lines shall be taken to mean failure to carry out assigned work. Permission to extend the deadline must be sought at least seventy two (72) hours before the originally given one.

7.5 A student is normally required to attain at least 100% attendance of tutorials and lectures.

8. WEIGHTING

8.1 Examinations contribute 75% towards the final mark of a module.

8.2 Continuous assessment contributes 25% towards the final mark of a module.

8.3 All practical modules have no written examination and shall be assessed by practical course work and products produced.

9. MARKING SCHEME AND DIPLOMA CLASSIFICATION

9.1 The following marking scheme shall apply for all modules:

80% – 100% Distinction

70% – 79% Merit

50% – 69% Pass

Below 50% Fail

 

Programme Structure

10. PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

Level 1 Semester 1

CodeModule DescriptionCredits
DMSS 601Theories of Communication and the Media4
DMSS 602Media in Zimbabwe4
DMSS 603Media Law and Ethics4
DMSS 604Journalism and Desktop Publishing4
DMSS 605Introduction to Critical Media Theory4
DMSS 606Media Research Methods4

Electives

CodeModule DescriptionCredits
DMSS 607Understanding the Press4
DMSS 608Understanding Radio4
DMSS 609Television Studies4
DMSS 610Film and Video Studies4

Level 1 Semester 2

CodeModule DescriptionCredits
DMSS 611Global Media Structures4
DMSS 612Texts, Audiences and Reception4
DMSS 613Media Economics & Political Economy of the Media4
DMSS 614Principles of Public Relations and Advertising4
DMSS 615Introduction to Print Journalism4
DMSS 616Theories of Development and Democracy4

Electives

CodeModule DescriptionCredits
DMSS 617Introduction to Radio Journalism4
DMSS 618Introduction to Television Journalism4
DMSS 619Introduction to Film and Video Production4
DMSS 620Introduction to Photo-Journalism4

11. MODULE SYNOPSES

DMSS 601 THEORIES OF COMMUNICATION AND THE MEDIA

Defining communication and its parameters, models of communication, normative theories of the media, signs and codes, categories of communication, theories and models of communication and mass communication and their critique, media and mediation, concepts of the “mass and “community”, mass communication and Society; power, integration and change, media culture.

DMSS 602 MEDIA IN ZIMBABWE AND AFRICA

The history of print media and broadcasting in Zimbabwe. The Ministry of Information and the Mass Media Trust, Zimbabwe community newspapers, Zimbabwe and the Private Press. Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Radio and Television, Film in Zimbabwe, Music in Zimbabwe, Public Services broadcasting and the Media in Zimbabwe. Traditional and emerging ownership patterns and implications on the Institutional role of the Media. Media Training Institutions. The legal, political, technological, economic and cultural context of the Media in Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans images on the Internet. This course offers comparative study of the media in Africa focusing on selected regions. The study comprises the history, patterns of development, and levels of performance of the media in the region including print, broadcasting, film and the Internet. The role played by different media in the colonial and post colonial period, emerging ownership patterns and implications on the institutional role of the media. Media training institutions in the regions. It will interrogate the application of the various theories of the media especially as they relate to the African context.

DMSS 603 MEDIA LAW AND ETHICS

Media laws in Zimbabwe, Legal requirements versus moral and ethical considerations media practices in Zimbabwe. Ethics regarding the use of sources, objectivity and fairness in reporting. Law and ethics in relation to economic and political interests in the media. Comparative analysis of laws pertaining to the freedom of speech, privacy, confidentiality, libel, copyright and obscenity. Freedom of expression and the role and practice of censorship seen in an historical and comparative perspective in Zimbabwe. Operations, of MISA, the Press Council and the Zimbabwe Unions of Journalism.

DMSS 604 JOURNALISM AND DESKTOP PUBLISHING

This is a practical and introductory course aimed at equipping students with basic skills required in the production of news for print media, radio and television. As a grounding course there will be emphasis on the practical skills that include: Basic news reporting, basic editing, news gathering and processing, managing sources and creating source bank, newsroom politics, freelancing, commissioned work and personal interest products. Producing media products for public relations and to meet the institutional role of the media. The DTP component equip students with basic skills in creating of a camera-ready copy.

DMSS 605 INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL MEDIA THEORY

Critical administrative and Communication Research; The critical project and the enlightenment; Dialectic of the enlightenment and the Culture Industry; Cultural Studies in Britain: William and Hoggart; Critical Theory on a Global context; The African Perspective.

DMSS 606 MEDIA RESEARCH METHODS

History of communication research methods, research process, research methods, research language and the ethics of communication research. The relationship between theory and methodology. From methodology results, conclusion to new theory. Case studies of major communication researches.

DMSS 607 UNDERSTANDING THE PRESS

The history of the press with reference to technological and social developments in the developed world, Africa and Zimbabwe. The module includes: types of publications dailies, weeklies, monthlies, tabloids, broadsheets, newspaper, magazines, journals and types of articles carried by the press including readership segmentation and patterns. The normative role of the press and role actually played by the press in specific settings in relationship to ownership patterns. Print media organizations, products and readership patterns. Print media and Internet Technology.

DMSS 608 UNDERSTANDING RADIO

The history of radio with reference to technological and social developments in the developed world, Africa and Zimbabwe, genres of radio products, developments in radio industry, different types of radio stations-community, national, regional and international radio stations, practice and prospects of radio use (in liberation struggles, other conflicts, and nation-building) with specific reference to the Voice of Zimbabwe and other in Africa.

DMSS 609 TELEVISION STUDIES

The history of television with reference to technological and social developments in the developed world, Africa and Zimbabwe, genres of television products, developments in television industry, different types of television stations, including community, national, regional and international conflicts, nation-building, development and democracy with specific reference to Zimbabwe, Africa and developed countries. The nature and implications of television programming in Zimbabwe, Africa and in developed countries.

DMSS 610 FILM AND VIDEO STUDIES

The history of film and video with reference to technological and social developments in the developed world, Africa and Zimbabwe; film and video genres; film and video industry, its products, distribution and consumption patterns; practice and prospects of film and video production in Zimbabwe and Africa. Theories of film and video analysis with particular emphasis on context and texts. Analysis of film and video texts from different traditions. The film and video industry in Zimbabwe and Africa and the politics of funding.

DMSS 611 GLOBAL MEDIA STRUCTURES

Conceptualising imperialism, international relations and international media structures, nature of international flow of information in a uni-polar world, the electro-magnetic spectrum and politics of space allocation. Public, private and corporate ownership of media organizations and distribution networks. International news and news agencies, international advertising, international music industry. Television, film and video world flow and implications, international film industry and the Hollywood paradigm, Africa, Indian and South American Video and film paradigms.

DMSS 612 TEXTS, AUDIENCES AND RECEPTION

The ritual of encoding and decoding texts, the history of reception and audience studies, theories of reception and the uses and influences of media texts, text perception in different traditions, ethnography of audiences, case studies on reception and audience research: Morley’s “Nationwide” project.

DMSS 613 MEDIA ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE MEDIA

Introduction to Media economics, media organizations as business organizations; the concept and role of the market and the market place. Consumer choices and market responses. The Media goods/services market (1) media content as an informational and entertainment product for sale- (i) the advertisement market and the audience as a commodity. Geographic market for media products; intermedia and intramedia competition; strengths; and limitations of different media for advertisement competition; market structures and market power; media ownership, their funding patterns and implications on performance. Monopoly and competition in the market. Media labour and the market. At a broader level the course shall provide students with a deep understanding of the relationship and inter-relationship between politics and the economy; an examination of the effect of political economy of the media utilizing an historical and serial approach with the aim of providing a demonstrate link between the media and its political and economic environment. Major areas shall include: Defining political economy its aims; brief history of the field up to current status; political economy and the media, survey of selected media organizations since 1891 to present.

DMSS 614 PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ADVERTISING

Definition of terms; the history and evolution of public relations (PR); PR and related disciplines (marketing, advertising, journalism and propaganda); PR as planned communication; Principles of effective communication, Public opinion; PR ethics, Research in PR; Publicity Techniques; the place of PR in Management; PR and the mass Media. Theory and practice of political PR; advocacy and PR, PR campaign criteria and approaches and crisis management. Definition of terms; Different types of advertising, advertising and the mass media, origins of consumer culture, advertising and the development of agencies; goods as satisfiers and goods as communications and criticisms of advertising.

DMSS 615 INTRODUCTION TO PRINT JOURNALISM

This is a practical module meant to equip students with intermediate skills required in the production of news for print media. This practical skill include: news reporting, editing, news gathering and processing, managing sources and creating source bank, newsroom politics, freelance, daily reporting versus weekly, monthly and periodical, commissioned writing and personal interest writing; photography, politics of pictures and picture selection.

DMSS 616 THEORIES OF DEVELOPMENT AND DEMOCRACY

The module equips students with a broad appreciation of major theories of development and their debates from the modernization paradigm to “Another” or the Alternative paradigm. For democracy, the module covers from its Athenian to the “modern” conceptions. Processes of development and democratization in Zimbabwe, Africa and beyond will be studied.

DMSS 617 INTRODUCTION TO RADIO JOURNALISM

This is practical module emphasizing on basic writing, production, presenting different radio genres and performing basic technical operations of the medium.

DMSS 618 INTRODUCTION TO TELEVISION JOURNALISM

This is a practical module emphasizing on basic writing, production, presenting different television genres and performing basic technical operations of the medium.

DMSS 619 INTRODUCTION TO FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTION

This is a practical module emphasizing on basic scriptwriting, shooting, directing and editing of videos and films of different genres.

DMSS 620 INTRODUCTION TO PHOTO-JOURNALISM

This is a practical module emphasizing on basic dimensions and tactics of photos as an integral part of journalism. Also the module imparts skills related to different types of photography for different types of journalism.