Teaching Mass Communication and Telecommunication
The convergence in new media technologies is creating exciting and challenging possibilities for how the mass media and the processes of mediated communication can be taught and understood. The study of the mass media has evolved from an understanding of the press and broadcast media to an exploration of new forms of media that offer many opportunities for innovation and impact. Contemporary students are no longer relegated to the role of audience member, as they now have the opportunity to actively participate in the creation and dissemination of messages. Understanding current events in entertainment, news, the arts, health, and education is related to an understanding of how the media are inextricably woven into the fabric of students’ everyday lives. Today students can and will find ways to participate in discussions about these and other topics with others all over the world via the Internet. This transformation of content, transmission, and form of media messages that began in the mid-1980s and continues today is altering conceptions of mass media and audience (Negroponte, 1995). Therefore, the role of learning about the mass media and telecommunica-
tions is changing to help students learn about communication technologies and the evolving relationship of audience and message creator.