Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer content

Media, Communications and Journalism



MCJ Course Descriptions
Course Name Description


Mass Communication and Society (3)

Prerequisite: G.E. Foundation A2. Examines the political, economic, cultural, and behavioral impacts of mass media in national and international contexts. Analyzes the historical factors that have shaped the structures, practices, and products of mass media industries, and assesses contemporary trends in media-society relations. G.E. Breadth D2.


Media Writing

Prerequisites: ENGL 1. Study and practice in the basics of good writing. Emphases will be placed upon grammar, factual accuracy, clarity, conciseness, media styles, fairness, human interest, and writing to length and deadline. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours) 


Introduction to Multimedia Production (3)

Fundamentals of multimedia production. Lecture and laboratory experiences in cross-media production theories and techniques. Exploration of digital storytelling using text, graphics, audio, video, and the Web. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 4 (formerly MCJ 110)

Writing for Visual Media (3)

Theory and practice of story development and scriptwriting for fiction and non-fiction film and video, including narrative film, documentary, business and sponsored video. Explores research, story structure, treatments, proposals, script formats and the use of interview, narration and dialog. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)


 Film Appreciation (3)

An examination of the art and industry of filmmaking using classical Hollywood, independent, international, and popular films. G.E. Integration C1.

MCJ 13

Introduction to Studio Video Production (3)

Prerequisites: MCJ 3 or permission of instructor. Television studio production principles and techniques. Design and execution of multi-camera video productions. (2 lecture, 3 lab hours).

MCJ 14

Multimedia and Mobile Journalism (3)

Integration of print and broadcast techniques to produce multimedia pieces for the web, social, mobile and other electronic media. Multimedia storytelling incorporating writing, digital photography, video, audio, and animation. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 15

Filmmaking I (3)

Introduction to field video production and post-
production principles and techniques in visual storytelling. Execution of field video projects. 3
units. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 17

Photojournalism (3)

This class serves as an introduction to the theory and practice of documentary photography. Study of the characteristics and role of the journalistic photograph in news communication. Lectures and laboratory practical experiences in the use of digital still cameras and basic digital production techniques. (2 lecture, 3 lab hours)

MCJ 40

Introduction to Advertising and Public Relations (3)

This course provides a broad overview of the advertising and public relations industries. Topics covered include a brief history of both fields, their relationship to businesses, institutions, organizations, and the economy in general, as well as role of the social sciences in both. Ethical considerations in both fields are emphasized.

MCJ 60

Film Theory (3)

An intermediate course in the study of film theory. Foundational film theories will be discussed in addition to emerging critical analysis of the cinematic arts. (3 units, discussion)

MCJ 70

Media Theory (3)

This class examines the history, development, elements of prominent mass communication, journalism and media theories and their application in the field. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 101

News and Media Literacy (3)

Explores how media content is developed, published, and interpreted. GE Area ID. 

MCJ 102W

Reporting (3) 

Prerequisites:  MCJ 2, satisfactory completion (C or better) of the ENGL 1 graduation requirement, to be taken no sooner than the term in which 60 units of coursework are completed. Analysis of news sources; techniques of interviewing applied to specific reporting situations; coverage of campus and community functions in the preparation of articles for the media. Meets the upper-division writing skills requirement for graduation. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 103

Journalism and the Military (3)

Instruction and practice in how to cover and write about military affairs and veterans. Techniques of interviewing applied to specific reporting situations; coverage of veterans events; interviews with veterans; and instruction in various military affairs principles
will be included in the course. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 104

Editing for Digital Journalism (3) 

Prerequisites: MCJ 2, 70 units completed or permission of instructor. Preparation of copy, headlines, and photos for newspapers, websites and other publications; advanced concepts of grammar and style; legal and ethical issues of publications. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 105

Newspaper Practicum (3) 

Prerequisites: MCJ 2 or permission of instructor. Practice in editorial leadership, newspaper writing assignments, and newspaper production techniques. Department newspaper used for laboratory purposes. (1 lecture, 4 lab hours)

MCJ 106

Publication Design (3) 

Survey, design, and editing of specialized publications such as newsletters, brochures, and other materials for editorial, advertising, and public relations purposes. Emphasis on computerized production techniques. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 107

Data Journalism (3)

Prerequisite: MCJ 2. This course will provide students with the tools needed to find data, show them how to distinguish good data from misleading data, teach them how to properly use data in their reporting and writing, and how to visualize the data. 3 units (2 lecture, 2 lab hours).


MCJ 108

Public Affairs Reporting (3) 

Prerequisite: MCJ 2. Advanced reporting for the media with emphasis on public affairs journalism. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 109

Law and Order Reporting (3)

Prerequisite: MCJ 2. Instruction and practice in how to cover and write about the criminal justice system. Techniques of interviewing applied to specific reporting situations; coverage of criminal justice events; and instruction in various criminal justice principles will be included in the course. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)


MCJ 111

Post-Production (3)

Prerequisite: MCJ 15. This class covers a wide range of topics relating to digital post-production,
including editing, sound design, music underscoring, basic visual effects, color correction,
motion graphics and exporting final projects for various exhibition platforms. The course
balances detailed technical instruction with an exploration of the aesthetics and guiding
principles behind each area through lectures, readings, exercises and projects to provide students with overarching principles for platform-independent post-production techniques. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 112

Audio Production (3)

Prerequisite: MCJ 3 or MCJ 15. Introduction to the art of audio storytelling and basic digital audio production techniques. Design and execution of audio-based projects. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 113

Advanced Television Studio Production (3)

Prerequisite: MCJ 13 or permission of instructor. Advanced television studio production principles and techniques. Design and execution of multi-
camera video productions. (2 lecture, 3 lab hours)

MCJ 114W

Screenwriting (3)

An advanced course in the theory and practice of screenwriting for longer format narrative projects. Students will develop feature-length screenplays or pilot scripts for an episodic series. (2 discussion/2 lab hours)

MCJ 115

Filmmaking II (3) 

Prerequisite: MCJ 15. Field video production and post-production principles and techniques in visual storytelling to include single-camera filmmaking, pre-production planning, production execution, post-production, and digital distribution techniques. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 116

Documentary Film and Video Production (3)

Prerequisites: MCJ 15, MCJ 110, 115. Exploration of key concepts of non-fiction visual storytelling techniques and practice using a single camera approach. Projects are intended for public distribution.  (1 lecture, 4 lab hours)

MCJ 117

Narrative Filmmaking (3)

Prerequisites: MCJ 15, 110. Exploration of narrative filmmaking and the creative techniques and aesthetics common to producing a dramatic story in the single-camera film style. Analysis of film genres, visual storytelling and sound design of classic and contemporary cinema. Laboratory and field experiences in producing film projects. (1 lecture, 4 lab hours)

MCJ 118S

Corporate and Nonprofit Media Projects (3) 

Prerequisites: MCJ 3 and MCJ 115. Advanced study of the planning, organization, and execution of media production techniques for informational and educational communications projects for corporations and nonprofits; a service learning approach provides practical experience working in production teams with clients. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 119

Creative Media Production and Entrepreneurship (3)

This course will help students understand how to create business opportunities and navigate the media-making industry. Through lectures, projects, and hands-on experiences that emphasize entrepreneurship, independent financing and distribution of work,
self-employment, marketing, outreach, and dialogue with media professionals working in the
field, students will leave the course better prepared to navigate the media production market. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 120

Multimedia Production and Studio Practicum (3)

Supervised professional practice in producing media for clients and operation of media production facilities. Provides experience in production planning and management, field and studio production, post-production, and providing production services and technical assistance to students, faculty, and members of the public.

MCJ 121

News Video Production (3)

Prerequisite: MCJ 3 or permission of instructor. News & nonfiction video production and post-production principles and techniques in visual storytelling. This will include single-camera videography, pre-production planning, production execution, post-production, graphics, and multimedia techniques for news. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 123

Fresno State Focus Crew (3; max total 6)


Prerequisite: MCJ 3 or permission of instructor. Advanced Production crew for Fresno State Focus newscasts; as newscast director, technical director, floor director, graphics operator, and audio engineer. 3 units, repeatable up to 6 units. 

MCJ 124

Broadcast and Online News Writing (3) 

Prerequisites: MCJ 10, MCJ 102W. Gathering, writing, and editing news for distribution via the broadcast and online news media. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 125

Radio News & Podcasting (3)

Prerequisites: MCJ 2. Basics of radio news: gathering, writing, editing, and producing news reports and features and anchoring newscasts for campus radio station KFSR and streaming online. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 126

Media Performance (3) 

Prerequisites: DRAMA 22, COMM 3, or COMM 8 or equivalents; and permission of instructor; Exploration of the basic theories and techniques of media performance involved in announcing, hosting, reporting, and narrating of audio and visual programming. Emphasis on vocal and visual aspects of performance and preparation of material for media presentation. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 128 

Broadcast News Reporting and Production (4, max 8)

Prerequisites: MCJ 3, MCJ 124, MCJ 126 and MCJ 121 (or MCJ 115) or permission of instructor. Practical experience in multiplatform news producing, reporting, and anchoring intended for broadcast, cable, mobile and online distribution. Lecture and lab experiences focus on all aspects of news production including news editorial, field video, multimedia, online, mobile and TV studio production. Capstone course. (2 lecture, 10 lab hours). 4 units repeatable up to 8 units total.

MCJ 129

Global Campus Studio (3)

Prerequisite: MCJ 2.  This course covers a wide range of aspects of international reporting through reading, lectures, class discussion, multimedia projects and collaboration with students at universities in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. 3 units (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 131

Online Media Design (3)

Fundamentals of online media design and practical experience designing and producing online media. Web authoring and media production tools will be used to design online media, including elements of style, navigation, text, graphics, images, video, music, and forms. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 132

Drone Journalism (3)

Instruction and practice in use of a drone to illustrate news stories and events. Techniques of aerial photography and videography applied to journalism situations; instruction in drone usage, flying and FAA regulations. 

MCJ 136

Media Projects (3)

Prerequisites: MCJ 4/110, and 112, 113, or 115, or permission of instructor. This advanced
production course will provide laboratory experiences in the design and execution of large-scale
semester-long media projects that may be audio, video, film or multi-camera focused. Projects
are intended for public distribution and professional portfolio building. 1-3 units, repeatable up
to 6 units.

MCJ 142

Advertising Procedures (3) 

Overview of all aspects of the field of advertising. Study of history, agent-client relationships, media, relationship to the behavioral sciences, production of copy and layouts, and advertising legislation and responsibility.

MCJ 143

Media Sales (3) 

Selling and servicing accounts and creating and producing advertisements for the university newspaper.

MCJ 144

Writing to Influence (3)

Prerequisites: MCJ 2, 40. Develops print and broadcast copy writing for magazine, direct mail, outdoor, newspaper, radio, television, and new advertising media. Examines the role of the copy writer, creative strategies, research target marketing, copy styles, and laws regulating advertising.

MCJ 146

Media Planning (3)

Prerequisite: MCJ 2, 40. Media planning and buying for advertising media. Evaluating and selecting media to meet specific marketing and communication goals, designing specific media plans, and making buys in various media.

MCJ 147S

Digital and Social Media (3)

The history, strategies and practices of
digital and social media as they relate to the public relations and advertising industries.
Service-learning component provides experiential learning opportunities.

MCJ 148

Advertising Campaigns (3) 

Prerequisites: MCJ 142 and 144 or 146. Background, research, planning, and preparation of national advertising campaign as advertising agency with client-agency set-up; marketing plan and creative execution. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 149

Advertising and Public Relations Campaigns (3)

MCJ 2 (formerly MCJ 10), MCJ 40 (formerly MCJ 142 and MCJ 152S), MCJ 158S or MCJ 144. Student teams plan a public relations and advertising campaign. Covers use of research findings, setting measurable objectives, identifying key publics, defining strategies,
setting budgets, and evaluating results. Course includes analyses of real-world campaigns used to
solve public relations problems.

MCJ 150

Strategic Political Campaigns (3)

The history and structure of American political campaigns. Particular emphasis is placed on how advertising and public relations practices are integrated into the campaigning process.

MCJ 152S

Public Relations (3) 

Development of public relations practice; principles and methods; application in business, education, and other fields.


Nonprofit Public Relations and Development Writing (3)

This course is for anyone interested in nonprofits and nonprofit messages that engage volunteers, donors, and other supporters. You’ll put
your knowledge into action by working with community partners, creating deliverables
including sponsorship materials, media collateral, and competitive grant proposals.

MCJ 157

Public Relations and Advertising Agency Practicum (3)

Prerequisite: MCJ 40. Provides students with an in-depth and hands-on exploration into the creation of public relations and advertising products for "real-world" clients and the management of a public relations and advertising agency. 

MCJ 158S

Advanced Writing for Influence (3)

Prerequisites: MCJ 144, 40. Creating messages tailored to multiple groups via a range of media, including mass media and organizational media such as employee newsletters and annual reports. Practice writing news releases, opinion articles, direct mail pieces and so on. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

MCJ 159S

Public Relations Cases and Campaigns (3) 

Prerequisites: MCJ 2, 152S, 158S. Public relations teams plan a public relations campaign. Covers use of research findings, setting measurable objectives, identifying key publics, defining strategies, setting budgets, and evaluating results. Analyses and application of recent cases to solve public relations problems.

MCJ 163

Radio/TV as Popular Culture (3) 

Prerequisite: to be taken no sooner than the term in which 60 units of coursework 
are completed. A consideration of the media as popular cultural arts through study of development of program forms, social influences. Term paper required.

MCJ 164

Applied Media Research (3) 

Study of survey research methods as used in program ratings, opinion analysis and tracking, and message assessment in radio, television, advertising, and public opinion. Project participation required.

MCJ 171

Media Law and Ethics (3)

For students entering Fresno State in fall 2020 and beyond. Study of federal and state laws as well as professional ethics codes and ethical issues in the media and communications industries.

MCJ 172

Media Law (3) 

Study of federal and state laws and regulations that apply to the media, covering such topics as freedom of information, libel, right to privacy, fair trial-free press, copyright, obscenity and indecency, advertising regulation, and broadcast law and regulation.

MCJ 173

Media Ethics (3) 

Study of ethical choices in the context of the political, social, and economic structure of U.S. communications systems. Also emphasizes applying traditional ethical theories to current media issues and problems.

MCJ 174

History of Mass Media (3)

Historical background of American media from colonial to modern times.

MCJ 175

Media Stereotypes (3)

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. Explores psychological, social, economic, institutional, and political factors related to media stereotypes. Analyzes specific media stereotypes involving gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, and physical conditions; looks at their behavioral and cultural effects. Reviews strategies for improving media portrayals. G.E. Area ID

MCJ 176

International Media (3) 

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. Assesses complex international forces shaping global media, and ways mass media of North America and other nations affect international relations. Focuses on impacts of international news flows, role of media in national development, effects of transnational entertainment, and advertising content. G.E. Multicultural/International MI.

MCJ 177T

Media Topics (3; max total 6) 

Prerequisite: upper-division standing. Topics explore various aspects of the relationships between media and society in national and international arenas.

MCJ 178

New Information Technologies (3) 

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. Addresses the social, political, economic, and philosophical implications of new digital media, as well as the corporate, government, and institutional forces that have shaped the new digital media landscape. Particular attention is given to uses of the technologies and the dynamic relationship linking technology, culture, and social change. G.E. Integration ID.

MCJ 179

CineCulture (3)

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. Explores a wide range of socio-cultural-political topics through a series of film and lectures. Emphasis is on critical analysis of diverse cultures as they are represented in film. Students develop a global awareness and understanding of cultural diversity. G.E. Multicultural/International MI.

MCJ 180

Water and Strategic Media (3)

Explores strategies of how we “communicate water” in strategic public dialogue, including
writing techniques, media platforms, and multimedia campaigns that talk about water in
California and the world. Includes critical and cultural media studies, risk communication, and
best practices.

MCJ 182

Broadcast Programming (3) 

Study of strategies and practices in programming radio and television stations and cable television operations. Lecture, discussion, and analysis/evaluation are primary course methods. Term project and paper required.

MCJ 190

Independent Study (1-3; max total 6) 

See Academic Placement — Independent Study. Approved for RP grading.

MCJ 191

Internship (1-3; max total 6) 

Prerequisites: senior standing in the major with 2.5 GPA, permission of instructor. Applied practical experience in an appropriate media outlet, recording studio, production company, advertising agency, or public relations firm with on-the-job and faculty supervision/instruction. Conferences and reports required. (1-3 units repeatable up to 6 units maximum).

MCJ 199

Capstone (4)

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. For students entering Fresno State in fall 2020 and beyond. Preparation and presentation of a satisfactory senior capstone project or work on a campus media outlet. The course also includes the organization and creation of a professional portfolio. (2 lecture, 10 lab hours)