USC Annenberg to offer new minor in Sports Media Studies

The USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism announced it is offering a new minor in Sports Media Studies, a move that reflects demand from students and the School's unique location in one of the biggest sports media markets in the world.

The Sports Media Studies minor, which begins the Fall 2010 semester, examines the role of sports media in culture and how the presentation of sports in media has evolved, been shaped by cultural issues and impacted culture. It acknowledges strong student interest in understanding sports media, how it functions, how to interact effectively with it and how it has been and may be used for social change.

/images/faculty/wilsone.jpgDean Ernest J. Wilson III (pictured, right) said the new minor is important for USC Annenberg and the University in several ways.

"First, it is largely a response to student interest in the subject, from many different sources," Dean Wilson said. "Also, because we are linking sports, media and social change, we will be able to look at how sports affects society, and society affects sports. We will do so in a rigorous and scholarly way. We think this will interest students in many fields."

Students taking the 24-unit minor must complete five four-unit elective courses and one required four-unit core course — COMM 383: Sports, Communication and Culture, taught by communication and journalism professor Daniel Durbin.  

COMM 383 acts as a core class because it grounds students in the fundamental theories and the history of sports communication and media. The course introduces students to the critical, rhetorical, and social science theories that scholars have used to examine sports as a communication and media phenomenon. The class draws on these theories to examine the evolution of sports media in the United States and provides the foundation for the minor. 

"We have been delighted to discover how much interest there is in this initiative beyond the University in the sports world and the world of media," Dean Wilson said. "It's already generated a lot of enthusiasm among our external partners and stakeholders."

Students must have a 3.0 grade-point average and have completed a minimum of 32 units (sophomore standing) to be accepted into the minor degree program.

"If we see the student interest we anticipate, we intend to add several other components including research, additional teaching and training over the coming years," Dean Wilson said.

Required core communication course:
COMM 383m: Sports, Communication, and Culture

Elective courses (students must take five classes from the following list):
COMM 300: Foundations for the Study of Entertainment, Communication, and Society
JOUR/COMM 380: Sports, Business and Media in Today’s Society
COMM 310: Media and Society
COMM 387: Sports and Social Change
COMM 363: Media Consumption
JOUR 432: Sports Commentary
MOR 479: The Business of Sports