Instructor and Class Details

Media, as the term is used in this course, comprise the wide range of means used by people to communicate. It includes mass media (such as books, newspapers, film, and radio and television broadcasting), telecommunications (such as fixed and mobile phones, optical fiber and satellite systems, the Internet), and computing (hardware and software used for information processing, storage, and communication). Media are central to the major developments of modern societies. Their role is critical to the emergence of nation-states and conceptions of national identity; ideas of citizenship, democracy, and associated human freedoms; the development of political culture and the public sphere; modern economic growth and employment; reduction of poverty and pursuit of a wide range of development goals; and the processes we refer today under the general terms of globalization and modernity.

Throughout this course we shall look into media from three complementary viewpoints. Media are the technical means of communication. These are the devices that people use to communicate and exchange information, and the infrastructure of global networks and services that connect them. Since the 1990s, convergence among traditionally separate technologies, networks, and services and the rise of the Internet is resulting in new ways of using media for personal communication, business, and government. Media are also the informational and symbolic content that is communicated. This is the material that is sent and comes to us through our newspapers, mobile phones, magazines, television sets, radios, and personal computers. Content and its value to users is closely related to the cultural environment and the means used to convey it. And media are the institutional and organizational forms through which content is produced, distributed, and regulated. In the simplest terms this refers to the structure and regulation of the mass media industries (e.g. publishing, broadcasting) and the telecommunication industries (e.g. telephone, mobile, cable). Traditionally, content and the technical means of communication have been kept separate regarding public policy and regulation, the former being closer to essentially political and cultural concerns and the latter managed largely in terms of technical and economic considerations. With convergence this model is being challenged.

Consuelo Campbell is an adjunct professor at MSU, and received her Ph.D. from the Mass Media Ph.D. program in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at MSU. Her primary area of research is international communications with an area interest in Latin America and Asia. She has taught at the Chinese University of Hongkong, University of Michigan and Michigan State University and has publications in both the Asian Journal of Communication and Gazette.

Björn Wellenius is an independent consultant on telecommunications policy, regulation, and economics. He advises the World Bank Group (Washington, DC), law and consulting firms in Europe and North America, and governments and regulatory authorities. Until 1999 he was the World Bank’s Telecommunications Adviser. Dr. Wellenius has experience in over 40 developing countries. He has published five books on telecommunications and economic development as well as book chapters, best practice notes, and technical papers on universal service, rural infrastructure financing, competition policy, spectrum management, and sector reform. Before joining the World Bank, Dr. Wellenius was Professor of Telecommunications at Universidad de Chile. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Essex (England) and an engineering degree from Universidad de Chile. He is an adjunct professor at MSU.