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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Evolution of Mass Communication 01
Considering modern times from media history

Yu Sekiguchi
3rd Year Student in the School of Political Science and Economics

Two textbooks used in the course. Material covered in the textbooks is especially appealing to students interested in media.

"History is studied in order to apply past lessons to modern times."

Have you ever heard the precept written above? These were the first words that I recalled upon taking the course Evolution of Mass Communication 01, taught by Professor Reiko Tsuchiya. The course allowed me to learn the importance of studying history.

Professor Tsuchiya's course covers the process of media evolution in breadth. Material studied begins from the block-printed Yomiuri newspaper at the end of the Edo Period to media from World War II and the Iraq War. This study of media history provides students with more than just mere knowledge. The road which has been walked during the evolution of mass communication gives each one of us an opportunity to consider our relationship with media and to examine solutions to current issues. For example, from the Meiji Period to the Showa Period, writers and journalists were also public speakers. Even if such media figures were banned from writing, they continued to espouse their views through speeches. We students will play a leading role in media in the future, and the form of such journalists makes us deeply consider the spirit with which we should become media professionals. Another example is how presidential elections in America have been swayed by "spin doctors," a professional group which seeks to control the media and public opinion by using advertising and publicity which is appropriate for the candidate. We students are also the formers of public opinion, and this "spin doctor" example causes us to reflect and reconsider the attitude with which we receive information from the media. In this way, the material studied in the course raises questions which are pertinent to modern times.

I am currently taking the course, and I feel that any student interested in the media should also enroll in the course. By studying the evolutionary process of media, the course raises modern issues and explores solutions. Such study is of great importance to young people who will interact with an even greater variety of media in the future.

Each term, a large amount of material is used to supplement course lectures. Students also have many opportunities to view actual items and images.