Feb 24, 2020  
2019 - 2020 Cowley College Academic Catalog 
2019 - 2020 Cowley College Academic Catalog



3 Credit Hours

Student Level:

This course is open to students on the college level in either the freshman or sophomore year.

Catalog Description:

MCM2413 - Violence in the Media (3 hrs.)

This multidisciplinary course is designed for students who wish to develop academic and practical abilities to effectively function in a trauma or disaster. This course is designed primarily for those deciding whether or not to enter the field of journalism (broadcast, Web or print) where they may come in contact with a traumatic situation. Students from other disciplines (Allied Health, communications, and theater) will enroll in a similar class that addresses their roles. A capstone simulated disaster for all students (journalism, communications, theater and EMS) will be conducted followed by a debriefing session.

Course Classification:




Controlling Purpose:

This course is designed to help the student increase his/her knowledge concerning violence in the media and the self-care required of journalists and other first responders and dealing with trauma/violence in a reporting scenario. The course will use video, readings, research and role playing to teach students methods for reporting trauma responsibly.

Learner Outcomes:

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to, via a role-playing scenario, gain information needed for publication of specific public and private traumatic events, distinguish between news and sensationalism, and to conduct an interview with a trauma victim (or survivors).

Unit Outcomes for Criterion Based Evaluation:

The following outline defines the minimum core content not including the final examination period.  Instructors may add other material as time allows.

Unit 1:  Dealing with a Trauma Situation

Outcomes:  The student will be able to discuss and apply self-care techniques for first responders.

  • Describe the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a trauma/disaster.
  • Discuss the discipline-specific preparedness for a trauma situation.
  • List and describe the steps for self-care following reporting or exposure to a trauma or disaster.
  • Describe techniques a reporter may use to acquire information and properly deal with various stages of witness grief during a trauma or disaster.
  • Describe the follow up steps for a reporter after a traumatic event or disaster.

Unit 2:  Practical Application of Dart Guidelines

Outcomes: The student will be able to apply DART theory in a trauma (contrived) situation.

  • Set up information transfer during a trauma or disaster.
  • Evaluate the need for varying discipline-specific responses during a violent attack.
  • Formulate a needs assessment of the local, regional and federal resources that would be needed during a specific disaster situation.
  • Assess the need and implement supporting technologies that need to be utilized during a disaster.
  • Perform ongoing management and maintenance of a disaster situation.

Unit 3:  Multidisciplinary Aspects of Pediatric Disasters

Outcomes: Students will gain a greater understanding and respect of the issues faced by multidisciplinary responders during real and contrived pediatric disasters.

  • Describe the effects of critical incident stress on primary, secondary and tertiary responders.
  • Compare and contrast how differing roles may be perceived by some to be obstacles for other discipline-specific responders.
  • Describe how discipline-specific responders, each with differing roles, may be able to function more effectively when dealing with other different responders when win-win situations are developed during a disaster.
  • Discuss the advantages of performing in contrived disaster situations.
  • Value and defend the roles each discipline has during a disaster situation.

Unit 4:  History, Research and Understanding of Career Specific Issues Faced by Journalists as First Responders

Outcomes: Students will gain a greater understanding of the fallout faced by reporters as first responders.

  • Describe the effects personal contact with trauma victims.
  • Compare and contrast how members of the media are impacted by various situations depending on method of coverage, proximity to event and personal involvement.
  • Describe how various media responded to the same event (after viewing the film on Columbine) and how the public responded.
  • Discuss the advantages of community journalism.
  • Value and defend the roles of each of the participants in the scenarios in the book.

Projects Required:

Active participation both in the face to face sessions and online as well as in a simulated disaster is required.


Contact the bookstore for current textbook.

Attendance Policy: 

Students should adhere to the attendance policy outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Grading Policy:

The grading policy will be outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Maximum class size:

Based on classroom occupancy

Course Time Frame:

The U.S. Department of Education, Higher Learning Commission and the Kansas Board of Regents define credit hour and have specific regulations that the college must follow when developing, teaching and assessing the educational aspects of the college. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or an equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. The number of semester hours of credit allowed for each distance education or blended hybrid courses shall be assigned by the college based on the amount of time needed to achieve the same course outcomes in a purely face-to-face format.

Refer to the following policies:

402.00 Academic Code of Conduct

263.00 Student Appeal of Course Grades

403.00 Student Code of Conduct

Disability Services Program:

Cowley College, in recognition of state and federal laws, will accommodate a student with a documented disability. If a student has a disability which may impact work in this class which requires accommodations, contact the Disability Services Coordinator.