UGA Journalism & Mass Communication at Oxford
Instructor: David Welch Suggs, Jr., Ph.D.
Office hours: TBD
Office location: TBD
Welcome! This course is going to be an adventure for all of us. This is my 12th year of teaching at UGA, but my first time doing anything international. Together, we will be learning quite a bit about both media and sports cultures in America and Europe by experiencing the European (ok, mostly British) versions and comparing what we find to our own knowledge and experiences.
Some of you may have just thought to yourselves, “Wait...sports?” Yes. I am the associate director of the Carmical Sports Media Institute at UGA, and I am designing this course to look at media issues through the specific lens of sports. Whether you have an interest in sports or not, it will provide an interesting and compelling platform to understand how cultural differences manifest themselves through sports and media.
My professional background and primary teaching is in journalism, but the class and associated assignments are intended to be flexible enough to pursue work relevant to all majors—advertising, entertainment and media studies, journalism, and public relations. If you see an opportunity to do work more aligned to your professional interests, talk to me and we’ll see if we can redraft the assignments to fit.
I have spent time in Oxford twice before, once as an undergrad doing a summer program much like this one and once as a graduate student at a conference. I plan on showing you a bit of the university and the town and also arranging for a combination of guest speakers and travel to visit British sports and media organizations outside Oxford.
In each of the modules, you’ll see a catalogue with the following:
Links to background material for you to read and watch A description of a short reflective assignment to complete after viewing the background material Notes on class discussion topics
You also can look at the different schedule views in the tabs above. The schedule of most use to you probably will be the assignment schedule, which tells you exactly when each assignment is due. You can then check the module page to get details on that assignment.
All assignments and exercises are to be turned in by the designated deadline. Deadlines are 11:59 p.m. on the date specified unless otherwise listed. If you miss deadline, you get a zero for the assignment. No exceptions, unless you provide documented proof of a major medical or other emergency that took place while completing the assignment. Problems with technology or other equipment do not constitute excusable emergencies. You must silence your cell phones at the start of every class. Any exceptions must be approved by the instructors. We will be working with social media and visiting web sites as part of our class work and discussion. But if you are online for personal reasons during class, you will be assessed an absence for that class. As per UGA at Oxford policy, class attendance is mandatory. Missing a class will result in a point off your final grade unless you inform me via Slack of an illness or other crisis in advance. The “logo rule” for sports media classes does not apply here. I will mention this in class. Be aware that any form of plagiarism will trigger harsh consequences, possibly including a failing grade for the class and expulsion from the University. If you are unclear on what constitutes plagiarism, please check with the instructors. COVID: Per UGA policy, the COVID-19 virus is now to be treated as any other infectious disease. As of now, I would personally urge you to get vaccinated and boosted if you have not already, particularly in case a new variant begins circulating in the UK. But neither UGA nor Oxford has any reporting or quarantine requirements.
No required books to buy. All reading and videos will be linked here. Slack: Instead of using the hated ELC or a class website, we’re going to be doing most coursework using, one of the fastest-growing communication platforms for media and technology organizations. This is an app many news organizations and other corporations are using to manage information and workflow. It’s designed to replace shared services, email, texting, etc. for all internal communications. The goal is to give you a sense of how “real world” work takes place. There are apps available for computer, tablet, phone, and Apple Watch, so please install on the devices you use for coursework. Slack “channels” are conversations involving all who subscribe, and we will be doing some work on beats and hosting discussions about skills and issues in those channels. You can also message classmates and me directly using direct messages just like Twitter. They show up on my phone and computers as quickly as texts and emails do. I’d prefer you ask me questions about class that way so you have a record of all class material there.
Counseling and personal needs:
Students who are having a hard time balancing the demands of class, work, and life in general should not feel alone; the combination of freedom and responsibility that comes with college (and especially upper-division courses) is really hard for a lot of people. It’s okay to seek professional help, and UGA has ramped up its counseling services significantly over the past few years. Take advantage of them at http://www.uhs.uga.edu/caps/. More broadly, ask for help and feel free to seek advice from us or others before you get in over your head. That said, asking for help is your responsibility. We cannot accommodate undiagnosed learning disabilities or other challenges as excuses for missing deadlines. The University of Georgia is committed to providing equal educational opportunities for qualified students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws including the American Disabilities Act. Help for disabled students is available from the Disability Resource Center. More information is available at www.dissvcs.uga.edu. If you have a particular issue that needs to be accommodated, please share it with the instructor as early as possible in the semester.
As a University of Georgia student, you have agreed to abide by the University’s academic honesty policy, “A Culture of Honesty,” and the Student Honor Code. All academic work must meet the standards described in “A Culture of Honesty” found . Lack of knowledge of the academic honesty policy is not a reasonable explanation for a violation. Questions related to course assignments and the academic honesty policy should be directed to the instructor.