Department of Mass Communication

Introduction and Background

Mass communication, a professional programme in its own identity, was solidified as an international academic discipline in 1920s. The modern idea of mass communication was influenced by the technological innovations that resulted into radio and television journalism.  This has unceasingly become a driver to this current global era, not only in communication and information generation but also in dissemination of information. The 21st dynamic changes including; social, economic, political, cultural and environmental had far reaching ramifications for poverty, social harmony, economic growth, political stability which quests for a renegotiation for a healthier mass communication. These challenges have brought about renewed interest in a deeper multi-disciplinary interrogations, opening up space for a holistic mass communication and the need to cover increasing gaps in appropriate policies and processes necessary for promotion of unbiased mass communication. Mass communication has been holding a central place in official, academic and popular discourses about information gathering and dissemination of development, democracy and governance in the world. As such, a comprehensive and representative understanding of the role and significance of Mass communication continues to be a major gap particularly in the context of developing countries. The need for such capabilities for mass information gathering, communicators and practitioners in press, radio, televisions, and internet in the developing countries can best be imparted through a well packaged Degree course in mass communication of Muteesa 1Royal University.

In this era of liberalization of the media industry in Uganda, several radios, TV stations, print media houses and organizations have been established, which necessitates the gathering and dissemination of quality information to meet the expanding demand from the increasing and more enlightened population in need of information. Mass communication is among the courses with the richest subject matter. It has six major areas of specialization. All these areas are compulsory in the first and second years, but a student can specialize in any of them in the third year. A student can also choose papers of interest across the different areas. Graduates of Mass communication are trained to become journalists, information officers, public relations officers, advertising specialists, and marketing advisors. At the same time, students study options from Literature and any international language such as French, German or Swahili to enhance their performance in media.

Justification

There is an increasing need for mass communication demand to train a critical human resource with context specific capabilities specifically tailored to a better understanding of journalism and media practitioner’s challenges in all aspects of developing countries, regional and the developed countries. There has been an overwhelming demand for this degree programme in mass communication by electronic and print media organizations, which must be filled by professional and trained journalists. In the same manner, all commercial, private and government organizations require professionally trained public relations officers and information managers to manage their public relations functions in order to enhance customer satisfaction and utilization of client charters. The press and Journalist Act as well as the Electronic Media Act require every practicing journalist in Uganda to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass communication, or any other degree, but with a Diploma in Mass communication. The course therefore, will help journalists in Uganda to comply with these cardinal instruments that regulate journalistic work in the country.

Journalism as a profession is a highly dynamic and expanding field of study, where persons engaged in it are constantly inquiring, analyzing, interpreting, discussing, compiling and disseminating information about issues, events, and situations in society. Tis course therefore, seeks to improve, and standardize training in the Mass communication, journalism profession and career, by providing technical knowledge, skills and attitudes in journalism, equip students with techniques of operating in the media industry in order to practice effectively with a broader knowledge of issues and tools needed in journalism. Today, there are few skilled manpower especially at the graduate level in Mass communication. The students of this course will be provided with skills, knowledge and the right attitudes that will enable them to practice responsibly.  This will enhance their abilities to contribute to the social, political and economic transformation of the masses in Uganda and the outside world.

Vision

  • Mass communication envisages a local human resource, equipped with communication and journalistic professional skills, to contribute towards solutions to local, national and global challenges, through dissemination of required information and development communication.

Mission

Our mission is to offer qualitative and innovative journalistic and communication skills to our clients using research oriented programmes so as to prepare holistic students with spiritual, cultural as well as sound academic values.

Course Objectives

General Objective

  • To form a competent, vibrant and dynamic human resource with a deeper critical and analytical understanding of complex mass communication processes, conceptualise, plan, and implement journalistic professionalism that will enhance the required development communication.

Specific Objectives

  1. To produce graduates who will be able to demonstrate competence in writing news, professional documents, research and effective commercials and advertisements.
  2. To produce graduates who will be able to promote strategic public relations through building good relationships among organizations and their publics.
  3. To contribute to the professionalizing of the media industry in Uganda.

Expected Outcomes

By the end of the programme, the students:

  1. Will have a high level of professional competence in writing news, professional documents, research and effective commercials and advertisements in this global era.
  2. Will be able to promote strategic public relations through building good relationships among organizations and their publics.
  3. Will contribute to the professional media industry in Uganda.


Intended Participants

The degree in mass communication will target all those men and women who wish to study and upgrade in mass communication. The course will specifically target those students fresh from S.6 from any background, with at least one principle pass and two subsidiaries at the same sitting or those with the equivalent. The course will also target those with other diploma or degree qualifications who may want to study mass communication as well. The course level is at undergraduate level or/ a bachelors’ degree.

Resources and Scholastic Materials

The Degree in Mass communication is housed in the Faculty of Social Culture and Development Studies. They will therefore share the physical, administrative, academic infrastructure and resources within the Faculty. In addition, the programme will share the structures and services provided by the wider University. The available materials include the University Library, radio studio, the university newspaper and photo studio for photographic production. These facilities will enhance the practical and hands-on training of the students in their respective specializations in the mass communication discipline.

Space

The programme is sharing the physical facilities, infrastructure, administrative, and academic resource within the Faculty and department of mass communication.