Saturday , February 24 2024

Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Media and Information Literacy (CMS 209)

With the unbundling of Mass Communication programme in Nigeria, the face of communication education in the country has changed. The programme has transited into a full college/faculty while individual courses have adapted to the change. While several new courses now exist in the seven new departments, some of the courses you used to know before have also taken a new shape. We have done a thorough research on what these courses offer in universities across the world; and we have provided prototype syllabus for students to study ahead. This is also to assist lecturers who might be facing new challenges with several new courses to have an idea of what the syllabus of each course offers.


Faculty: Communication and Media Studies                                            Department: Journalism & Media Studies

Course Code: CMS 209                                          Unit(s): 2                      Semester: First

Course Title: Media and Information Literacy

Lecturer:                                                       Programme: B.Sc.


This course is designed to teach students the elements of media and information literacy, its importance and relevance in the lives of teachers and students. The course also exposes students to the roles of media and other information providers such as libraries, archives, internet and the exploration of these roles in media and information text. At the completion of this course, students will be able to develop an informed and critical understanding of the nature of an ever expanding and increasingly dominating mass media –as information sources, as entertainment, and as an industry – as well as to examine, interpret, and evaluate the messages contained within, and their social, cultural and political implications. Students will also be conversant with complexities of media literacy, and possess critical thinking skills, and methods of analysis which facilitate interpretation and analysis of media contents.


By the end of this course, students will have learned:

  1. How media messages create meaning
  2. How to identify who created a particular media message
  3. How to recognize bias, spin, misinformation and lies
  4. Evaluate media messages based on our own experiences, beliefs and values
  5. How to create and distribute media messages
  6. How to critically interpret media contents and become advocates for change in media system
  7. How to evaluate and be critical consumers of information and media.
  8. Their legal rights in relation to information and media
  9. Structures of media ownership.
  10. Knowledge of a variety of media languages that will help them understand the ways in which information and messages can be conveyed
  11. How interpretation of information or ideas from media and other information providers can be related to the type of languages used.
  12. Legal, Ethical, and Societal Issues in Media and Information


  1. Lectures
  2. Quizzes
  3. Assignments
  4. Practical Classroom Sessions


1. Introduction

  • Definition of key concepts (media, information, technology literacy, and media information literacy)

2. From Traditional to New Media: Trends in Media Evolution

  • Meaning and development of traditional and new Media
  • Types and characteristics of tradition and new media
  • Fusion between traditional and new media

3. Media and Information: A Closer Look

  • What is Information?
  • What is Media?
  • What is Media and Information Literacy?
  • Media and Information Sources
  • Media Consumption & Reception
  • Media constructs and realities
  • Media interpretation lenses (how the media interpret issues in terms of race, class, gender, ideologies, ethnic leanings, etc.)

4. Information Sources

  • What is information source?
  • Mass media, libraries, archives, internet, etc.
  • Role of various information source/providers
  • How to locate sources
  • Retrieve sources from a variety of information systems
  • Evaluate / analyze / relate/interpret sources, messages and information
  • Select appropriate sources
  • Evaluating Sources

5. Media and Information Literacy: A Closer Look

  • What is media literacy?
  • What is Information Literacy?
  • Media Consumption & Participation
  • Information & Media Consumption
  • Recognising and articulating a need for information
  • The Information Cycle (the way information is processed and distributed and how it changes over time; progression of media coverage specific newsworthy events or topics)

6. Media and Information Literacy Competencies

  • Knowledge of available communication and information resources
  • Knowledge of media, communication, and information chain/structure/construction
  • Knowledge of basic principles such as freedom of expression and information
  • Ability to reflect on learning, metacognition
  • Ability to inquire and engage in research skills and processes
  • Critical thinking
  • Pluralism of ideas/Respect of others opinions
  • Tolerance
  • Respect of authorship
  • Social responsibility
  • Wise use of information

7. Media and Information Languages

  • Define the concept of “Media Languages” (every medium has its own ‘language’ or ‘grammar’);
  • How are media languages understood by media audiences?
  • What are some of the major ‘languages’ codes and conventions used by people working in media and information today? (Each medium has its own ‘language’ or ‘grammar’ that works to convey meaning in a unique way. ‘Language’ – technical and symbolic ingredients or codes and conventions that media and information professionals may select and use in an effort to communicate ideas, information and knowledge. Media languages can also include the repeated use of particular words, phrases and images. Technical codes – sound, camera angles, types of shots and lighting, including ominous music to communicate danger in a feature film, or high-angle camera shots to create a feeling of power in a photograph. Symbolic codes – the language, dress or actions of characters, or iconic symbols that are easily understood. For example, a red rose may be used symbolically to convey romance, or a clenched fist may be used to communicate anger).
  • How audience derive similar/dissimilar meanings from the same text or piece of information.

8. Legal, Ethical, and Societal Issues in Media and Information

  • (Copyright, plagiarism, computer addiction, cyber bullying, dangers of internet use, ‘Fake news’ era, media as a social problem)

9. Opportunities, Challenges and Power of Media and Information Literacy

  • The opportunities, challenges, (use your local environment to explain power and influence of media and information literacy)
  • Media and Information Literate Individuals
  • People Media
  • Multi Media
  • Information literacy and its implications for developing personal inquiry and problem solving abilities
  • The cognitive and metacognitive demands that underlie purposeful interactions with information
  • Key concepts relating to ethical responsibilities with and within the media professions

10. Where are we headed? Current and Future Trends of Media and Information

  • Current trends
  • Future trends
  • The new media and media/information literacy
  • The need for and purposes of media and information literacy education

11. News Literacy& Media Ownership

  • Define News literacy and media ownership
  • Cognition & Audience Bias
  • Participatory Media
  • Media Ownership

12. Class activities and Assignments

Practical classroom exercises and field work


Estimating the effect of news media consumption on political participation

Cognition and Audience Bias

Judging The Credibility Of News In The Digital Age

“Fake or Real? How to Self-Check the News and Get the Facts” (NPR)

“Google made changes to its search algorithm that unintentionally made it vulnerable to the spread of fake news”

Evaluating Sources for Credibility (NCSU) –

How Social Media Is a Toxic Mirror (Rachel Simmons)

Media Literacy and News Credibility: Does knowledge of media ownership increase skepticism in news consumers?

Information literacy competency standards and critical thinking in higher education

E-Learning guide on media and information language

Legal, ethical and societal issues in media and information literacy

The media as a social problem


READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Intro to Communication I (CMS 101)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Introduction To Communication II (CMS 102)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: History of Nigerian Media (CMS 103)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Traditional African Communication Systems (CMS 105)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Editing & Graphics of Communication (CMS 203)


About Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a writer with passion for cutting-edge news

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