Telecommunications | Intro to Telecommunications Policy Studies
T504 | 21475 | Terry, H.

Semester:     Fall, 2005

Course Number:    TEL-T 504

Class Number:   21475

Course Title:   Introduction to Telecommunications Policy Studies (3

T504 is the starting point for the graduate level study of
telecommunications law, policy, economics and technology in the
Department of Telecommunications. It is part of the set of core
classes applicable to most graduate programs in the department and
prepares students for more advanced law and policy courses at the
500 and 600 level.

Although focused on the U.S. electronic media, this course considers
U.S. telecommunications law and policy in its increasingly global
context.  It presumes an undergraduatelevel knowledge of (1) the
U.S. legal and political system, (2) U.S. electronic media law and
policy, (3) the structure of the electronic media industries, (4)
electronic media economics and (5) electronic media technologies.

Students who did not study electronic media law and policy and the
electronic media industries in their undergraduate or masters'
programs will probably have to do additional readings, very early in
the semester, in order to get up to speed.  This is likely to be
especially true of graduate students entering our program from other
degree programs outside of the U.S.  The goal is to teach T504 at a
graduate level, however, so if you haven't had the appropriate
undergraduate background work, you will have to make that up, very
quickly, through additional, largely independent, readings.

The course will start with a brief overview of the U.S. legal and
political system.  This is intended as a (refresher( for students
who grew up in the U.S.  As noted above, international graduate
students may need to do more than this, at the start of the class.
The course then moves to theoretical and practical consideration of
what policy is and how it comes about.  This is followed by an
overview of major constitutional, statutory and regulatory laws and
policies that affect the U.S. electronic media industries and media
consumers.  Our emphasis here, however, is largely on current
dimensions of these areas.  It's presumed that the undergraduate
level work described above has given you the necessary background to
understand current issues and controversies.  We consider major
legal and regulatory theories for the electronic media (both old and
new), with attention to how those theories are stressed by
contemporary convergence and globalization.  It reviews how
telecommunications law and policy works in the U.S., the
institutions involved in policy, and also introduces students to
basic legal bibliography and legal research methods.

The course is conducted as a seminar rather than as a lecture.
Thus, students are expected to arrive at class prepared for
discussion.  There will be written midterm and final examinations
that, combined, will equal about 50% of the overall course grade.
There will also be individual and group research projects
collectively equaling the other 50% of the grade.  Texts selected at
this point (March, 2005) will be: Benjamin, Stuart Minor, Douglas
Gary Lichtman, Howard A. Shelanski, Telecommunications Law and
Policy, Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2004 plus the 2005
cumulative supplement to this text; Colebatch, H.K., Policy, 2nd ed,
Buckingham:: Open University Press, 2002 and Armstrong, Rob,
Covering Government: A Civics Handbook for Journalists, Ames, Iowa:
Iowa State University Press, 2002.  Other texts may be substituted
for these, however, if better materials are published between now
and Fall, 2005.  There will also be reserve readings.

Class meets in TV 169 from 8:00am to 9:15am on MW.