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CMJ 202: Communication Theory

Your next CMJ 202 achievement is to create a short podcast “series” and accompanying blog posts that bring communication theory and related research to a wide audience, making them both understandable and relevant. To master this achievement, your podcasts and blogs should be well researched and structured, with attention to introducing and critiquing your specific theory, including nonwestern approaches to communication. This page provides you with some examples and research strategies to support you in your quest

The podcast episodes and blog posts should:

  • introduce a specific communication theory and its basic tenets;
  • apply the theory to an issue, topic, or challenge relevant to the audience, helping us understand it from the lens of the specific communication theory;
  • and offer some critiques and/or alternatives to what the theory offers. In other words, the podcast episodes and the blog posts should address the questions of:
    • What is the gist of the theory?
    • What does it helps us have hunches about and how?
    • What specific life situation(s) can we understand, act upon, and/or change with the guidance of this theory?
    • What are the limitations of the perspectives offered by the theory and what are some alternatives?

For tips on how to create podcasts and blogs, take a look at:

Read about how podcasts and blogs often coexist and/or reinforce one another.

Below are some example podcasts and blogs you can use as inspiration for your own podcast. Take note of what works well in these media, such as how the podcasters or bloggers introduce a story, the ways in which they put the story in context, and how they use data/statistics/research in an effective way, without heavy jargon. For your podcasts, you can 1) role play, even satirize, interviewees OR 2) actually contact faculty members or a grad student, and develop an interview about a theory and its implications.

Example podcasts Example blogs
National Communication Association “Communication Matters” podcast series Belmont University Student Blogs on communication research
National Public Radio's “Hidden Brain” and “InTheory” social science podcast (great examples of theory and research as a “lens” on current events and issues of concern) One-planet talking blog, from the International Environmental Communication Association
All My Relations” OR “The Measure of Everyday Life” podcast OR Alan Alda on the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating (good examples of the interview approach) Voices of Decolonization, from Maine Wabanaki Reach
The Stoop podcast (great example of summary + reflective application/dialogue)  
Lifekit, a self help podcast from National Public Radio
CodeSwitch, conversations about race hosted by journalists of color, from National Public Radio  

Check out these research strategies that can assist in your search for nonwestern approaches to communication.

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