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Introduction to Mass Media

Purpose of Course  showclose

The purpose of this course, as governed by the textbook at its core, Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication, is to complete a fairly comprehensive examination of the evolution and impact of the media, primarily in the United States.  Each of the major media (newspapers, magazines, books, radio, movies, music, and television), as well as new media (electronic entertainment, social media, and the Internet), are examined from their conception to the present and future possibilities.  Emphasis is placed on how each media industry has evolved over time, responding to changes in society, technology, politics, and economics.  The course also explores the cultural impact of the media, from individual media products to entire industries, with particular emphasis on the cultural and ethical factors that influence production, consumption, and also, due to the advent of new media, participation.  Upon completing this course, you should be more conscious of how your viewpoints are shaped by and can shape the media with which you interact.  As a result, hopefully, not only will you be more critical as a consumer of media products but also more demanding and more creative as a participant and even a producer.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to COMM103: Introduction to Mass Media.  Below, please find general information on this course and its requirements.
 
Course Designer: P. Wynn Norman
 
Primary Resources: This course primarily utilizes of the following two resources:
Requirements for Completion: To complete this course, you will need to work through reading materials and lectures, as well as study questions, critical thinking suggestions, and mini-projects, before taking the final exam, which will be the sole basis of your official grade.
 
 In order to “pass” this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam.  Your score will be tabulated as soon as you complete it.  If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.
 
Time Commitment: This course should take you approximately 75 hours to complete.  Each unit in the course includes a “time advisory,” which lists the amount of time you may need to spend on each subunit.  These time advisories should help you plan your time accordingly.  It may be useful to take a look at these time estimates and determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit and then set goals for yourself.  Completing most of the reading assignments and lectures in the units will take you between 3 and 4 hours, but the amount of time it takes for you to respond to the discussion questions, critical thinking suggestions, and mini-projects presented in the subunits will vary depending on the nature and number of questions.  For general planning purposes, however, you may want to set aside 5 hours – the average time advisory per unit – for each unit.
 
Tips/Suggestions: To absorb the material in this course and prepare for the final exam effectively, use the learning outcomes listed at the beginning of each unit to preview the information you need to look for and focus on.  Moreover, do not just note the units and subunits that the outcomes preview.  Recognize the demands on your critical thinking skills which the verbs in those statements also indicate: compare, contrast, describe, provide examples, critique, explain, recognize, categorize, show, predict, identify, defend, justify, define, and so forth.
 
In addition, you should recognize that the content of most of the chapters in the textbook follows a similar pattern to review each media industry: historical and technological developments are always covered first, followed by the relationship between culture and the media, important or influential media products, current issues and trends, and finally projections about the future.  These patterns in the textbook produce patterns in the units of this course, too.  This is another characteristic you should look for in the unit learning outcomes and also in the introductions and guiding statements presented at the beginning of subunits.  Use the notes, study questions, critical thinking suggestions, and mini-projects presented in the subunits as additional guides to help you focus on important aspects of the readings and study for the final exam.
 
Once you’ve completed the unit contents and the recommended tasks, return to the learning outcomes and test the efficacy of your work by responding to those statements as though they were questions on a final exam.  If you are unable to respond to the outcomes, return to the textbook or class lecture to discover the connections you may have missed.  Following these practices will not only prepare you for the exam but will also enable you to retain what you have learned and use it in other contexts.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Provide specific examples of how media has influenced culture and cultural change and how cultural changes have had an impact on media development.
  • Describe the processes of convergence and gatekeeping and critique their significance in the current media landscape.
  • Identify influential theories and research on the roles, uses, and effects of the media on social, political, and cultural institutions.
  • Compare and contrast the economic and cultural factors that influenced the evolution of various media from their inception to their current status.
  • Recognize historically important technological changes that had direct and lasting effects on the public’s use of various types of media and on how people live their lives.
  • Trace the evolution of journalism as it was influenced by developments in media and critique its current role in fostering public knowledge, social responsibility, and ethics in leadership.
  • Recognize and describe from historical, cultural, and economic perspectives the leading products and personalities in each of the major and new media industries.
  • Identify the legal and legislative developments that have shaped the media and describe some of the unresolved issues which challenge regulation of the media, including how media operate and how much control over media products political and social leaders can exert.
  • Explain the changes and challenges that are occurring as the world goes digital.
  • Provide examples of how the media influences individual perceptions of culture, gender, sexuality, wealth, education, politics, and other important social issues.
  • Show how technology, legislation, and economics have changed media business models over time and how those models have adapted to and/or influenced cultures beyond their countries of origin.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    Have access to a computer.

√    Have continuous broadband Internet access.

√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash).

√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.

√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.).

√    Have competency in the English language.

√    Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

√    Have the ability to download and play iTunes resources.

Unit Outline show close


Expand All Resources Collapse All Resources
  • Unit 1: Media and Culture  

    In the first unit of the course, you will learn about how culture and the media have interacted with each other for many years.  The media is both the product of and a producer of culture.  Appreciating that relationship will help you both anticipate and understand how this course is organized and the kinds of questions you should ask yourself as you consider its contents.  For example, when it comes to problems that may seem to stem from information or actions presented by the media, how do you determine what actually causes those problems: the media, which disseminates information about them, or the culture, which creates or demands that information?  Answers to these questions may become clearer as you proceed through this unit and learn about the various roles the media plays in modern society and the individuals who select and filter information for media consumers.

    Unit 1 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 1 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 1.1 The Intersection of American Media and Culture  
  • 1.2 How Did We Get Here? The Evolution of Media  
  • 1.2.1 A Brief History of Mass Media and Culture  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.2.  You should consider taking notes on this material by developing a timeline of the important events that are mentioned.

  • 1.2.2 Technological Transitions Shape Media Industries  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.2.  When you have completed it, you will have produced useful notes if they include a list of some of the technology that changed the media.

  • 1.2.3 Why Media? What Do Media Do for Us?  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.2.  To cement this material in your memory, ask yourself why you use the media and how or why your exposure to it varies.

  • 1.3 How Did We Get Here? The Evolution of Culture  
  • 1.3.1 The Modern Age – Modernity  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.3.  As you read through the subsection, keep in mind what you learned about the media’s past and try to compare those traits and developments with what the textbook identifies as the “modern” media.

  • 1.3.2 The Postmodern Age  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.3.  Realize that there is no consensus on what is “modern” and what is “postmodern.”  Because of that, you should read this material critically, asking yourself whether you actually agree with the author’s delineation or whether you think there might be a better way to distinguish between the eras.

  • 1.4 Media Mix: Convergence  
  • 1.4.1 Kinds of Convergence  

    Note: This sub-subunit and the sub-sub-subunits beneath (1.4.1.1–1.4.1.5) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 1.4.  They are introduced or highlighted by major or minor subheadings in section 1.4 of the textbook.  This material presents the clearest example of how the textbook often uses a term (“convergence”) as an umbrella category for distinct but related subcategories.  Upon completing this reading, you should be able to compare examples from each subcategory.

  • 1.4.1.1 Economic Convergence  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 1.4.

  • 1.4.1.2 Organic Convergence  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 1.4.

  • 1.4.1.3 Cultural Convergence  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 1.4.

  • 1.4.1.4 Global Convergence  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 1.4.

  • 1.4.1.5 Technological Convergence  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 1.4.

  • 1.4.2 Effects of Convergence  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.4.  You should focus on how this material covers “effects” and connect that treatment to its sister strategy, “cause.”  Throughout this course, being able to identify causes and effects, especially with respect to media and culture, will be a very important skill.

  • 1.5 Cultural Values Shape Media; Media Shape Cultural Values  
  • 1.5.1 Free Speech as Cultural Value  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.5.  Understanding what both culture and values are is critical to absorbing the important of this material.  One way to cement these ideas in your mind is to relate them to your own perspectives.  What would you describe as your culture?  What values do you associate with your culture?

  • 1.5.2 Persuasion and Cultural Values  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.5.  As with the previous section, this material presents a relationship between two terms and the concepts they represent, but as with many relationships, this one is not necessarily accurate or useful, so you should apply critical thinking to the material you encounter.

  • 1.5.3 The Cultural Value of Gatekeepers  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.5 and it requires you to use yet another term, “gatekeepers,” to explain how people develop and apply value systems.  Considering your own behavior, such as by identifying the gatekeepers whom you allow to affect your own experiences, will help you absorb the details more effectively.

  • 1.6 Mass Media and Popular Culture  
  • 1.6.1 “The Tastemakers”  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.6.  Make sure that you can distinguish between “tastemakers” and “gatekeepers” once you have finished reviewing the material.

  • 1.6.2 A Changing System for the Internet Age  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.6.  The key to understanding the significance of this material is your recognition of what a system is, something which the textbook takes for granted.  If you look up the word, you’ll find several definitions.  It would be useful for you to do so and then choose the one that fits the context of the readings.

  • 1.6.3 Getting Around the Gatekeepers  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.6 and is another instance where being able to describe examples from your own experiences or observations would help you absorb the information better.

  • 1.7 Media Literacy  
  • 1.7.1 Why Be Media Literate?  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (1.7.1.1–1.7.1.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 1.7.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 1.7 of the textbook.  Notice, too, that the subunit heading asks a question.  By the time you finish the material, you should be able to answer it via a brief but insightful statement which uses several of the terms introduced in the material.

  • 1.7.1.1 Advertising  

    Note: This subunit and is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 1.7.

  • 1.7.1.2 Bias, Spin, and Misinformation  

    Note: This subunit and is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 1.7.

  • 1.7.1.3 New Skills for a New World  

    Note: This subunit and is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 1.7.

  • 1.7.2 Individual Accountability and Popular Culture  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.7.  Please focus on the relationship the textbook describes between individual accountability and popular culture.  Try to summarize how popular culture can be influential and where in your own environment individual accountability takes on even more importance.

  • Unit 1 Assessment  
  • Unit 2: Media Effects  

    It will be important as you work through this unit to recognize the value of theory and research in framing how a subject like the mass media is explored and explained.  Both are part of the scientific process, which sets standards for how ideas become theories, which produce hypotheses that can be tested by research methods that, ideally, produce replicable and thus generalizable results.  Neither the textbook nor the lecture spends a lot of time on the role science plays in controlling and recording the results of research, but you should keep that role in mind as you work through this unit.  You should also keep in mind that research does not produce truth, theories are not infallible, and no method is perfect.  However, there is value in understanding where the generalizations you encounter about the nature of media and culture come from, which is the focus of this unit.

    Unit 2 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 2 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 2.1 Mass Media and Its Messages  
  • 2.1.1 Propaganda and Persuasion  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (2.1.1.1–2.1.1.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 2.1 of the textbook.  As you read this material, recognize that it is presenting another set of relationships.  You should consider what type of relationship is being described in each subsection of material.  Is it comparative, predictive, restrictive, interactive, or something else?  You will complete the reading knowing there are (theorized) relationships, but will you be able to describe efficiently the nature of each relationship?

  • 2.1.1.1 Media Effects and Behavior  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.1.

  • 2.1.1.2 Violence and the Media  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.1.

  • 2.1.1.3 Sex and the Media  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.1.

  • 2.1.2 Media Effects and Behavior  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.1.  Please keep in mind that there are many factors which influence behavior and the media is only one of them.  Consider determinants of your own behavior and see if you can identify how the media might work with other factors to compel you to act in a specific way.

  • 2.1.3 Cultural Messages and the Media  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.1.  Throughout the textbook, cultural ramifications are emphasized, but there is a problem.  The world is dominated by a multitude of cultures.  The text focuses on the United States, a country of such diversity that it is difficult to state with any definitiveness just how cultural messages are produced or transmitted.  As a result, you’ll appreciate the information in this subsection more by thinking about cultures to which you do not belong and using the material to explain what you’ve encountered when interacting with individuals from those other cultures.

  • 2.1.4 New Media and Society  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (2.1.4.1–2.1.4.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.1.  They are introduced or highlighted by major or minor subheadings in section 2.1 of the textbook.  You may or may not have access to an abundance of new media, which may enhance or limit your appreciation for this subsection in the textbook.  However, you are accessing this course through a platform which invariably does expose you to some of the new media details in this subsection.  What are they?  What do you encounter online which reflects the relationship between new media and its impact on society?

  • 2.1.4.1 Information  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.1.

  • 2.1.4.2 Literacy  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.1.

  • 2.1.4.3 News  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.1.

  • 2.1.4.4 Convergence Culture  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.1.

  • 2.2 Media Effects Theories – Challenges to the Direct Effects Theory  
  • 2.2.1 Agenda-Setting Theory  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.2.  When reviewing media theories, it is important that you recognize that they often compete against each other for the attention and respect of scientists.  As you read section 2.2 in the textbook, ask yourself how effectively each of the theories you encounter explain the media as you perceive it.  Be prepared to criticize or defend these theories with examples from your own experiences.

  • 2.2.2 Uses and Gratifications Theory  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.2.

  • 2.2.3 Symbolic Interactionism  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.2.

  • 2.2.4 Spiral of Silence  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.2.

  • 2.2.5 Media Logic  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.2.

  • 2.2.6 Cultivation Analysis  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.2.

  • 2.3 Methods of Researching Media Effects  
  • 2.3.1 Content Analysis  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3.  To recognize the usefulness or inappropriateness of the research methods covered in this material, consider how easily you could generalize from their results and also consider the cost of pursuing each method.  You should use these guidelines to prepare for critical thinking questions on the final exam which will ask you to assess the usefulness of research methods under various circumstances.

  • 2.3.2 Archival Research  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3.

  • 2.3.3 Surveys  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3.

  • 2.3.4 Social Role Analysis  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3.

  • 2.3.5 Depth Interviews  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3.

  • 2.3.6 Rhetorical Analysis  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3.

  • 2.3.7 Focus Groups  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3.

  • 2.3.8 Experiments  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3.

  • 2.3.9 Participant Observation  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3.

  • 2.4 Media Studies Controversies  
  • 2.4.1 Problems with Methodology and Theory  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (2.4.1.1–2.4.1.5) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 2.4 of the textbook.  If you followed the guidelines provided for the previous subunits in this section, you should be prepared to grasp the recognized shortfalls in media theories presented in this material.  Make sure you are not, however, allowing the weaknesses to override the usefulness of theory for explaining the media and other complex systems.

  • 2.4.1.1 Active versus Passive Audience  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.4.

  • 2.4.1.2 Arguments against Agenda-Setting Theory  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.4.

  • 2.4.1.3 Arguments against Uses and Gratifications Theory  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.4.

  • 2.4.1.4 Arguments against Spiral of Silence Theory  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.4.

  • 2.4.1.5 Arguments against Cultivation Analysis Theory  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 2.4.

  • 2.4.2 Politics and Media Studies – Media Bias  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.4.  As you review this material, work on coming up with examples of media bias which you’ve encountered recently.  However, don’t stop with recognition.  Ask yourself how bias can be reduced or avoided as well.

  • 2.4.3 Media Decency  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.4.  It presents a term that is not widely utilized but which signals an important concern about the media, particularly in the United States but also in other countries.  Keep in mind, however, that “decency” is still determined in the eye of the beholder.  Are there circumstances described in the material which you would consider decent which the author does not?  What cultural influences do you bring to your assessment of media decency and indecency?

  • Unit 2 Assessment  
  • Unit 3: Books  

    This unit is the first of nine that focuses on a single media industry; as a result, you will discover that each unit hereafter proceeds in a very similar manner.  For example, you will notice how the learning outcomes usually include similar objectives: learning the terminology, recognizing the historical milestones, understanding the relationships between the media and culture, comparing or contrasting formats or other categories that divide the industry by the nature of its products, identifying the leading products in the industry (bestsellers, top grossing films, long-running television shows, etc.), and examining the trends, issues, and future of the industry.  You may want to take advantage of the parallel way the units explore these media industries by taking notes in the form of a table or chart.  Instead of inserting your notes on separate sheets of paper or note cards, consider instead using a table with columns for each of the six common objectives and rows for each of the nine media industries.  Such a table would make studying for the final exam much more efficient and would also make comparing the media industries easier.
     
    In terms of what you will encounter in this particular unit, the reality is that you will encounter a lot!  Books are one of the oldest forms of mass media and as a result, they have a lengthy and influential history and have played a significant role in the evolution of many cultures.  They also typify the nature of media industries in that book publishing offers many types of products that have influenced and been influenced by the cultures and economies in their environment.  Moreover, the book publishing industry is evolving as new technologies impact how books are produced and also how they are consumed.  Tracking the history of book publishing will illustrate to you for the first time in this course the similar way all media industries begin, spread, and change over the ages.

    Unit 3 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 3 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 3.1 History of Books  
  • 3.1.1 Ancient Books  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.1.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

  • 3.1.2 Gutenberg’s Industry-Changing Invention  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.1.

  • 3.1.3 Effects of the Mass Production of Books  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.1.

  • 3.1.4 History of Document Control  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.1.

  • 3.1.5 History of the Book Publishing Industry  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.1.

  • 3.2 Books and the Development of U.S. Popular Culture  
  • 3.2.1 Books in the 1800s – How Uncle Tom’s Cabin Helped Start a War  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.2.  Throughout your experience reading the textbook in this course, you will encounter media products, like a single book or a single television show, which had a profound effect on the media and/or on society in the United States.  Because the United States has been a leader in exporting media products, you may think that some of those products must have had profound effects on other cultures, too.  It would be valuable for you to consider that assumption more critically, however, so ask yourself as you are reading about influential U.S. publications whether they would or do have significance beyond the culture which produced them.

  • 3.2.2 Twentieth Century and Beyond  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.2.

  • 3.3 Major Book Formats  
  • 3.3.1 Hardcover  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.3.  You should focus on contrasting the characteristics of this format with the other formats presented in these subunits.

  • 3.3.2 Paperback  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.3.

  • 3.3.3 E-Books  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.3.

  • 3.4 Current Publishing Trends  
  • 3.4.1 Blockbuster Syndrome  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.4.  Recognize that the issues covered in this material are not the only ones facing the book publishing industry—and also that major issues tend to spawn others.  Have you encountered disturbing (or hopeful) developments related to some of these concerns?  Connecting what you are reading to what you have actually experienced is an effective way of retaining the information you have received.

  • 3.4.2 Rise (and Fall?) of Book Superstores  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.4.

  • 3.4.3 Price Wars  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.4.

  • 3.5 The Influence of New Technology  
  • 3.5.1 E-Books  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.5.  Realize as you read this material that the jury is still out on many new technologies.  Ask yourself where you think the technology covered in these sections will lead us.  What is the next step?  What do you hope will be the next development and why is that your hope?  Are there trends which you will not participate in?  Why?  Again, remember that the best way to absorb this material is by connecting it to your own life.

  • 3.5.2 Digitizing Libraries  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.5.

  • 3.5.3 Print-on-Demand and Self-Publishing  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.5.

  • Unit 4: Newspapers  

    In this unit, you will learn about the distinct influence newspapers have had on human history due to their association with the dissemination of news.  Although people get more of their news from the Internet than from printed newspapers, throughout most of history, newspapers were the primary source of news for most societies after word of mouth.  As a result of this industry’s long-standing influence on what people learned about the world around them, many media industries that followed newspapers adopted the characteristics of news writing and presentation.  To this day, journalism and newspapers remain closely connected in the minds of many media consumers, although new forms, activities, and styles of journalism also spread quickly once printing presses and other technology increased the rate and decreased the cost of newspaper production.  However, as you work through this unit, keep one important feature in mind about newspapers: they require literacy.  As a result, the generalizations about the influence of newspapers on culture must be considered with a caveat because they are limited to those cultures who could read.  Do not forget, as you read about the history and impact of newspapers, that news and information were being disseminated across cultures through other means as well and that those means were equally important in the history of mass media.

    Unit 4 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 4 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 4.1 History of Newspapers  
  • 4.1.1 The Birth of the Printing Press  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.1.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

  • 4.1.2 European Roots Press – Government Control and Freedom of the Press  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.1.

  • 4.1.3 Colonial American Newspapers  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (4.1.3.1–4.1.3.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 4.1.

  • 4.1.3.1 The Trial of John Peter Zenger  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.1.

  • 4.1.3.2 Freedom of the Press in the Early United States  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.1.

  • 4.1.4 Newspapers as a Form of Mass Media  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (4.1.4.1–4.1.4.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 4.1.

  • 4.1.4.1 The Penny Press  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.1.

  • 4.1.4.2 The Growth of Wire Services  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.1.

  • 4.1.5 Yellow Journalism – Comics and Stunt Journalism  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.1.

  • 4.2 Different Styles and Models of Journalism  
  • 4.2.1 Objective versus Story-Driven Journalism  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (4.2.1.1–4.2.1.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 4.2.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 4.2 of the textbook.  As you review this material, please focus on making comparisons among the types of journalism that are described.

  • 4.2.1.1 The Rise of Objective Journalism  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.2.

  • 4.2.1.2 The Inverted Pyramid Style  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.2.

  • 4.2.2 Interpretive Journalism – Competition from Broadcasting  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.2.

  • 4.2.3 Literary Journalism  

    Note: This subunit and its subunits (4.2.3.1–4.2.3.3) are covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.2.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 4.2 of the textbook.

  • 4.2.3.1 Important Literary Journalists  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.2.

  • 4.2.3.2 The Effects of Literary Journalism  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.2.

  • 4.2.3.3 Advocacy Journalism and Precision Journalism  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.2.

  • 4.2.4 Consensus versus Conflict Newspapers  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.2.

  • 4.2.5 Niche Newspapers – The Underground Press  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.2.

  • 4.3 How Newspapers Control the Public’s Access to Information and Impact American Pop Culture  
  • 4.3.1 “All the News That’s Fit to Print”  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.3.  To appreciate the points made in this material, avoid viewing the units in isolation.  Instead, consider the newspapers you have encountered, the role they play in your life and/or community, and how they affect or have been affected by other media.

  • 4.3.2 Watchdog Journalism  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.3.

  • 4.3.3 Impact of Television and the Internet on Print – Case Study: USA Today  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.3.

  • 4.4 Current Popular Trends in the Newspaper Industry  
  • 4.4.1 Major Publications in the U.S. Newspaper Industry  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (4.4.1.1–4.4.1.6) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 4.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 4.4 of the textbook.  You will discover that the subsections in these readings are actual newspapers published in the United States.  These are the leading newspapers in the United States, but if you are from a different country – or if you have experience living in a different country – you might want to compare these newspapers with what you would identify as the leading newspaper(s) in other countries.  Chances are, you will find many similarities but also some differences that are driven by the culture and socioeconomic environment in which they evolved.

  • 4.4.1.1 USA Today  
  • 4.4.1.2 The Wall Street Journal  
  • 4.4.1.3 The New York Times  
  • 4.4.1.4 Los Angeles Times  
  • 4.4.1.5 The Washington Post  
  • 4.4.1.6 Chicago Tribune  
  • 4.4.2 Declining Readership and Decreasing Revenues  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (4.4.2.1–4.4.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 4.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 4.4 of the textbook.  As you read this material, focus on projecting where the developments you encounter will lead.  What is next, in your opinion?  Will these developments be beneficial or detrimental?  Why?

  • 4.4.2.1 Readership Decline  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.4.

  • 4.4.2.2 Joint Operating Agreements  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.4.

  • 4.5 Online Journalism Redefines News  
  • 4.5.1 Competition from Blogs – Advantages over Print Media  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.5.

  • 4.5.2 Online Newspapers  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.5.

  • Unit 5: Magazines  

    There is a reason why magazines follow newspapers in the order through which you are encountering media industries: magazines and newspapers have shared many traits, from their reliance on the technology of print production and challenges involving distribution to their present struggle to sustain profitable business models in the face of an onslaught of competition from the Internet and a rapidly changing environment due to digital technology.  One significant difference between newspapers and magazines, however, has been longevity.  A day or a week later, there was always a new newspaper, but magazines hung around longer and were often passed from consumer to consumer.  The top newspapers also retained, even to this day, a local or regional grounding in their content and emphasis, while magazines, at least in their heydays, became national and even international in their scope.  As you proceed through the units of this course, begin to build in your mind – or in the table of notes it is recommended you develop – the significant differences in media, even when they rely on similar technology and other production traits.  You will discover by doing so that the differences you identify often reflect important characteristics of the needs of media consumers and thus about their cultures, too.

    Unit 5 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 5 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 5.1 History of Magazine Publishing  
  • 5.1.1 Early Magazines  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (5.1.1.1–5.1.1.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 5.1 of the textbook.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

  • 5.1.1.1 Germany, France, and the Netherlands Lead the Way  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.1.2 British Magazines Appear  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.2 American Magazines  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (5.1.2.1–5.1.2.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.2.1 Mass Appeal Magazines  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.2.2 The Saturday Evening Post  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.2.3 Youth’s Companion  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.2.4 Price Decreases Attract Larger Audiences  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.3 Early Twentieth-Century Developments  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (5.1.3.1–5.1.3.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.3.1 Newsmagazines  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.3.2 Picture Magazines  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.4 Into the Twenty-First Century  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.1.  It is introduced by a major or minor subheading in section 5.1 of the textbook.  Please recognize that the materials covered in this subunit are mostly projections.  Your appreciation for this content would benefit from a critical examination of those projections.  Are they accurate and generalizable well into the future?  Do they take into account developments in other countries which may influence what happens in the United States?  Has the author missed an important factor that may change the way the future looks?

  • 5.2 The Role of Magazines in the Development of American Popular Culture  
  • 5.2.1 Advertising for a National Market  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.2.  While you are reading this material, realize that this course does not include a unit on advertising or public relations, although the textbook does include chapters on those units.  As a result, you should read this particular section by devoting special attention to the influence of advertising not only on the media but also on the cultures which support media.

  • 5.2.2 Popular Literature in Magazines  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.2.  Please focus on the traits of magazines that feature popular literature, how those traits differ from the traits of magazines with different foci, and what criteria led to the success or failure of this type of magazine compared to others.

  • 5.2.3 Pulp Magazines  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.2.  Please focus on the traits of this type of magazine, how those traits differ from other types, and what criteria lead to the success or failure of this type of magazine compared to others.

  • 5.2.4 Entertainment Magazines  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (5.2.4.1–5.2.4.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.2.  Please focus on the traits of these two types of magazines, how those traits differ from other types, and what criteria lead to their success or failure.

  • 5.2.4.1 Teen Magazines  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.2.

  • 5.2.4.2 Celebrity Magazines  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.2.

  • 5.3 Major Publications in the Magazine Industry  
  • 5.3.1 High-Circulation Magazines  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (5.3.1.1–5.3.1.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 5.3 of the textbook.  You will discover that the subheadings in these readings are actual magazines published in the United States.  These are some of the leading magazines in the United States, but if you are from a different country – or if you have experience living in a different country –you might want to compare these magazines with what you would identify as leading magazines in other countries.  Chances are, you will find many similarities but also some differences that are driven by the culture and socioeconomic environments in which they evolved.

  • 5.3.1.1 AARP the Magazine and AARP Bulletin  
  • 5.3.1.2 Reader’s Digest  
  • 5.3.2 News Magazines  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (5.3.2.1–5.3.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.3.

  • 5.3.2.1 Newsweek  
  • 5.3.2.2 Time  
  • 5.3.2.3 U.S. News & World Report  
  • 5.3.3 Women’s Magazines  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (5.3.3.1–5.3.3.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.3.

  • 5.3.3.1 Ladies’ Home Journal  
  • 5.3.3.2 Good Housekeeping  
  • 5.3.3.3 Better Homes and Gardens  
  • 5.3.3.4 Cosmopolitan  
  • 5.3.4 Men’s Magazines  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.3.

  • 5.3.5 Celebrity Magazines  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (5.3.5.1–5.3.5.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 5.3.

  • 5.3.5.1 Sports Illustrated  
  • 5.3.5.2 People  
  • 5.3.5.3 OK!  
  • 5.3.5.4 Us Weekly  
  • 5.4 How Magazines Control the Public’s Access to Information  
  • 5.4.1 Format  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.4.  As you complete these readings, think about whether the traits described produce information bias or information restraint and whether bias and restraint are the same or different with respect to the public’s access to information.  For example, is biased information better than no information?  Are business decisions which restrain what a magazine publishes also a form of bias?  Why or why not?

  • 5.4.2 Choice to Publish  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.4.

  • 5.4.3 Editorial Leanings  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.4.

  • 5.4.4 Online News Sources  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.4.

  • 5.5 Specialization of Magazines  
  • 5.5.1 Professional Trade Publications  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.1.  The key to understanding magazine specialization is recognizing the audiences those magazines target.  As you encounter the different types of magazines in this area, try to sketch in your mind who reads the magazine, what his or her traits are, and what motivations drive that person to seek out information the magazine provides.

  • 5.5.2 Scholarly Publications  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.5.3 Religious Group Publications  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.5.4 Political Group Publications  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.5.5 Pulp and Genre Fiction Magazines  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.5.6 Hobby and Interest Magazines  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.6 Influence of the Internet on the Magazine Industry  
  • 5.6.1 Online-Only Magazines  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.6.  As you read this material, focus on how online-only magazines differ from print magazines.  Try to decide which type has the most sustainable business model and why.  Keep in mind the role competition as well as production costs can have on a publication’s viability and consider visiting some of the sites discussed to compare their traits to print magazines.

  • 5.6.2 Magazine-Like Websites  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.6.  Use this reading to compare the original with its spin-off.  How are magazine-like websites similar to and different from print magazines?  Is the format equally transferable into a digital format?  What important qualities are lost or gained when a reader can no longer flip through the pages?  Consider visiting a few of the websites mentioned in the readings to confirm your impressions.

  • 5.6.3 Print Magazines with Online Presences  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.6.  Please pay attention to how an online presence can enhance a print magazine’s reputation and reach.  Are there any downsides to this relationship?  Does it vary by publication?  If so, which ones and why?  Remember, there is great value in applying concrete examples from your own experience to the materials presented in the readings: You will retain the information and use it on the final exam much more effectively.

  • 5.6.4 Is Print Dead?  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 5.6.  According to the British musical duo known as The Buggles, “Video Killed the Radio Star.”  As you read the material in this section, focus on what the author of the textbook and other theorists are claiming is killing print media and also ask yourself whether it is the media itself or just its medium (its format) that passes away.

  • Unit 6: Music  

    This unit looks at the first media industry the course will examine that did not arise from the technology of the printing press.  The title of this unit is based on the heading used in the textbook, but you should realize that the actual subject of this unit is the recording industry and also that music is no longer the only product that industry produces.  Another way you can interpret that last statement, however, is that not only will you see that the “music” industry has evolved over the years, but what is recorded and even what is considered “music” has changed, too – and those changes have always been driven by cultural influences.  This marks another very important distinction among the three print-based industries you have encountered in the previous units and the audiovisual technologies that are the basis of the music, radio, movies, and television industries.  What is that distinction?  The audiovisual group has never been dependent on literacy.  As a result, such industries represent the first, great expansion of mass media into the lives of all classes of people and throughout the world.  That statement may make you wonder why it is the “first,” since that word implies a “second.”  The second expansion of mass media has stemmed from digital technology.  You will appreciate the impact of the media on culture and of culture on media even more if you keep in mind these three important epochs in media history: the literacy-dependent era, the audiovisual era, and the digital era.

    Unit 6 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 6 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 6.1 The Evolution of Popular Music  
    • Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 6, Section 1: The Evolution of Popular Music”

      Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 6, Section 1: The Evolution of Popular Music” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition, keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 6.1.1–6.1.9.
       
      Reading these sections should take approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises associated with these sections may require an additional 45 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

    • Lecture: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication: “Episode 12 – The Recording Industry”

      Link: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication“Episode 12 – The Recording Industry” (MP4)
       
      Instructions: Please watch this episode by focusing on how the explanations and examples the program hosts and student guests provide supplement the textbook readings.  In particular, listen for content which relates to the unit outcomes and take notes accordingly, especially when someone uses a specific example to illustrate a point.  Moreover, if you are not as familiar with American media as the textbook assumes you are, you might benefit from listening carefully to the discussions and then writing down the names of media, media personalities, or media products with which you are unfamiliar.  When you’ve finished watching, use the Internet to research any unfamiliar references so that you will be prepared if those references appear in the final exam.
       
      Watching this lecture should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.1.1 The Roaring 1920s: Radio versus Records  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.1.2 The 1930s: The Rise of Jazz and Blues  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.1.3 The 1940s: Technology Progresses  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.1.4 The 1950s: The Advent of Rock and Roll  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.1.5 The 1960s: Rock and Roll Branches Out from R&B  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.1.6 The 1970s: From Glam Rock to Punk  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.1.7 The 1980s: The Hip-Hop Generation  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.1.8 The 1990s: New Developments in Hip-Hop, Rock, and Pop  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.1.9 The 2000s: Pop Stays Strong as Hip-Hop Overtakes Rock in Popularity  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.2 The Reciprocal Nature of Music and Culture  
  • 6.2.1 Cultural Influences on Music  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 6.2.  Please focus on the concept used as the title of this section: the reciprocal nature of music and culture.  Make sure you can identify examples of how different cultures created their own musical style.  Also be sure you can explain in your own words not only how but also why music changed perceptions and behavior.

  • 6.2.2 Musical Influences on Culture  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 6.2.

  • 6.3 Current Popular Trends in the Music Industry  
  • 6.3.1 The Influence of Major Record Labels  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 6.3.  Recognize as you complete this reading that “influence” establishes a causal relationship and that to have a relationship, you need to also have at least two elements.  One element will always be the record labels in this reading material, but it isn’t always clear what the other element is.  Be sure you can identify what is being influenced by the actions of the record labels.

  • 6.3.2 Independent Record Labels: A Smaller Share of the Pie  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 6.3.

  • 6.4 Influence of New Technology – File Sharing: From Illegal Downloading to Digital Music Stores  
  • Unit 7: Radio  

    This unit reviews the history of radio, but you might want to consider that history as more of a bridge between what had been the role of media in the lives of its consumers and what that role would become.  Radio is, in many ways, the dividing line between elite forms of media, products whose dissemination and use were limited by literacy or cost, and popular forms of media, products that were easier and cheaper to obtain and thus presented fewer restrictions on access.  The impact of radio on the dissemination of news and information heralded significant changes in society, too, although it would take time for different cultures to exert equal influence.  Radio was also significant because it used a limited public resource, the electromagnetic spectrum, which required government intervention and regulation like no previous media industry had.  However, while radio was the first, it was not the last, and so you should keep in mind as you work through this unit that the growing pains of radio as part of our culture continue to be reflected in the evolution of other popular media formats that rely on limited (and thus regulated) resources: television and the Internet.

    Unit 7 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 7 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 7.1.1 The Invention of Radio – Broadcasting Arrives  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

  • 7.1.2 Radio’s Commercial Potential  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (7.1.2.1–7.1.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 7.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 7.1 of the textbook.

  • 7.1.2.1 The Rise of Radio Networks  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.2.2 The Radio Act of 1927  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.3 The Golden Age of Radio  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (7.1.3.1–7.1.3.5) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.3.1 Daytime Radio Finds Its Market  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.3.2 The Origins of Prime Time  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.3.3 Instant News  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.3.4 The Birth of the Federal Communications Commission  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.3.5 Radio on the Margins  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.4 Television Steals the Show  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.5 Transition to Top 40  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.6 FM: The High-Fidelity Counterculture  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.7 The Rise of Public Radio  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

  • 7.2 Radio Station Formats  
  • 7.2.1 Country  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.  It is introduced by a minor subheading in section 7.2 of the textbook.  To expand your appreciation of this material, consider the characteristics of the audience that might prefer this format and why or when audience preferences for formats may overlap.  If you do not reside in the United States, you may be unfamiliar with this format; however, if you are curious about the characteristics and differences in U.S. radio formats, you can search for them online.  You’ll find many radio stations broadcast through the Internet as well as over the air, enabling you to experience how these formats actually sound.

  • 7.2.2 News/Talk/Information  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

  • 7.2.3 Adult Contemporary  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

  • 7.2.4 Pop Contemporary Hit Radio  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

  • 7.2.5 Classic Rock  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

  • 7.2.6 Urban Contemporary  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

  • 7.2.7 Mexican Regional  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

  • 7.2.8 Other Popular Formats  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

  • 7.3 Radio’s Impact on Culture  
  • 7.3.1 A New Kind of Mass Media  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.  Make sure you can discuss the new qualities of media, which originated with radio, and why radio permanently changed mass media as a result.

  • 7.3.2 Radio and the Development of Popular Music  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (7.3.2.1–7.3.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 7.3.  Focus on the cultural influences covered in this material.  Were the influences permanent or have they changed or been replaced by others?

  • 7.3.2.1 Regional Sounds Take Hold  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.

  • 7.3.2.2 Radio’s Lasting Influences  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.

  • 7.3.3 Radio and Politics  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (7.3.3.1–7.3.3.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 7.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 7.3 of the textbook.  The key points to note in this subsection should be those which reflect the role radio plays in the lives of its audience.  How does that role influence the kinds of political behavior radio’s audience exhibits?

  • 7.3.3.1 The Importance of Talk Radio  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.

  • 7.3.3.2 The Repeal of the Fairness Doctrine  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.

  • 7.3.3.3 The Revitalization of AM  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.

  • 7.3.3.4 On-Air Political Influence  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.

  • 7.3.4 Freedom of Speech and Radio Controversies – Making (and Unmaking) a Career out of Controversy  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.  This material focuses on a few, nationally recognized radio personalities, but there are many local or community radio stations which support individuals with unique or distinct styles, too.  What do such personalities reflect about the locales or communities which favor them, even on a national scale?

  • 7.4 Radio’s New Future  
  • 7.4.1 Satellite Radio  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.4.  Use the readings here as a springboard for your own reflections about the future of the technology behind radio and how it may impact or converge with other technologies.  What developments would you like to see occur?  Can you foresee any negative developments that would impact your personal use of this media?

  • 7.4.2 HD Radio  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.4.

  • 7.4.3 Internet Radio and Podcasting  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (7.4.3.1–7.4.3.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 7.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 7.4 of the textbook.  As you read this material, connect it to your own use, desired use, or potential use of radio’s newer delivery methods.  Are they relevant in your life?  What is it about your lifestyle that encourages you to include or exclude them?

  • 7.4.3.1 Internet Radio  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.4.

  • 7.4.3.2 Problems of Internet Broadcasting  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.4.

  • 7.4.3.3 Podcasting  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.4.

  • Unit 7 Assessment  
  • Unit 8: Movies  

    You should be noticing the order in which the units in this course are being presented.  For example, you may have anticipated that television would follow the unit on radio, but it does not.  It would be useful for you to consider why this unit reviews the history and impact of movies instead.  The reason is because it presents, like the music industry, an element in the evolution of media industries in general, a relatively isolated element that operated independently before it became enmeshed in the operations of other media industries as well.  This original independence in the movie industry was similar to the independence of recorded music before the widespread adoption of broadcasting technology, which enabled radio to include music as one of its products.  You should appreciate on a broader level the way one industry capitalized on another to attract wider audiences.  This course presents these industries as you would encounter building blocks, starting with the foundational media and then adding elements that were used as the foundations of new media, a process that continues to this day.

    Unit 8 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 8 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 8.1 The History of Movies  
  • 8.1.1 The Beginnings: Motion Picture Technology of the Late Nineteenth Century  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

  • 8.1.2 The Nickelodeon Craze (1904–1908)  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.3 The “Biz”: The Motion Picture Industry Emerges  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (8.1.3.1–8.1.3.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 8.1 of the textbook.

  • 8.1.3.1 The Rise of the Feature  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.3.2 Hollywood  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.3.3 The Art of Silent Film  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.3.4 MPAA: Combating Censorship  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.4 Silent Film’s Demise  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.5 “I Don’t Think We’re in Kansas Anymore”: Film Goes Technicolor  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.6 Rise and Fall of the Hollywood Studio  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1 and is introduced by a subheading in the Section 1 reading.

  • 8.1.7 Post-World War II: Television Presents a Threat  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.8 Down with the Establishment: Youth Culture of the 1960s and 1970s  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.9 Blockbusters, Knockoffs, and Sequels  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.10 The 1990s and Beyond  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.2 Movies and Culture  
  • 8.2.1 Movies Mirror Culture  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (8.2.1.1–8.2.1.6) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.2.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 8.2 of the textbook.  Realize that connections between culture and cultural artifacts like music are always theoretical and rarely factual.  As you complete these readings, see if you can spot causal relationships between movies and culture in the readings which are stronger than theory because they can be directly observed.  However, remember that correlation does not mean causation: Just because one thing changes when there are changes in something else does not mean that “something else” caused the change.  See if you can apply some alternative explanations for why movies tend to mirror culture, alternatives that do not include a strictly cultural influence.

  • 8.2.1.1 Birth of a Nation  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.2.

  • 8.2.1.2 “The American Way”  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.2.

  • 8.2.1.3 Youth versus Age: From Counterculture to Mass Culture  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.2.

  • 8.2.1.4 The Hollywood Production Code  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.2.

  • 8.2.1.5 MPAA Ratings  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.2.

  • 8.2.1.6 The New War Film: Cynicism and Anxiety  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.2.

  • 8.2.2 Movies Shape Culture  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (8.2.2.1–8.2.2.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.2.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 8.2 of the textbook.  Realize that connections between culture and cultural artifacts like music are always theoretical and rarely factual.  As you complete these readings, see if you can spot causal relationships between movies and culture in the readings which are stronger than theory because they can be directly observed.  However, remember that correlation does not mean causation: Just because one thing changes when there are changes in something else does not mean that “something else” caused the change.  See if you can apply some alternative explanations for why changes in the movie industry seem to be associated with changes in our national culture.

  • 8.2.2.1 Film and the Rise of Mass Culture  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.2.

  • 8.2.2.2 American Myths and Traditions  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.2.

  • 8.2.2.3 Social Issues in Film  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.2.

  • 8.3 Issues and Trends in Film  
  • 8.3.1 The Influence of Hollywood  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (8.3.1.1–8.3.1.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 8.3 of the textbook.  As you complete this reading material, ask yourself, in what realm do the influences mentioned originate?  Are they culturally-based, or do political, economic, or historical factors explain more about them?

  • 8.3.1.1 The Blockbuster Standard  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.3.

  • 8.3.1.2 The Role of Independent Films  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.3.

  • 8.3.1.3 The Role of Foreign Films  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.3.

  • 8.3.1.4 Cultural Imperialism or Globalization?  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.3.

  • 8.3.2 The Economics of Movies  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (8.3.2.1–8.3.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 8.3 of the textbook.  Movies have become more and more expensive forms of entertainment, in spite of the competition they face from other formats.  How does the cost of movie-going affect your decisions about it as a form of entertainment?  Have your impressions changed recently?  If so, what caused that change?

  • 8.3.2.1 Rising Costs and Big Budget Movies  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.3.

  • 8.3.2.2 The Big Budget Flop  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.3.

  • 8.3.3 Piracy  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.3.  As you complete this reading, focus on the economic impact of piracy, making sure you can explain the effects piracy has had on distribution as well as production.

  • 8.4 The Influence of New Technology  
  • 8.4.1 Effects of Home Entertainment Technology  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (8.4.1.1–8.4.1.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 8.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 8.4 of the textbook.  When you read this material, focus on the way the technology impacts the people who use it and how it has changed the way other media operate as businesses.  Do not get distracted by the technical aspects of production or delivery.

  • 8.4.1.1 The Optical Disc System  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.4.

  • 8.4.1.2 DVD Revenues and Decline  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.4.

  • 8.4.2 The Industry Goes Digital  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.4.  As you complete this reading, try to compare how the digital format changed consumer behavior in this industry compared to other media industries.

  • Unit 9: Television  

    Television, and its many programming formats, can be considered to represent an accumulation of several media industries into a single product.  Almost from its inception, it included music, news, advertising, literature, and other kinds of information and entertainment that consumers had previously obtained through books, newspapers, magazines, records, movies, and radio.  Of course, television is much more than just a compilation of other media, and its history and technological developments in many ways represent the beginning of the modern era in general, especially as it evolved after World War II.  Perhaps one of the best examples of how television technology and cultural advances ran on parallel tracks was the Civil Rights era, when people “of color” increasingly demanded more respect and more influence.  Color television became mainstream technology during this era as well, bringing with it a more vivid realism than audiences had encountered previously – except in movie theaters and, perhaps, in people’s imaginations.  However, movies were not an important source of news and information, while television rapidly evolved into a critical source, wielding an influence of such power that it has been argued to have altered the national psyche of the time, a chief instigator of far-reaching changes in society and politics.  As you work through this unit, compare the historical influence of television to what you may have experienced yourself with the Internet.  See if you can recognize some similarities between television and the Internet in terms of the impact their technical and content innovations have had on the way people work, play, interact, and even think.

    Unit 9 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 9 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 9.1 The Evolution of Television – The Origins of Television  
  • 9.1.1 Mechanical Television versus Electronic Television  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

  • 9.1.2 Early Broadcasting  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.

  • 9.1.3 Color Technology  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.

  • 9.1.4 The Golden Age of Television  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.

  • 9.1.5 The Rise of Cable Television  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.

  • 9.1.6 The Emergence of Digital Television  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.

  • 9.1.7 The Era of High-Definition Television  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.

  • 9.2 The Relationship between Television and Culture  
  • 9.2.1 Cultural Influences on Television  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (9.2.1.1–9.2.1.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 9.2 of the textbook.  As you read this material, keep in mind that television viewing was not widespread until well into the 1980s, and so, early television was affected by a relatively small and somewhat homogenous population.  As a result, a more important question you should consider about this material is whether and/or when television adapted to multiple cultures as its reach grew or did the influence of its original, relatively homogenous audience persist for a longer period of time than you would have predicted and why?

  • 9.2.1.1 Violence and Escapism in the 1960s  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.

  • 9.2.1.2 Diversity and Politics in the 1970s  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.

  • 9.2.1.3 The Influence of Cable Television in the 1980s  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.

  • 9.2.1.4 Specialization in the 1990s and 2000s  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.

  • 9.2.2 Television’s Influence on Culture  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (9.2.2.1–9.2.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 9.2 of the textbook.  As you read this material, keep in mind that television viewing was not widespread until well into the 1980s, leaving early television to influence a relatively small population.  The question is how did its influence grow as the number of viewers increased and did that influence differ based on the nature of its audience.  For example, as a larger and larger population adopted the technology, did the shared experience produce shared cultural traits, too, or was the experience filtered by those cultural traits?

  • 9.2.2.1 Social Controversy  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.

  • 9.2.2.2 Creating Stars via Reality Television  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.

  • 9.3 Issues and Trends in the Television Industry  
  • 9.3.1 The Influence of Corporate Sponsorship – Public Television and Corporate Sponsorship  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.3.  As you read this material, reflect back on the nature of corporate sponsorship in earlier eras of television and see if you can identify the cultural factors which have changed not only television but also its relationship to companies which sponsor programming.

  • 9.3.2 The Rise and Fall of the Network  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (9.3.2.1–9.3.2.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 9.3 of the textbook.  As you read this material, make sure you are recognizing why network television evolved as it did and keep in mind the changes which took place in other media during similar periods in their history.  Look for similarities which might help you predict future changes in the media.

  • 9.3.2.1 Cable Challenges the Networks  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.3.

  • 9.3.2.2 Narrowcasting  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.3.

  • 9.3.2.3 Impact on Networks  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.3.

  • 9.4 Influence of New Technologies  
  • 9.4.1 The War between Satellite and Cable Television – The Current Satellite Market: DirecTV versus Dish Network  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.4.  The long heading for this subunit reflects the way this material uses the two satellite networks as proxies for combatants in the “war” mentioned.  As a result, concentrate your attention on the way the two satellite companies are similar and how those similarities enable them to challenge the supremacy of cable television as a paid service.

  • 9.4.2 The Impact of DVRs and the Internet: Changing Content Delivery  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (9.4.2.1–9.4.2.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 9.4 of the textbook.  When reading this material, don’t forget that the Internet offers both paid and free television programs.  Make sure you can provide examples of each type, online and also in other formats, such as Netflix (by mail) and Redbox booths.

  • 9.4.2.1 New Viewing Outlets: YouTube and Hulu  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.4.

  • 9.4.2.2 Video-on-Demand  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.4.

  • 9.4.2.3 Interactive Television  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.4.

  • Unit 9 Assessment  
  • Unit 10: Electronic Games and Entertainment  

    The author of this course’s textbook makes an interesting point about electronic games, which you should appreciate as you work through this unit.  The textbook notes how such games received a lot of criticism for how they encouraged more sedentary entertainment habits, but they now “have circled back to their simpler origins and, in doing so, have made players more active.”  From Pong to Wii Fit, electronic games present a breathtaking acceleration of technology and cultural influence that may be unique among the mass media industries.  They also represent another accumulation of features from other media, similar to television’s development.  However, while many see television as having reached a plateau in development and influence, gaming continues to reach into more and more parts of life, well beyond mere entertainment.  You may find the last section of this unit particularly intriguing as the focus turns to what the future holds for gaming by emphasizing its potential to merge with other communication and media formats to impact everything from health to education to science and even manufacturing.

    Unit 10 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 10 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 10.1 The Evolution of Electronic Games  
  • 10.1.1 The 1970s: The Rise of the Video Game  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (10.1.1.1–10.1.1.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 10.1 of the textbook.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

  • 10.1.1.1 Arcade Games  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

  • 10.1.1.2 Video Game Consoles  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

  • 10.1.1.3 Home Computers  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

  • 10.1.2 The 1980s: The Crash  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (10.1.2.1–10.1.2.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 10.1 of the textbook.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

  • 10.1.2.1 The Rise of Nintendo  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

  • 10.1.2.2 Other Home Console Systems  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

  • 10.1.2.3 Computer Games Flourish and Innovate  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

  • 10.1.3 The 1990s: The Rapid Evolution of Video Games  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (10.1.3.1–10.1.3.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 10.1 of the textbook.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

  • 10.1.3.1 Console Wars  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

  • 10.1.3.2 Computer Games Gain Mainstream Acceptance  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

  • 10.1.3.3 Online Gaming Gains Popularity  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

  • 10.1.3.4 Portable Game Systems  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

  • 10.1.4 The Early 2000s: Twenty-First-Century Games  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (10.1.4.1–10.1.4.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 10.1 of the textbook.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

  • 10.1.4.1 The Console Wars Continue  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

  • 10.1.4.2 Computer Gaming Becomes a Niche Market  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

  • 10.1.4.3 The Evolution of Portable Gaming  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

  • 10.1.5 Video Games Today: Home Consoles  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.1.  Use the readings introduced by this subheading (10.1.5) in the textbook to reflect on the future of the video games industry.  Is there still room for growth and innovation, or has a plateau been reached that may only be supplanted by new technology or new applications?

  • 10.2 Influential Contemporary Games  
  • 10.2.1 “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band”  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.2.  It is introduced by a major or minor subheading in section 10.2 of the textbook.  Because video games represent a relatively new medium, you may have very little experience with them and as a result, you may find it difficult to understand the importance of some of the contents of this subunit.  If that is the case, consider going online to read the reviews these games have received from experts and consumers, or use Wikipedia for more information about them.

  • 10.2.2 The “Grand Theft Auto” Series  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.2.3 “World of Warcraft”  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.2.4 “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.2.5 “Wii Sports” and “Wii Fit”  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.3 The Impact of Video Games on Culture  
  • 10.3.1 Game Culture  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.3.  As with popular video games, you may find the concept of game culture to be very unfamiliar, especially if you are from a different culture or generation than ones for whom games and gaming seem ubiquitous.  Whether or not this is the case for you, it would be valuable for you to compare game culture with other types of activity-based cultures.  Can you think of any?  What about a tattoo culture or a motorcycle culture?  Use such a comparison to cement in your mind what is meant by “culture” in this context.

  • 10.3.2 The Effects of Video Games on Other Types of Media  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (10.3.2.1–10.3.2.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 10.3 of the textbook.  Use the readings in this subsection to prompt you to consider the kind of research that would need to be pursued to confirm or denounce the assumptions, speculation, and theories about video games that are presented in the material.

  • 10.3.2.1 Television  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.3.

  • 10.3.2.2 Film  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.3.

  • 10.3.2.3 Music  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.3.

  • 10.3.2.4 Machinima  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.3.

  • 10.3.3 Video Games and Education  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.3.  As you complete this reading assignment, focus on the potential of video games beyond entertainment.  How significant or insignificant is that potential, in your opinion?  What issues, other than those noted in the readings, do you think will help or hinder the use of video games in education?

  • 10.3.4 Video Games as Art  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.3.  As you complete this reading assignment, focus on the potential of video games beyond entertainment.  How significant or insignificant is that potential, in your opinion?  What factors, other than those noted in the readings, will contribute to the acceptance of video games as art, and is this an important consideration?  Why or why not?

  • 10.4 Controversial Issues  
  • 10.4.1 Violence  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.4.  Pay particular attention in this reading to the examples that are provided.  Moreover, expand your appreciation for the issues discussed by also identifying additional examples from your own experiences or observations.

  • 10.4.2 Video Game Addiction  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.4.

  • 10.4.3 Sexism  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.4.

  • 10.5 Blurring the Boundaries Between Video Games, Information, Entertainment, and Communication  
  • 10.5.1 Video Games and the Social World of Sports  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.5.  Apply critical thinking skills to come up with a reasonable argument for or against the significance of video games in the realm discussed in this subunit.  Decide for yourself whether this subject would be worthy of scientific, legislative, or economic study and defend your decision with examples from the reading or your own observations.

  • 10.5.2 Virtual Worlds and Societal Interaction  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.5.

  • 10.5.3 Social Media and Games  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.5.

  • 10.5.4 Mobile Phones and Gaming  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.5.

  • 10.5.5 Video Games and Their Messages  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.5.

  • Unit 11: The Internet and Social Media  

    This unit examines the development and impact of the Internet and its social media platforms on culture and society, subjects that seem to come together in the Internet age to produce something both awesome and troublesome.  However, you may appreciate these developments even more if you consider that social media is not necessarily all that new.  Before the printing press and widespread literacy, the public square, the church, and the marketplace brought people, information, and even entertainment together.  Even the increasingly segmented audiences and participants in today’s social media have parallels from another time when communities were smaller, centered on limited activities, and controlled by viewpoints restricted by birth, faith, or station.  Thus you may want to consider, as you work through this unit, that social media may only be “new” in its technology, diversity, and reach; its role in society and impact on cultures, however, reflect aspects of human interaction that have been around for ages.

    Unit 11 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 11 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 11.1 The Evolution of the Internet  
    • Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 11, Section 1: The Evolution of the Internet”

      Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 11, Section 1: The Evolution of the Internet” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition, keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 11.1.1–11.1.2. 
       
      Reading these sections should take approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises associated with these sections may require an additional 45 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

    • Lecture: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication: “Episode 19—Digital Media and the Web”

      Link: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication“Episode 19—Digital Media and the Web” (MP4)

      Instructions: Please watch this episode by focusing on how the explanations and examples the program hosts and student guests provide supplement the textbook readings.  In particular, listen for content which relates to the unit outcomes and take notes accordingly, especially when someone uses a specific example to illustrate a point.  Moreover, if you are not as familiar with American media as the textbook assumes you are, you might benefit from listening carefully to the discussions and then writing down the names of media, media personalities, or media products with which you are unfamiliar.  When you’ve finished watching, use the Internet to research any unfamiliar references so that you will be prepared if those references appear in the final exam.

      Watching this lecture should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 11.1.1 The History of the Internet  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.1.1.1–11.1.1.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 11.1 of the textbook.  Focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

  • 11.1.1.1 The Building Blocks of the Internet  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

  • 11.1.1.2 You’ve Got Mail: Beginnings of the Electronic Mailbox  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

  • 11.1.1.3 Hypertext: Web 1.0  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

  • 11.1.1.4 For Sale: The Web  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

  • 11.1.2 The Early Days of Social Media  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.1.2.1–11.1.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

  • 11.1.2.1 How Did We Get Here? The Late 1970s, Early 1980s, and Usenet  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

  • 11.1.2.2 GeoCities: Yahoo! Pioneers  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

  • 11.2 Social Media and Web 2.0  
  • 11.2.1 Social Networking: Going Viral  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.2.  As you complete the reading, look back into your own past to survey the development of social media in your own history.  When and why did you decide to participate in it, or not?  And what about the people around you: How widespread is social media use among your friends and acquaintances?  And finally, how does your personal survey compare with the observations in the textbook?  If yours differ, can you pinpoint the reason?

  • 11.2.2 Benefits and Problems of Social Media  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.2.  Because the reading has maintained a focus on the relationship between the media and culture, use the readings in this subsection of the textbook to assess the role culture plays in the evolving benefits and problems of social media.  Does social media have its own culture, similar to the gaming culture encountered earlier in the course?  Or perhaps your experience with social media illustrates that it is unrelated to the culture of its participants.  Practice your analytical skills by putting some thought to answering to these questions.

  • 11.2.3 Education, the Internet, and Social Media: Privacy Issues with Social Networking  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.2.  As you read this material, pay particular attention to why privacy is a significant issue with the social media and then use previous readings to pinpoint any other media in which privacy is as important.  What is unique about social media and what does it have in common with other media, especially with privacy issues?  Keep in mind as you consider these questions that you are not always aware of when or why information about you is being collected when you peruse the Internet.

  • 11.2.4 Social Media’s Effect on Commerce  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.2.  Once you’ve completed this reading, consider your own social media encounters again.  Have you “liked” a business, for example?  How do you traditionally encounter or use social media elements when you are online?  When you need more information about a business, do you search for its homepage or its Facebook page?  Do you follow any businesses on Twitter?  Where does social media fit into your life as a consumer and why?

  • 11.3 The Effects of the Internet and Globalization on Popular Culture and Interpersonal Communication  
  • 11.3.1 Electronic Media and the Globalization of Culture  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.3.  Of all of the subunits connecting the media to culture, this may be one of the clearest examples.  As you read this material, pay particular attention to how technology has made globalization possible.  Make sure you can provide or recognize an example of that process in action.

  • 11.3.2 New Media: Internet Convergence and American Society  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.3.2.1–11.3.2.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 11.3 of the textbook.  As with globalization, convergence through new media is readily apparent in society, and not only in the United States.  Many would argue that convergence is the economic model of the future for mass media.  Read this material to identify specific support for that contention and also to see if you can come up with arguments which weaken it.

  • 11.3.2.1 Internet-Only Sources  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

  • 11.3.2.2 “Live” From New York…  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

  • 11.3.2.3 Premium Online Video Content  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

  • 11.3.3 The Role of the Internet in Social Alienation  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.3.3.1–11.3.3.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 11.3 of the textbook.  When you read this subsection, pay particular attention to the definition of social alienation and the examples that are provided.  Consider whether it is a significant issue and look for information in the readings which either support or weaken that perspective.

  • 11.3.3.1 The “Internet Paradox” and Facebook  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

  • 11.3.3.2 Meetup.com: Meeting Up “IRL”  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

  • 11.3.3.3 World of Warcraft: Social Interaction through Avatars  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

  • 11.3.3.4 Social Interaction on the Internet among Low-Income Groups  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

  • 11.3.4 The Way Forward: Communication, Convergence, and Corporations  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.3.  Focus your reading attention on the examples given which illustrate the evolving relationship among these three elements.  Also be sure you can explain the business models which are encouraging that relationship.

  • 11.4 Issues and Trends  
    • Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 11, Section 4: Issues and Trends”

      Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 11, Section 4: Issues and Trends” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition, keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 11.4.1–11.4.6.
       
      Reading this section should take you approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises, end-of-chapter assessment, critical thinking questions, and career connection associated with these readings may require an additional 45 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 11.4.1 Information Access Like Never Before  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.4.1.1–11.4.1.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 11.4 of the textbook.  To absorb the information in this subsection most effectively, as you read this material, think about your own access to information and also that of your family and friends.  If you are older, consider how that access has or has not changed and why.  If you are younger, consider what you take for granted about information and what you would do if you couldn’t use the access points you currently use.

  • 11.4.1.1 Rural Areas and Access to Information  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.

  • 11.4.1.2 The Cloud: Instant Updates, Instant Access  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.

  • 11.4.2 Credibility Issues: (Dis)information Superhighway?  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.4.  As you read this material, focus on the reasons as well as the facts.  Why do credibility issues arise on the information superhighway?  What motivations are behind disinformation and misinformation?  Who are those strategies targeting and why?  And most importantly, look for ideas that lead to solutions.

  • 11.4.3 Wikipedia: The Internet’s Precocious Problem Child  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.4.  Many students take Wikipedia for granted, which is why you should pay particular attention to the material in these readings which explain why you should not do that.  Make sure you can identify Wikipedia’s disadvantages as well as its advantages and that you can identify the alternatives that are available.

  • 11.4.4 Security of Information on the Internet  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.4.4.1–11.4.4.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 11.4 of the textbook.  The obvious question to ask yourself as you read this material is, “How secure is my information?”  You should come away from reading this subsection with a plan to insure that your information is as protected as possible.

  • 11.4.4.1 Hacking E-Mail: From LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU to Google in China  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.

  • 11.4.4.2 Can’t Wait: Denial of Service  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.

  • 11.4.5 Net Neutrality  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.4.5.1–11.4.5.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 11.4 of the textbook.  Pay attention to the term “net neutrality” as you read this material.  As a complex, far-reaching issue of increasing concern, net neutrality is not an easy concept to absorb.  The best way to do so is to come up with examples from your own experiences which illustrate the values as well as the challenges it presents.

  • 11.4.5.1 Net Neutrality Legislation: The FCC and AT&T  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.

  • 11.4.5.2 Misleading Metaphors: It’s Not a Big Truck  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.

  • 11.4.6 Digital Technology and Electronic Media  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.4.  As you finish reading this brief subunit, put more thought to the one word that stands out the most: “free.”  Given what this subsection is about, which type of “free” (free = liberty or free = no cost) is being referred to and is it important to make the distinction?  Could the other type of “free” be equally important?

  • Unit 12: Economics of Mass Media  

    This unit focuses on the inner workings and justifications for mass media, a very important unit since those elements determine the nature of media as much if not more than cultural influences.  Moreover, given how you have seen plentiful evidence of the way media influences culture, you should view this unit and also the next two, which consider the role of ethics and of the government in regulating products and behavior of the media, as critical to your understanding of the power as well as the threats that the mass media can represent.  If you are an American, you may scoff at the idea that the media can be threatening, but if you come from another culture, chances are you recognize that already.  When economics rather than social need control a force that has the power to influence opinion and change behavior, who controls that force, how, and to what end should matter a great deal to you.  As a result, you should work through this unit not only to understand the business models and challenges faced by modern media but also to become more familiar with the sometimes uneasy connection between profit and people that the media also represents.

    Unit 12 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 12 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 12.1 Characteristics of Media Industries  
    • Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 13, Section 1: Characteristics of Media Industries”

      Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 13, Section 1: Characteristics of Media Industries” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition, keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 12.1.1–12.1.2.

      Reading these sections should take approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises associated with these sections may require an additional 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

    • Lecture: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication: “Episode 03—The Media as Business”

      Link: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication“Episode 03—The Media as Business” (MP4)

      Instructions: Please watch this episode by focusing on how the explanations and examples the program hosts and student guests provide supplement the textbook readings.  In particular, listen for content which relates to the unit outcomes and take notes accordingly, especially when someone uses a specific example to illustrate a point.  Moreover, if you are not as familiar with American media as the textbook assumes you are, you might benefit from listening carefully to the discussions and then writing down the names of media, media personalities, or media products with which you are unfamiliar.  When you’ve finished watching, use the Internet to research any unfamiliar references so that you will be prepared if those references appear in the final exam.

      Watching this lecture should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 12.1.1 Raising Revenue  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (12.1.1.1–12.1.1.8) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 13.1 of the textbook.  Please focus your attention when reading this material on the similarities and differences in the business models used by the various media.  Why does one model work for some but not for all?

  • 12.1.1.1 Print Media  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.1.2 Newspapers  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.1.3 Magazines  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.1.4 Television and Radio  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.1.5 Music and Film  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.1.6 The Big Four  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.1.7 Consolidation and Ticketing  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.1.8 Film  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.2 New Media, Old Models  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.1.  Once you have finished reading, consider the importance of original content with respect to how you use media.  Where do you go for original content?  Does the origin of your information matter to you?  Are there times when you think the origin of content should matter?  If yes, how do you think that affects the business models of media which originate content?

  • 12.2 The Internet’s Effects on Media Economies  
  • 12.2.1 Online Synergy: Internet by Google  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.2.  Pay particular attention to the points made about free material online, its relationship to the elements people and companies are willing to pay for, and what currency is used when payment is rendered.

  • 12.2.2 Problems of Digital Delivery  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (12.2.2.1–12.2.2.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.2.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 13.2 of the textbook.  After reading this subsection, you should be able to explain and provide examples of why the Internet and other digital delivery platforms can be problematic for some.

  • 12.2.2.1 Google News  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.2.

  • 12.2.2.2 Music and File Sharing  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.2.

  • 12.2.2.3 Video Streaming  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.2.

  • 12.3 Digital Divide in a Global Economy  
  • 12.3.1 The Informational Shift: Computer Skills and Older Workers  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.3.  To absorb this material more effectively, place yourself into the picture.  Where are you on a continuum of computer skills and age?  Which of the points brought out in the reading apply to you or someone you know?

  • 12.3.2 The Digital Divide Abroad: The Bottom Billion  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.3.  By the time you finish reading this material, you should have a firm grasp of what the digital divide is on a personal, local, national, and international level.  Be prepared to describe similarities and differences in the impact of the divide on different levels.

  • 12.4 Information Economy  
  • 12.4.1 Regulation of the Information Economy  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (12.4.1.1–12.4.1.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 13.4 of the textbook.  As you are reading this material, try to tie together the successive laws and regulations.  Can you spot the trends and/or identify what is driving the progression?  What level of control do you think we are heading toward: more or less?  How dependent on developments in politics or economics are regulatory and legislative acts in this area?

  • 12.4.1.1 A Brief History of Antitrust Legislation  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.

  • 12.4.1.2 Deregulation and the Telecommunications Act of 1996  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.

  • 12.4.2 Media Conglomerates and Vertical Integration  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (12.4.2.1–12.4.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 13.4 of the textbook.  As you read through this material, see if you can connect the terms “economies of scale” and “switching costs” to some aspects of vertical integration and also whether you can connect the concept of “experience good” to some ethical issues involving vertical integration.

  • 12.4.2.1 Corporate Advantages of Vertical Integration  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.

  • 12.4.2.2 Ethical Issues of Vertical Integration  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.

  • 12.4.3 The Issues of the Internet  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (12.4.3.1–12.4.3.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 13.4 of the textbook.  After you finish reading this subsection, you should be able to identify several examples of business-oriented issues which face companies who use digital technology and/or the Internet for commerce.

  • 12.4.3.1 Digital Downloads and DRM  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.

  • 12.4.3.2 Piracy  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.

  • 12.5 Globalization of Media: Globalized Culture, Globalized Markets  
  • 12.5.1 Vertical Integration and Globalization  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.5.  It is introduced by a major or minor subheading in section 13.5 of the textbook.  In this reading, pay particular attention to the concept of a “cultural product” and its relationship to globalization.

  • 12.5.2 Foreign Markets and Titanic  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.5.  Once you finish reading this subsection, try to come up with another product like Titanic, which illustrates the globalization of a cultural product.

  • 12.6 Cultural Imperialism  
  • 12.6.1 Cultural Hegemony  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (12.6.1.1–12.6.1.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.6.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 13.6 of the textbook.  It is very important that you read this material with the goal of gaining a solid understanding of the connection between cultural hegemony and McDonaldization.  What are the dangers the author asserts?  Can you justify them or do you think they are overblown?

  • 12.6.1.1 Spreading American Tastes through McDonaldization  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.6.

  • 12.6.1.2 McDonaldizing Media  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.6.

  • 12.6.2 Cultural Imperialism, Resentment, and Terrorism: Freedom, Democracy, and Rock ‘n’ Roll  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.6.  Similar to the previous unit, it is important that you use this material to connect the concept of hegemony to criticisms of cultural imperialism.

  • Unit 13: Ethics of Mass Media  

    Many argue that in a just world, business and ethics should go hand in hand, that social responsibility is just as important as profitability, and that the nature and pace of change should be tempered by costs other than monetary ones, including the cost to the individual, not just the group or mass.  Others argue that the objectivity and rationality of the free market should play the preeminent role in determining how a business operates.  As you work through this unit, it is important that you keep in mind the cultural origins of ethics and how they can be impacted by ideology and other factors, which can produce a murkier pool of issues than is acknowledged by the various codes of ethics put in place to guide the media and its representatives.  Nevertheless, anyone working within or with the media should be aware of and prepared to deal with ethical dilemmas and challenges.  Use this unit to understand some of the issues that are out there and also to establish your own perspectives on how they should be handled.

    Unit 13 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 13 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 13.1 Ethical Issues in Mass Media  
  • 13.1.1 Stereotypes, Prescribed Roles, and Public Perception  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (13.1.1.1–13.1.1.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 13.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 14.1 of the textbook.  Upon completing this reading, be sure you can define what ethics are and give examples of ethical dilemmas faced by the media.

  • 13.1.1.1 Minority Exclusion and Stereotypes  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 13.1.

  • 13.1.1.2 Femininity in Mass Media  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 13.1.

  • 13.1.2 Sexual Content in Public Communication  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.1.  Being able to articulate what makes an issue a dilemma can be a challenge.  Pursue this reading material to clarify in your own mind what a dilemma really is and make sure you can provide additional examples of ethical dilemmas involving the media.

  • 13.2 News Media and Ethics  
  • 13.2.1 Immediate News Delivery  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.2.  Pay attention to the complex process that has caused the media to emphasize speed (of reporting) over other reporting qualities when it comes to fast-breaking news.  Try to connect the dots such that you can describe the entire process, from start to finish, including when and why public expectations and business demands drive the process forward.

  • 13.2.2 Social Responsibility of News Media  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (13.2.2.1–13.2.2.5) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 13.2.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 14.2 of the textbook.  Please focus on producing, from your own observations, examples which illustrate each of the ways the media can become more socially responsible.

  • 13.2.2.1 Present News Stories That Inform and Serve the Needs of Citizens  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 13.2.

  • 13.2.2.2 Present Issues Fairly  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 13.2.

  • 13.2.2.3 Present Stories in a Way That Addresses Their Complexity  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 13.2.

  • 13.2.2.4 Present Diverse Perspectives  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 13.2.

  • 13.2.2.5 Monitor Government and Corporations  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 13.2.

  • 13.2.3 Characteristics of Reliable Journalism  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.2.  It is introduced by a major or minor subheading in section 14.2 of the textbook.  Use your critical thinking skills when reading this material to discern what is and is not reliable when it comes to journalism.  You should be able to apply the characteristics the textbook mentions to specific examples from your own experiences as a consumer of news.

  • 13.2.4 The Effects of Bias in News Presentations  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.2.  It is introduced by a major or minor subheading in section 14.2 of the textbook.  As you read through this material, focus on how you can recognize bias in the news and if you have the time, seek out some real examples.

  • 13.3 Ethical Considerations of the Online World  
  • 13.3.1 Privacy and Surveillance  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.3.  As has been mentioned often, the best way to read through this material is by connecting it to your own life.  How have you been impacted by privacy issues online?  For example, have you shopped for a product and then had ads for similar products “follow” you around wherever else you went online?  When you think about how information about you is being used, how do you feel?  After you have finished reading this subsection, you might want to ask yourself if you feel differently than you did before you read it.

  • 13.3.2 Fair Use and Plagiarism  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (13.3.2.1–13.3.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 13.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 14.3 of the textbook.  Concentrate on the differences between copyright infringement and plagiarism as you read this material and be prepared to recognize examples of each.

  • 13.3.2.1 Copyright Infringement  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 13.3.

  • 13.3.2.2 Plagiarism  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 13.3.

  • Unit 14: Media and Government  

    To truly understand the media and its role in society, it is necessary to look beyond its history and development and into the other factors that shape its actions and contents.  Throughout this course, culture has had a central role in identifying why the media is as it is, but in this and the two preceding units, the course has focused on other influential factors.  Recognize, however, that those three factors – economics, ethics, and government – vary in their influence based on when in history and also where in the cultural mix of a country they exist.  In the United States, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are traditions that have played a significant role in the media’s relationship with government, for example.  In other countries, that relationship can differ widely.  As this course approaches its conclusion, you should consider continuing to expand your understanding of what the media is and can be by pursuing a comparative analysis of other media systems.  This unit is a good springboard for that exploration because it reviews the major agencies, legislative actions, and political behavior that determine or are determined by the media in this country, characteristics that can vary widely in other cultures and political systems.

    Unit 14 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 14 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 14.1 Government Regulation of Media  
  • 14.1.1 Major Regulatory Agencies  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (14.1.1.1–14.1.1.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 15.1 of the textbook.  Please focus your attention in these readings on the functions each commission plays in the regulatory environment and the major issues which they have had to deal with.

  • 14.1.1.1 Federal Trade Commission  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.

  • 14.1.1.2 Federal Radio Commission  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.

  • 14.1.1.3 Federal Communications Commission  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.

  • 14.1.2 Regulation Today  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (14.1.2.1–14.1.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 15.1 of the textbook.  Please focus your attention in these readings on the functions each commission plays in the regulatory environment and the major issues which they have had to deal with.

  • 14.1.2.1 The Structure and Purposes of the FCC  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.

  • 14.1.2.2 The Structure and Purposes of the FTC  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.

  • 14.1.3 Role of Antitrust Legislation  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.1.  Pay attention to the explanation for why antitrust legislation is as important today as it was in the past and see if you can compare antitrust issues involving the media with those of other industries.

  • 14.1.4 Move toward Deregulation  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.1.  Pull from this material both the advantages and the disadvantages of deregulation with respect to media industries.

  • 14.2 The Law and Mass Media Messages  
  • 14.2.1 Libel and Slander  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (14.2.1–14.2.6) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.2.  As you read this material, please focus on the definitions of terms that are associated with the laws and on the examples which illustrate how the laws are applied.

  • 14.2.2 Copyright and Intellectual Property  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.2.

  • 14.2.3 Freedom of Information Act  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.2.

  • 14.2.4 The Equal Time Rule  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.2.

  • 14.2.5 The Fairness Doctrine  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.2.

  • 14.2.6 The Digital Millennium Copyright Act  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.2.

  • 14.3 Censorship and Freedom of Speech  
  • 14.3.1 Classifying Material as Indecent, Obscene, or Profane  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.3.  Please pay attention to the legal definitions of the terms used in this reading and make sure you can distinguish between a legal definition and a personal one.

  • 14.3.2 Violence and Sex: Taboos in Entertainment  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (14.3.2.1–14.3.2.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 15.3 of the textbook.  The best way to absorb this material is by focusing on the examples which help to explain the issues that are covered.

  • 14.3.2.1 Hays Code  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.3.

  • 14.3.2.2 Ratings Systems  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.3.

  • 14.3.2.3 Film Ratings  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.3.

  • 14.3.2.4 Television and Video Game Ratings  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.3.

  • 14.4 Intellectual Property Issues in the Mass Media  
  • 14.4.1 Online Creativity and Intellectual Property Rights  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (14.4.1.1–14.4.1.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 15.4 of the textbook.  As you read this material, please focus on the general nature of regulations which protect property rights online such that you could distinguish between those in place and those that have been proposed or rejected.

  • 14.4.1.1 Copyright Protection in Cyberspace  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

  • 14.4.1.2 The RIAA versus Piracy  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

  • 14.4.2 The Law and Online Interactions  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

  • 14.4.2.1 TOS Agreements  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

  • 14.4.2.2 The Case of Megan Meier  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

  • 14.4.2.3 Crimes on the Internet  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

  • 14.4.2.4 Online Hate Crimes and Anonymity  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

  • 14.5 Digital Democracy and Its Possible Effects  
  • 14.5.1 President Obama’s Digital Campaign  

    Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (14.5.1.1–14.5.1.5) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.5.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 15.5 of the textbook.  As you read this material, pay particular attention to the reasoning behind the Obama Administration’s plans and what it is hoped they will accomplish.  Do you think they go too far or fall short?  How do you think they might affect your own online experiences?

  • 14.5.1.1 Traditional Websites  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.5.

  • 14.5.1.2 Social Networking  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.5.

  • 14.5.1.3 E-mail Outreach  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.5.

  • 14.5.1.4 Text Messaging  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.5.

  • 14.5.1.5 E-Democracy  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.5.

  • 14.5.2 Digital Democracy and the Digital Divide  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.5.  This is another instance when what you read is best absorbed by comparing or connecting it to what you do, so as you read this material, consider your own engagement in the political process.  How are your impressions of candidates shaped by your online experiences?  Do you seek out information or try to avoid it?  Do you feel that you succeed in obtaining or avoiding politics online, or are you finding that political messages and advertisements are becoming increasingly ubiquitous?  Is this good or bad?  Why?

  • 14.6 Media Influence on Laws and Government  
  • 14.6.1 Radio  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.6.  As you read this material, please focus on identifying specific changes that arose because of the media’s influence on politics in two areas: campaigning and participation.  Make sure you can provide examples from each area.

  • 14.6.2 Television  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.6.

  • 14.6.3 Nixon–Kennedy Debates of 1960  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.6.

  • 14.6.4 War and Television  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.6.

  • 14.6.5 Political News Programming  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.6.

  • 14.6.6 Online News and Politics  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.6.

  • Unit 15: The Future of Mass Media  

    Perhaps the best way to consider the future of the media, the focus of this unit, is to consider how it may affect you.  This unit wraps up the course’s examination of where the media comes from by looking at where it is headed, but you need to realize that most of it is speculation and could change quickly as new or unexpected developments arise.  Indeed, Internet security issues, which most of us have little awareness of, are already having an impact, but because of the need for secrecy, it is difficult to take those factors into account in predicting future developments.  Other factors that can influence predictions about the future of the media range from atmospheric conditions to technological breakthroughs.  Nevertheless, your relationship to the media is not likely to change very rapidly, and oftentimes you will be in control of that change.  As you complete this final unit, review the material with a heightened awareness of the power you possess over the media: the power of choice.

    Unit 15 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 15 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 15.1 Changes in Media over the Last Century: New Media  
    • Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 16, Section 1: Changes in Media over the Last Century”

      Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 16, Section 1: Changes in Media over the Last Century” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition, keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 15.1.1–15.1.3.

      Reading these sections should take approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises associated with these sections may require an additional 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

    • Reading: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication: “Episode 32 – Final Review” and YouTube: Gerd Leonhard’s “The Future of Media”

      Link: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication“Episode 32 – Final Review” (MP4) and YouTube: Gerd Leonhard’s “The Future of Media” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Please watch these two videos, the first of which is a review of the final exam given in the televised class whose episodes you have been viewing throughout the course.  This review may help you remember important developments and issues which you covered in this class, but perhaps of more value is how it gives you the opportunity to say good-bye to the students and professors you have watched and, hopefully, enjoyed as you worked on this course.  The second video is a lecture presented by futurist Gerd Leonhard at Media Future Week 2011 in Almere, New Zealand.  Gerd Leonhard, a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in London, is also an author, scholar, and popular speaker whose expertise includes “digital business models, the networked society, a sustainable business ecology, social media and social communications, TV & Radio 2.0, mobile content,” according to his website.  His YouTube speech brings up many interesting predictions about the relationship among and convergence of the media from an international perspective.

      Watching these lectures should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 15.1.1 Electronic Games and Entertainment  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 15.1.  To appreciate the contents of this final chapter in the textbook, consider the points the author makes about the future of these media and then ask yourself, “What’s next?”  If you can’t come up with a generalization about what might develop in the future, think about the what you yourself would like to see develop, even if there are no indications that it will.  Identifying your own wishes for the future of the media may be more predictive that you think.  After all, chances are that if you have identified a particular need, someone else has, too, and may soon set about finding ways to satisfy it.

  • 15.1.2 The Internet and Social Media  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 15.1.

  • 15.1.3 New Media versus Traditional Media  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 15.1.

  • 15.2 Information Delivery Methods  
  • 15.3 Modern Media Delivery: Pros and Cons  
  • 15.3.1 Advantages of Modern Media Delivery  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 15.3.  After reading this material, you should be able to produce a succinct list of the advantages of the way the media delivers information today along with experiences from your own observations which illustrate those advantages.

  • 15.3.2 Disadvantages of Modern Media Delivery  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 15.3.  After reading this material, you should be able to produce a succinct list of the disadvantages of the way the media delivers information today along with experiences from your own observations which illustrate those disadvantages.  In addition, you should pull from the readings ways in which you might weigh advantages against disadvantages to produce a well-reasoned defense or criticism of specific delivery techniques.

  • 15.4 Current Trends in Electronic Media  
  • 15.4.1 Social Networking Continues to Grow  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 15.4.  As you read about these very small market web resources, focus on the select audiences to which they cater.  Who are those audiences and how likely will it continue to be that enough of those audiences will be available to support the resource?  Use the information in the reading to make predictions about the sustainability of the business models on which the small market resources are based.

  • 15.4.2 Exclusivity on the Web  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 15.4.

  • 15.4.3 An Excess of Apps  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 15.4.

  • 15.5 Privacy Laws and the Impact of Digital Surveillance  
  • 15.5.1 The USA PATRIOT Act: Weakening Privacy Laws or Protecting Citizens?  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 15.5.  As you read this material, consider your own privacy needs and expectations, both online and when you use (or are used by) traditional media.  How much information about you do you feel is appropriate for the government to know?  How much do you value your privacy verses your safety?  If you were to debate this issue, how would you argue for or against breaches in privacy rights for the sake of national security?

  • 15.5.2 Social Networking: The Blurring of Personal and Professional  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 15.5.  When you are reading this subsection, concentrate on how the material involves freedom of expression as well as privacy.  When are your personal opinions and private behaviors online reasonable to associate with your professional life?  Try to identify the similarities and differences between online and in-person attitudes and behaviors outside of your job that could impact your position or employment.  Is attending a political rally or participating in a parade which reflects a lifestyle your employer disapproves of equally fair game for criticism as posting a negative response to an online article or blog that insulted or threatened that lifestyle?  Why or why not?

  • 15.5.3 Restoration of Privacy  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 15.5.  As you complete this reading, put some extra thought to the value of “https” as a way to protect your privacy.  Have you noticed its use when you are online?  Does it reassure you?  Or is it something you don’t notice when you are browsing or searching, perhaps because “https” has not yet reached a level of usefulness for you personally?

  • 15.6 Mass Media, New Technology, and the Public  
  • 15.6.1 Diffusion of Technology: The Technology Adoption Life Cycle  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 15.5.  Please pay particular attention in reading this material on understanding the stages that mark the adoption and widening use of new technologies, both on the individual and the societal level and recognize examples from your own observations that illustrate the process.

  • 15.6.2 Mass Media Outlets and New Technology  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 15.5.  As you complete your readings of the textbook, consider how new technologies will adapt and expand in the future in the way the iPad, iPod, and e-readers this subsection describes are experiencing.  Can you identify other media-related technology which will or should branch out into other areas of information dissemination or presentation?  If you could invest in a company which had such an idea, would you?  Why or why not?

  • Final Exam  

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