The course provides an introduction to the most prominent forms of media that influence and impact social, business, political, and popular culture in contemporary America. It explores the unique aspects of each medium as well as interactions across various media that combine to create rich environments for information sharing, entertainment, business, and social interaction in the U.S. and around the world.
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Campbell, R., Martin, C.R., & Fabos, B (2012) Media & culture: An introduction to mass communication (8th.) New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
All electronic materials are available on the student website.
Week One: The Formative Influence of Mass Media on American Culture
Summarize the evolution of mass media.
Identify the effects of mass media on American culture.
Read Ch. 1 of Exploring Media & Culture.
Nongraded Activities and Preparation
Watch “The Media and Democracy” on Video Central.
Watch “Agenda Setting and Gate-Keeping” on Video Central.
Not graded Discussion Questions
Respond to weekly discussion questions listed below.
Week One DQ#1
Do traditional media have an advantage over emerging media? If so, what are they? If not, why not?
Week One DQ#2
The Internet has provided many forms of social media and new forms are continuously emerging. Which forms of social media do you use on a regular basis and why? Are there any social media that you previously used but no longer use? If so, why? If not, why not?
Week One DQ#3
Identify a single type of media (Internet, social media, newspaper, magazine, radio, or television) and describe the changes that have occurred to that type of media over the last 5 to 10 years. What implications so you see for the next 5 years? Explain.
Week One DQ#4
If you were a reporter with access to all forms of media distribution, which do you choose first to tell a story? Why? How you might have answered this question differently 20 years ago?
Week One DQ#5
In the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, television news was broadcast by three major television networks. There were practically no opportunities to “talk back” to the television. Now, through the Internet, there are many ways to respond to both television and Internet news. Do you think this has had a positive or negative effect on American culture? Why?
Week One DQ#6
Is new media “mass” or not? Why?
Participate in class discussion.
Answering the supplemental questions counts towards your weekly participation grade.
10 Supplemental Questions
Research the evolution of mass media, which has changed significantly over the last 100 years. Some forms of mass media have changed so much that they are almost unrecognizable. What are the implications of these changes? How do you see these changes continuing to change the industry? Briefly describe how this activity applied to the weekly concepts.
Mass Media Effects on American Culture:
Choose an aspect of American life or culture that is or has been influenced by mass media. What are the effects of this influence? What effects does the media influence have on that part of the culture? Is this beneficial? Explain.
Effects of Mass Media Worksheet
Resources: Week One Readings and Videos
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