Faculty and students/learners will be held responsible for understanding and adhering to all policies contained within the following two documents:
•University policies: You must be logged into the student website to view this document. •Instructor policies: This document is posted in the Course Materials forum.
University policies are subject to change. Be sure to read the policies at the beginning of each class. Policies may be slightly different depending on the modality in which you attend class. If you have recently changed modalities, read the policies governing your current class modality.
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
Objectives1.1.Summarize the evolution of mass media.
1.2.Identify the effects of mass media on American culture. ReadingRead Ch. 1 of Exploring Media & Culture.
Nongraded Activities and PreparationWatch “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.15
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?
ParticipationParticipate in class discussion.
Answering the supplemental questions counts towards your weekly participation grade.10 Supplemental QuestionsMass Media:
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. Assignment
Effects of Mass Media WorksheetResources: Week One Readings and Videos
Compose answers to fill in the Effects of Mass Media Worksheet.50
Week Two: Critical Approaches to Mass Media
Objectives2.1.Explain the implications of media convergence, in terms of both technology and business. 2.2.Identify issues resulting from dependency on mass media. 2.3.Describe the value of media literacy.
ReadingRead Ch. 1 and 2 of Exploring Media & Culture.
Nongraded Activities and Preparation
Watch “Going Viral: Political Campaigns and Video” on Video Central.
Watch “Tablets, Technology, and the Classroom” on Video Central.
Watch “The Impact of Media Ownership” on Video Central.Not graded Discussion QuestionsRespond to weekly discussion questions.15
Week Two DQ#1
From your own experience, think of an example in which the media have been accused of unfairness. Draw on comments from parents, teachers, religious leaders, politicians, and so forth. Do you think these criticisms were justified? Why, or why not?
Week Two DQ#2
Although in some ways postmodern forms of communication, such as e-mail, smartphones, and Twitter, have helped people participate in global life, do you think these media have also caused harm to traditional or native cultures? If so, how and why? If not, why not?
Week Two DQ#3
How would you define media literacy? What do you think it would take to be considered “media literate”?
Week Two DQ#5
Imagine that you are in a situation for an extended period of time without access to mass media. Would your life style be significantly different? Explain.
Week Two DQ#6
According to the textbook, which form of media convergence, technology or business, has the most influence on your news consumption? Why? ParticipationParticipate in class discussion.
Answering the supplemental questions counts towards your weekly participation grade.10 Supplemental QuestionsMedia Convergence:
The term media convergence refers to the merging of media content. One definition applies to technology, and the second refers to business: corporate media conglomerates (see Ch. 1 & 12). Research the implications of this latter phenomenon. What conflicts of interest could occur within media conglomerates, and how could such conflicts affect society’s media consumption? Briefly describe how this activity applied to the weekly concepts.
Consider the many different mass media resources for gathering information, such as the Internet, radio, television, and so on. If you were to obtain information from only one of the sources, would your information be reliable and accurate? Why or why not? Assignment
Media Convergence WorksheetResources: Week Two readings and videos
Compose answers to fill in the Media Convergence Worksheet.50
Week Three: The Significance of the Internet and the Digital Age
Objectives3.1.Explain the implications of easily obtainable information in the digital age. 3.2.Assess credibility issues regarding information on the Internet. 3.3.Explain the concept of the digital divide.
ReadingRead Ch. 2, 11, 13 of Exploring Media & Culture.
Nongraded Activities and Preparation
Watch “User-Generated Content” on Video Central.
Watch “Net Neutrality” on Video Central.Not graded
Discussion QuestionsRespond to weekly discussion questions.15
Week Three DQ#1
Do you think the Internet can make democracy work better? If so, how? If not, why not?
Week Three DQ#2
Do you think the Internet has a significant influence on political campaigns? Why or why not?
Week Three DQ#3
Do you think the concentration of media ownership limits the number of voices in the marketplace? Explain.
Week Three DQ#4
How do you know whether you can trust Wikipedia or another online resource?
Week Three DQ#5
The digital divide refers to people that have access to digital media versus those that do not. Are people who do not have a smartphone at a disadvantage (that is, are they on the wrong side of the digital divide)? ParticipationParticipate in class discussion.
Answering the supplemental questions counts towards your weekly participation grade.10 Supplemental QuestionsArtists in the Digital Age:
The Internet allows for numerous ways for the public to obtain music without paying for it. The Internet also provides numerous ways for artists to promote tours, new music, and memorabilia. Do you think the Internet has created more harm than good to artists in the music industry? Explain your answer.
What are the ethical responsibilities of Internet users? Include at least two basic ethical responsibilities to which Internet users should always adhere. Do you practice specific manners or “netiquette” during online interactions that you also expect from others? What kinds of ethical compliance do you expect in online transactions? Assignment
Internet and Information PaperYour pen pal from a part of the world that lacks ready access to the Internet has written you a letter and asks you to explain several concepts.
I hear so many good things and am so fascinated with what you can do with the Internet. Finding all this information so quickly must make your life very easy. But please tell me: how do you assess the value of all this information you find on the Internet? How can you be sure that it is reliable and credible? Also, I have heard the term “digital divide.” What exactly does it mean, and how do you think this divide could be bridged?
Thank you for helping me to understand these issues!
Resources: Week Three Readings and Videos
Write a 700-to 1,050-word letter in which you respond to your friend’s questions.50
Week Four: The Role of Social Media and Virtual Networks
Objectives4.1.Explain the role of social media and virtual networks in a broader media culture. 4.2.Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of social media. ReadingRead Ch. 11 of Exploring Media & Culture.
Nongraded Activities and PreparationWatch “The Rise of Social Media” on Video Central.Not graded Discussion QuestionsRespond to weekly discussion questions.15
Week Four DQ#1
The Week Four Toolwire Learnscape explores the effectiveness of using social media to bring attention to WhizBang Games. In general, do you think the benefits outweigh the problems of publicizing any business in this way? Why, or why not?
Week Four DQ#2
Social media appears to add different benefits and values. What benefits do social media offer for your personal use? What type of negative experiences, if any, have you had from social media? Compare your answers with those of your classmates. How do they differ?
Week Four DQ#3
Do you think virtual interactive communities are genuine communities? Why, or why not?
Week Four DQ#4
Given the trends in online gaming, what roles beyond entertainment do you see for gaming in the near future?
Week Four DQ#5
Do you think the makers of violent and sexually themed games should be held responsible for the behavior of those who play them? Why, or why not? How much responsibility do parents have in allowing children exposure to these sources?
Week Four DQ#6
At what age do you think is appropriate for a child to have access to social media? Why? ParticipationParticipate in class discussion.
Answering the supplemental questions counts towards your weekly participation grade.10 Supplemental QuestionsControversial Issue in Gaming:
In this week’s Toolwire® Learnscape, you meet with advertisers for the game you are promoting for WhizBang. You must provide the VP with details regarding controversial issues in electronic gaming. What are the most controversial issues in electronic gaming today?
Mass Media Posters:
Social media has grown over the last few years, infiltrating many different categories of people.
Choose an age group that you can identify with. Create two posters, using Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides, depicting the advantages and the disadvantages of social media on society. Take into consideration the effect that social media has on your age group.
Share your two posters with your class as a reply to this thread.
Read through your classmates’ posters and comment on the ideas expressed in the posters. Assignment
Social Media AssignmentChoose one of the following options:
Option 1: Toolwire®: Examining the Use of Social Media
Access the Toolwire® Learnscape: Examining the Use of Social Media through the link located on the student website. Complete the Learnscape Activities.
Complete the Toolwire® Learnscape Assessment Part A and Part B. Write 250 word response to each of the following questions:
•What are the advantages and disadvantages of social media? •How might knowing these advantages and disadvantages alter how a person might use social media?
Option 2: Social Media Paper
Write 700- to 1,050-word paper and address each of the following:
•Identify at least three different social media networks and describe how they are used. •Explain the advantages and disadvantages of social media. •Explain how knowing the advantages and disadvantages might alter how a person would use social media.
Support your findings with specific examples.
Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.100
Week Five: The Impact of Audio Entertainment: Music and Radio
Objectives5.1.Explain the reflective relationship between American culture and the audio entertainment media. 5.2.Assess how music and radio have affected American values. 5.3.Analyze the influence of music and radio on social behavior. ReadingRead Ch. 6 and 7 of Exploring Media & Culture.
Nongraded Activities and PreparationWatch “Recording Music Today” on Video Central.
Watch “Alternative Strategies for Music Marketing” on Video Central.
Watch “Radio: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” on Video Central.
Watch “Going Visual: Video, Radio, and the Web” on Video Central.Not graded Discussion QuestionsRespond to weekly discussion questions.15
Week Five DQ#1
Over the last century, do you think music has changed from being about artistic expression to being more about money and business? Why or why not?
Week Five DQ#2
Is it possible for a band or artist to make topical or political commentary in a song today while focusing on turning a profit?
Week Five DQ#3
Can you think of a particular song or album that strongly affected your understanding of culture and society? If so, how did it do so? If not, why don’t you think you had that experience?
Week Five DQ#4
Should National Public Radio (NPR), a source for news, commentary, and culture, continue to receive public funding? Why, or why not?
Week Five DQ#5
Which of the two do you think had more influence on American culture: rock music of the ’70s or talk radio of the ’90s? Why?
Week Five DQ#6
What artists and bands have had the greatest effect on popular culture? Explain why. Do you think the changing genre of popular music influences the culture of different eras? If so, how? If not, why not? ParticipationParticipate in class discussion.
Answering the supplemental questions counts towards your weekly participation grade.10 Supplemental QuestionsMedia Effectiveness:
Select a breaking news story and find out how many ways that story is being delivered to an audience: online, traditional media, radio, or television. Which is most effective, and why?
Did Music Rock Your World?
Reflect back on your childhood and how you absorbed information and entertainment. Did you listen to music on the radio or from another source? How did music influence you as a child? How did music affect your social behavior? Assignment
Influence of Music Presentation
Resources: Week Five Readings and Videos
Create a 5- to 8-PowerPoint® slides to answer and illustrate the following:
•In what ways have music and radio shaped American culture and its values? •Identify and introduce your favorite musician, band, or type of music. •Explain how American culture and social behavior have been shaped by the music you listen to. •Conclude your presentation by summarizing how audio media either reflect or influence social behavior and attitudes. 100
Week Six: The Power of Images: Television and Film
Objectives6.1.Explain the reflective relationship between American culture and the visual entertainment media. 6.2.Assess how television and film have affected American values. 6.3.Analyze the influence of television and film on social behavior. ReadingRead Ch. 8, 9 and 15 of Exploring Media & Culture. Nongraded Activities and PreparationWatch “Blurring the Lines: Marketing Programs Across Platforms” on Video Central.
Watch “What Makes Public Television ‘Public’?” on Video Central.
Watch “Based On: Making Books Into Movies” on Video Central.
Watch “More Than a Movie: Social Issues and Film” on Video Central.Not graded Discussion QuestionsRespond to weekly discussion questions.15
Week Six DQ#1
Choose a movie or show of a time you are familiar with that best reflected the popular culture of this country. What cultural aspects were present that made the movie or show appealing? Do you think those movies or television shows are still relevant and accurate? Why, or why not?
Week Six DQ#2
Imagine a world without movies. What would it be like? Why?
Week Six DQ#3
Some people consciously decide to not own a television set. Do you think they are wise, or are they missing out? Why do you think so?
Week Six DQ#4
YouTube could be called television of the future. Do you think YouTube and television are more alike or different? Why?
Week Six DQ#5
In 1939 Gone With the Wind was released with a swear word in it: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Today it would hardly be noticed. What do you think this change says about American culture? ParticipationParticipate in class discussion.
Answering the supplemental questions counts towards your weekly participation grade.10 Supplemental QuestionsEntertainment
Think of an entertainment event that influenced you in some way. What effect did that event have on your life? What influence does that type of event have on American culture?
Good or Bad?
Television and film have been intricately woven into the fabric of American culture over the last 60 years. Think of a specific television program or film that you think affected American culture in a positive or negative way. Explain your opinion. Did it have a lasting effect or create a permanent change? Do you see this as a good or bad result? Assignment
Influence of Visual Media Paper
Resources: Week Six Readings and Videos
Write a 350- to 700-word paper in which you investigate the interrelationship between culture and the visual entertainment media, such as television and film. Include answers to the following questions:
•In what ways have various forms of visual entertainment media shaped American culture and its values? •Are the social influences of the visual entertainment media mostly positive or negative? Explain.
Illustrate your answers with specific examples.
Conclude your paper by summarizing how visual media either reflect or influence social behavior and attitudes.
Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.75
Week Seven: The News Media: Journalism and Democracy
Objectives7.1.Assess how information media affect American values. 7.2.Explain the social responsibilities of the news media. 7.3.Describe the role of the news media in politics.
7.4.Evaluate the transformative effect of electronic media on journalism. ReadingRead Ch. 4 and 14 of Exploring Media & Culture.
Nongraded Activities and Preparation
Watch “Newspapers and the Internet: Convergence” on Video Central.
Watch “Fake News/Real News: A Fine Line” on Video Central.
Watch “Newspapers Now: Balancing Citizen Journalism and Investigative Reporting” on Video Central.
Watch “Journalism Ethics: What News Is Fit to Print?” on Video Central.
Watch “The Objectivity Myth” on Video Central.
Watch “The Contemporary Journalist: Pundit or Reporter?” on Video Central. Discussion QuestionsRespond to weekly discussion questions. Discussion Questions
ParticipationWeek Seven DQ#1
How comfortable are you with the credibility of the information you find on the Internet? For example, consider websites such as dailykos.com, drudgereport.com, huffingtonpost.com, mrc.org, and so on. What, if anything, makes you comfortable about the credibility of these sources? Why?
Week Seven DQ#2
Many news media now attempt to increase popularity by incorporating entertainment value into their news items along with information value. Do you think this affects the ability of news media to uphold their social responsibilities?
Week Seven DQ#3
During the past election, did you ever find yourself following a political story or candidate on the Internet? Did you follow similar stories on candidates through television or in your local paper? What were the differences between Internet reporting and television/newspaper reporting? In your opinion, what are the general effects of the Internet on politics?
Week Seven DQ#4
Do you think news reporting has changed significantly with the advent of the Internet and converging media? Why, or why not?
Week Seven DQ#5
Do you think the media adequately holds politicians accountable for their actions? Why, or why not?
Week Seven DQ#6
American newspapers are reputedly dying. Do you think electronic media have had a major or minor influence on their alleged demise? Explain. 15
Participate in class discussion.
Answering the supplemental questions counts towards your weekly participation grade. Supplemental QuestionsPrinciples of Journalism
Walter Cronkite, a well-respected American journalist, defined the principles of journalism this way: fairness, balance, truth, and honesty. Do you think these principles exist in today’s news journalism? If so, how? If not, how does today’s practice diverge from them? Give specific examples.
Political Balancing Act
Think about a recent media event involving a political issue that interests you. What role did the news media play? In your opinion, did the news media act ethically? Did they present a balanced or unbalanced view of the event? In what ways?10 Assignment
News MediaChoose one of the following options:
Option 1: Toolwire® Learnscape Credibility and Impact
Access the Toolwire® Learnscape: Credibility and Impact: Exploring the Internet and Politics through the link located on the student website.
Complete the Learnscape Activities.
Complete the Toolwire® Learnscape Assessment Part A and Part B.
Write 250-word response to the following question:
•Do the information media have social responsibility? If yes, in what ways? If no, why not?
Option 2: Journalist E-mail
You are a rookie news journalist, and you just completed your first major assignment covering a political campaign, including extensive research of websites to provide the political background of your story. Your best friend emails you and asks how it went.
Write a 350-to 700-word e-mail to your friend in which you detail the challenges you faced regarding the following:
•Your responsibility as a journalist to provide fair, honest, and balanced coverage. •How you struggled with whether your story was socially responsible. •Assessing the credibility of the political Internet sites you visited for your research (consider Drudge Report, Daily Kos, Politico, Colbert Nation, The Hill, etc.). Your awareness of how political news reporting might influence public opinion and American values.
Week Eight: Advertising and the Culture of Consumerism
Objectives8.1.Explain the role of advertising in a culture of consumerism. 8.2.Outline key persuasive techniques used in consumer advertising. 8.3.Identify critical issues in advertising.
ReadingRead Ch. 12 of Exploring Media & Culture.
Nongraded Activities and Preparation
Watch “Advertising and Effects on Children” on Video Central.
Watch “Advertising in the Digital Age” on Video Central.
Watch “Filling the News Hole: Video News Releases” on Video Central. Discussion QuestionsRespond to weekly discussion questions. Discussion Questions
ParticipationWeek Eight DQ#1
Can you think of an experience where advertising shaped your consumption? Explain.
Week Eight DQ#2
Controversial topics in advertising include targeting children(sometimes even in schools); advertising alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs; creating a culture of excessive consumerism; promoting unrealistic ideals of beauty and gender roles; deceptive marketing; and aggressive political advertising. Which of these issues do you find most problematic? Why?
Week Eight DQ#3
Are there particular advertisements that you find offensive? Which ones, and why?
Week Eight DQ#4
Are there particular advertisements that you find annoying? Which ones, and why?
Week Eight DQ#5
The city of San Francisco in 2010 banned toys in McDonald’s children’s meals. McDonalds responded by offering the toys for a nominal additional cost to the meal. How important do you think the toys were to the sales of those meals? Why?15
Participate in class discussion.
Answering the supplemental questions counts towards your weekly participation grade. Supplement QuestionsCommercial Comparison
Find a commercial from the 1960s or 1970s from the Electronic Reserve Reading page or elsewhere, and then a recent one for the same brand or a comparable product.
Write a 200-word paragraph comparing the two commercials. What elements have changed in the presentation of the product and in the strategies to sell it? Include links to both commercials.
Consumer Advertising Techniques Paragraph
Consumer advertising has infiltrated all aspects of life. Identify one online advertisement and the persuasive techniques it uses. Evaluate whether these techniques are effective or ineffective.
Write a 200-word paragraph discussing the techniques. What elements have influenced the techniques?10 Assignment
Effects of Advertising PresentationResources: Week Eight Readings and Videos Choose a product or service from these examples:
•Class of consumer product
Research online to analyze how that product or service has been advertised.
Prepare an 8-to 12-slide PowerPoint® presentation in which you investigate the role of advertising in a culture of consumerism. Be sure to discuss the following areas:
•What are the key persuasive techniques used in advertising for your selected product or service? Illustrate with specific examples, explaining how each technique works.
•Discuss whether any of the following critical issues that related or connected with you product or service:
oChildren and advertising
oAdvertising in schools
oHealth and advertising
•Find one example of a commercial or advertisement of your product or service that strikes you as particularly creative and appealing. Consider some of the following questions:
oWhat are the elements that are unusual?
oWhat is the target group of the commercial?
oHow does the commercial appeal to consumers?
oWhy do you believe this commercial to be effective in brand name recognition? oWho determines ethical standards for advertising?
oHow are ethical standards met (or pushed to their limits)?
•Summarize the ways in which advertising has affected American culture.
Illustrate your findings with specific examples. If you use external references, make sure to list your references on the last slide.
Format your presentation consistent with APA guidelines.
Week Nine: Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age
Objectives9.1.Assess the tension between free speech and constraints on free speech in media. 9.2.Explain the legal and regulatory safeguards on free speech in the media. ReadingReview Ch. 7, 15 and 16 of Exploring Media & Culture. Nongraded Activities and Preparation
Watch “Bloggers and Legal Rights” on Video Central.
Watch “The First Amendment and Student Speech” on Video Central.Not graded Discussion QuestionsRespond to weekly discussion questions.15
Week Nine DQ#1
Do you think online content should ever be censored? Explain.
Week Nine DQ#2
Do you think the current movie rating system serves its intended purpose, or should it be changed? Why, or why not?
Week Nine DQ#3
Between 1949 and 1987, the Fairness Doctrine was an FCC rule designed to provide “reasonable, although not necessarily equal” opportunities in presenting opposing viewpoints in radio broadcasting in order to avoid one-sided presentations. The practice was repealed under President Reagan as part of a wider deregulation effort. Do you think the Fairness Doctrine should be revived, revised, or left dead? Why?
Week Nine DQ#4
Some organizations and political figures have declared that Internet access is a civil right. Do you agree or disagree with this thinking? Why?
Week Nine DQ#5
What if an Internet search engine limited results to one political viewpoint or another? Would that be legal? Ethical? Explain.
Week Nine DQ#6
Occasionally search engines and social media sites have been accused of bias or slanted results when they appeared to curtail or advocate one political stance or another. This becomes a subject of debate because these tools are so universally accessed. However, what if a search engine excluded results that promoted hate speech, Internet piracy, or pornography? Is it appropriate to violate some individuals' rights of freedom of speech in any of those cases, or does freedom of speech trump all other concerns? Explain your thoughts. ParticipationParticipate in class discussion.
Answering the supplemental questions counts towards your weekly participation grade.10 Supplement QuestionsFree Speech Paragraph
Identify an aspect of free speech. What are the legal safeguards in the Constitution protecting it? Do these regulations apply differently at the personal level than at the media level?
Free Speech Activity
Identify an aspect of free speech. Research the legal safeguards around it. Create a single Microsoft® PowerPoint® slide depicting those safeguards. Include speaker notes.
Share your slide with the class as a reply to this thread. Assignment
Free Speech PresentationResources: Week Nine Readings and Videos
Select and research a recent controversial issue in the media that stretched societal tolerance of free speech.
Create a presentation, using Microsoft® PowerPoint® (6 to 10 slides) or another multimedia tool, in which you explain and discuss the following:
•The issue itself and why it caused controversy
•What was done to resolve the controversy?
•If a legal case, what were the grounds for the verdict?
•Do you agree with the outcome, or would you have liked to see a more stringent or more lenient resolution? Why?
Illustrate your responses.
Format your presentation consistent with APA guidelines.150