ComS 5 The
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT OPTIONS FOR MEDIA ANALYSIS
Directions: Choose one of the following
sites. Visit the site and complete the activities I have
assigned for that site. Click on the
title to go directly to the site. I recommend that you
copy the activity directions
before you go to the site. Be sure to
include the following information at the top of your
assignment: Your name, Title of assignment (and option for
Wagner to Virtual Reality) selected. Include headings
suggested in the assignments in your write-up. At the
end of your assignment, note the word count of what you've
pages). Then select at least five of the nine
corporate profiles to read. Write a 500 word response to
the reading, focusing on what you have learned about
centralization of media control in the US and globally.
Apply at least two of the theories of media effects found in Appendix II of Understanding Human
Communication. For example, the concept of agenda
setting is important because it suggests that the media control
what you think about and how you think about it. Use the two
concepts and the five corporate cases you selected you select to
discuss McChesney's findings about media centralization and
control. Your essay will be free of spelling and grammar
errors; you will properly cite all sources of information
format. Your essay will be free of spelling and grammar
Wagner to Virtual Reality (Web Site)
That multimedia has its own long history strikes many as surprising, but the medium today is the result of an evolution that spans over 150 years. Remarkably, this has been a largely untold story; there is a "secret history" of multimedia that...covers an extraordinary range of technological innovation, artistic experimentation and cultural thought. This is a large and complex presentation, which is, itself, an artifact of the evolution of multimedia. This site invites and merits exploration via its links.
Activities: You have some options. Option One is to thoroughly read "Overture" entirely. That is, visit and read all five sections from Prologue to Future is Under Construction. Within each section, be sure to visit the hyper links offered. Dig around for new information and insights about the structure, function and evolution of multimedia. Write a 500 word essay detailing at least four new facts, ideas, or insights you discovered in your exploration. Be sure to connect your discussion of your four learnings to your own experiences with electronic media. Make specific, concrete connections between what you are learning about communication and your experiences with media. Use Understanding Media and Culture: An introduction to Mass Communication to support your conclusions--cite at least two relevant ideas from this text. Your essay will be free of spelling and grammar errors.
Option Two is
to explore the section titled "Pioneers." Choose any ten of the
thirty-seven segments to read (ten is the minimum; I
encourage you to read more.) Your job will be to develop a
coherent summary of the relationships you see between the ten
(or more) segments you examined. (This is the new task of
consumers of hyper linked information!) Write a 500 word
explanation of what you discovered, and how the information and
ideas discovered relate to each other. Use Understanding
Media and Culture: An introduction to Mass Communication to support your conclusions--cite
at least two relevant ideas from this text. Your essay will be
free of spelling and grammar errors. (You may, if you wish, include a diagram of
the relationships between ideas as an illustration of what you
have written. (See Ted
Nelson's Hypertext Diagram for an example.) )
Mainstream Media Mainstream (From a talk at Z Media
Institute June 1997)
Noam Chomsky is one of America's most prominent political dissidents. A renowned professor of linguistics at MIT, he has authored over 30 political books dissecting such issues as U.S. interventionism in the developing world, the political economy of human rights and the propaganda role of corporate media. This transcript is a wide-ranging discussion of media related topics.
Activities: First, after reading Chomsky's statement, construct a detailed, full-sentence outline of it.(Click here to see model outline; Click here for a tutorial.) Second, choose three significant parts of his discussion and respond to them in the form of an argument. For example, he treats the profession of public relations as essentially an industry devoted to mind control and exploitation. Argue either pro or con as to whether you agree with Chomsky. Each of the three arguments will be a minimum of 150 words. Your essay will be free of spelling and grammar errors.
Historical Timeline takes you from the first uses of TV ads in American politics through to the present.
From Idea to Ad shows you how ads conceived, designed and shot. The Eisenhower for President campaign is used as a case study.
Tricks of the Trade shows you how choices of images, graphics, music and voice-overs change how we see a candidate. You can construct a "pro" or "con" ad for a fictional candidate that applies the tricks revealed in the presentation.
Q & A in which you can interview a variety of political analysts.
Activities: (Do all three below as a package; this assignment does not present three options.) Go through the "Timeline." (Make sure you watch the "Daisy" commercial from Lyndon Johnson's campaign--it is a "classic" in our cultural history now.) Write a 250 word summary of what you now know about the history of political media that you didn't know before. Be specific.
Read "From Idea to Ad." Write a response (150-200 words) that uses at least two concepts from our text and or class discussions to explain how or why the Eisenhower ads were designed as they were or functioned as they did in the campaign. For example, in the section on Research, you can connect the concept of "audience analysis" in public speaking to the fact that the Eisenhower people conducted focus groups to find out what the public wanted to hear from the candidate.
experience Tricks of the Trade. Construct both a "pro"
and "con" ad for a fictitious candidate using video images,
music, graphics and voice-overs and note the specific effects as
you build the two different ads. Given what you've
learned, visit http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/2012,
choose a comparative pair (one Obama, one Romney) and analyze
the commercials using your new knowledge of "tricks of the
Write a brief response (250-300 words) explaining 1) what you discovered from the exercise about how the elements of the media can manipulate audience responses, and 2) what connections you can make with current political advertisements you are seeing on TV--what do you now think about as you watch them? Be sure to talk about the Obama/Romney commercials as well as any of the older ones you've encountered via this assignment. Your essay will be free of spelling and grammar errors.
of Cool (Web Page) (Click "Interviews)
Read the interview with Dee Dee Gordon and Sharon Lee, then read the interview with Mark Crispin Miller.
Gordon and Lee are co-founders of Look-Look, a research company specializing in youth culture. They talk about how their company searches out teen trendsetters looking for what's cool, the challenges in their quest, and how corporations use the information they gather.
Crispin Miller is a media analyst and the author of Boxed In: The Culture of TV. In discussing the clout of the major media giants, he outlines the media/cultural changes due to the commercial machine. He also talks about the changes in advertising and tv programming for youth and the general lowering of standards in the culture.
Activities: Write a 500-600 word response to your reading. The response should 1) Lay out what you see as the general themes of each interview. Ground your response in evidence from the interviews. 2) Read these sections from the chapter, Mass Media Research by Wimmer and Dominick: 5 Stages of Persuasion; Three Step Research Approach; Amount of Encouragement and The Message. Apply at least three concepts from the reading to the advertizing methods outlined and critiqued in Merchants of Cool. 3) Discuss your understanding of the effects of long-term consumption of commercial mass mediated messages on you and your colleagues. Part 1 should be about 150-200 words; Part 2 about 200-225 words and Part 3 about 175-200 words. Be sure it is free of spelling, grammar, syntax and usage errors. Properly cite your references using APA format.
article implicitly examines a number of issues regarding the
mass media treated in the textbook: for example, the gatekeeping
function of the media, as well as the surveillence function for
which most newspapers are used by readers. The second article
indicates the potential for misleading information in
documentary photography--shaping perceptions, interpretation and
meaning of messages.
textbook chapter on Mass Media; read Appendix II in Understanding Human Communication
by Ronald Adler.
a well-formed essay, include the following: 1) discuss
in as much detail as you can your personal responses as you read
the articles. 2) Then use two or more of the theories of
mass media discussed in Appendix II of Understanding Human
Communication or in Understanding
Media and Culture: An introduction to Mass Communication to explain the
communication problem/s raised in the articles. Taken
together, the essay should present an argument
about how an intelligent reader should respond to the news
media, particularly in a time of crisis.
Rubric for grading:
Devoted about 100 words to your personal response; about 300-350 words to your analysis. The analysis exhibited the following: a) a clear claim you wish to argue about how people perceive and respond to mediated messages; b) reasons and support clearly drawn from the reading in Understanding Human Communication and your present text, Survey of Communication Study. Your essay should be about 400 words long. c) Be sure it is free of spelling, grammar, syntax and usage errors. and properly cite your references using APA format.