1) Why is the map approach to culture better and more conclusive than the vertical approach? Define the steps of the critical process Campbell is suggesting in applying the map approach.
2) Discuss some of the concerns resulting from the increasing consolidation of the Internet? Do you think this is a disturbing trend?
3) Is objective journalism threatened by the increasing popularity of news blogs on the Internet? Is that a good or bad development?
4) How did television shape race relations since the 1950s? Refer to the video: Color Adjustments.
5) Are social networks like Myspace and YouTube likely to change the ways in which we relate to traditional media? Will they ever replace traditional media?
6) Why did it take so long for cable television to become a reality knowing the technology had been there years before?
7) Describe some of the factors that triggered the move toward magazine specialization?
8) If magazines through heavy corporate advertising identify readers as consumers first and citizens second, what kind of impact this might have on democracy?
9) Do non-profit radio and television in the US rely exclusively on public funding for their operations or do they accept private sponsorships as well? If they do, how can they be labeled public media?
10) Name and define the movie industry’s three basic economic divisions? How have these divisions evolved through the years?
11) What contributed to the decline of the ‘network era’? Have the television networks today been sidestepped by other channels? If not, how do they retain their competitive edge?
12) Has narrowcasting on television solved the problem of consolidation of ownership in that industry?
13) What is cultural imperialism? Is it still a valid theory given the distribution of media flows today? Discuss the flaws of this theory.
14) Should we be concerned about the consolidation of global media flows today? Can smaller countries produce and control their own media?
15) What do we mean by the information economy and how is that affecting poorer countries? Make sure you discuss the notion of digital divide.
16) What’s the difference between the cultural approach to media studies and media- effects studies? Has the cultural approach been more convincing in its findings?
17) Given the dominant role of the mass media in society today, do you think the theories produced by media studies have an impact on changing our media institutions? Or do you think they have no direct effect on the media and their workings?
18) Should the mass media be held responsible for the tragic incidents of what is called copycat behavior (i.e. more violence in society because of violence in the media)? At its worst, the media not only reflect tragedy but they also capitalize on it. If this is true about much of the media today, what does it tell us about the selective exposure model we raised at the beginning of the semester?
19) Now that you know a lot about the workings of the mass media and their degree of implication in the culture of any given society, do you think they are failing us? Or do you believe the mass media actually provide a forum for society to expose and discuss its issues in the same light some early philosophers like Plato and Socrates called for to save the oral tradition of communication? Can you think of any examples from today’s mass media to support your answer?
20) Do you think the fact that many of the mass media (radio, television, the movies, advertising, PR, Internet, etc.) have been developed in the US has an impact on how they are adapted by other cultures? You can answer this question using cultural imperialism theory and its argument that the sophisticated American media both in form and content are saturating media around the world causing major cultural changes. Talk about how old peripheries are becoming vibrant media centers globally.
21) Given their central place in our society, what exactly should be the roles and responsibilities of the media? Media institutions are getting bigger and richer, and media technologies are faster and more accessible, but is content getting better? In answering this question, talk about how this course has helped you become a critical media consumer. DO NOT simply say so, but explain how reading about the role of the media in contemporary society is helping you understand better their impact on culture. You can use the example of this year’s presidential election as a case study.