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Media & Society


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Most magazines today seek a truly mass audience. T/F?
False; magazines are now demassified and seek niche audiences.
What is the average percentage a person spends with media each day?
Define media literacy
Competence or knowledge about the mass media.
Define mass communication.
Technology-enabled process by which messages are sent to large, faraway audiences.
Define sub-mass (aka niche) audiences.
A section of the largest mass audience, with niche interest.
Define demassification/fragmentation.
The media\'s focus on narrower audience segments.
Define narrowcasting.
Seeking niche audiences, as opposed to broadcasting\'s traditional audience-building concept.
Define convergence/media melding.
Melding of print, electronic and photographic media into digitized form.
Define gatekeepers.
Media people who influence messages en route.
Define regulators.
Nonmedia people who influences messages.
Define noise.
Impediment to communication before a message reaches a receiver.
Define capitalism.
An economic system with private owners operating trade and industry for profit.
Define conglomeration.
Process of companies being brought into common ownership but remaining distinct entities.
Define oligopoly.
An industry in which a few companies dominate production and distribution.
Define monopoly.
A single company dominates production and distribution in an industry, either nationally or locally.
Define marketplace model.
Supply and demand determines the enterprises that remain in business.
Define underwriting.
On-air acknowledgments of non-commercial broadcast sponsors.
Define muckraking.
Early 1900s term for investigative reporting.
Define penny papers.
Affordable newspapers introduced in 1833 and created an unprecedented mass audience.
Define podcasts.
(contrivance of the word iPod and broadcast) A series of audio files for regular syndication. User\'s software automatically downloads later files associated with the podcast for use at the listener\'s convenience.
Define trade books.
General-interest titles, including fiction and non-fiction.
Define marketplace concept.
Allowing people through marketplace mechanisms to determine the fate of a business; a successor in broadcasting the trusteeship concept.
Define deregulation.
A trend in the 1980s and later to reduce government regulation of business.
Define public interest, convenience and necessity.
Standard by which the U.S. government grants and renews local radio and television station licenses.
What is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)?
A quasi-government agency that administers federal funds for non-commercial radio and television.
Define podcasting.
Anyone can create a radio show by prerecording a batch of favorite music, complete with narration, as an audio file on a personal computer. Then by adding a hyperlink on a web server, anyone can listen to the playback, download it to their computer, and upload it on an MP3 player. Whenever the listener links to the server again, a new show from the same source will be downloaded automatically.
Define time shifting.
Ability of the viewer to change when they access TV programming.
Define vertical integration.
One company owning multiple stages of production, to the detriment of competition.
What is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)?
A television network for noncommercial over-the-air stations.
What was the first mass medium?
Benjamin Day decided he wanted a newspaper that cost a penny, and shifted the burden of cost to ____________.
Which magazine has the largest circulation?
What has its origin in national magazines in the early 1900s and proved it could shape public policy?
Muckraking (or investigative reporting)
What is public domain literature?
Literature that never had a copyright, or the copyright expired.
If the author owns the copyright, how long does it last?
Seventy years after the author\'s death.
Where do most people get their morning news more than any other medium?

How many radio stations does Clear Channel own in Houston?
Six stations
Television and movies are still adversaries. T/F?
What was the peak year of movie attendance?
1946 - 90 million tickets
U.S. population - 140 million people
What media did TV force to change?
Radio, magazines, and film
What percentage of U.S. households have at least one television?
What is the average amount of hours a TV is on per day in a U.S. household?
7 hours
Define media multitasking.
Simultaneous exposure to messages from different media.
How much time do people spend with multiple medias simultaneously?
One-third of the time spent with mass media.
What are the symbiotic relationships between media and the audience?
Personal Dependence: Modern life would not be possible without media. People need media for news and information; for entertainment, amusement and diversion, and for the exchange of ideas.

Information: Mass-media delivered information. The most viable information is the news. If not for the mass media, people would have to rely on word of the mouth from travelers about what is happening around the world.

Entertainment: Diversion, entertainment, amusement.

Persuasion: People come to conclusions on pressing issues by exposing themselves to competing ideas in what\'s called the marketplace of ideas. People look for truth by exposing their views and values to those in of other in a mass media marketplace. The role of persuasion is especially important in a democratic society. The most obvious persuasion in the mass media is advertising.

Media Dependence: Not only do people in their contemporary lifestyles need mass media, but the industries that have built up around the media needed an audience in order to survive. To survive, they need an audience that advertisers want to reach.

Explain audience fragmentation.
Fragmentation is a phenomenon at work within the media that involves demassification. Rather than focusing on large, heterogeneous audiences, companies were focusing on narrow, sub-mass audiences, with specific interests.
What are the implications of demassification/digitization?
Technology accelerates demassification. When new technology comes along, older forms of media must demassify in order to bring back audiences. The internet offers people more alternatives that were even narrower than anything that could be offered by other industries. Media companies are now experimenting with delivering their content online and available for downloading.
Define revenue stream.
Source of income.
What are the revenue streams for various media companies?
Advertising: Almost all newspaper, magazine, radio, and television outlets have advertising for their main revenue stream and it is essential to maintain their cost structures. It is the largest revenue stream for many media companies.

Direct sales: The purest relationship between a media and audience. Books and music financially rely on direct sales. Movies used to, but the growing number of paid product plugs is gaining more profit (advertising).

Subscriptions: They are usually secondary revenue streams. Subscriptions at best cover delivery costs for newspapers and magazines. Subscriptions have financial weight for cable networks and satellite radio.

Government funding: used for public, non-commercial broadcasting, such as PBS and NPR.

Explain the media effect of unification.
Created a cultural identity; we all hear, read, and watch the same events at the same time. (ex. Super Bowl, 9/11)
Explain the role of the audience, the distance, and feedback in mass communication.
Audience - Large audience

Distance - The audience is distant, and all different from each other.

Feedback - Delayed response to a message (the media does not receive they feedback instantly).

Name the technological basis for the four mass media categories.
Printing Technology: The printing press spawned the book, newspaper, and magazine industries.

Chemical Technology: Photography and movies.

Electronic Technology: Sound recording, radio, and television.

Digital Technology: Traditional mass media all adapted to digital technology to varying degrees at the start of the 21st century, but remain largely distinctive. The distinctive newest medium built on technology is the Internet.

Define homophily.
A part of the Sender-Receiver-Cognitive Model. The sender and the receiver share their fields of experience (i.e. realities).
Define digitization.
Semicondcters are used to reduce the human voice, text, and images into a stream of digits (1 for on, 0 for off), which are transmitted and reconstructed quickly. This lead to digital communication and digital technology.
When did Gutenberg invent the movable metal type?
In the 1440s
Define movable metal type.
An innovative metal alphabet that made the printing press an agent for mass communication.
How did the invention of the movable metal type change history?
Not only did it impact the creation of the book, magazine, and newspaper industries, but by 1500 printing presses were in place throughout Europe, and civilization had the first mass-produced media - the written word. Modern science, religion tracts, literacy, and the standardization in written languages all took place.
What is the origin of the Internet?
Originated with the military, which saw potential in digitized communication for a noncentralized network. Originally called ARPAnet and was up and running in 1969. At first, the network linked contractors and universities so that military researchers could exchange information. It was ten taken over in 1983 by the National science Foundation, and involved more universities, which tied their own internal computer-based communication systems into the larger network.
Why is digitization considered to be democratization?
The relatively low cost of Internet production and delivery is a huge impact in broadening the sources of media content. Almost anybody can afford to create message for Internet delivery and, theoretically anyway, reach everyone on the planet who has a reception device.
Explain Laswell\'s Narrative Model.
A simple narrative model used to understand how mass communication works.

1. Who says what??
2. In which channel?
3. To whom?
4. With what effect?

Explain the impediments in the communication process.
In-process impediments: Slurring and other impediments to the communication process before a message reaches the audience are called noise. This can be semantic noise (sloppy message-crafting), channel noise (interference during transmission), or environmental noise (interference at the reception site).

Deciphering Impediments: People who tune in to mass messages may themselves interfere with the success of the mass communication process. This is called a filter. It can be an informational filter (the receiver\'s knowledge limits that impede deciphering symbols), a physical filter (the receiver\'s alertness that impedes deciphering), or a psychological filter (the receiver\'s state of mind that impedes deciphering).

What is the state of family ownership in the media?
Family ownership was a push for nostalgia and a return to a family-owned media business who would bequeath to heirs. However, the tax code (AKA the \"Death Tax\") made it hard - when the head of the family dies and wants to pass on a family business, a 50% tax must be paid, which usually ends the business.

What are the characteristics of chain ownership?
Usually starts small, then adds a group of small-town media (ex. newspapers. Eventually create a larger group of media across the coast, or even in other countries. To gather capital for further expansion and to build the business, ownership shares in the company are sold to investors, who, in return, get a growing role in choosing managers of the company\'s properties and adopting policies to increases profits as a return on their investment.
What was the 1879 Postal Act?
A government subsidy that allowed periodicals and books to be mailed at a penny a pound; it eased the cost of doing business for the press. The magazine industry boomed.
Define the Paramount decision.
A U.S. Supreme Court breakup of movie industry oligarchy in 1948. As a result, the studios had to give up part of their empires - the movie houses.
Explain the Sender-Receiver-Cognitive Model (redone).

The source encodes a message and transmits it through a channel to the receiver, who decodes the message and interprets the context. The receiver then send feedback back to the source. The source (the sender) decides what to say and how to say it (sender experience). The sender and the receiver share their fields of experience (i.e. realities) (homophily).

What is the persistence of vision?
Fast-changing still photos create the illusion of movement. Inspired the creation of film.
What are the positive and negative effects of conglomeration?
Companies were usually left to continue their profit-making magic, even though the new corporate policymakers could intervene at will if revenues faltered. If there are no buyers the company would fall under and have to sell the assests.

Managers are on-site and know the needs of the community.

The board members are removed from the community, but they make decisions, without all of the information.

They don\'t always know the media business.

Their main priority is to make money, and if they don\'t, they will get rid of subsidiaries.
Quality can suffer.
New TV shows get canceled if they don\'t make profit right away.
Subsidiaries have offset costs in other parts of the corporation.

What is the scarcity rationale for regulation of broadcast industry and the effect of digitization on it?
The scarcity rationale was that there were too few resource (i.e. the electromagnetic spectrum) for demand (i.e. the radio). The 1927 Federal Radio Act created a government agency to license radio stations. They assigned frequencies and reduced the overlapping stations. Digitization, however, has no scarcity- it is infinite. Technology opened up more frequencies for radio stations.
How does the Associated Press work and what was the reason for its origin?
The Associated Press uses the cooperative model (an organization owned and run jointly by members that share profits or benefits). The AP began as a joint effort of several New York Newspapers to pick up bundles of mail from Europe. Rather than all the papers hiring their own newsboats, the papers agreed to share a single fleet and eliminate redundant costs. Member newspapers control the AP and share the coverage as well as costs of operation.

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