Explore your relationship with your cell phone. What role does it play

Subject: General Questions    / General General Questions

COM301 Unit 1 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2017 February

dq 1
Explore your relationship with your cell phone. What role does it play in your daily life and what functions does it serve? Connect your observations with the concepts of convergence and interactivity discussed in your textbook. More specifically, provide examples/instances of how convergence and interactivity play out in the daily uses and functions of your cell phone.
dq 2

After watching the 60 minutes segment “The March of the Machines,” reflect on how technology has and is changing our cultural environments and interpersonal communication. In addition, explore your thoughts on the role of robots and other technology in the current workforce. Do you think robots will soon replace the majority of the workforce in America? If so, what will the impact be on our society?

COM301 Unit 2 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2017 February

dq 1After reviewing this unit’s resources and reading the associated chapter in your book, reflect on your own definition of culture. What elements is culture composed of? Where do you think culture comes from? Does media reflect culture or does media shape/lead culture?
dq 2
After watching the explanation of agenda setting and framing theory, choose one current news story and explore how the issue is being “framed” within the reporting/presentation of information. Can you point to any biases or slant in the way the story is being presented? How often do you believe this happens to major news stories and is it an ethical way to present information?

COM301 Unit 3 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2017 February

dq 1
What is your reaction to George Gerbner’s theory of the “Mean World Syndrome?” Identify a real world situation you’ve experienced that would support his theory.
dq 2
In the video clip from “Tough Guise,” Jackson Katz explores the idea of masculinity in the American culture. What connections can you make between his theories and the “cultivation effect” discussed in your text as well as the article by Erica Goode in the unit resources? Reflect on your own ideas of gender. Where do you think the ideas come from and how much of a role do media play in cultivating certain attitudes and perceptions about gender in our culture?

COM301 Unit 4 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2017 February

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After viewing the video clip “Killing Us Softly” think about the impact of modern day advertising on women and girls. What does American advertising say about our culture’s concept of female beauty? What other female stereotypes exist within the advertising industry? What can be done to debunk these ideas and stereotypes on an individual and societal level? Are the issues with women’s advertising discussed by Jean Kilborne in “Killing Us Softly” carried over onto new media platforms such as Internet and smartphone advertising? How do they compare (print advertising/television commercials vs. Internet/smartphone)?
dq 2
After watching the series of commercials for the popular video game “Call of Duty,” reflect on the meaning of the advertisements in connection with our culture. What do these advertisements say about our culture of violence? Who are the advertisements targeted towards? What assumptions do the advertisements make about the target audience/consumers of the video game?

COM301 Unit 5 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2017 February

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Are the traditional mediums of the print industry (books, magazines, newspapers) a dying breed? What impact has the digital revolution had on how we experience these traditional forms and will publishers continue to print in hard copy format with the rise of devices like the tablet?
dq 2
Reference the Media & Culture entry in your textbook on page 68. Do you agree with McLuhan’s ideas about the impact of media on patterns of thinking and orientation? If our modes of thinking and orientation are impacted by the dominant medium we use, what impact does the digitization of the print industry have on our reading habits? After reading the Pew Research Study “Young Americans’ Reading and Library Habits,” discuss how our reading and library habits have changed as a result of the emergence of ebooks. Is there anything in the study that surprises you?

COM301 Unit 6 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2017 February

dq 1
Read the case study “Unviable Business Model” and explore your own relationship with downloading and experiencing music. What are your thoughts on peer-to-peer music sharing? Do you believe artists and the music industry suffer when consumers share music illegally or download music from sources like itunes? Or is it the consumers right to use alternative sources to download music? Can the music industry survive the digital revolution like other mediums have?
dq 2
What do you make of Jay Z’s ‘Picasso Baby’ performance art piece? Is music performance the ultimate form of visual art and where does this fit in with the more commercialized forms we are used to viewing? Are recording artists like Lady Gaga, known for her costumes and theatrical stage performances, becoming the norm in the music industry? What do you make of Wu-Tang Clan’s unconvential distribution model featured in this unit’s resources? Does music belong in a museum and be considered high-art?

COM301 Unit 7 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2017 February

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After viewing the two news segments on the impact of reality television (“Reality Television’s Bad Influence” and “Do Reality Shows Make Teen Girls ‘Mean Girls'”) speculate on the validity of the claims. What is your perspective on the impact of this type of programming? As a medium, do you believe television has the greatest power to socialize? If so, what makes it so powerful and influential?
dq 2
After reading the Neilson report “Action Figures: How second screens are transforming television viewing,” think about your own television viewing habits. How do you measure up to this data? What is the typical way you experience viewing television and what other mediums do you combine with the activity? What do you make of the article “Disney Encourages Kids to Play Games in the Theater during ‘The Little Mermaid'” in connection with the Neilson report?

COM301 Unit 8 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2017 February

dq 1

After watching the Frontline clip “The End of Privacy,” speculate on how the Internet and mobile media have changed our idea of privacy. Are there spaces and places that are still “private” or have the Internet and mobile media shifted our once private spaces into public ones? How does this impact our social lives?

dq 2

Watch the three Frontline clips dealing with multi-tasking (Multi-Tasking at M.I.T., Multi-Tasking Mentality, and How Do Teens Do Homework Today). Explore your own experiences with multi-tasking, especially when completing schoolwork. What is the impact of working in numerous screens and splitting your focus between several tasks? Is multi-tasking a necessary skill of the future or is it just another distraction to keep us from focusing on what is really important?

COM301 Unit 2 News Perspectives Assignment Latest 2017 February

After watching the two television news reports on Ebola (Fox News and CNN) in this Unit, explore how the information is being presented to the audience. What is the slant/skew present in each of the news reports and where do you think this comes from? Think about Fox News and CNN as news organizations. Are they conservative/liberal? How is their political stance evident in the news reports?

What facts are being presented in each of the news reports and how? Who is being used as an expert to give opinion in each news report and why? How does this choice influence the slant/skew and how the audience interprets/understands the story? What kind of language is being used by reporters and experts? Are there any emotionally-charged words present?

Discuss how these two news reports are a reflection of the agenda-setting and framing theory. If you need clarification on these, please watch the short youtube video on agenda-setting theory.

COM301 Unit 3 Uses & Gratification Project – Part A Latest 2017 February

Part A: Prepare a Media Usage Inventory that details your media use for 3 days and analyze using the Uses and Gratification model. You will be analyzing your journal entries next week and drawing connections from your media use to the Uses & Gratification model discussed this week.

1. Starting today, keep a journal of all the media you “use” for the next three days (each television show you watch, every magazine or newspaper you look at/read, all the radio and CDs you listen to, email, text, billboards, movies/DVDs, bumper stickers, etc.)

2. For each journal entry note the following: (Follow this exact format for each entry!)

Medium used: television, Jersey Shore
Day/time used: Thursday 10pm-11pm
Setting/context: Dorm room
Other people present: Roommates Sue and Jill
Your reason for and reaction to the media used: Needed a break from schoolwork and we needed a good laugh.
Uses and Gratification category: Diversion

COM301 Unit 3 Uses & Gratification Project – Part B Latest 2017 February

1. Apply the Uses and Gratification Model to your Media Usage Inventory from the past three days. As discussed in class, identify how the media functions for you on an individual, or micro level.

2. Carefully analyze your data. Look for patterns, themes and anything that surprises you.

3. Carefully review your inventory and findings. Write a 2-3 page summary of your media usage. State explicitly:

1. How media functions in your life in relation to the Uses and Gratification Model.

§ How do you use media individually? What desires do you fulfill through your media use? Which category of U & G do you use most often and for what? Do you use particular media to fulfill specific desires? (For example, do you always use the Internet for cognition?) Is your media use routine/predictable?

2. What you learned about yourself as a media consumer.

§ What do your habits/patterns tell you about your consumption? What kind of media consumer are you? Are there any habits you aren’t satisfied with and would like to change? How does your media consumption shape your behavior, attitude, beliefs and ideas?

COM301 Unit 5 Magazine Assignment Latest 2017 February

Magazines are probably most in tune with social, demographic, economic, and cultural trends. As consumer and business needs and interests change, new magazines emerge and existing magazines fine-tune their content. Magazines are also an example of the most specialized type of medium, with publications targeting extremely small niche markets. Following your reading, determine a market that is not represented and create a NEW magazine that does not yet exist. NOT a new version or a NEW language of an old version, but a NEW magazine for a specialized, target audience.

Answer the following questions as you pitch your magazine:

1. What is the name of your magazine?

2. Who is your audience? (NO 8-80 year old target audience! BE SPECIFIC!) Things to consider:

o Age, gender, income, geographic location if applicable, education level, interests, kind of business they are in, marital status, family, etc.

o Where do they shop for clothes, what do they do on the weekend, what was the last movie they saw, what’s playing on their ipod, etc.

3. Write a one paragraph mission statement that summarizes the goal of your magazine. For examples, search your favorite magazine’s website.

4. Why is your magazine needed? What need is it filling for readers? WHY?

5. Will you be print/online or both? WHY?

6. Where will most be sold: newsstand (20%), mail (80% subscription), pass along, other?

7. Where will you advertise? TV, other magazines, newspapers, online, radio? WHY?

8. What will be the first 3-5 stories you run and why? Give us the titles.

9. Who would you ask to write for your magazine and why?

10. Who would you like to OWN you? Which conglomerate? Why?

11. What would your first cover look like? Or who would be on it?

12. What is the price of your magazine?

13. What are some regular features included in each issue?


COM301 Unit 6 Pop Culture Assignment Latest 2017 February

Develop criteria for how a pop star/icon should be analyzed and critically reviewed. For example: back story, appearance, talent, performance, skill…
Use your criteria to analyze media coverage of a single star of your choice from at least 5 written sources. You may focus on a recording artist, band or group. These can include The New York Times, entertainment industry magazines, “fanzines,” celebrity “news” websites or any other mainstream publication.
After analyzing the five sources, answer the following questions:


1. How do the various publications treat the star?

2. What do they say about his or her talent, back story, style and so on?

3. How do the approaches differ in terms of article topics, purpose, focus or.blogs.nytimes.com/2003/03/20/slanted-sentences/”>slant, tone and other writing elements?

4. How is the star represented in photographs?

5. How would they categorize the sources and the articles themselves – as criticism, information, hype, gossip, entertainment or other?

6. What sort of picture would you form of the star in just one of these publications, as opposed to the full combination?

7. Be sure to include your list of criteria for judging a pop star/icon. It should include between 7-10 elements for criteria.

COM301 Unit 7 Cultivation Analysis Assignment Latest 2017 February

1. Choose one current television program or film. You can choose any type of program/film you want (comedy, drama, reality…).

1. Briefly introduce your program/film and identify the following:


1. Title

2. Network/channel it airs on or company that produced it

3. Day/Time it airs or when it was released

4. Genre (Reality program, drama, comedy, sitcom….)

3. Briefly summarize the basic premise of the program/film. Who are the main characters? What happens in the show/film? What are the typical storylines?

4. Justify your choice by providing information on the show’s/film’s popularity. What is the show’s/film’s viewership or target audience? How long has the show been on air? What are the box office numbers? Has it won awards? What is the program’s/film’s impact on culture?

2. Identify reoccurring trends, themes or patterns in the program’s/film’s narrative.

1. What kind of world does this program/film portray?

2. Who are the winners/losers? What types of people are important/successful?

3. What behaviors, ideas and beliefs are valued/important among the characters?

3. Compare the fictitious world of the program to the real world.

1. Describe the similarities and differences between the real world and the world portrayed by the program/film.

4. Discuss the possible implications of the program on heavy television viewers.

1. How would heavy viewers be impacted by the program and it’s content?

2. How might the program/film impact the behavior/views of heavy viewers?

5. Create a 10-question survey to supplement your findings.

1. The survey should be directed to heavy viewers of your program.

2. The survey should focus on determining what, if anything, heavy viewers “learn” from the program and if their perception of the world is closer to the real world or the world portrayed in the program.

3. Questions should be worded in True/False format and ask specifically what ideas and values heavy viewers are getting from the program.

Ex: A cultivation analysis on the program “Teen Mom” would include questions like: “Being a teen mom makes you popular” or “Teen moms have the time to finish high school after having a baby”

COM301 Unit 8 Final Project Latest 2017 February

Over the past 8 weeks, you have been completing a journal entry assignment for each unit. Using the knowledge gained from readings and discussions, review each journal entry and select the one that particularly sparks your interest. Use this entry as a springboard for 1.) writing a 3-4 page essay which incorporates at least three concepts, theories or ideas discussed throughout the 8 units and in your text, and 2.) create a counter-advertisement related to the journal entry that includes a specific message targeted to a specific audience.


1. Review each entry in your journal entries collected throughout the previous 7 units. Focus on one entry that particularly sparks your interest and write an essay that relates to the entry.

Briefly summarize what the entry was about and why you found it interesting.
Reflect on your chosen entry and discuss what you learned from it in terms of your understanding of mass media and society.
Within your essay incorporate at least three concepts, theories or ideas discussed in your text or in the discussion forums.
Essays should be 3-4 pages in length and should meet all class requirements (word processed, correct margins, 12 pt font, double-spaced, MLA citations where necessary).

2. Create a “counter-advertisement” related to your entry topic.

The counter-ad can be for or against something related to your topic.
The counter-ad should hold a specific message and target a specific audience.
The claim of your counter-ad should be clear. This can be accomplished by use of visual or text.
All counter-ads must be presented in color (unless intentionally black and white).

You will be graded on:

All parts of the assignment: Essay (50%) and Counter-Advertisement (50%).
Thoughtful analysis of chosen journal entry.
An effective and correct incorporation of major course ideas, concepts and theories.
Correct application of key terms/concepts.
Creativity of counter-advertisement and strength of its message.

Tips for an effective counter-advertisement

1. What is the objective of the advertisement? The communications objective is the essence of your message. If you want to tell people not to wear fur because it’s cruel, that is your objective. A precise and well-defined objective is crucial to a good ad. If your objective isn’t right on, then everything that follows will be off as well.

2. Who is your target audience? Who is your message intended for? If you’re speaking to kids, then your language and arguments will have to be understandable to kids. On the other hand, if you’re speaking to high-income earners (for example, if you’re writing an ad to dissuade people from wearing fur coats), then your language will have to be more sophisticated. So define who your target audience is, because that will decide how your message is conveyed.

3. Why is this message important? What already existing mass messages is your advertisement countering? Why is it important to counter that message?

Sample Counter-Ad focusing on media stereotypes of women: