REVIEW FOR FINAL EXAM Analyzing Media Cultures?Spring 2010 The exam will cover Chapters 6, 7, 8 and 9 in The Media Student?s Book, Chapters Media Analysis Techniques; the PDFs on ?Alternatives to Genre? and ?Media Deregulation,? which are posted on Angel; and all of the material included in the post-midterm class handouts, which are also posted on Angel. The exam will include questions about the documentaries ?The Control Room? and ?Outfoxed,? which are available on YouTube, and excerpts from the PBS Frontline series, ?News Wars,? and ?The Persuaders.? It may also cover excerpts from the PBS frontline series, ?Merchants of Cool? if we have time to view them in class. All of the ?Frontline? series are available at the PBS.org website. All of the material on the exam was discussed in class and referred to in the handouts. The handouts usually contain information that is not available in the textbooks. Sometimes they update material, mention alternative theories and practices, or present more American viewpoints. If your time is limited, study the handouts first. Use the reading assignments for definitions of terminology, further explanations and deeper understandings. Mix & Match The final will include 2-3 different mix and match sections on terminology and audience analysis. Some of the terms may fit more than one mix- and-match category, but here are some tentative groupings: Terminology: agenda, auteurism, blockbusters, brands, citizen journalism, decoding, distribution, embedded journalists, encoding, gatekeepers, hegemony, horizontal integration, independent films, Indiwood, libraries, marketing, public relations, semiotics, structuralism, synergy , vertical integration, Audience Analysis: opinion polls, content analysis, effects model, Frankfurt school, hypodermic model, minimal-effects model, uses and gratification model, social learning theory, agenda setting, the cultivation effect, spiral of silence, moral panics, A.C. Nielsen Company, ratings, sweeps, Short Answer Questions: Most of the questions will ask for bullet- point lists of 3-4 appropriate answers, when many more answers would be equally acceptable. Some of the questions will ask for short explanations. Information you should know: The four major media conglomerates Hint: Walt Disney Company, News Corporation, Viacom, Time Warner What defines a media conglomerate Hint: Media companies own large numbers of companies including various mass media outlets, as well as many other seemingly unrelated businesses. Why film and television reviews might be biased How infomercials and some product placement decisions relate to media conglomerates Qualities frequently associated with auteurism (bullet-point list) Typical qualities associated with big budget films (bullet-point list) Typical qualities of high grossing blockbuster films? (bullet-point list) Major disadvantages of the blockbuster approach? (bullet-point list) Differences in budgets and creative approaches between blockbusters and foreign films (bullet-point list) Names of the six major studios Hint: Time Warner (20.1%), News Corporation (16.1%), Viacom (14.3%), Sony (14.1%), Walt Disney (11.9%), General Electric/Vivendi (10%) ( I won?t ask you about the percentages, but I thought you might like to know.) Why blockbuster films almost exclusively American (bullet-point list) How the studio system controls the film industry through vertical and horizontal integration. (Two-part question: vertical and horizontal) Why very few American films truly independent Advantages of small budget films (bullet-point list) Most successful independent film to date? Hint: Mel Gibson?s ?The Passion of The Christ? (2004) Typical characteristics of the top 25 all-time box office hits? Institutional codes associated with independent films (bullet-point list) The commercial relationship between independent film festivals and independent films Brief description of synergy as it applies to the entertainment media Brief description of distribution as it applies to the entertainment media Marxist explanation of the studio?s focus on genre-based, predictable narratives? Brief explanation of hegemony The major criteria that traditional journalists use to determine whether events are newsworthy. Hint: timeliness, proximity, conflict prominence, human interact, consequence, usefulness, novelty and deviance. Major reasons why traditional, well-intentioned journalists may sometimes lack objectivity. In general, whether the owners of traditional media organizations are liberal or conservative In general, whether traditional news media reporters are liberal or conservative A brief explanation of the Fairness Doctrine and the significance of its repeal. A brief explanation of the effects of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Examples of media self-censorship that occurred immediately following the attacks on the . What Aljazeera is Some of the worst allegations about the treatment of foreign journalists according to The Control Room Examples of the government?s censorship of news during the war Examples of the government?s use of propaganda during the war Brief explanation of embedded journalists Problems associated with embedded journalists How MoveOn.org ensured continuing public interest in its documentary ?Outfoxed? Strategies frequently used by Fox News commentators to undermine the opposition. Major controversies associated with Fox News Why the American public is not better informed about media deregulation and the transnational media conglomerates? How and why media and politicians serve each other?s interests Why broadcast news doesn?t have the same First Amendment protections as print journalism Who owns the broadcast air waves? Four significant ways in which deregulation?s concentration of media has had negative effects on American news and entertainment. Hint: 1.) The range of available material has declined; 2.) People without political or economic power have limited access to audiences; 3.) popular soothing distractions have replaced meaningful substance; 4.) corporate branding, advertising and marketing dominate the culture. How media deregulation has affected the quality of broadcast news? (bullet-point list) A brief description of citizen journalism The strengths an weaknesses of citizen journalism Ways in which Internet users are creating alternative news services Some of the major postmodern concepts that are reinforced by blurred distinctions of news and entertainment? (bullet-point list) Hint: rejection of metanarratives; skepticism about truth; assumptions about the validity of hyperreality; sense that value systems (such as good and evil) are relative, artificial and arbitrary. How Marxists would use hegemony to explain the competitive nature of advertising Why advertisers are experimenting with non-traditional approaches, such as guerilla marketing, product placement, featuring products as heros The major reasons why opinion polls cannot be trusted? (bullet-point list) The major problems with content analysis (bullet-point list) What is the major flawed assumption behind the effects model? Brief explanation of the ?spiral of silence? theory Brief explanation of the ?mean world syndrome? Brief explanation of the Bobo doll experiments How does product placement affect creative decisions?such as character development, setting and plot? An explanation of the association between branding and cults made in the PBS Frontline series, ?The Persuaders.?
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