This is an archived course. Visit the most recent syllabus.

Course Description

This course surveys the development of radio, television, cable/satellite, and digital media, including the Internet. We will focus on how technology and industrial control of the electronic media shape their content. The purpose of this course is to provide you with a solid understanding of how the electronic media function in modern life in terms of the social, political, and cultural impact. We will have a better understanding of the rationales, strategies, management, regulation, and operation of electronic media as well as the "hardware" and "software" of particular technologies.


Juan Monroy


Office Hours

Wednesdays, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Department of Communication and Media Studies

Room 422

Course Resources


The following required textbooks are available at the Fordham University, Lincoln Center Bookstore, Phone: (212) 636-6080, and through other retailers.

Starting in 2009, required course materials qualify for a tax credit. See the National Association of College Stores for details.


Please familiarize yourself with Blackboard as we will make extensive use of this software for the course. Here you will find breaking news about the class, the course syllabus, course schedule, assignment guidelines, reading quizzes, and additional resources for the course.In addition, you must submit an electronic copy of your assignments through Blackboard to verify originality.


Audio recordings of the lectures will be available through the course podcast. Subscribe to the podcast through Blackboard.

The recordings are posted as AAC (.m4a) files rather than the commonly used MPEG-1, Level 3 (.mp3) format as it allows for better sound quality, smaller file sizes, and for bookmarking. Please ensure that your audio player supports this format. iTunes and most web browsers support m4a files.

Once you listen to the podcast, you'll understand why the podcasts are not intended to be substitutes for regular attendance. Also, there are some sessions when technical problems arise and a particular podcast episode is not available.


Please check your Fordham University email account ( on a daily basis, if not more frequently. I will broadcast announcements and send point-to-point communiques using Blackboard, which sends only to your official email address.

You should also use your official email address for all communication with me, as I can verify your identity with that email address. I cannot do that with a "free" email account from gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc. Finally, unless I've said otherwise, please do not email me attachments of your assignments. I will not accept them.


The requirements for this class are fairly simple: come to class, pay attention in class, complete the assigned readings, and complete your assignments on time and on your own.

Weekly Attendance

Attendance at all class session is of vast importance. Our sessions involve intensive group discussion of readings, technological and industry concepts, and current events related to our weekly topic. You are expected to take responsibility for attending all classes and for signing in at each class.

There are no excused absences in this class. Everyone here is an adult, and I will not chase you down to come to class. While there are no formal consequences for missing class, absenteeism almost always results in a lower grade because you will be missing important lecture information, in-class screenings, and announcements.


Buy the required books. I understand that books are expensive, but it's part of the education industry. The books will be available on 2-hour reserve at Quinn Library. Some books may also be available as a more affordable e-book, and required books now qualify for a tax credit.

Complete the required readings before each class session. The lectures will cover material that assumes you have completed that week's assigned readings. I invite you to re-read certain chapters or articles after the class to reinforce the lecture and screening from our sessions.

Assignments and Exams

All written work must be submitted on time. Assignments should be submitted through Blackboard as an electronic file (MS Word, WordPerfect, PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, or plain text) and as a hard copy. Your assignment will not be considered submitted until you have tendered both versions.

You must complete every assignment in order to receive a passing grade for this class. Late work will be penalized by a 10% reduction for each 24-hour period it is late. After four days, the assignment will not be accepted, and you will likely fail this class. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you cannot hand in your assignments on time, consider taking another class because you will not pass this course.

In addition, all written work must be formatted according to the directions specified on the assignment guidelines. Number your pages, double space your text, and make a cover page that includes your name, the course title, the title of your assignment, and the assignment's due date. Please print your paper and proofread it for grammar and typographic errors before submitting it. Excessive errors will result in a lower grade. Also, you should submit your work as an electronic file and as a printed hard copy.

I police plagiarism vigilantly. Any student who hands in work not their own will receive a failing grade for the course.

You must cite your sources using in-text parenthetical citations and a works cited page, according to the MLA Handbook, or using footnotes, according to the Chicago Manual of Style. I cannot stress enough the importance of citing a source for any information you give that is not common knowledge. Not doing so is considered plagiarism. If you don't adequately cite your sources, you will receive a lowered grade, redo the assignment, or fail the course, depending on the severity of the offense.

In short, if you do your own work, writing thoughtful papers, properly cite your sources, and submit your work on time, you should do very well in this course.

Stay Informed

Keep abreast of developments in the electronic media industries. You should look trade journals, such as Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Broadcasting and Cable, Advertising Age, Multichannel, MediaWeek, and TVWeek. Also, look at general interest periodicals such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Some websites are useful, although many of them simply reprint or reference work from the above sites. However, Media Life Magazine and TVNewsDay are excellent sources. Subscribe to their email newsletters for regular updates on the media industries, as well as the NAB SmartBrief. Links to these and other useful websites are available on Blackboard.

Students with Disabilities

If you believe that you have a disabling condition that may interfere with your ability to participate in the activities, coursework, or assessment of the object of this course, you may be entitled to accommodations. Please schedule an appointment to speak with me immediately or you may go to the Office of Disability Services (Room 402-D McMahon Hall, x6282). Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, all students, with or without disabilities, are entitled to equal access to the programs and activities of Fordham University.

Academic Integrity

A University, by its nature, strives to foster and recognize originality of thought. Originality can only be recognized, however, when people acknowledge the sources of ideas or works that are not their own. Therefore, students must maintain the highest standards with regards to honesty, effort and performance. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: plagiarism, cheating on exams, false authorship, and destruction of library materials needed for a course. This policy gives definitions and instances of violations of academic integrity, the procedures used to arrive at a judgement, possible sanctions, and the process of appeal. This policy will be enforced rigorously and without discrimination.

Please refer to your Student Handbook for a full discussion of the Policy on Academic Integrity."

Late Work and "Incomplete" Grades

Please submit your work on time. Late work will be penalized by a 10% reduction for each 24-hour period it is late. After four days, the assignment will not be accepted and you will fail this class.

There will be no incomplete grades for this class except in the case of a documented emergency in the final weeks of the semester. If you experience such an emergency, please contact me right away, and we will work out a schedule for you to complete the outstanding work by the end of the following semester.

But aside from these circumstances, no late work will be accepted and no "incomplete" grades will be granted. If you have difficulty keeping up with coursework, consider giving yourself extra time to complete assignments, reducing your overall course load, and/or taking this class at a later semester.


Reading Quizzes

All Quizzes will be due on December 9

On Blackboard, you will take six biweekly quizzes on the readings we've done for each two-week period. The quizzes will be available on September 16, September 30, October 14, October 28, November 11, and December 2. The quizzes will be open-book, open-note and are intended to reinforce the important themes of this course. They must be completed by our last regular class on December 9.

Media Use Journal

Due: October 7, in class and on Blackboard

Between the first day of class and the end of September, you will maintain a journal, with a minimum of five entries, each at least 200 words in length, documenting your media use, including but not limited to the following:

During this four-week period, write about your usage and discuss some of the specifics about any patterns you observe.

In your final entry, track your usage of each media form during a one-week (seven-day) period, and then produce a chart showing your relative usage between each. Your journal should be uploaded and submitted by the beginning of class on October 7.

Organization Profile

Due: November 11, in class and on Blackboard

Select an electronic media organization (broadcast station, satellite service, cable network, digital media outlet, etc.). Detail its history, strategies, relationship to a media conglomerate, its technological innovations, its regulatory challenges, and its particular programming. Use at least eight sources and cite them properly, using either MLA of Chicago style. Avoid web sites, and instead select trade press titles and general interest periodicals.

The paper must be at least 1,000 words, about five pages, in length and is due on November 11.

Trade Press Coverage of Television Program

Due: December 2, in class and on Blackboard

September has historically marked the beginning of the broadcast television season. Although the industry has tried to ween itself from the September-May schedule, the fall remains an important part of the television schedule, especially for established network shows.

Throughout the semester, select a new or returning television program, premiering during the fall season, and follow the coverage it receives in the trade press. You will write an 1000-word, about five pages, paper documenting the coverage from a variety of sources, submitting it no later than December 2.


Midterm Exam

Due: October 21, 8:00 AM

We will be taking a take-home, midterm exam, due on October 21. The exam will be administered on Blackboard and will include twenty multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching, true-and-false, and short answer questions.

Final Exam

December 21, 6:00 – 8:45 PM

On December 21, you will take a comprehensive, in-class exam. The exam will be administered on Blackboard and will include twenty-five multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching, true-and-false, and short answer questions.


Letter grades will be computed using the following values. For example, if your assignment earns a B, it will be computed as having earned 85 points. At the end of the semester, your letter grade will computed using the range below. For example, if your weighted total is 92.14 points, you will earn an A- in the course. Note that turning in a failing assignment still receives some credit. However, not handing in an assignment does not earn any credit and will result in your failing this course.

Assignment Weight Due Date
Reading Quizzes 20% Biweekly
Media Use Journal 10% Oct 07
Midterm Exam 20% Oct 21
Organization Profile 10% Nov 11
Trade Press Coverage of New TV Prog. 15% Dec 02
Final Exam 25% Dec 16

Course Schedule

September 2 — Introduction


September 9 — Ins and Outs: Technology and Beyond


September 16 — Roots of Broadcasting


September 23 — Golden Days of Radio Programming


September 30 — Radio Today


October 7 — Coming of Television

Recommended Reading

October 14 — Network Television


October 21 — Television Today


October 28 — Business and Strategies of TV Programming


November 4 — Ratings and Audience Research


November 11 — Media Regulation


November 18 — Going Digital and "TV3"


December 2 — Going Global


December 9 — Convergence: Looking Ahead


December 16 — Final Exam

We will take our final exam during the allotted exam period, 9:30 – 11:30 AM.