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

Updates:

  • Corrects the dates for the Fall 2012 semester and thirteen-week schedule
  • Corrects the format of the midterm and final exam
  • Contains changes to schedule due to Hurricane Sandy and attendant class cancellations (Nov 1)
  • Postpones deadline for Trade Press assignment to November 28 (Nov 6)
  • Adds December 12 as a makeup class (Nov 12)
  • Confirms Final Exam on Wednesday, December 19, 9:30 AM, and Notes New Location in Room 307 (Dec 4)

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.

Instructor

Juan Monroy

Email

Connect

Course Materials

Textbooks

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.

Blackboard

We will be using Blackboard for announcements, assignment guidelines, and your individual grade book. You will also use Blackboard to take quizzes and submit each of your assignments.

Dropbox

If you don’t use it already, I highly recommend using Dropbox to exchange files with me. You can sign up for free and receive two (2) gigabytes of cloud-based storage. This is an invaluable tool for accessing all of your files anywhere without having to carry a USB flash drive. I hate those things.

Mailing List

Please sign up for the course mailing list to receive occasional announcements about the course.

Requirements

This class consists of four components. You cannot satisfactorily complete this course without all four of these.

Lectures

Each lecture will form the basis of the material I expect you to know for the exams. I will present on the historical, technological, and economics context relevant to each media industry. I will post outlines and slides from each lecture, but believe me, those serve as poor substitutes for attending each week’s lecture.

Readings

Please read the assigned course material prior to each week’s class. Consult the Course Schedule for the required reading assignments.

Assignments

All assignments must be completed on time in order to receive full credit. Late assignments will be penalized by a 10% reduction for each 24-hour period it is late. After five calendar days, the assignment will not be accepted and you will likely fail this class.

Exams

Exams comprise half of your course grade and are written to reward regular attendance and diligent studying. Exams will be administered in class and must be taken at the specified date and time.

Policies

Professionalism

Please respect the classroom environment. You should pay attention to the lecture, take notes, and avoid distractions, such as web surfing and using your mobile phone. Studies have consistently shown that students using laptops and mobile phones perform about 11% worse than students who are not distracted by these devices. On a personal note, it’s very difficult to stay motivated as a teacher if I see students seemingly disinterested in their own education. If I find you engaging in disruptive behavior, such as watching online videos, passing notes, instant messaging, chatting, or texting, I will remove you from the classroom and have you withdraw from the class.

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 one calendar week, the assignment will not be accepted and you will likely 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 immediately, and we will work out a schedule for you to complete the outstanding work before the beginning 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.

Mobile Phones

Please silence or turn off the radio in your mobile phone (power down the phone or set to “Airplane” mode). Not only do ringing phones disrupt class, most phones will also interfere with the media equipment in the room.

Email

Please check your Fordham University email account (student@fordham.edu) on a daily basis, if not more frequently. I will broadcast announcements and send point-to-point communiques using your official email address.

Please note that I am not allowed to discuss your grade from an account that is not your official email account.

Academic Integrity

Fordham University Statement on 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 judgment, 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.”

Students with Disabilities

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. 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 someone at the Office of Disability Services (Rose Hill - O’Hare Hall, Lower Level, x0655 or at Lincoln Center – Room 207, x6282).

Assignments

Blackboard Quizzes

On Blackboard, I will post a weekly quizzes, each consisting of ten questions. The questions cover the material covered in lecture and are due each Monday at noon. Because Blackboard cannot penalize late submissions, no late quizzes will be accepted.

  • Due each Mondays after class, 12:00 PM.
  • Weight: 15%

Media Use Journal

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:

  • listening to terrestrial radio
  • listening to satellite radio
  • digital music players
  • watching broadcast, cable, or on-demand television
  • reading websites and RSS feeds
  • listening to podcasts
  • watching online videos
  • communicating via email and social networking sites, etc.;
  • going to movies, watching home video, etc.

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.

  • Due: October 3
  • Weight: 15%

Trade Press Coverage of Television Program

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.

Exams

Midterm Exam

The midterm exam is an in-class exam, consisting of true-false, multiple choice, identification and short essay questions. The exam will cover the course material from the first six weeks of the class.

  • Date: October 17, in class, beginning at 9:00 AM.
  • Weight: 25%

Final Exam

Like the midterm exam, the final exam is also an in-class exam, consisting of true-false, multiple choice, identification and short essay questions. The exam will cover the course material from the second half of the course.

  • Date: December 19, 9:30 AM
  • Weight: 25%

Schedule

August 29 • Introduction

Preparation

September 12 • Ins and Outs: Technology and Beyond

Assignment
  • Answer the questions for Week 2 in the Assignments section of Blackboard, due Monday, September 17, at noon.
Reading
  • Dominick, Chapter 3, “Audio and Video Technology.”
  • Hilmes, Chapter 1, “Making History.”

September 19 • Roots of Broadcasting

Assignment
  • Answer the questions for Week 3 in the Assignments section of Blackboard, due Monday, September 24, at noon.
Reading
  • Dominick, Chapter 1, “History of Broadcast Media.”
  • Hilmes, Chapter 2, “Before Broadcating,” and Chapter 3, “Broadcasting Begins, 1919 to 1926.”
Screening
  • Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio (Ken Burns, USA, 1991, excerpt)

September 26 • Golden Days of Radio Programming

Assignment
  • Answer the questions for Week 4 in the Assignments section of Blackboard, due Monday, October 1, at noon.
Reading
  • Hilmes, Chapter 4, “The Network Age, 1926 to 1940,” and Chapter 5, Radio for Everyone, 1926 to 1930."
Screening
  • Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio (Ken Burns, USA, 1991, excerpt)
Auditions

October 3 • Radio Today

Assignment
  • Answer the questions for Week 5 in the Assignments section of Blackboard, due Monday, October 8, at noon.
  • Media Use Journal due today in class.
Reading
  • Dominick, Chapter 4, “Radio Today,” and Chapter 8, “Radio Programming.”

October 10 • Coming of Television

Assignment
  • Answer the questions for Week 6 in the Assignments section of Blackboard, due Monday, October 15, at noon.
Reading
  • Hilmes, Chapter 7, “At Last Television, 1934 to 1955,” and Chapter 8, “The Domesticated Medium, 1955 to 1965.”

October 17 • Midterm Exam

We will begin the exam at 9:00 AM.

October 24 • Network Television

Assignment
Reading
  • Hilmes, Chapter 9, “The Classic Network System, 1965 to 1975,” and Chapter 10, “Rising Discontent, 1975 to 1985.”

October 31 • Class Cancelled

Class cancelled due to Superstorm Sandy.

November 7 • Television Today

Assignment
  • Answer the questions for Week 9 in the Assignments section of Blackboard, due Monday, November 12, at noon.
Reading
  • Hilmes, Chapter 11, “The Big Change, 1985 to 1995.”
  • Dominick, Chapter 2, “History of Cable, Home Video, and the Internet,” and Chapter 5, “Broadcast and Cable/Satellite TV Today.”

November 14 • Ratings and Audience Research

Assignment
  • Answer the questions for Week 10 in the Assignments section of Blackboard, due Monday, November 19, at noon.

November 21 • Thanksgiving Holiday

No class today in observance of Thanksgiving holiday break.

Reading
  • Dominick, Chapter 12, “Ratings and Audience Feedback.”

November 28 • Media Regulation

Assignment

Reading
  • Dominick, Chapter 10, “Rules and Regulations,” and Chapter 11, “Self-Regulation and Ethics.”

December 5 • The Internet and Digital Media

Assignment
  • Answer the questions for Week 12 in the Assignments section of Blackboard, due Monday, December 10, at noon.
Reading
  • Dominick, Chapter 6, "The Internet, Web Audio, and Web Video.”
  • Hilmes, Chapter 12, “Entering the Digital Era, 1995–2010.”

December 12 • Digital Convergence

Reading
  • Hilmes, Chapter 13, “Convergence Culture in the New Millennium, 1995–2010,” and Chapter 14, ”Conclusion: TV after TV."

December 19 • Final Exam

Our final exam will be on Wednesday, December 19, at 9:30 AM, in Room 307.