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.
The following textbooks are available at the Fordham University, Lincoln Center Bookstore, Phone: (212) 636-6080, and through other retailers.
In addition to the textbook readings, there are reserve readings available as PDFs from the course schedule.
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.
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.
This class consists of four components. You cannot satisfactorily complete this course without all four of these.
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.
Please read the assigned course material prior to each week’s class. Consult the Course Schedule for the required reading 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 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.
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.
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.
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. Also, please refrain from using your phone during class.
Please check your Fordham University email account (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
“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.”
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).
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.
Most commercial radio stations have a tightly controlled schedule, known as a hot clock. Using two consecutive hours from a commercial radio station from where you lived before coming to Fordham and one in New York City, chronicle the programming elements and construct a hot clock for those radio stations. Please review chapter eight in Dominick, Sherman, and Messere for a description of a hot clock.
The broadcast television industry run on a September-May schedule, and as such, we can observe how the the television schedule develops throughout the semester.
Select a new or returning television program and follow the coverage it receives in the entertainment trade press. Write an 1,000-word, about five pages, paper documenting the coverage from a variety of sources.
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 five weeks of the class.
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.
Answer the questions for Week 2 in the Quizzes section of Blackboard, due September 16.
Answer the questions for Week 3 in the Quizzes section of Blackboard, due September 23.
Answer the questions for Week 4 in the Quizzes section of Blackboard, due September 30.
Answer the questions for Week 5 in the Quizzes section of Blackboard, due October 7.
Radio Hot Clock due today in class. Upload your written report to Blackboard and your graphic hot clocks to MyFiles. Also, bring a hard copy of both to class.
Our midterm exam will be held from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.
Answer the questions for Week 8 in the Quizzes section of Blackboard, due October 28.
Answer the questions for Week 9 in the Quizzes section of Blackboard, due November 4.
Trade Press Coverage of Television Program due today in class.
Answer the questions for Week 11 in the Quizzes section of Blackboard, due November 18.
Answer the questions for Week 12 in the Quizzes section of Blackboard, due November 25.
Answer the questions for Week 13 in the Quizzes section of Blackboard.
Bring your own device, such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone. We will need them to conduct the electronic course evaluations.
Our final exam will be held from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.