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.
Wednesday, 8:30 – 11:15 AM
33 W 60th St, 2nd Fl
By appointment only
The following textbooks are required and are available for purchase from online retailers.
Joseph R. Dominick, Barry Sherman, and Fritz J. Messere. Broadcasting Cable the Internet and Beyond: An Introduction to Modern Electronic Media, 7th ed. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2011.
Michele Hilmes. Only Connect: A Cultural History of Broadcasting in the United States, 3rd ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2011.
Note: You do not need to purchase the fourth edition (2013).
After each class, I will post a lecture outline, a PDF copy of the slides, and topical review questions. Find these under the “Review” section of each class on the course website. The slides are accessible by logging in with your Fordham IT ID credentials.
We will not be using Blackboard for this class. Instead, consult the Course Website.
As you likely already know, Fordham uses Google Apps for Education. In addition to Mail, we will be using Google Drive to exchange files, Google Group for our class forum, and Forms for our weekly quizzes. You might also consider using the other core apps, such as Docs, Sheets, or Slides, for your work.
This class consists of four components. You cannot satisfactorily complete this course without all four of these.
Please be present in each class.
Each class session will form the basis of the material I expect you to know for the exams. We will cover the historical, technological, and economic context relevant to each electronic media technology. Although I will post outlines, slides, and review questions each week, those materials serve as poor substitutes for attending and participating in each week’s class.
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 40% 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 digital distractions. 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. Seriously, I’m this close to banning all digital devices in class. 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, 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.
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 refrain from using your digital devices during class. Also remember to silence your mobile phone, or turn it off to save your battery.
It is particularly rude to use your devices in class because it distracts not only me but also the students around you. And others can see what you’re doing.
Please check your Fordham University email account (email@example.com) 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).
I will post a weekly quiz, each consisting of ten questions. The questions cover the material covered in class and are due each Monday at noon.
Look for the link to the quiz on the course schedule section of this website. You must be logged in to your Fordham Google account and (maybe) also logged out of all other Google accounts to access it.
Most commercial radio stations have a tightly controlled schedule, known as a hot clock. Using two consecutive hours from two different radio stations, 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 traditionally runs on a September–May schedule, and as such, we can observe how the coverage of television program develops throughout the semester.
Select a new or returning television program and follow the coverage it receives in the entertainment trade press. Consider comparing that coverage to what is available in the popular press (newspapers, magazines, and websites). Write a 1,000-word 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.
The final exam will resemble the midterm 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, due January 26.
Answer the questions for Week 3, due February 2.
Answer the questions for Week 4, due February 9.
Answer the questions for Week 5, due February 16.
Radio Hot Clock due today in class. Upload your written report and graphic hot clocks, in a single PDF document, to your Fordham Google Drive. Please share the document with me.
We will take the midterm exam in class today beginning at 9:00 AM
Answer the questions for Week 7, due March 2.
Answer the questions for Week 8, due March 9.
Answer the questions for Week 9, due March 23.
No quiz this week. Work on your Trade Press assignment.
Classes today run on a Monday schedule.
Answer the questions for Week 11, due April 13.
Answer the questions for Week 12, due April 20.
Answer the questions for Week 13, due April 27.
Bring your own device, such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone. We will need them to conduct the electronic course evaluations.
We will take our final exam during the “W” Block, on Wednesday, May 6, from 9:30 – 11:30 AM.