Use this guide to help you prepare for the exams.

Early Print

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  1. Why does the Gutenberg Myth overstate his importance as an inventor?
  2. What factors came together at the right moment in Medieval Europe to make possible the Gutenberg Press?
  3. What were some of the major effects of the fifteenth century’s print revolution?
  4. How did the spread of print enable the growth and standardization of national vernacular languages?
  5. What were some of the new sects that emerged after the Reformation?
  6. How did religious intolerance lead to a century of wars and the persecution of astronomers?
  7. What methods did the British crown use to censor the press?
  8. Explain how Freedom of the Press considered a “first freedom.”

Testable Terms: Early Print

Mass Print

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  1. How did the introduction of the steam powered printing press in the early 19th century change print?
  2. How did the revenues of mass-circulation penny papers differ from the less widely circulated partisan papers?
  3. What were some of the early penny papers that emerged in New York between the 1830s and 1850s?
  4. What were two reasons for why the penny press in Britain emerged later than it did in the United States?
  5. How were newspapers significant for French writers such as Balzac and Dumas?
  6. What role did newspapers serve during the Progressive Era?
  7. What are the four stages of the press, according to Walter Lippmann in 1922?

Testable Terms: Mass Print

Contemporary Print

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  1. What topics did muckraking magazines and newspapers seek to reform during the early 20th century?
  2. What role did the press play during World War I?
  3. How did the Soviet Union (as Russia was known between 1917–1991) treat the press?
  4. How did Germany treat the press during the Nazi era and World War II?
  5. What was the purpose of the Hutchins Commission? What did the commission recommend that publishers do?
  6. What topics did the Black Press cover that was ignored by the mainstream, white-owned press?
  7. How did the press’s coverage of the Vietnam War affect US public opinion in the conflict?
  8. What are some factors for the decline of newspapers since the 1950s?

Testable Terms: Contemporary Print


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  1. Explain in layperson’s terms how chemical photography, developed in the early 19th century, works.
  2. What kind of photographs was the daguerrotype primarily used for?
  3. What were some conflicts captured by war photographers in the nineteenth century?
  4. How did George Eastman’s Kodak (“Brownie”) camera help democratize photography?
  5. What did Life magazine seek to do with photojournalism, according to its manifesto?
  6. What were some of the milestones in wartime photography during World War II?
  7. How did digital photography emerge in the 1970s?
  8. How has digital photography democratized the access and participation of amateurs in making photographs?
  9. How do fakes undermine the authenticity of photography?

Testable Terms: Photography

Motion Pictures

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  1. What toys and devices did early cinema devices draw from?
  2. How was the cinématographe different from the kinetoscope?
  3. What were some measures taken to censor cinema—and to control this new technology—in the early twentieth century?
  4. What were two reactions to The Birth of a Nation upon its release in 1915?
  5. According to Kovarik, how did the The Immigrant and The Blot function as populist films that sympathized with the downtrodden?
  6. From the account in the textbook, how did the rise of Stalin in the 1930s change the topics Sergei Eisenstein addressed in his films from the 1920s?
  7. What were some films of German Expressionism and how were they distinct? Why were they significant for Hollywood filmmaking in the 1930s and 1940s?
  8. What roles did cinema play during World War II both for propagandizing Nazism and for fighting fascism?
  9. According to Kovarik, what were some of varied ways that American cinema treated African Americans on screen?
  10. What is the post-classical era of cinema and how did it transform the classical genres of the western, the war film, and science fiction?

Testable Terms: Motion Pictures

Advertising and Public Relations

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  1. What were the four roles that advertising agencies played in the 19th century?
  2. How symbols did Samuel Adams use to sway public opinion in the eighteenth century towards the movement for independence from the British crown?
  3. How was the “war of the currents” in the late 19th century a war of public opinion?
  4. How did public relations respond to the muckraking exposes of the early 20th century?
  5. Why did Texaco sponsor the radio broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera concerts in the 1940s?
  6. Compare the corporate responses to two crises described by Kovarik? Which company did a “better” job?
  7. Why have advertising agencies consolidated into a very small number of agencies that dominate the market?
  8. How is advertising regulated in the United States?
  9. How did mass media, such as newspapers and magazines, “bundle” content, compared to how digital media “unbundle” it?

Testable Terms: Advertising and Public Relations

Telegraph and Telephone

  1. What were some ways that the emergence of the telegraph in the mid–19th century change the news business?
  2. How did the Associated Press and Western Union form a monopolistic trust? How did the exercise this power?
  3. What were some news services that emerged outside of the United States?
  4. How did United Press and International News Association challenge the power of the Associated Press in the early twentieth century?
  5. Why was the telephone regarded as a technology to circumvent the telegraph?
  6. How did AT&T become a regulated monopoly in the early 1910s?
  7. Why did AT&T break up in the early 1980s? What was the result of the break up?

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Testable Terms: Telegraph and Telephone


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  1. How did the work of Maxwell and Hertz connect electricity to magnetism?
  2. How did Marconi capitalize on electromagnetic waves?
  3. What roles did the radio telegraph play in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912?
  4. What two innovations did AT&T introduce to commercialize broadcast radio in the 1920s?
  5. What were the three classes of radio stations the Federal Radio Commission established in 1928? How did it benefit radio networks?
  6. How did entertainment programming during the Golden Age of Radio borrow from Vaudeville?
  7. Why did newspaper publishers and the wire services boycott broadcast radio?
  8. How did radio function as an electronic hearth of the nation during the 1930s and 1940s?
  9. How was the FCC’s “Blue Book” report on radio broadcasting similar to Hutchin’s Commission on Freedom of the Press?
  10. How did radio adapt to the emergence of television in the 1950s?
  11. How and why did the FCC relax ownership restrictions on the number of radio stations a single company or entity can own?
  12. How has digital media technology transformed the recording industry and radio in the twenty-first century?

Testable Terms: Radio


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  1. What were some of the predecessors to electronic television in the 1930s?
  2. What is the difference between the kinescope and an iconoscope?
  3. What were some key reasons for the explosive growth of television in the 1950s?
  4. What policies did the FCC enact in the early years of television’s development after World War II?
  5. What were some of the effects of the FCC’s freeze on new television licenses between 1948 and 1952?
  6. Why did FCC Chairman Newtown Minow call television a “vast wasteland”?
  7. What were the results of the quiz show scandals of the 1950s?
  8. What were some ways that politicians used television?
  9. How did the launching of communication satellites in the 1970s expand the available offerings on television?
  10. How has television been deregulated since the 1980s? What is the primary rationale that has been used for this approach to television policy?

Testable Terms: Television


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  1. What is the difference between hardware and software?
  2. What were some mechanical computers that emerged between the seventeenth century and the twentieth century? What were human computers?
  3. What are the three kinds of media available for computer storage?
  4. Why did computers get smaller? What law explains why they get more powerful?
  5. Who were the technoutopians that were excited for the possibilities for computers in the 1960s and 1970s? Why were they excited?
  6. What innovations did the Xerox Alto have well before commercially available personal computers had in the 1980s?
  7. What industries did personal computers change in the 1980s with desktop publishing and with nonlinear editing?
  8. What post-PC devices has Apple introduced in the twenty-first century?

Testable Terms: Computers


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  1. What is the Internet?
  2. What is the World Wide Web?
  3. What is the difference between a centralized and a distributed network?
  4. Why are protocols such as TCP, IP, and Ethernet advantageous for building a big network?
  5. How did Xerox and IBM miss the curve in the road with the personal computing and computer networks?
  6. What networks emerged in Europe before the Internet?
  7. Why did closed networks, such as commercial BBS, get “crushed” by an open network like the Internet and world wide web?
  8. How did the Communications Decency Act threaten freedom of expression on the Internet?
  9. Why do proponents of net neutrality want to classify internet service providers as common carriers?

Testable Terms: Internet

Media and Globalization

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  1. What is the wikipedia effect?
  2. How does a social network like Facebook or tethered apps contrast with the open Internet and world wide web?
  3. How do eBay and Craigslist take advantage of its large network of users to succeed? How do they differ?
  4. What is long-tail marketing and why can Amazon or Netflix succeed where retail stores cannot?
  5. How did “technologies of freedom” empower users in the Soviet Union?
  6. Why did Google work with Chinese censors in 2006? Why did they stop doing so in 2010?
  7. What did the 1980 report, Many Voices, One World, recommend to create a New World Information and Communication Order?
  8. Why did advocates for international communication argue that ICANN should be placed under international administration?

Testable Terms: Media and Globalization