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

Course Description

An historical survey of US radio and television through an examination of their technologies, their institutions, and their programming forms and a study of their impacts on American culture and society. The course begins with the advent of broadcasting in the post–World War I era, the introduction of television in the post–World War II years, and the evolution of broadcasting in the post-network era at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Time and Place

Mondays, 6:30 – 9:20 PM
Kiely Hall, Room 248
Section: MEDST 145–01 (8212)


Juan Monroy


Office Hours

G Building, Room 102-D
Mondays, 5:00 - 6:00 PM

Schedule an Appointment

Also available remotely on Google Hangouts by advance appointment.

Course Materials


The following textbook is available through online retailers, such as Amazon, through Textbookx, through Vitalsource, and on reserve at Rosenthal Library

Review Materials

Under each class, I will post on this site the following review materials:


We will not be using Blackboard for this course. Instead, consult the Course Website for the syllabus and Google Classroom for submitting assignments.

G Suite for Education

This course will use G Suite for Education using your QC CAMS (often referred to as the QC Active Directory) account. Below are instructions for how to activate your QC G Suite for Education account (titled “Step 1” below) and how to join our course on Google Classroom (titled “Step 2” below). New QC students and students enrolled at another CUNY campus will have to take an additional, first step (titled “Step 0” below).

About Google accounts

You can have more than one Google account. If you use Gmail, you already have a Google Account: it is likely a personal Google account. Google offers organizations, businesses and educational institutions G Suite accounts for its users. Since you’re enrolled at Queens College, you have access to a QC G Suite for Education account.

You cannot access QC G Suite for Education using your personal Gmail or another G Suite account.

You can be logged into both accounts at the same time, but you will likely have to switch between accounts to access your QC G Suite for Education account versus your personal G Suite.

Step 0: Activate your QC Username

Students New to Queens College, Recently Transferred to QC, or Enrolled at another CUNY Campus.

You must first activate your Queens College username and email account at

The process takes about three (3) business days so please start this process as soon as possible.

Step 1: Activate Your QC G Suite for Education account

Information Technology at Queens College offers detailed instructions for activating (or claiming) your QC G Suite for Education account. The process comes down to four steps.

  1. Go to
  2. Log in with your complete Queens College username (e.g.,
  3. From the QC authentication page, sign in with your QC CAMS account. Use your QC CAMS username (e.g. jmonroy100) and your QC CAMS password. (If you’re having trouble contact the QC CAMS Help Desk at 718–997–4444.)
  4. Accept the terms of service.

You can access your QC G Suite for Education account at

Your Google G Suite for Education username is [Your QC AD username], for example,

About Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a barebones, learning management system that you will use to submit your assignments and I will use to grade your work. We will not be using Blackboard.

I will also post announcements to Google Classroom instead of emailing everyone in class. However, you should use email to contact me, instead of the private commenting system in Google Classroom because it doesn’t work properly.

Step 2: Join Google Classroom

Google has instructions for joining a course in Google Classroom. The process basically comes down to four steps:

  1. Go to Google Classroom.
  2. Sign in using your QC CAMS login.
  3. Click the “+” to “Join class.”
  4. Enter the code I provided at the first meeting (for face-to-face classes) or via email (for online classes).

I highly recommend downloading the Google Classroom mobile app for iOS or Android. If you allow push notifications, you will immediately receive important announcements from me and learn when assignments are posted.

Use the QC G Suite for Education Apps

We will be using some QC G Suite applications in this class.

  • Google Docs is a cloud-based, word-processing application. It is comparable to Microsoft Word on your personal computer except that all your documents are stored in your Google Drive. Be sure you’re using your QC G Suite account, not your personal Google account. Download the Google Docs mobile apps for iOS or Android.
  • Google Meet is a video-based, communication platform used for remote office hours. Download the Google Meet mobile apps for iOS or Android.
  • Google Forms is a survey and data collection platform that we will use for quizzes in some courses. There’s a bug in Forms that requires you to authenticate using your QC G Suite account on a web browser if you navigate to the quiz from the Google Classroom apps. To avoid this bug, I recommend taking the quizzes on a desktop computer.
  • Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage platform. Your QC Google Drive offers unlimited storage, compared to 15 GB with your personal Google Drive. Download the Google Drive mobile apps for iOS or Android.


A majority of access issues can be resolved switching to your Queens College Google account. This article describes how to switch between Google accounts.

Another resolution that always works is to log out of all your Google accounts in your web browser and then logging back into your QC G Suite account at


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

Attendance and Participation

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 communication medium. Although I will post review questions each week, they serve as poor substitutes for attending and participating in each week’s class.


Please read the assigned course material prior to each class. Consult the Course Schedule (below) for the required reading assignments.


All assignments must be completed on time in order to receive full credit. Late assignments will be penalized.


Exams are designed to reward regular attendance and diligent studying. Exams will be administered in class and must be taken at the specified date and time.



For in-person classes, regular attendance is required. Attend twelve or more classes and receive five bonus points added to your final grade. Students missing more than four classes will not be permitted to take the final exam.

For hybrid course, regular attendance is required. Attend seven or more classes and receive five bonus points added to your final grade. Students missing more than three classes will not be permitted to take the final exam.

This policy does not apply to online courses.

Verification of Attendance

You must be present or participating in class during the verification of attendance period. Otherwise, I will report you as not attending and you will be dropped from the class.

The verification period is as follows:

  • fall and spring semesters: the first three weeks of classes
  • summer and winter semesters: the first four days of classes

Academically-related activities include, but are not limited to:

  • physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students;
  • submitting an academic assignment;
  • taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction;
  • attending a study group that is assigned by the school;
  • participating in an online discussion about academic matter;
  • engaging in an online academically-related activity, or initiating contact with the instructor to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course or ask a course-related question.

Note: Logging into an online class is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate participation in an academically-related activity by the student.


Digital devices are prohibited in class. Unfortunately, students in the past have failed to use computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. in a professional, responsible, or productive manner, and, as such, you are not allowed to use these devices in class after the first class session.

You’re welcome to print out the slides ahead of time—they are available on this website—and to take notes on paper. I recommend buying a spiral notebook, some nice pencils, and a portable pencil sharpener to do this.

Further, if I find you engaging in any other disruptive behavior, such as passing notes, instant messaging, chatting, photographing, or texting, I will remove you from the classroom and have you withdraw from the class.

Late Work

Please submit your work on time. Late quizzes and take-home final exams will not be accepted. In-class exams must be taken at the date and time listed below unless other we make other arrangements. All other work will be penalized as follows.

Fall and Spring Courses
After a 24-hour grace period, 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.
Summer and Winter Courses
After a one-hour grace period, late work will be penalized by a 10% reduction up to 24 hours after the deadline. Late work will not be accepted after 24 hours.
All courses
No work will be accepted after 11:59 PM on the day of the final exam.

“Incomplete” Grades

There are 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.

No Extra Credit Assignments

There are no opportunities for extra credit. As a matter of fairness, your grade will be based on the work assigned to all students.

Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York. Penalties for academic dishonesty include academic sanctions, such as failing or otherwise reduced grades, and/or disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion. Examples of Academic Dishonesty include cheating, plagiarism, obtaining an unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents.

Cheating is the unauthorized use or attempted use of material, information, notes, study aids, devices or communication during an academic exercise. Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own. Obtaining Unfair Advantage is any action taken by a student that gives that student an unfair advantage in his/her academic work over another student, or an action taken by a student through which a student attempts to gain an unfair advantage in his or her academic work over another student.

For tips and information on how to maintain academic integrity, consult Writing at Queens document, “What is Plagiarism?”.

Computers, Tablets, and Mobile Phones

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.

Students must surrender mobile phones, tablets, and computers on exam days.

QC Email

Do not use the commenting system in Google Classroom to communicate with me.

Always use your QC email account ( This is the only way I can communicate with you, other than face-to-face meetings or via video conferencing.

Students with Disabilities

Queens College has a history of commitment to the enhancement of education of students with disabilities. The Office of Special Services for Students with Disabilities was established in 1974 to provide equal opportunities for a college education to academically qualified students with physical disabilities. The office offers comprehensive support services to students with various disabilities. Queens College prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities and it ensures full access and equal opportunity to qualified students with disabilities to all academic programs and social activities on campus.

To receive these services, a student must first register with the office in Kiely 171. To do so, you must bring proper documentation pertaining to the nature of your disability from a qualified professional. To learn more about CUNY Assistive Technology Services and the office located at Queens College, call (718) 997–3775 or visit Kiely Hall 173. For more information, visit The Office of Special Services.

Help with Writing

One of the most important skills you will learn throughout your education is writing. If you cannot write, you will not succeed at communicating your ideas and will endanger your professional development.

The Writing Center at Queens College offers free assistance to students with writing. Please visit the center at least once for each writing assignment you have for your classes this semester. You can schedule a one-hour session or drop in to consult an on-duty tutor.



For each class, you will take a quiz on the reading materials. Each quiz is due by noon on the day of the relevant class, noted below and on Google Classroom.

  • Due on the day of class by 12:00 PM
  • Ten of twelve quizzes are required
  • No late quizzes will be accepted
  • Weight: 30%

TV Program Analysis

Surveying at least three episodes of a television program, analyze the content of the program and the cultural context in which it was produced.


Midterm Exam

The midterm exam is an in-class exam, consisting identification and short answer questions. The exam will cover the course material from the first half of the course.

Use the review guide to prepare for the exam, including surveying the format of the exam.

  • Monday, March 20, in class
  • Weight: 20%

Final Exam

The final exam is an in-class exam, consisting identification and short answer questions. The exam will cover the course material from the second half of the course.

Use the review guide to prepare for the exam, including surveying the format of the exam.

  • Monday, May 22, 6:15–8:15 PM
  • Weight: 30%


January 30 • Welcome

  • Buy the textbook: Only Connect, 4th edition.
  • Activate your QC G Suite account.
  • Join our course on Google Classroom
    1. Go to Google Classroom
    2. Click on the “+” to join the course
    3. Enter the code I provided in class.
  • Download the following G Suite apps for your mobile device and sign in using your QC G Suite account.
    1. Google Drive: iOS or Android
    2. Google Docs: iOS or Android
    3. Google Hangouts: iOS or Android
    4. Google Classroom: iOS or Android
  • Read Hilmes, Chapter 1, “Making History,” highly recommended

February 6 • Radio, 1880–1919: Wireless and Point-to-Point

  • Hilmes, Chapter 2, “Before Broadcasting”

February 15 • Radio, 1919–1926: Fighting for the Airwaves

Note: Because this class is scheduled on a Wednesday, we will not meet today in person. Instead, please complete the assignments listed below.

  • Hilmes, Chapter 3, “Broadcasting Begins, 1919 to 1926”
  1. Audition the recorded lecture: Radio, 1919–1926
  2. Watch Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio

February 27 • Radio as Industry, 1926–1940: Network and Commercial Radio

  • Hilmes, Chapter 4, “The Network Age, 1926 to 1940”

March 6 • Radio as Popular Culture, 1926–1940: Golden Age of Radio

  • Hilmes, Chapter 5, “Radio for Everyone, 1926 to 1940 ”
Radio Programs

March 13 • Radio, 1940–1945: Wartime Broadcasting

  • Hilmes, Chapter 6, “War at Home and Abroad, 1940 to 1945”
Radio Programs

March 20 • Midterm Exam

We will take our midterm exam today in class.

Use the review guide to prepare for the exam, including surveying the format of the exam.

March 27 • Television, 1945–1955: Electronic TV and “Radio with Pictures”

  • Hilmes, Chapter 7, “At Last Television, 1945 to 1955”
Television Programs
  • RCA and William J. Ganz Company, The Story of Television (1956)
  • “Clear Picture,” an excerpt from Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (Frank Tashlin, 1957)
  • The Philco Television Playhouse, “Marty,” May 24, 1953
  • Opening from Disneyland USA, October 27, 1954

April 3 • Television, 1955–1965: The Golden Age and the “Vast Wasteland”

  • Hilmes, Chapter 8, “The Domesticated Medium, 1955 to 1965”
Television Programs

April 20 • Television, 1965–1975: Consolidation and the Network Era

Note: This class is scheduled to meet on a Thursday. If you are unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict, please let me know before we adjourn for spring break.

  • Hilmes, Chapter 9, “The Classic Network System, 1965 to 1975”
Television Programs

April 24 • Television, 1975–1985: The Network Era and Competition

  • Hilmes, Chapter 10, “Rising Discontent, 1975 to 1985”
Television Programs
  • Gary Numan, “In Cars
  • Cosby Show, “Pilot Presentation,” September 20, 1984
  • Miami Vice, “Brother’s Keeper,” September 16, 1984

May 1 • Television, 1985–1995: Multichannel TV

  • Hilmes, Chapter 11, “The Big Change, 1985 to 1995”
Television Programs

May 8 • Television, 1995–2005: TV and Digital Convergence

  • Hilmes, Chapter 12, “Entering the Digital Age, 1995–2005”
Television Programs

May 15 • Television, 2005-Present: TV3 and Beyond

  • Hilmes, Chapter 13, “Baby, It’s You: Web 2.0, 2005 – Present,” and Chapter 14, “Conclusion: TV after TV.”

May 22 • Final Exam

We will take the final exam today, 6:15 – 8:15 PM, in class.

Use the review guide to prepare for the exam, including surveying the format of the exam.