INTRODUCTION: Welcome back to another week at the Haveman Media Empire. I hope things are starting to feel little bit more familiar for you now. This week we’re focusing on the magazine arm of the company. Read chapter the chapter on magazines in the text to get some background on that industry and then head back over to Blackboard for the chapter quiz.
The radio side of the company is looking to start a new podcast focusing on the mass media. Since you’ve done an okay job on the print side of things so far, we thought maybe we’d give you a shot at contributing on the radio side. Their first podcast is going to focus on fascinating and significant mass media personalities. So first settle on someone who’s had a major impact on the mass media either today or in history, then do research on what they did and put that into an approximately three minute radio script. Check out the podcasts This American Life or Snap Judgment for examples of what we’re trying to model.
Finally, things are not looking good on the magazine side of our empire. Subscriptions are down and we’re at the point where we need to make of major decision about if we try and stick with our news magazine format intended for general audiences or if we give in and try and focus on a more specific audience, a practice referred to as “demassification’ or going from aiming for a large audience to targeting a niche audience. It’s a process that saved much of the magazine industry after the invention of television, but it has its drawbacks.
- The rise of magazines
READING: Chapter 5 “Magazines’
QUIZ: Chapter 5 Quiz
ASSIGNMENT: The Smithsonian is opening a new exhibit to showcase the best and brightest in mass media. This week we’re going to do a radio podcast on an interesting media figure they should include in their exhibit that clearly argues why this person should be in the exhibit in a compelling and/or funny way. Choose a major media figure, either contemporary or historic, and write a two minute radio script on what this person has contributed to mass media and arguing why they should be included in the exhibit. Generally we’re talking about inventors and pioneers—people who significantly changed some element of the mass media—not just someone who was a celebrity of some sort.
How do you turn this in? Post it by hitting “+ New’ at the top of the WordPress dashboard and typing in your assignment. Make sure to use the “Assignments’ category listed on the right side of the page and put “Week [#]: [Your Name]’ in the subject heading. Then, head over to Assignments and see how it looks! Read the submissions of your peers and give constructive feedback.
DISCUSSION: Our news magazine is losing readership. We need to decide if we’re going to keep it or create a magazine that is tailored for a niche audience? What arguments are there for and against demassification? Pick a side and argue your point. Respond to the discussion post with your thoughts in the conference room. Once again, don’t make your own post—respond to the existing post on this subject.