Week 6


So you know all the havoc the Internet has caused with the other forms of Mass Media?  Well, like a prize fighter who’s now doing commercials for kitchen appliances, Television was once a force to be reckoned with.  More televisions were purchased in the 50’s than there were children born (by nearly double), if that gives you a hint about the juggernaut that was television back then.  Check out chapter 8 for the full story and then test your knowledge on the quiz.

Also, our nationally distributed news show is looking to hire a new anchor.  It’ll be a very public decision and they’re struggling with who to hire, so give us your thoughts for the discussion this week.

What is Net Neutrality and why are so many people upset about it?  Check out this video to get a sense of the issue.

The Internet rocked our world and changed the way we live.  Many people tell me they think it’s the biggest thing to happen to mass media ever.  While I’d argue the printing press was a pretty huge deal, too, the Internet has certainly given it a run for its money.  This week we’ll also talk about the beast itself.  It’s made the world a better place and a worse place.  It’s created new industries and destroyed others and it’s been around for longer than you think.  Check out the chapter and take the quiz.

Your assignment this week is a challenge.  Our radio station is launching a new podcast on the mass media and we need some compelling new material.  Find a story about a corporation or company using the mass media to get out its message in a covert way and record an approximately two minute radio story that tells us about it. You could do a report on a specific instance of product placement, advertorial (ad in a magazine made to look like a legit article), video news release (a video a company sends to a news station to air like a legit news story), press releases (stories sent to newspapers that they sometimes print just like they were regular news), etc.  These are all ways companies try to advertise without it being obvious they are advertising and we want to reveal to our audiences how this is happening.

Use storytelling techniques, don’t just read us an article.  Intrigue us.  Make it sound like an investigation into a crime, for example. Listen to the This American Life, Radio Lab or Snap Judgement podcasts for examples of the style and storytelling I’m looking for.  We’re trying to build an audience, so make these entertaining for @#$%’s sake.

If you don’t have a device capable of recording audio, I can pair you up with someone who does, but let’s be realistic—a cell phone, computer, iPad, etc. call all record audio, so do your best to sort this out yourself.  Your radio story doesn’t have to be edited, but that’s definitely a bonus.


  • Advent of Television—the Internet of it’s time
  • Mass Media scrambles to reinvent itself in the wake of TV
  • Imperfect ratings with big consequences
  • History of the Internet
  • “Internet’ vs. “World Wide Web’
  • The Internet of tomorrow

READING:  Chapter 8 “Television, Cable & Mobile Video’ and Chapter 10 “Internet and WWW’

QUIZ:  Chapter 8 Quiz and Chapter 10 Quiz

ASSIGNMENT:  A media modul was called out this week for airing Video News Releases on her TV News channel without disclosing them.  To show the ubiquity of this type of behavior, create a radio report investigating an example of covert corporate influence in media through video news releases, press releases, etc.

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. Select “Add Media’ above-left of the text entry window to add your audio file or upload it to soundcloud.com and put the link in your post.  Then, head over to Assignments and see how it looks! Read the submissions of your peers and give constructive feedback.

DISCUSSION:  Our TV News station is looking to hire a new anchor.  We have two choices, an attractive woman straight out of college or a veteran woman journalist who would generally be considered unattractive.  Which way should we go for the success of the division?  Pick a side and argue your point.  Respond to the discussion post in the conference room.