Saturday, July 19, 2003

UPDATE: media/violence homework
I just realized that Grafikart left out some of the key readings for our media/violence day! Aaargh! I don't know how I didn't catch this sooner, but let's just say that I'm not amused . . .

Anyway: this means that it is particularly imperative that you do reading of the extra articles as listed at the below sites for you to have enough material and studies to work with to support your arguments.

I have found a website that does have a number of the intended articles-- many of which will be very helpful for compiling yoru research. Click here and use the password: ovrc.

One good thing to come out of this mishap. The site above (which I hadn't seen previously) does have some excellent, concise essays, on multiple sides of the controversy (the site, like the readings that were supposed to be in the course reader, are from an "opposing viewpoints" series).

If you are having any problems with this, please let me know ASAP.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Media/Violence: Homework 3
For the third homework assignment, due in class on Monday 7/21, you are required to compile research/evidence supporting your assigned "side" in the media/violence debate we'll be having in class. (See the assignment sheet for futher details).

In addition to the articles in the reader, you should look to some outside sources. You can search around for your own sources. OR you can look at some of the sources compiled at this site: The Media and Communications Studies Site. If you have other sources to recommend, I can add a link to them as well.
Media Moguls
Jonathan brought to my attention an article in yesterday's New York Times which reports on what's described as "summer camp for media moguls." Leaders and CEOs from companies such as Viacom, Sony, Vivendi-Universal, AOL-TW, and more attended. The article has intersting tidbits on some of their thoughts about deregulation and on the pending merger of parts of Vivendi-Universal with one of the major conglomerates. What makes this particularly intersting, though, are the visits by high level government people, such as CIA chief George Tenet-- more evidence of the somewhat cozy relationship between the administration and big media these days. Moguls' Meet for Annual Retreat Thanks Jonathan!

Sunday, July 13, 2003

New Midterm Information!
I have made a slight change in the format of the midterm. I have decided against having you use the scantron form. The exam itself is still the same-- a combination of multiple choice questions, short answers, and essay. However, you will not have to fill out the multiple choice portion of the exam on the midterm; you will be filling this out on the sheet I provide you. I apologize for any confusion/inconvenience this may cause. I'd be happy to buy your pink scantron form off of you (if you've already purchased it) if you don't have any other need for one.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Academic Conference on Popular Music
This month's New Yorker magazine has an article about a recent (academic) conference on popular music. We haven't had a chance to do a lot of work with music media in this course, but I know this is something of interest to many of you. The article, though not without a few problems, might be helpful in giving a sense of how scholars work with a lot of the ideas we've encountered looking at television, for instance, and apply them to studying popular music. The New Yorker: Rock 101

Propaganda, Consumerism, War Coverage and more
Alice found an excellent article from The Guardian, Trading on Fear:
From the start, the invasion of Iraq was seen in the US as a marketing project. Selling 'Brand America' abroad was an abject failure; but at home, it worked. Manufacturers of 4x4s, oil prospectors, the nuclear power industry, politicians keen to roll back civil liberties - all seized the moment to capitalise on the war. PR analysts Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber explain how it worked.

It's a very provocative (though depressing) article. Many of you in Wednesday's free writes mentioned that the filters model and the articles analyzing war coverage were the ones that most resonated with you. This definitely connects up with those issues. Thanks for sending this in, Alice!

Thursday, July 10, 2003

There's an interesting article in the current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, "Rethinking Objectivity", that ties in with a lot of the issues we've been exploring regarding media coverage, "bias," reliance on sources, etc. If this topic has been of interest to you, you may want to check it out.

Midterm Exam: Reminder
The midterm is this coming Monday, July 14. Don't forget to bring a blue book and a pink, Parscore scantron with you to class.

Monday, July 07, 2003

Clear Channel and NPR?
There was an interesting article in the L.A. Times this morning about KUSC (USC's public radio station, an NPR affiliate) outsourcing its efforts to get corporate sponsors (advertisers on public radio). And who are they outsourcing to? Clear Channel Communications! I'm often pretty cynical about the current state of public radio (particularly NPR) but this surprised even me! calendarlive.com: KUSC sees no evil in alliance

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Homework # 2: Fan Fiction
For your second homework assignment, I'd like for you to look at some fan fiction. Monday's reading/class will focus on this topic, as a case study to accompany our examination of Bottom-up approaches to media culture.

Below are a few links that will direct you towards some examples of fan fiction. It's an understatement to say that there's a LOT of fan fiction out there. It varies greatly in terms of tone, style, and quality. So, look around a little while to find something that interests you. Try to at least glance through a few different examples to get some small sense of the range. Bring the story you select, your 1-2 page response, and the assignment sheet with you to class on Monday.


If you choose a very long story, then you don't have to print the whole thing out-- just print a few pages to give a sense of what you read. (But, read the whole thing!)

Next Tuesday (July 8) please bring with you to class a magazine. We're going to be doing some textual analysis of magazines and I want for us to have concrete examples to work with. Any kind of magazine is fine (fashion, news, etc.), whatever you have lying around your house. (Though if it belongs to your roommate, make sure they're okay with you tearing out a few pages of the magazine).

The media and the war
Here are a few links to further alternative/independent news sources, covering the war and other topics (these include some of the sites recommended by our guest speakers:
Alternet's War on Iraq Weblog (Also check out their main page, alternet.org for coverage of other topics)
Common Dreams
Independent Media Center
The Guardian (UK)
FAIR.org (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

We'll be talking about these sites more later in the quarter, but I thought I'd give you a heads up now, in case you want to explore more some of the issues from tonight's class. As always, if you have any links to share related to class topics, please let me know.

(And if you find anything interesting from these links, feel free to leave a note by clicking on the "comments" button below).

Want to know more about our own community radio station, KCSB? Check out their page at kcsb.org for their schedule as well as information about how to get trained if you'd like to have your own radio show. Or tune in at FM 91.9.
To get in contact with the people involved in Voices for Global Justice (the radio collective our guest speakers, Molly Talcott, Oscar Gil, and Beth Currans, are members of) email them at kcsbvoices@yahoo.com

Wag the Dog
Michelle recommends the movie "Wag the Dog." It's an interesting movie (both funny and disturbing) that looks at media manipulation, propaganda, and war coverage. It's a fictional movie, but very thought-provoking. If you haven't seen it, you might want to check it out. Thanks for the pointer, Michelle!

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