Work Schedule

Here’s a summary of what assignments are due each week so you have a quick way to see what’s coming up.  

***Assignments are due Sunday at midnight at the end of the week they are assigned.***

Fall 2018

Week 1 — Media Literacy
May 21

Check out the work for this week on the Media Literacy page.

ASSIGNMENT 1: Watch a movie or TV show and submit a 500 word story on your worldview/personal status before your engagement with the medium and after.   Note what were you thinking about before you watched the program?   They describe what you’re thinking about after?   Be specific about how exactly the program affected what you were thinking about after the program.   I’m looking for change.   How did it change you, or at least what you were thinking about, even if just temporarily?   Did it make you more materialistic, more frightened of violence, feeling less satisfied with your life?   Or did it have a positive effect on you somehow?   The Mass Media doesn’t always tell us what to think, but what to think about.

Week 2 — Convergence
May 28

Check out the work for this week on the Convergence page.

ASSIGNMENT:   None this week.

Week 3 — Books
June 4

Check out the work for this week on the Books page.

ASSIGNMENT:   None this week.

Week 4 — Newspapers
June 11

Check out the work for this week on the Newspapers page.

ASSIGNMENT 2:   The newspaper division of our conglomerate is hemorrhaging subscribers to its paper edition.   We need you to assemble a report on why people are cancelling their subscriptions to the physical paper edition of the newspaper, or why they never subscribed in the first place, and where (if anywhere) they are getting their news.   For example, are they listening to radio news, watching late night TV monologues, going to online versions of newspapers, etc.?   Or do they just not care about news anymore?   This report requires three sources (say, “according to…” when using information from them), at least 300 words, and should not include any of your personal experiences or opinions.   This is a report on the market based on documented facts, not a “Well here’s what I think…” paper.

Week 5 — Magazines
June 18

Check out the work for this week on the Magazines page.

ASSIGNMENT:   None this week.

Week 6 — Sound
June 25

Check out the work for this week on the Sound page.

ASSIGNMENT:   None this week.

Week 7 — Film
July 2

Check out the work for this week on the  Film page.

ASSIGNMENT:   Take the midterm exam on Blackboard.

Week 8 — Video
July 9

Check out the work for this week on the Video page.

ASSIGNMENT 3:   A political action committee is lobbying congress to get stricter on television because they claim it’s all a “vast wasteland.’   Submit a 600 word report in which you evaluate a specific television experience you’ve had in regard to its redeeming elements so our CEO can argue that TV can have a positive effect on society when he appears in front of congress next week.   What about your TV experience was beneficial to society?   Why was it not all bad?   For example, “I watched the PBS program NOVA and learned about worm holes.   This type of film shows that television is NOT entirely a vast wasteland.’   It should be a strong example of a show that is good for humanity, not just something that’s not particularly terrible.

Week 9 — Video Games
July 16

Check out the work for this week on the Video Games page.

ASSIGNMENT:   None this week.

Week 10 — Internet
July 23

Check out the work for this week on the Internet page.

ASSIGNMENT:   None this week.

Week 11 — Public Relations
July 30

Check out the work for this week on the Public Relations page.

ASSIGNMENT 4:   This week a major newspaper declared bankruptcy, claiming the Internet killed its revenue.   This week write a 250 word script in which you play the role of an existing medium confronting a new medium by writing them an angry letter complaining about their influence on the neighborhood.   “Dear Television, this is your neighbor magazines.   We’re so glad you moved into the neighborhood, but we’re a little upset at how you’re kind of hogging all our readers now…’   You should be describing examples of how that new medium has hurt the existing medium.   Do not write from the perspective of a previous form of a medium writing to it’s newer form, such as, “Dear Smartphone, this is landline.’   They are the same medium.   Cite specific complaints about how the new medium has harmed the old one.   Has it hurt its audience?   How?   Has the new neighbor forced the old medium to evolve?   How?   How has that gone for the old medium?

Week 12 — Advertising
August 6

Check out the work for this week on the Advertising page.

ASSIGNMENT:   None this week.

Week 13 — Theories

Check out the work for this week on the Theories page.

ASSIGNMENT:   None this week.

Week 14 — Regulation

Check out the work for this week on the Regulation page.

ASSIGNMENT 5:   Due the last day before final exams begin at UAF.   Please turn in by emailing the document to your professor.

Write a 1,200- to 1,300-word investigative report on a practice in the mass media that the general public is not aware of and would be appalled by. The length is important. We will not read beyond 1,300 words. One of your challenges is to write concisely, avoiding excessive verbiage. If you find yourself going over 1,300 words, our advice is to complete a rough draft and then edit it (cut out repeated information, words and ideas; unnecessary adjectives and adverbs; and the passive voice).

Choose from a variety of topics or suggest your own on the discussion board.   Here are some potential approaches:

  • Investigate a specific advertorial in a newspaper or magazine and dig into who the author really is, how the ad is designed to mimic the rest of the periodical, etc.
  • Investigate product placement in a recent film or TV show and find out as much about the situation as you can, including how much the company paid to have the product in the film/show and what makes for effective product placement.
  • Investigate an example of fake news. Explain how a particular story went from someone’s imagination to getting passed along by a major news source and spread through social media.

Do not do a paper on photoshopping cover models. The general public is fully aware that this happens. That story has been done to death. You can do a story on other photo manipulation, but not on how models are modified to look unattainably beautiful. If your professors have to read another story on that, they may claw their eyes out.

You may follow either Associated Press (AP) style (preferred by many journalists) or MLA style. You may be able to search the AP stylebook here. You may need to use a university wifi connection to access that link.

List at least four sources in MLA format at the end of the paper.   Cite one or more of those sources, as appropriate, every time you refer to one of their facts in the paper so we know where that fact came from. Every fact you state in the paper that is not commonly accepted knowledge should be cited. For example, the assertion that NBC is a television network does not need a source, but the assertion that most people get their news from the internet does need a source. It might seem like common sense, but it could be wrong. This paper is not an opinion piece. We do not want to hear about what you think or what you have personally experienced.

Proofread, proofread, have someone else proofread and then proofread again. We strongly recommend taking advantage of the Writing Center in the English Department.

Points will be taken off for obvious spelling and grammatical errors. Also, avoid stating the obvious. We know, for example, that mass media have a profound effect on society. So don’t tell us that.

Great grades will be given to papers that share new information, are written well and are organized well. Poor grades will be given to papers that state personal opinion, labor to fill space, fill space with unnecessary verbiage, repeatedly state the obvious, don’t cite sources when stating facts, have obvious spelling/grammatical errors or don’t meet other requirements of the assignment as listed above.

Here is the grading rubric we will use for the paper:

  • 40 %: Example of a practice in the mass media that the general public is not aware of
  • 30 %: Writing quality, including organization
  • 30 %: Well-sourced facts that make your case

Week 15 — Global Media

Check out the work for this week on the Global Media page.

ASSIGNMENT:   None this week.