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COMM 2P98 Final: 2P98 Exam Review

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Department
Communication Studies
Course
COMM 2P98
Professor
Russell
Semester
Winter

Description
2P98 Exam Review 1. What is the relationship between culture and media industries? Defend your answer with reference to at least three of the following: the textbook; Horkheimer & Adorno; Ebanda de B’béri & Middlebrook; Habermas; and/or Doyle The Culture Industry Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno  Under monopoly all mass culture is identical, and the lines of its artificial framework begin to show through.  Movies and radio need no longer pretend to be art. The truth that they are just business is made into an ideology in order to justify the rubbish they deliberately produce.  The basis on which technology acquires power over society is the power of those whose economic hold over society is greatest.  All participants are listeners and authoritatively subject them to broadcast programs, which are exactly the same.  Any trace of spontaneity from the public in official broadcasting is controlled and absorbed by talent scouts, studio competitions and official programs of every kind selected by professionals. Talented performers belong to the industry long before it displays them, otherwise they would not be so eager to fit in.  There is an economic mechanism used for the selection of material and an agreement/determination of all executive authorities not to produce or sanction anything that in any way differs form their own rules, their own ideas about consumers or above all themselves.  Culture monopolies are weak and dependent in comparison to the most powerful sectors of industry. They cannot afford to neglect their appeasement of the real holders of power if their sphere of activity in mass society is not to undergo a series of purges.  The dependence of the most powerful broadcasting company on the electrical industry, or of the motion picture industry on the banks is characteristic of the whole sphere, whose individual branches are themselves economically interwoven.  Marked differentiations such as those of A and B films, or of stories in magazines in different price ranges, depend not so much on subject matter as on classifying, organizing and labeling consumers. Something is provided for all so that none may escape; the distinctions are emphasized and extended.  The public is catered for with a hierarchal range of mass-produced products of varying quality. Everybody must choose the category of mass product turned out for his type. Consumers appear as statistics on research organization charts and are divided by income groups.  There is nothing left for the consumer to classify. Producers have done it for him.  The short interval sequence which effective in a hit song…etc. are all ready made clichés to be slotted in anywhere  Real Life is becoming indistinguishable form the movies. Sound film leaves no room for imagination or reflection by audience. The film forces its victims to equate it directly with reality.  The triumph of advertising in the culture industry is that consumers feel compelled to buy and use its products even though they see through them.  Culture industry now controls how we construct our ideologies and act as models for personality. The Paradox of National Identity Ebanda de B’béri & Middlebrook  As individuals increasingly position themselves within and across a variety of identities capital seizes upon such differences in order to create new markets and products.  It is known that television occupies a privileged position in most Canadian households, and its narratives, images and stories provide viewers with a framework for thinking about and making sense of the world.  Television and other mass media have the power to represent and thus to articulate a framework within which viewers consider the images they encounter. This framework also provides the conditions for examining the ways in which practices of identity are being worked and re-worked to become “invisible” or naturalized.  According to Habermas, its ideal form, status of the contributor is not relevant in the public sphere but only the quality of his or her ideas are important.  In this article analyzing Canadian Idol we see that the producers of the show ultimately chose where the auditions where held. They chose more appealing and well-known locations to produce their own aesthetic identity of Canada. (By doing this they were appealing to a more urban demographic of viewers rather than the Nation as a whole who ultimately construct Canada’s identity)  As stated by Michael Ignatieff, Nationalism can only survive by allowing cultural differences to prosper within national boundaries. So basically Canadian idol attempts to create a sense of nationalism through their selection process of narrowing down who wins by excluding non-urban identities.  Habermas also said that the public sphere is one form where an entire society participates in discussion regarding issues of common concern.  Based on the comments made on the discussion board each province tends to have their own identity instead of a unified Canadian identity amongst all provinces, which created tensions through public discourse. The message board created a space where these separate parties could discuss regional and national identity tensions from within the show.  Habermas explained that the public sphere needs to exist outside of the state, church and other institutions in order for discussion for happen more freely. o Message boards show how discussion can exist within the private sphere and address the public  It is also argued that the boundary between public and private sphere is socially constructed and changes over time. o Ex. Provinces unaware of newfie slanger, fraser discusses that when people reveal their beliefs in public others become aware and understand. The Public Sphere: An encyclopedia Article Jürgen Habermas The Public Sphere  The public sphere is the realm of our social life and where public opinion can be formed  In a larger public body, communication requires specific means for transmitting information and influencing those who receive it  Today newspapers, magazines, radio, and television are the media of the public sphere  The public sphere mediates society and state Liberal Model of the Public Sphere  Newspapers changed from institutions for the publication of news into bearers and leaders of public opinion – weapons of party politics  A new elements emerged between the gathering and publication of news – the editorial staff  Newspaper publishers changed from vendors of recent news to dealers of public opinion  The press is a mediator and intensifier of public discussion, no longer a medium to just spread news  In the transition from the literary journalism of private individuals to the public services of mass media the public sphere was changed by the increase in private interests which received prominence in the mass media Public Sphere in the Social Welfare State Mass Democracy  Because of the diffusion of press and propaganda, the public body expanded beyond the bounds of the bourgeoisie  The public sphere is now a competition of interests  Social organizations that deal with the state act in the political public sphere through the agency of political parties or directly in connection with the public administration  Social powers now assume political functions leading to a “refeudalizaiton” of the public sphere  Large organizations must assure themselves of support from the mass population through a display of openness  The idea of the public sphere as a mass democracy calls for a rational reorganization of social and political power under mutual control of rival organizations committed to the public sphere in their internal structure and relations with the state and each other. 2) How does advertising influence Canada’s media industries? Explain your answer with reference to four of the following: Asquith & Hearn; Smythe; Skinner; Eamon; McLean; and/or the textbook. “Audience Power Versus Public Needs: Five Arguments Against Ratings” Eamon, R  2 arguments against the rating system: reasons for questionable accuracy of ratings and ways in which ratings have been misused by broadcasters  Ratings are a ways of empowering people to have the final say on TV programming.  Ratings provide valuable info for programmers and advertisers  Ratings industry exists to let advertisers know which programs will enable them to reach the desired audience in terms of size/composition  It is the requirements of advertisers that determine the nature and form of ratings data (advertisers need more detailed data while programmers only want to reach the largest population)  Ratings should not be treated as reports of human behaviour but as products (commodities shaped by corporate strategies)  Producers of pop culture sometimes exert strong control over the market and seek to maximize profits through standardized products/formulas which people accept but don’t always want  Forms of audience measurement are selected on the basis of economic goals, not according to rules of social science  Ratings companies overestimate audiences to increase rates  Constancy hypothesis – choice in programming does not vary substantially between light and heavy viewers  Most obvious factor affecting the rating of a program is the nature of the programs in which it is competing  Its difficult to sum up a general situation in a particular program field in terms of ratings or in numerical terms of any kind  What constitutes as more popular: more frequent viewing or more widespread viewing? (It is a matter of definition and the definition preferred by advertisers may not support cultural democracy)  Main value of audience measures from a programming standpoint is as a guide to how programs are developing in terms of their particular objectives rather than as basis for comparing one program to another “When Head Office Was Upstairs: How Corporate Concentration Changed a Television Newsroom” James S. McLean  Analyses newsgathering operations from 1980s compared to today in the newsroom of CKCK (CTV) in Regina  With respect to the effects on the work lives of journalists  Used to be a busy news room, heavy in noise, rushing to meet deadlines  Lots of interactions between photographers, editors and reporters  Now – the complete opposite; quiet area and technology has replaced a lot of the noise  CKCK is now CTV  “There is a fear that individual media, independent voices, and local and national expressions will be submerged – drowned in a deadly sea of conformity”  Concern for ongoing corporate concentration in media  Concentration of media ownership concerns are similar to the US (Big 5 vs. Big 4)  Conformity and hegemony go hand in hand  Profit drives control  Roles have now been meshed into one – “video-journalists” o One will often act as the reporter and the other as the videographer to dispatch a situation at their own will  There is lots of room for misconception  The greatest concern is the respect to quality  Core values and roles of journalists in society  Exact standard of vigilance with regard to public good  CKCK – before reporting, journalists were to sit together and discuss rationally and critically the matters  Their role was to dig out improper behaviours and ensure that the system did not bend rules for those in power and influence  They were to act as agents of transparency for the social and political life of the community  Then: “to give the public means of forming an opinion” (Habermas)  Now, in CTV Regina this has all been called into question – as per the limited work environment “Minding The Growing Gaps: Alternative Media in Canada” David Skinner  Alternative media provide a range of perspective and modes of communication that are not readily available through the profit-driven media that dominate the Canadian mediascape.  Compare and contrast some of the features of alternative media with those of their corporate cousins  John Downing: “radical alternative media” media that explicitly challenged dominant institutions, ideas or values. These media “expand the range of information, reflection, and exchange from the often narrow hegemonic limits of mainstream media discourse. These media often have a close relationship with an ongoing social movement and they all have in common that they break somebody’s rules.  Clemencia Rodriguez: appears there are only two types of media: mainstream media and alternative media. Media that are actively involved in “intervening and transforming the established mediascape.” And thereby working to empower the communities, which they are involved.  Problems with corporate media can be traced to the fact that news and commentary are shaped by a consumerist orientation and the drive to capture audiences with particular demographic qualities. o In newspapers for instance, large portions of the paper such as the “Home”, “Lifestyles” and “Automotive” sections are devoted to showcasing and reviewing consumer products, and throughout the paper most of the pages are laid out so that the eye lands first on the advertising and not the news. Information presented by corporate media on the Web suffers similar problems, largely focusing on celebrities, entertainment news and product reviews.  Narrative forms of news stories are shaped to fit a “news hole” which is the space allotted to the news after the ads have been placed on the newspaper or web page.  News stories often take the perspective of the consumer analyzing conflicts and events in terms of their impact on the wallets of readers and audience members, rather than their larger impact on social justice, equality and the environment.  Info and ideas that might be too controversial or offensive to main audience group may be left out.  Alternative media are guided by a purpose or mandate other than profit, such as providing a range of ideals and opinions that are not represented corporately. They are generally independently owned and usually operated on a not-for-profit or cooperative basis. In some instances they do not accept advertising and when they do, the income it provides is seen as secondary to serving specific community or social purposes.  While corporate media are structured to promote consumption of the products they advertise, alternative media are more about “mobilizing” their audiences to other than economic ends. o This is because alternative media often act to forward the interests of the communities they serve rather than sell their audiences products that writers like Rodriguez argue that alternative media are socially “empowering”.  Rather than tailor content, organizational structure and production practices to maximize return on investment alternative media foreground specific social issues and values.  The size and demographics of their audiences are often unknown, making advertising and subscriptions sales difficult. And even when audience information is available and audience demographics amenable to advertising sales the small size of their audiences and the concerns of impact of advertising revenue on content often mitigate against this form of financing.  It would be mistake to see media as divided into two camps: corporate or mainstream. The range of media available should be seen as a continuum with alternative media working to engender modes of communication that are circumscribed by dominant market-driven media forms. Marxist Analysis and the Frankfurt School (Textbook)  Marxism sees society as animated by a set of social forces based on capitalist forms or production  Marxist perspectives on the media generally focus on how the media support dominant interests in society, helping maintain power and control over time.  Marxist critics consider the ways in which media integrate audiences into the larger capitalist system.  These intellectuals at the Frankfurt school argued that capitalist methods of mass production had profound impacts on cultural life.  People’s wants and desires were both created and satisfied through the marketplace.  This new way of life was devoid of any deeper meaning or understanding of the world.  Culture and media serve only one master: capital: All culture becomes a product of industrial capitalism and the guiding logic is one of profit for the capitalist.  The audience is a tool of the capitalist economy  Expansion of certain cultural industries circulates particular influence throughout the world. 3. In international trade agreements, Canada argues that culture should be treated differently from other industries. Explain this position with reference to four of the following: Horkheimer & Adorno; Hesmondhalgh; Kuhn; Armstrong; and/or the textbook. Magazines, Cultural Policy and Globalization: The Forced Retreat of the State? Sarah Armstrong  Developments associated with economic globalization have heightened the challenge of using domestic policy to foster and protect culture  Global market culture and local culture models must work together to protect culture  In 1961 the Royal Commission of Canada stressed any government assistance accorded with the publishing industry should be done with the goal of promoting Canadian periodicals, not suppression of foreign periodicals  Periodicals are an important contributor to the development of Canadian culture (provide a Canadian point of view and give access to diversity of nation’s cultures)  Preserving this diversity and ensuring continued access to these periodicals are threatened by forces of economic globalization)  Economic diversity is posing new challenges for preservation of cultural diversity: - Developments in information technology have made it possible for publishers to transmit products by-passing Canada’s trade regulations - New international trade agreements have eased rules that govern trade in goods and services  Two competing models for cultural policy making: - Local Culture Model: defines culture as a way of life and deserving state support - Global Market Model: defines culture as a commodity  The international trade environment favors the global market model and the local culture model will only survive if countries can act to change the international trade regime  Globalization threatens local cultures as the powers in the global village have their own political agenda  Popular publications spread values more effectively than information  Transnationalization and industrialization of cultural production, ownership, and distribution combined with advances in technology have forced countries to rethink their relationship to cultural industries  Local culture model - Culture is a way of life and an essential element of a communities culture and provides citizens the resources needed to participate in democratic society  *Split run magazines The Culture Industry Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno  Under monopoly all mass culture is identical, and the lines of its artificial framework begin to show through.  Movies and radio need no longer pretend to be art. The truth that they are just business is made into an ideology in order to justify the rubbish the deliberately produce.  The basis on which technology acquires power over society is the power of those whose economic hold over society is greatest.  All participants are listeners and authoritatively subject them to broadcast programs which are exactly the same  Any trace of spontaneity from the public in official broadcasting is controlled and absorbed by talent scouts, studio competitions and official programs of every kind selected by professionals. Talented performers belong to the industry long before it displays them, otherwise they would not be so eager to fit in.  There is an economic mechanism used for the selection of material and an agreement/determination of all executive authorities not to produce or sanction anything that in any way differs form their own rules, their own ideas about consumers or above all themselves.  Culture monopolies are weak and dependent in comparison to the most powerful sectors of industry. They cannot afford to neglect their appeasement of the real holders of power if their sphere of activity in mass society is not to undergo a series of purges.  The dependence of the most powerful broadcasting company on the electrical industry, or of the motion picture industry on the banks is characteristic of the whole sphere, whose individual branches are themselves economically interwoven.  Marked differentiations such as those of A and B films, or of stories in magazines in different price ranges, depend not so much on subject matter as on classifying, organizing and labeling consumers. Something is provided for all so that none may escape; the distinctions are emphasized and extended.  The public is catered for with a hierarchal range of mass-produced products of varying quality. Everybody must choose the category of mass product turned out for his type. Consumers appear as statistics on research organization charts and are divided by income groups.  There is nothing left for the consumer to classify. Producers have done it for him.  The short interval sequence which effective in a hit song…etc. are all ready made clichés to be slotted in anywhere  Real Life is becoming indistinguishable form the movies. Sound film leaves o room for imagination or reflection by audience. The film forces its victims to equate it directly with reality.  The triumph of advertising in the culture industry is that consumers feel compelled to buy and use its products even though they see through them.  Culture industry now controls how we construct our ideologies and act as models for personality. Textbook David Hesmondhalgh  Makes us aware that changes are occurring globally and why they are happening now as opposed to an earlier place in time o Technological convergence: Most media of communication are now technologically compatible through the digitization of their content o Some of the technologies in the past were analogue or mechanical technologies and then replaced with digital o The digitization of all content means that it can be recorded, stored and accessed on the same device: started with computers, palm pilots, etc. and now on every smart phone you can buy  Corporate convergence o Is diagonal integration o Companies which once specialized in different media of communication of communication are now able to integrate operations efficiently o Is any media conglomerate able to achieve higher profits?  Moving towards better ways of achieving profits, but many find that they cant turn a profit from integration itself  Horkheimer and Adorno: If all culture/communication is enmeshed in the capitalist marketplace…then all cultural produce espouses the ruling ideology. Internet radio flows: Between the local and the global Fernando Kuhn  The term 'international radio' has traditionally been used to refer to programmes that were broadcast to foreign audiences by government-owned radio stations from most countries using shortwave broadcasting technology.  Since 1995, though, the possibility of making live transmissions simultaneously available on the Internet has meant that radio stations can reach international audiences without the limitations faced by shortwave radio.  The single public radio station per country, sometimes only operating for a few hours a day with repeated news, has been replaced by a multitude of stations broadcasting their regular programming 24 hours a day without repetition.  The first initiatives regarding the streaming of live radio programmes on the Internet date from the mid-1990s. Progressive Networks –currently RealNetworks – made them possible after the creation of a software package in 1995 designed to convert live feeds into digital signals, to deliver them through the web and to receive and play these digital signals to the listener in almost real time.  In any event, there had not been a significant change in the number of radio stations with international reach prior to the birth of ‘web radio’ which has provided a great opportunity for the internationalization of any given radio station and the opening of a ‘whole world of radio available to listen to online’ for listeners with Internet access.  One can argue that the distribution of radio stations reflected in the sample only represents the continuity of what used to happen in the context of shortwave radio, where the power of countries like the United States, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom, France and China was even more clearly demonstrated through the use of potent transmitters, the amount of daily broadcasting.  Undoubtedly, reaching international audiences is more feasible now than it was two or three decades ago. 4. Siegel believes that Canadian media industries face four problems. Which one of these four problems is the most important to understand the media in Canada? Defend your answer with reference to three or more course-related sources (lectures or readings). Arthur Siegel (1996) Politics and the Media in Canada Four “problems” for mass communication in Canada 1. Geography 2. Population distribution 3. Proximity of the United States 4. Bilingualism 1. Geography -Canada is second largest country on Earth -10% of the world, many resources Distribution of Native People’s in North America, ca.1740 Harold Innis Empire & Communications (1950) Constitution Act, 1867 “. It shall be the Duty of the Government and parliament in Canada to provide for…a Railway connecting the River St. Lawrence with the City of Halifax in Nova Scotia.” [Repealed in 1893 when railway was done] -People understood there needed to be a physical link for communication -Telecommunications started with the telegraph “Lines of steam or other ships, railways, canals, telegraphs, and other works and undertakings connecting the Province with any other.” “Technological determinism” Theory that technology is the guiding force behind all human behaviour. Mary Vipond refers to this as the “communication myth” -It is our goal as individuals to build communities, that’s what pulls us together, if we didn’t value this and WANT to come together, trade together there wouldn’t be communication -Technology is helpful but it is only a tool 2.Population Distribution Population estimates, 2012 -We are #35 in the World -(BC, Alberta, Quebec, Ontario=86% of Canada) Economy of scale: (n) the saving in cost of production that is due to mass production. -Generally, the more you produce and sell, the lower your per unit cost becomes -Mass produced goods are relatively cheap -Custom-made goods are relatively expensive -E.g. Ontario, Toronto radius: 6.5 million Saskatchewan, Regina radius: under 1 million Average daily circulation of leading paper, 2013: Star in Toronto, 358,000 Leader-Post in Regina 42,000 -Directly effects media industries 3. Proximity to the United States Most Canadians live within 150km (or 2 hrs.) of the American Border USA media industry has: 1. More capital 2. Larger market… better economy of scale -US, larger market, greater sales, cost per unit is less -American media products have 2 clear advantages -Greater capital investment (greater quality?) -Lower production, cost spread out over bigger market “Protectionism” Sire John A Macdonald instituted the National Policy to protect Canada’s manufacturing industry in 1870’s Governments have used taxes, tariffs and Canadian content regulations to protect Canadian cultural industries since the 1920’s E.g. MAPL system -Radio stations must play 35% Canadian musical content 4. Bilingualism -2006 Census shows areas that have 70% bilingual, French and English, most Canadians are not bilingual in the official languages Historically francophones have represented at least 20% of Canada’s population -Canada needs 2 media systems, we are duplicating a lot of our infrastructure by duplicating in French and English -Even advertising, will it appeal the same way culturally? Not an efficient system The 4 problems: They define the communications environment What is Siegel’s problem? Are these four factors affecting media really ‘problems’? -‘Problem’ suggests something’s wrong -Why call them problems? -Geography hasn’t prevented mass media -Suggested he calls it a problem, because they inhibit his ‘vision’ of media -Does he have a set of normative assumptions regarding how he media should exist in Canada? -Does he believe that these factors prevent the existence of a single, participatory public sphere in Canada? Source 1: Lecture Notes Monday January 26, 2015 USA media industry has: 1. More capital 2. Larger market… better economy of scale -US, larger market, greater sales, cost per unit is less -American media products have 2 clear advantages -Greater capital investment (greater quality?) -Lower production, cost spread out over bigger market “Protectionism” Sire John A Macdonald instituted the National Policy to protect Canada’s manufacturing industry in 1870’s Governments have used taxes, tariffs and Canadian content regulations to protect Canadian cultural industries since the 1920’s E.g. MAPL system -Radio stations
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