Final Exam Study Guide
1. The exam covers the second half of the course only. It is not cumulative except for your
response to the written essay question, which can come from any part of the course.
2. The format of the exam is the same as the midterm: 100 questions in a multiple choice,
true/false, matching format (worth 76% of the total) plus short written essay (worth 24% of the
3. The exam covers:
A. Lectures, including content of videos and sound clips. To prepare, review all lecture
notes and make your own list of key terms and concepts. The concepts drawn
from Bolter and Grusin (mediation, remediation, immediacy, and hypermediacy)
are covered on the final exam.
B. Additional Readings. Questions will be drawn from additional readings as follows:
Young, “Telegraphic History of Early American Cinema” – Read only the introduction
(pp. 229-232) and know and understand the material on The Lonedale Operator, which
we viewed in class. You do not need to read the entire essay.
Orgeron, “Media Celebrity in the Age of the Image” – Be able to answer questions on
Part I and Part II only. You do not need to read the entire essay
Sterling & Kitross, “The Golden Age of Programing” – Read and understand so that you
are prepared to answer 1-2 questions drawn from entire essay
Sterling, “Radio Broadcasting Pre-1945” and “Radio Broadcasting Post-1945” – Not on
Spigel, “Making Room for TV” – Discussed in lecture. Be prepared to answer questions
on exam drawn from entire essay.
Siegel, “Large-Screen Video Display & Live Sports Spectacle” – Read and understand so
that you are prepared to answer 1-2 questions drawn from entire essay
Paglia & Postman “She Wants Her TV! He Wants His Book!” – Read and understand so
that you are prepared to identify quotations by their author.
Who argues that “Symbols are infinitely repeatable, but they are not
inexhaustible. If you use God to sell frankfurters . . . you drain the symbol [of] the
very meaning” A. Neil Postman; B. Camille Paglia
1 Manovich, “Language of New Media” – Discussed in lecture. Be prepared to answer
questions on exam drawn from entire essay.
Hillis, Petit & Jarrett, “Introduction” to Google and the Culture of Search – Not on exam
Kirkland, “Remediation in Horror Videogames” – Example essay to inspire final
projects. It provides a good summary of Bolter and Grusin’s ideas.
Exam covers Chapters 8-14 only. A summary of each chapter and a glossary of key terms
follow. Exam questions will be drawn from the summary and from the textbook.
Reading the summary alone is not sufficient preparation for the exam. You should
be familiar with terms listed in the chapter glossary and be able to match terms to
definitions. You do not need to memorize acronyms, though you should, for example,
recognize ARPANET and know what it refers to
Dates. You do not need to memorize dates; however, be aware of approximate dates of
major inventions, including cinema, radio, television, and the internet.
Names. You do not need to memorize names; however, you should be able to recognize
the names of major inventors such as Thomas Edison and Guglielmo Marconi and know
their major contribution(s) to the history of media and technology.
4. “Cheet Sheet”. You are allowed the use of a cheet sheet. It must follow the same format rules
as the cheat sheet for the midterm:
ONE single-sided 8.5” x 11” page of lined paper of hand-written notes that you have
written yourself. Only one line of hand-written text per line allowed. Pages jammed with
tiny script that only you can read are not allowed. You are required to turn in your one
page of hand-written notes with your completed exam.
Cheat sheets that do not follow the format rules will be confiscated during the exam.
5. Short essay. Write a well-structured essay that discusses 3 key concepts or ideas that you will
take with you from this class. These 3 key concepts or ideas may be drawn from any part of the
course, including from the first half.
In your essay, you must A. state the concept; B. provide an illustrative example or examples; C.
discuss the implications of the concept and why it matters, why you think it’s important, and why
it’s worth remembering beyond just spilling back information on an exam. You must do this for
each of the 3 concepts or ideas you choose. Successful essays will be analytic and not merely
descriptive. Be sure to discuss why you think your chosen concepts are important. The best
essays (A and A+) will relate the 3 chosen concepts to each other and not just provide a list.
2 Essays will be evaluated by Professor Petit based on clarity, organization, and analytic depth and
You must write the essay “live”. That is, you may NOT use your cheat sheet to write your essay
in advance. You may use your cheat sheet to make notes toward your essay, but in note form
only. As I evaluate your essay, I will compare it to your cheat sheet, and if you have merely
copied complete sentences and paragraphs from your cheat sheet into your exam booklet, you
will lose 20% (two letter grades) on your essay.
Summary Outline of Textbook
Chapter 8: Movies: Made by More of Us
A. Making movies today means much more than Hollywood. It is international. It is YouTube.
Cameras that capture motion are in millions of hands, and that matters.
B. Much of our knowledge of cultures other than our own comes through the movies. The skill
of moviemaking is one of the reasons we do not create our own entertainment.
C. Even films that do not set out to leave a message still do so in subtle ways. They show how
other people live, their behavior, homes, cars, clothes and food. Watching movies has sometimes
substituted for direct contact with other people and other activities.
D. We “go” to the movies in different ways. Increasingly the movies come to us anywhere we
E. Today, more people than ever before are producing movies, thanks to digital technology. The
ability to make a film that looks relatively professional has become affordable for many people.
This was not possible during the golden age of the studios.
F. The social effects of films have been extensive, including knocking down barriers of
misunderstanding among different cultures. However, films have also been used in the opposite
direction, to foster hate.
G. Censorship is a constant companion. No means of communication of such power can escape
the wish to control what can be seen or known by the public.
H. No one person invented motion pictures. They came about through many small steps. None of
the early inventors or business leaders indicated that they had any conception of how important
the movies would become in public life.
I. The invention of the movies is based on three roots: chemistry, stills-in-motion, and projection.
3 J. The story of its invention is also the story of individuals, especially Muybridge, Edison,
Dickson, and the Lumière brothers.
K. Moviegoers have wanted escape through the fiction film, not reality.
L. The early growth of the movies can be credited to a great extent to savvy entrepreneurs who
bucked the motion picture trust and built Hollywood.
M. The poor, particularly the immigrants who crowded American cities, found inexpensive
pleasure for their families in the silent films showing in the neighborhood nickelodeons. The
immigrants’ difficulty with the English language was no barrier. The silent film helped in the
effort to assimilate them into the American culture.
N. The star system made motion picture actors larger than life. Their faces and names were the
most recognizable on the planet. To a great extent, they still are.
O. By its choices the public influenced the direction the movies have taken both as art and
industry. The switch to sound and color was dictated by public preferences. So was the
preference for happy endings. The musical, the western, the historical epic, and the animated
fairy tale all owe a debt to public demand.
P. The Hollywood studios tried to avoid controversy. Few anti-Nazi films were produced until
World War II. Few issue films were produced until the postwar years, and the messages that
were shown were more likely to be tempered than strident. Change has come slowly, but it has
Q. Before television, newsreels were part of a cinema’s bill of fare. As technological
considerations improved, the newsreels, in combination with radio newscasts, melded into
television newscasts. Documentaries have remained a small part of the motion picture industry,
usually produced by studio outsiders.
R. To avoid censorship by civic and religious groups, the Hollywood motion picture industry
created its own censorship boards and rules. The PG rating system is an example.
S. All leading nations of the world and many of the smaller nations have their own motion
picture industries. They are a point of national pride like a national airline. Some have notable
histories and have influenced motion picture production worldwide.
T. Today, the motion picture industry is as internationally integrated as any industry in the world.
U. The combination of divestiture ordered by the Supreme Court and the arrival of television led
to the decline of the Hollywood studio system. Studios still exist but the business has changed.
Once considered a competitor, television is now an integral part of the business. Independent
producers have gained footholds. At the retail level, malls replaced downtown movie palaces.
First VHS, then DVD sales and rentals and now online delivery have cut sharply into ticket sales.
4 V. The postwar drive-in theaters were a herald of the public shift to watch movies at home.
W. Home movies have been part of movie making for decades, now more than ever thanks to
inexpensive software and hardware. The phrase desktop video has found its way into the
language next to desktop publishing.
X. Part of the story of moviemaking as well as of television has been the development of video
recording. The camcorder has had an egalitarian effect and has led to societal changes.
Y. Video technology has changed significant elements of education, sometimes at the expense of
book reading. School libraries have become “media centers.”
Camcorder: A video camera and recorder in a single portable unit.
Cinema: A motion picture theater.
Epic: In motion pictures, a grand, historical film. Epics normally are expensive to make, run
longer than most films, and have larger casts.
Genre: Type or style. In motion pictures, examples of genre include musicals and westerns.
Magic lantern: A device for projecting images onto a wall.
Movie palace: A large cinema featuring an ornate architectural design.
Newsreel: A compilation of news and feature film stories presented as part of a cinema program.
Newsreels died out after the arrival of television, but they were one of the bases from which
television newscasts emerged.
Nickelodeon: A cinema converted from a store. It showed a series of brief films for a nickel. The
films usually were projected against a white wall or even a bedsheet.
Self-censorship code: Created by the motion picture industry itself in its effort to head off
government or religious censorship. G, PG, R, and NC-17 (formerly X) are age-directed, self-
Stills-in-motion: A method to make still images seem to move. Toys like the Thaumatrope spun
to create the illusion known as persistence of vision.
5 Chapter 9: Radio: Helping Us through the Rough Years
A. During the Depression and World War II, considered the “Golden Age of Radio,” the radio
set in the family parlor brought entertainment, information, and hope to an American population
in need of all three. In a nation too large for a national press based on available technology, radio
commentators provided national voices.
B. We can divide radio history into four stages: wireless telegraphy, wireless telephony,
broadcasting, and narrowcasting. Each stage has had distinct characteristics, but there was too
much overlapping to fix them chronologically.
C. The last half of the 19th century saw scientific theories and experiments to identify and
produce radio waves. The young Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi recognized its business
possibilities. Turned down by the Italian Post Office, he took his invention to England, where the
potential of radio in shipping was recognized by that maritime nation. Marconi, supported by
well-connected relatives, would not sell his invention to the British government. Instead, he set
up a private business.
D. As his technology improved, competition arrived, especially from the German government.
Marconi operators ignored a ruling at the first international conference for agreement on distress
E. Radio pioneers at first did not think of broadcasting and did not want casual listeners tuning
in. Radio’s dots and dashes were primarily for ship-to-shore, point-to-point communication.
F. Radio went into combat in the Russo-Japanese war in 1904. Radio helped Japan win the most
one-sided victory in naval history. Radio was also used in airplanes for artillery spotting during
World War I. It has played an extensive role in warfare ever since.
G. The audion tube invented in 1906 opened the path to voices on radio.
H. The sinking of the Titanic was a factor in 1912 in passing the first American radio law. A
license would be required to broadcast, but these were easy to obtain.
I. The U.S. Navy took over radio transmission during World War I. After the war, some
hobbyists tried voice broadcasting, among them Frank Conrad in Pittsburgh. His hobby led to the
start in 1920 of KDKA, broadcasting on a regular schedule.
J. The business of broadcasting was just the sale of radio receiving sets and transmission
equipment until commercials began in 1922.
K. Inventions, competition, and quarrels among individuals led to the same by corporations.
Court battles over patents led to compromises between the “radio group” that focused on the
audience and the “telephone group” that focused on the sponsors.
6 L. The insistent demand from all quarters for the right to broadcast overwhelmed the available
frequencies. Pleas for government regulation led to the Radio Act of 1927. The Communication
Act of 1934 followed. The latter, administered by the FCC, continued essentially unchanged
until a new act in 1996. The principle behind government involvement has been that the airwaves
belong to the public.
M. Other nations chose other paths. The BBC model of government direction is the broadcasting
basis of many countries. In dictatorships, governments view broadcasting as a means of
N. Technical improvements such as the rise of national networks, AC power and built-in
loudspeakers changed the nature of broadcasting from the enjoyment of hobbyists to family
O. During the Depression of the 1930s, quarrels over advertising and news transmission led to
the Press-Radio War. A chief result was the growth of radio news.
P. Faced with hostility from conservative newspapers, F.D.R. used radio “fireside chats” to
secure public support for his social programs and his pro-British policies.
Q. In the midst of the widespread Depression misery, the public was grateful for the
entertainment provided by radio. Comedians became household names. So did news
commentators, who sometimes influenced national policy.
R. Importantly but generally unnoticed, people’s habits changed because of the time spent each
day listening to radio programs. This has continued in the age of television.
S. The power of radio to influence the public was exemplified by “Doctor” John Brinkley and by
the reaction to The War of the Worlds.
T. Political maneuvering to support television delayed adoption of FM until after World War II.
U. With the arrival of television in the postwar years, resources shifted out of radio, but radio did
not die. It was reinvented. Changes included the decline of radio networks and network
programs, the growth of local programming, less news and a dependence on recorded music.
Over the decades, independent radio stations were taken over by radio chains. To cut costs,
broadcasts tended to follow uniform formats and to be heavily automated.
V. The number of U.S. radio stations since World War II has quadrupled. Radio stations
switched from trying to reach the entire public to seeking targeted audiences. Some stations
targeted ethnic minorities by creating a “sound” that identified the station through its choice of
music, its deejays, and even its commercials. This is defined as “narrowcasting.”
7 W. One overlooked difference of postwar radio was that people no longer looked at their radios,
a sign that radio was an accompaniment to other activities, like waking up, driving, eating,
working, jogging, etc. People sat together to watch television, not listen to radio.
X. Some conservative radio commentators in recent decades have insisted not only that they are
not journalists, but also that radio is not part of “media.”
Y. Radio continues to evolve. Subscriber-paid satellite radio, streaming internet stations, digital
transmission, and the potential of AM stereo radio are meeting the public desire for choice. The
continued division of the audience into smaller groups of listeners inevitably results. Radio
broadcasting that once pushed its listeners together increasingly pulls them apart.
Z. Radio broadcasting from its beginnings in the 1920s has also affected how people have chosen
to be entertained and informed. Reading requires active participation in the selection of what to
read and the act of reading itself. Once a radio station is chosen, listening is essentially a passive
Broadcasting: Radio transmission to as many listeners as possible.
Clear channel: an AM radio frequency on which only one station is permitted to operate
nationally. The very few clear channel radio stations thus can cover a very large area without
Coherer: An early experimental device that indicated the reception of a radio signal.
Crystal and Cat Whisker: A homemade device for receiving a radio signal.
FM (frequency modulation): Radio transmission signals that vary a carrier wave by the number
of their pulses in a time period, not the intensity or amplitude (AM) of their pulses.
Ham radio: Amateur radio transmission.
Narrowcasting: Broadcasting targeted to a specific audience.
Radio: The system of wireless transmission of sound.
Wireless telegraphy: Radio transmission of telegraph codes: dots and dashes.
Wireless telephony: Radio transmission of sound, specifically a voice point to point.
8 Chapter 10: Television: Pictures in Our Parlors
A. Despite all the criticism and all the blame for so many social problems, television has been
and continues to be enormously popular all over the world. This, even in the face of competition
from the internet and other forms of mediated communication.
B. The influence of television has extended to every facet of life, including choices about
desirable careers and life styles, what and how much to buy, ethical standards, relationships,
topics of conversations, behavior, and how we should spend our discretionary time.
C. Even when not watching television programs, we are using television sets to watch movies or
D. The technical roots of television precede even radio roots, going back to early 19th century
E. Many experiments by scientists in a number of countries led finally in the 1930s to a workable
system of electronic—not mechanical—television.
F. In the United States, experiments were slowed nearly to a halt by World War II because
research was needed for radar and other military applications.
G. Following the war, Americans flush with cash after wartime shortages and primed with
articles about the promise of “radio with pictures” were an eager market for television sets.
H. The FCC mandated a freeze on new stations from 1948 to 1952 while it sorted out technical
decisions on bandwidth, the NTSC system, and color.
I. Efforts to control of the TV remote in the family lead to power struggles, drawing the attention
of social researchers.
J. While most American broadcasting has been commercial, public television in the U.S.
managed to gain a better foothold than public radio achieved a generation earlier. On the other
hand, nations in which government-run television systems predominated have moved toward
more popular commercial programming.
K. One way or another, television costs have to be met. In the United States, commercials are the
funding basis for most cable and broadcast service. In Britain and Japan, as well as in many other
countries, fees have been collected from owners of radio and television sets. In dictatorships, the
government collects taxes and from them it distributes the funds that support broadcasting.
American public broadcasting relies on several sources: corporation grants, government grants,
and appeals for public donations during membership drives.
9 L. Television did not destroy the motion picture industry, as some feared. The two industries
now work together to the benefit of both. Television did displace to some extent cinemas as the
venue for visual entertainment.
M. Audience research continues as an important part of the television industry. However, TiVo,
the internet, and other new technology have made research more difficult. Research into who is
watching what may be a less true picture than they once were.
N. Principal criticism of television centers on its depictions of sex and violence, especially its
sexual content. However, there are more of both than ever. The increased sex content in daily
soap operas is a case in point. The public is apparently getting what it wants.
O. Except regarding children, little attention is paid to the time spent watching TV. There are
few organized efforts to reduce viewing time despite Newton Minow’s calling the TV schedule
“a vast wasteland.” V-chip and the Children’s Television Act have had some positive results in
improving what children watch.
P. In recent years television has taken on social issues that once were avoided. Almost no topic is
taboo today. Among the greatest changes has been the increased number of African-American
actors and the situation comedies targeted to African-American audiences.
Q. Notable among other programming changes has been the growth of “reality” shows and the
placing of contestants in seemingly dangerous or clearly humiliating positions. Again, the public
appears to be getting what it wants.
R. Television news grew out of the roots of radio news and movie newsreels. TV news is a
strong factor in network, local, and cable operations; many stations identify themselves largely
by their local news operations. News blocks are longer. Network magazine shows are popular.
Several cable channels carry news 24/7. Some news anchors, like movie stars, are household
S. Television news history has been marked by a number of events and ongoing situations,
including the attacks by Joseph McCarthy and Spiro Agnew, the John F. Kennedy assassination,
the Vietnam War, Watergate, the civil rights movement, the space race, and the coverage of the
Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars that have included the embedding of reporters with military
T. The internet has cut into television news viewing along with newspaper reading. Both are
skewing older. Many younger viewers prefer the opinions in blogs. All in all, this is a further
example of the movement in mediated communication to a greater number of choices and to
fractioning the audience. The era of three dominant daily network newscasts is gone.
U. Cable television began after World War II as a way for people far from a television station to
receive a signal. Started in small towns, it moved to cities and it increased its offerings. Several
10 hundred channels are now available in large markets, supported by user fees and commercials.
This results in a greater number of choices and audience fractioning.
V. Fractioning has the potential for electioneering that sends different candidates’ messages to
W. Transmission by communication satellite underlies national distribution and the creation of
HBO-type operations and superstations. More than two-thirds of American homes now utilize a
cable or DBS service.
X. Personal video recorders like TiVo, and other new technologies such as digital downloading
are causing fundamental shifts in the television industry as it tries to get a handle on who is
watching what and how to profit from the new technologies.
Y. Among other experiments are efforts at interactive television that give viewers some control
over what they see within a sports event or a drama. So far, these have not met wide audience
acceptance. Most viewers just seem to want to lean back and watch. Stay tuned!
Chapter Glossary [Note: You do not need to memorize these acronyms.]
CATV: Community antenna television, the predecessor to cable television. It was limited to
transmitting a clear signal to its subscribers. It did not originate programming from distant
sources as cable does.
F.C.C.: The Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. regulatory agency that sets
standards and requirements for broadcasting, telephone, satellite, and other communication
HDTV (High definition television): The digital television format that is replacing NTSC and
other older analog formats.
Mechanical television: A system based on the Nipkow disk. The reception quality was so poor
compared to electronic television that it was abandoned.
NTSC, PAL, SECAM: Analog television broadcast systems that determine the number of picture
screen lines and the rate they are “refreshed.” NTSC stands for National Television System
Committee, the group that standardized the format for the United States.
UHF: Channels above 13, based on radio spectrum frequencies.
VHF: Channels 2 to 13.
11 Chapter 11: Computers: Beyond Calculation
A. The survey of computer usage in this chapter is restricted to the computer itself as a means of
calculation, word and image processing and storage. The next chapter examines the internet.
B. Many of the current uses of computers have nothing to do with what computers were
originally created for. Yet when people realized how the computer could extend life’s choices,
they could hardly wait to get one.
C. Computers were invented solely to calculate. Roots go back to the use of pebbles and fingers
in counting. Merchants across Europe and Asia used the abacus in ancient times. Some still do.
D. Mechanical counting devices invented during the Middle Ages were followed by the 19
century British mathematician Charles Babbage, who laid down the theories of a general purpose
computer and programing. On a different track Herman Hollerith invented data processing.
E. After World War II, the potential of computers for handling text and for communication was
recognized. Later, so was their potential for playing games. The exponential expansion of
processing power and memory permitted development in these areas. Input and output
attachments and other peripherals were invented.
F. As demand grew, one-of-a-kind assembled computers were replaced by mass production.
Mainframe computers were joined by minicomputers and in the 1970s by microcomputers. As
the variety of potential uses expanded, small computers moved into the home. Besides
standalone machines, computer chips became part of appliances and toys.
G. Software for specific functions made the microcomputer a practical appliance for the home.
The programs no longer required engineering skills. Of all the software, word processing may
have been the most useful to most people. However, the vision of a paperless office has not been
realized. Electronic storage and communication has, if anything, swelled the use of paper.
H. Among the many changes that expanded computer power has made possible are desktop
publishing and desktop video. Among the many communication changes are cell phone usage
and worldwide expression of opinion through the internet. All of them are changing what
ordinary people are able to do and want to do.
I. The use of computers in every phase of news production has been a significant part of the
history of news in the last decades of the 20th century and the opening decades of the new
century. Online news began, for the most part, as a kitchen activity with the news heavily larded
with opinions. As its attraction to young adults spread, traditional new