1. Name and define each of the six functions of TV in American society. Provide an example of
• Commercial industry – enormously profitable, grossing over $100 billion annually through
advertising, cable fees, DVD sales, and other sources of revenue
• Democratic institution – informing American citizens and serving the public interest through
news and electoral coverage, and governed by public policy decisions and regulations
• Textual form – a unique creative form, with distinct narrative structure and set of genres that
distinguish it from other media
• Site of cultural representation – a mirror of our world, offering and oftendistorted vision of
national identity, as well as shaping our perceptions of various groups of people
• Part of everyday life – viewing and talking about it plays a central, albeit underexamined, role
in our everyday routines
• Technological medium – the central screen for a number of digital entertainment and
information media in the home, from DVDs to video games
2. What is the chief economic function of TV? How does this influence TV content including
• Chief function of TV is to attract audiences for advertisers
4. What is deficit spending? Are producers ever in debt? Why? What’s the ultimate payoff for
• Investing a significant amount of money over first few years of a series in hopes of “making
it big”, a hit tv show can bring in money that covers all the investments put in to multiple
shows if they failed
5. What is a showrunner? Why are they important? Who are the two showrunners watched in
• Coordinator of the process of production for a show, typically the show’s creator, listed as
executive producer; role of producer is broad, can be a major creative force behind a show,
part of writing staff, etc
6. Why are there less independent television producers today?
• Diminished since 1990s, many of the independent production houses were bought out by
media conglomerates or forced to affiliate with studios or networks
7. What is a “mass communication medium?” (Hint: Think about each of those three terms
• Mass – large, heterogeneous, anonymous audience & institutional, organizational sources
• Communication – reciprocity, feedback, response
• Medium – the channel of message delivery
8. Please roughly describe the technological development of the television. Who was Paul
Nipkow? John Logie Baird? Philo T. Farnsworth? Vladimir Zworkin? How did each of them
contribute to the television?
• 1884 – Paul Nipkow’s (German) mechanical TV – division of motion picture into points and lines with “Nipkow disk”
• 1924 – John Logie Baird’s (Scottish) electromechanical TV – 1 TV/TV in color
• 1927 – Philo T. Farnsworth’s (American) allelectronic TV – 1 fully functional electronic TV
• 1929 – Vladimir Zqorkin’s cathoderay tube – TV transmission and reception
9. During what decade did the majority of American homes adopt television? What TV shows
were being viewed during this time?
• 1950s? I Love Lucy, The $64,000 Question
The Flintstones, The Tonight Show, Ed Sullivan, Super Bowl, Julia, Star Trek, Sesame Street
10. Know the general timeline for the establishment of each network (who was first, second, etc.).
What was ABC’s original name and why? What is its relationship to NBC? (Red/Blue split)
• 1926 NBC founded by RCA
• 1927 United Independent Broadcasters (UIB)
• 1928 UIB bought and renamed CBS
• 1943 ABC (NBC Blue) radio splits from NBC
• 1945 NBC Blue actually renamed ABC
• 1948 ABC (NBC Blue) television splits from NBC
• 1967 Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS)
• 1986 FOX Broadcasting established
11. Why was CBS’s color system dismissed in the 1940s?
You should understand who influenced the color transition. Did RCA persuade the FCC in part to
delay color TV? Who wanted to introduce color TV? (Please find it for yourself in the textbook)
12. Please describe the three eras of TV history.
• Classic Network Era (mid 1940s – mid 1980s) – established norms for viewing and for
• MultiChannel Era (mid 1980s – late 2000s) – narrowcasting evolved
• Convergence Era (current era) – TV no longer just a domestic activity
13. Why are “Zero TV households” important? Roughly how households have satellite, cable and
video game consoles?
• Zero households did come in part due to the recession. It is important to know them because
they do not have any kind (satellite, cable, etc)
• 30% have satellite
• 90% have cable
• 51% have video game console
14. Please describe the significance of Star Trek, the first Super Bowl, All in the Family, The
Cosby Show, The Golden Girls, and Married with Children.
• First super bowl 1967 – started the super bowl “industry”, first time major sport was shown,
it was prerecorded • First interracial kiss on Star Trek 1968 – name says it…..showed that scifi could do its own
thing without it being political, important at the time for civil rights
• All in the family 1971 – it started the sitcom format
• The Cosby show 1984 – Cosby showed that black peoples live could be like white peoples
and helped assimilate culture
• The golden girls 1985 – women comedy, women power
• Married with children – fox network 1986, start of the fox network challenging the big three
15. How has journalism evolved over time? What is unique about coverage of the Kennedy
Assassination versus the coverage of the OJ Simpson trial?
• Kennedy Assassination 1963
• OJ Simpson 1994/5
16. Define each of the exchanges of television commerce.
(find in textbook)
• Exchange of Programming
• Exchange of Advertising
• Exchange of Audiences
17. What is the relationship like between broadcast networks and local broadcast stations? Who
negotiates local commercials? Who negotiates national commercials?
• Local broadcast stations receive clearance fees rom networks in return for carrying national
• Local broadcast stations sell local advertising during all programming
• Station groups allow multiple network affiliates and allow stations to share resources. Owned
and operated stations are stations owned by networks
18. How has the Telecommunications Act of 1996 shaped media conglomeration? What are the 6
big media conglomerations?
• A company cannot own more stations than can reach 35% of the US population
• Often cited for the reason for continued media conglomeration
• 6 companies control 90% of media in America
o NBC Universal/Comcast
o Walt Disney Company
o News Corporation
o Time Warner
o CBS Corporation
19. What are the three transmission companies? What are the relationships among them like?
• Broadcast station
• Cable System
• Direct Broadcast Satellite
• Cable systems launched digital cable to compete with direct broadcast satellite systems? 20. What is VHF? UHF? What is the connection between cable television and UHF?
• Very high frequency and ultra high frequency
21. Please discuss why the FCC created a freeze on licensing until 1952. What was the outcome?
• They created a freeze because of the early growth of television, interference on vhf channels;
they ended the freeze by introducing the UHF channels
22. What are O&Os? Why are they appealing?
• Owned and operated stations, affiliates of networks, limited by FCC at 5 per corporation
23. What are municipality issues? How are the cable companies involved in these issues?
• Only a few cable companies allowed in an area, less competition between cable companies
24. What are mustcarry rules?
25. How has the FCC influenced competition in broadcast in regards to the Financial Interest and
Syndication Rules (FinSin)?
the fin syn rules forced networks to reduce their vertical integration
26. What are the differences between a spinoff and recombinant?
after a successful program, one character is relocated into their own original series
recombinant is taking elements from successful shows and using them in others
27. Name and define the states of the cycle of a hit show.
28. What are some methods of imitation in the cycle of hit shows?
• Recombinant – family guy = south park shock value + simpsons sitcom / cartoon style
29. Briefly outline the progression of a show from pitch meeting to renewal/cancellation.
• Pitch meeting allows creators to sell their show idea to a network
• If network approves a pitch, a pilot is produced
• Market testing is conducted to predict success
• Following successful pilots, series is ordered by the network
• New series are added to the season lineup
• Renewal or cancellation
30. What is the purpose of the pilot episode of a TV series? Do most shows get picked up after a
pilot? What happens to most shows that do get picked up after a pilot? What does the Kevin
Space speech have to say about this?
• Kevin Spacey thinks pilot method is bad and not cost effective 31. What has been the trend in terms of media ownership over the last 30 years? Do we have
more media corporations or fewer? What are some critiques people have made about this trend?
• Deregulation has led to increasing media conglomeration
• Major corporations buying out smaller companies in multiple media sectors to have fewer
and fewer media corporations to the big six today
o Media is an oligarchy
o Conglomeration stifles diversity of points of view
o Threatens democratic traditions and institutions
o Eliminates a free market
32. Define vertical and horizontal integration. What are examples of each in the television
• TV now exists within larger corporate structures
• Participation in all stages of programming and in all industries
• Permits use of shared resources and crosspromotion strategies
33. What is clearance? Who pays it to who?
34. What is a rating? What is a share? Which is an absolute measure of an audience, and which is
a relative measure of an audience? Why is audience measurement so important, and what are
alternative ways of measuring an audience?
• Shares appear larger than ratings
• New methods of ratings system – DVR measurements and Nielsen Live Plus
35. How many minutes of advertising are in the average HOUR of television? How many hours
of advertising does the average American see on TV per day?
• Standard hour of television contains 12 minutes of national commercials 4 minutes of local
• 2 hours of advertising per day
36. Name the four types of advertising. What are some of the strategies used in advertising?
o Direct selling of products and services
o Public Service Announcement
o Public Relations/corporate image advertising
o Political advertising
o Puffery – exaggerated statement based on opinion
o Emotional associations – utopian / dystopian
o Implicit persuasion – not subliminal ads
37. What is advertising clutter? How has this influenced advertising and commercials?
• Clutter – time devoted to advertising on TV has increased • Commercials decreased in length
38. Define the two paths to persuasion in the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM). What is the
factor that determines which path a person will use to make a decision? Which one results in
lasting persuasion? How are the three types of appeals (logical, emotional, and testimonial)
related to these paths of persuasion?
o Rational thinking
o More likely to lead to long lasting persuasion
o Minimal cognitive effort
o Outside cues
39. What affects memory and learning from ads? What is “learning without involvement?”
• Context or content of surrounding programming
• Congruency between product and programming
• Order of advertisements (first during a commercial break)
• Learning without involvement – when involvement is not high, individuals may not have
their defenses up. They may internalize information and even act on it without consciously
analyzing the decision
40. What are some critiques of advertising? What are some defenses of advertising?
o Promotion of consumerism in ads cause:
o Dehumanization (commodification of emotion, objectification)
o An unstable economy
o Gives info for people to make decisions
o Funds media better than statesponsored systems
o Medium of shared cultural values and creative expression
41. What are the models of advertising? How do they differ? What are examples for each?
• “Toll Booth” model – selling access to use airwaves (commercial)
• Singlesponsorship – indirect advertising, sponsor to programs, etc
• Magazine sponsorship – networks sold short segments within programming to place
• Infomercial – run in offhours on local stations and cable channels, less respectable form of
advertising, used to sell household items,etc
• Home Shopping Channels – extended infomercial model to 24 hour format
42. What are issues surrounding paper diaries and people meters? How accurate are they?
43. What is political economy? What is a commodity audience? 44. What are some of the economic limitations of TV, networks, and cable markets? What are
some of the key economic strengths for reality producers?
45. What is the significance of shows such as Candid Camera and Queen for a Day?
46. Why is reality television appealing to produce for networks and producers?
47. Provide some examples of imitation shows and formats of reality shows.
survivor, American idol
48. What are some critiques of reality TV?
49. What is a quality audience? Why aren’t all viewers treated equally?
50. What is mean world syndrome?
heavy viewers of television are likely to view society as more dangerous and violent than it
actually is, a belief that fosters emotions of fear, distrust, and anxiety
51. Can survey research prove correlation or causation? Why?
no, can only demonstrate between factors, statistically probable, cannot prove one variable
52. How may cultivation theory describe the relationship between a teenager and sexualized
• Long term, repeated exposure to media gradually shapes our worldview
53. What is a dystopian commercial? What is a utopian commercial? How do either appeal to
54. What is schema/script theory? How do our previous experiences contribute to this?
• Schema – our understanding of present events is based on our memories of past events.
Individual differences in schemas cause the same content to be interpreted differently by
• Scrip – a skeletal structure of an event or activity that guides expectations for future instances
of that activity
55. What is the twostep flow model? How can someone who didn’t necessarily see something on
TV still be influenced by it?
• One way that media influences people is through interpersonal interaction
• Media first influences opinion leaders who then influence those around them
56. Define agenda setting, framing, and priming. How are they related?
• Agenda setting o Media do not tell us what to think but what to think about
o Applied to news and politics research but also to entertainment
o If agenda setting is about what to think about, framing is about how to think about it
o The description of an issue reveals certain characteristics and conceals other,
affecting how people interpret it
o Media highlight certain criteria or issues, making them more salient in the formation
of opinions and evaluations
57. What is the argument of uses and gratifications theory? What are the four most common uses
• It’s not what media does to you but what you do with the media
• Four uses
o Social interaction
o Surveillance (need for information)
o Diversion (get away from problems)
o Identity (reinforcement of values)
58. What are the three types of decoding? How do they compare to each other? Give an example
of a viewer with each of the three types of decoding.
59. Why is recreating studies in a lab problematic?
60. Why is data collection of viewers’ behaviors and attitudes difficult?
61. What are the two types of classes of effects? How may either be measured?
o Voluntary action requiring a decision on the individual’s part
o Generates most research interest
o Difficult to measure and assign cause
o Involuntary bodily response to stimuli
o Most sophisticated measurement
o Can align with emotional responses
62. What is the hypodermic needle theory?
• Aka magic bullet
• Direct effects, says that audience is injected into TV program
63. What is the limited capacity model?
• We’re information processors with limited ability to process information
• Major subprocesses o Encoding
• Heavy allocation of process capacity to one subprocesses reduces allocation to the others
64. Who was McLuhan? What did he think or TV compared to orality? What did he think
television could do for society?
• Canadian literary critic, first wellknown scholar of television, who became famous in the
• “The medium is the message”
1. What are the four selective processes? If a viewer watches a political ad and disapproves of it
and chooses to not remember it, which of the selective processes is enacted here?
• Selective exposure
• Selective attention
• Selective perception
• Selective retention
2. What is Gatekeeping? Why is that different than Agenda Setting?
• Gatekeeping – news media act as a filter on information through newsmaking practices. TV
news is a “construction of reality”
• Agenda setting – media do not tell us what to think but what to think about
3. What is a Hostile Media Effect? Why is this strongest among partisans?
• HME is the perception that news is biased against your side of an issue
4. Why are sound bites decreasing and image bites increasing?
• Image bite increasing is ideal for TV. Hearing interpretations of what candidates say while
seeing them on screen. Perception of candidate character
5. What was the campaign cover in 2012 break down? What was most campaign coverage
focused on? Why does this make sense?
• Horse race, looks more at campaign strategies, analyzing speeches and political ads not for
what they say about governing, but for the underlying political motives and impacts of a
6. The Communications Act of 1934 established what governmental entity?
7. What do sections 312 & 315: Equal Access and Equal Time state?
• Stations must provide reasonable access to all legally qualified candidates for federal office
• If time is given or sold to one candidate, it must be given or sold to all others
• Coverage of bona fide news events typically excluded from the rule
8. What is the Fourth Estate? Why did Spiro Agnew bring this up in his speech? • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0Kxg10FU4E&feature=youtu.be ????
9. Who receives better news coverage, Republicans or Democrats?
• Democrats receive significantly more positive coverage than Republicans overall
10. What can the Ron Paul clip tell us about news media objectivity?
11. What are the five types of political advertising?
• Issue (independent groups)
• Referenda or Propositions
• Corporate Advocacy
12. What are the cognitive effects of political ads?
• Political ads increase voter knowledge about issues
• Voters learn more issue information from spots than from TV news or TV debates
• Ads increase the salience of issues for voters and sometimes affecting the agenda of issues in
13. What are the evaluative effects of political advertising?
• Political advertising can affect the evaluation of political candidates, in either a positive or a
• Issue ads are generally more effective than image ads, particularly at enhancing candidate
14. What are the purposes of political advertisements?
• Name recognition
• Agenda setting
• Image building
• Issue exposition
15. Who was the living room candidate?
• http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1952 ????
16. “It’s Morning in America” is a political advertisement by what candidate?
• Week 6A beginning
• Ronald Reagan
17. Televised political advertising is most effective when the level of the voter involvement is
low. Why? • Televised political advertising overcomes selective exposure
• In political advertising, channel variables probably interact with source variables, such that
some sources are more effective on one medium than on another
18. Why wasn’t there any political spending in states like Texas, NY or California in the 2012
• Florida was the most expensive battleground state
19. What did the Supreme Court rule regarding corporate and union spending in Citizens United
VS. FEC in 2010?
• In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that sections limiting corporate and union spending violate
the First Amendment
• Donation limits for corporations and individuals remain in place. Disclosure regulations
remain in place
20. Why is it logical that older Americans get their news from networks than cable while younger
Americans typically get their news from cable?
• More older Americans get news from networks than cable while more younger Americans get
news from cable than networks
21. What makes up a text?
• A text is a bounded communication system that can be analyzed
• Content consists of the meanings conveyed by TV. Form is the means used to express those
22. What are the differences between multicamera live studio production, singlecamera telefilm
production and multicamera telefilm studio production?
• Multicamera live studio production – combines liveness of radio with theatrical presentation
of performances using a stage area and three cameras. Live editing with audio mix and video
switcher. News and sports and SNL
• Singlecamera telefilm production – filmed television production. Single camera used to
shoot a scene from one angle after another, including a master shot of the scene from a
distance, then edited together and synced with sound. One of the most common. Prime time
• Multicamera telefilm studio production – combines strengths of both multicamera studio
production and singlecamera telefilm production. Programs performed on stage but recorded
by cameras for editing and mixing following the performance. Sitcoms
23. What is the focal length? How could that affect a shot?
• The shorter the focal length, the greater optical power (ability to diverge and converge light)
(Degree of magnification and depth of image)
24. What are the three types of sounds?
• Vocal sounds
• Environmental sound 25. How is the production prep work and shooting for live sports events compared to taped
• See number 22
26. What is agency? Why is it important in television narratives?
• Agency – the ability to undertake actions and make choices with narrative consequences
• A central element of characters is agency
27. What is the difference between a protagonist and an antagonist?
• Protagonist – the hero at the center of a narrative
• Antagonist – a villain or adversary to a protagonist
28. Why is narrative comprehension important? Why would advertisers care about narrative
• Each viewer must connect the dots between events shown onscreen to construct the story
within his or her mind, a process called narrative comprehension
29. What are the pros and cons of unrestricted narration and restricted narration?
• Unrestricted narration – any story material can be presented without regard to what main
characters know or experience
• Restricted narration – all story information is filtered through the experiences of one or two
main characters. Restricted narration might also place limits on narrative space rather than
30. Why would some shows use objective narration and not subjective narration?
• Objective narration – most typically, television programs offer objective narration, presenting
the external storyworld via what characters do and say
• Subjective narration – presenting story information from the perspective of a particular
31. Nonfiction programs use narrators much more frequently than fiction programs. Why does
this make sense?
• Reality shows? Need explanation but fiction can make the characters explain
32. What are the three different narrative times? Which is most likely most important to
• Story time – how time passes within the storyworld
• Plot time – how time is presented on screen
• Screen time – the temporal framework used in telling and watching the story
• Screen time is important to advertisers
33. What are the elements of a threeact structure? Why is each act important?
• The first act begins with narrative equilibrium or peace which is then disrupted by a
• The longer second act prolongs and complicates the disruption
• The third act resolves the conflict and restores equilibrium (However, the equilibrium is now a changed state from the state which existed prior to the complicating action)
34. What are genre conventions? Why are they critical in launching new television
• A key aspect of genre categorization is a reliance on particular genre conventions. Some of
these conventions are tied to narrative, while others are rooted in the setup of a given genre
35. What are the three types of television mediums? Give an example of a genre that could be
tied to it.
• Escapist approach – we watch TV to get away from our lives, so TV meanings have little to
do with real life
• Reflective approach – what is on TV is true to viewers’ lives, so TV meanings are directly
relevant to life
• Representation approach – what is on TV is an altered vision of the world, so TV meanings
are directly relevant to real life, but expressly because it doesn’t accurately reflect it
36. What is social construction of reality? How may television impact that?
• What we perceive as reality is created from the negotiation of the meaning and significance
of people, places, and things
• The social reality that we learn is most frequently the interpretation of dominant groups
• The process through which we learn social reality is socialization, and media plays an
increasingly important role in the socialization process
37. Where does ideology come from? Why is it relevant to television?
• A cycle in which the members of society internalize and perpetuate it
• Television specifically perpetuates it by circulating economic, political, and cultural realities
in America as natural
38. What is false consciousness? How does agendasetting compare to this?
• Some ideological criticisms of TV rely on a concept called false consciousness. TV spreads
deceptive notions of how the world works in order to favor the elite and delude the majority
39. What is hailing?
• Through the process of hailing, viewers become engaged with TV programs and accept them
as speaking to them personally. This engagement must happen in order for ideological
messages to be conveyed effectively
40. What is a cultural forum? What are cultural rituals? How does this affect fandom? TV
• The cultural forum perspective argues that programs can offer diverse visions and ideas, not
simply an ideology.
• In this perspective, TV shows are cultural rituals that allow viewers to work through social
anxieties via the debate and conflict of narratives
• A cultural ritual is one in which repeated formulas are relied on to relive social anxieties
41. How were African Americans framed on television during the 1950s and 1960s? What was the influence of Amos and Andy?
• In the earliest days of TV, African Americans were virtually absent from entertainment TV.
They were primarily shown on news and documentary programs in the civil rights era
• To the extent African Americans were on entertainment TV, it was mostly for ridicule
• In the mid1960s, African Americans become more visible on television in leading and
• Assimilationist – offering an integrated community where minority characters are seen as
equals to majority characters but do not have leadership roles
• It was stereotypically funny. Some people thought it was good they were on TV and some
people thought it was degrading. All black cast
42. The 1970s brought about segregated presentation of AfricanAmerican shows. What does
• The 1970s also saw the rise of the segregated presentation of an allblack world in programs
such as Good Times, Sanford and Son, and The Jeffersons
43. What is 1980s African American television like?
• Emergence of The Cosby Show
• Provided a direct counter to the news narratives about African Americans at the time
• The Cosby Show also defined a typical black representation repeated in shows such as The
Fresh Prince of BelAir and Family Matters
44. What are the two statistics discussed in class regarding Hispanic identity?
• 16% of the population identify as Hispanic, but only 4% of characters are Hispanic
45. What are the typical HispanicAmerican roles on television?
• Despite great diversity of Hispanic traditions and heritages, Hispanic characters are most
often identified as Mexican, Cuban, or Puerto Rican
• Past representations stereotyped Hispanics as Mexican bandits or buffoons
• Currently, most representations present Hispanics as poor and usually undocumented or as
immigrants who refuse to assimilate to American culture
46. How are Native Americans depicted on television?
• Native Americans are virtually invisible in American entertainment television
• To the extent Native Americans are visible on television, their representation usually falls into
one of three categories: wise men/medicine men/spiritual healers, drunks, or savage and
• The most common encounters with representations of Native Americans for most Americans
is through sports media, often reinforce the stereotype of Native Americans as savages
47. What is a public service broadcast?
• Most countries (not US) follow a model of public service broadcasting, where television is
run by public nonprofit institutions or the government, designed to serve public interests of
citizenship, education, and cultural enrichment 48. What is the core responsibility of the FCC? How long do today’s broadcast licenses last
before broadcasters must apply for renewal?
• The core responsibility of the FCC is to issue broadcast licenses to radio and television
stations, providing them exclusive rights to use the public airwaves to transmit signals at a
particular frequency and power
• Today’s licenses last 8 years before broadcasters must apply for renewal, again at no cost
49. What is corporate liberalism?
• In the early 20 century, a revised philosophy emerged to address shifting ideas toward big
business and government – this model of corporate liberalism redefines the federal
government and corporations as cooperative facilitators of traditional liberal ideals, rather
than their enemies
• Model for balancing the competing interests of business, government, and individuals
50. What is the Prime Time Access Rule?
• The FCC passed the PTAR in 1970, mandating that stations could broadcast no more than
three hours each night (except Sunday) of network programming or offnetwork reruns
• Supposed to encourage independent/local producers but led to the 78pm access hour of game
shows and tabloid news