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Annual Editions: Mass Media 12/13by Gorham, Joan
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The Annual Editionsseries is designed to provide convenient, inexpensive access to a wide range of current articles from some of the most respected magazines, newspapers, and journals published today. Annual Editionsare updated on a regular basis through a continuous monitoring of over 300 periodical sources. The articles selected are authored by prominent scholars, researchers, and commentators writing for a general audience. The Annual Editionsvolumes have a number of common organizational features designed to make them particularly useful in the classroom: a general introduction; an annotated table of contents; a topic guide; an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites; and a brief overview for each section. Each volume also offers an online Instructor's Resource Guidewith testing materials. Using Annual Editions in the Classroomis a general guide that provides a number of interesting and functional ideas for using Annual Editionsreaders in the classroom. Visit www.mhhe.com/annualeditions for more details.
Table of Contents
Unit 1: Living with Media
1. In the Beginning Was the Word, Christine Rosen, Wilson Quarterly, Autumn 2009
This is an essay about the place of the book among its contemporary competitors for attention.
2. Revolution in a Box, Charles Kenny, Foreign Policy, November 2009
Charles Kenny contends that even in the age of the Internet, television "is still coming to tens of millions with a transformative power—for the good—that the world is only now beginning to understand."
3. Tele[re]vision, Jenny Price, On Wisconsin, Summer 2009
Research exploring how children watch and respond to television concludes that prosocial programming can be effective, although children's interpretations of meaning may differ from adult producers' intent.
4. Television and the Decline of Deference, Stuart Clayton, History Review, December 2010
Stuart Clayton asks whether the mass media have undermined the status of leading authority figures in Britain, including politicians and royalty, since 1945. Points of reference include softened regulations, profit motives, investigative journalism, and the cult of celebrity. Feedback trumps feedforward in Clayton's conclusions.
5. I Can't Think!, Sharon Begley, Newsweek, March 7, 2011
Research summarized in this article indicates that, and explains why, information overload can lead to bad decisions.
6. The Digital Disruption: Connectivity and the Diffusion of Power, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, Foreign Affairs, November/December 2010
The "interconnected estate" is "a place where any person with access to the Internet, regardless of living standard or nationality, is given a voice and the power to effect change." Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen explore the relationship of connection technologies and international governance.
7. Journalist Bites Reality!, Steve Salerno, Skeptic, vol. 14, no. 1, 2008
Steve Salerno takes on agenda-setting effects of news and information media. Examples in his argument include journalists' failure to distinguish between random data and genuine statistical inference, oversimplification (red state-blue state dichotomy), and iatrogenic reporting (provable harms that didn't exist until journalism got involved).
8. Girls Gone Anti-Feminist, Susan J. Douglas, In These Times, February 22, 2010
"What the media have given us ... are little more than fantasies of power," writes Susan Douglas. The article examines contradictory female roles in media, raising implicit feedforward versus feedback questions.
Unit 2: Telling Stories
9. The Reconstruction of American Journalism, Leonard Downie Jr. and Michael Schudson, American Journalism Review, November/December 2009
A thoughtful and comprehensive analysis and prescription for the roles of print and television news media as information is reported across a greater number and variety of sources. Topics include content, accountability, and financial models that support public information access.
10. Retreating from the World, Jodi Enda, American Journalism Review, Winter 2010
Jodi Enda presents an in-depth description and analysis of diminishing presence of international bureaus among mainsteam media, and of nonprofit and for-profit organizations stepping in to report international news.
11. Capital Flight, Jodi Enda, American Journalism Review, Summer 2010
The theme of this article is summarized in its header: "Watchdog reporting is at an alarming low at many federal agencies and departments whose actions have a huge impact on the lives of American citizens." Jodi Enda analyzes the implications of reduction of the Washington press corps.
12. Overload!: Journalism's Battle for Relevance in an Age of Too Much Information, Bree Nordenson, Columbia Journalism Review, November/December 2008
The Internet offers thousands of free news sources. Much of its content is unfiltered and unpackaged, and studies indicate the American public is no better informed than in less information-rich times. Bree Nordenson applies insights from cognitive psychology to interpreting effects of multitasking, attention economy, and learned helplessness on news consumers.
13. Learning to Love the New Media: Shallow, Divisive, Unreliable, James Fallows, The Atlantic, April 2011
James Fallows presents an insightful analysis of the "fall" of journalism and the rise of new media, organized to deliver "what people want—not what they say they want, nor what they `should' want, but what they choose when they have the chance." He concludes with concerns and predictions for journalism's future.
14. The Toppling, Peter Maass, The New Yorker, January 10, 2011
The subtitle of this article is "How the media inflated a minor moment in a long war." It presents as a case study a particular string of events in Iraq that resulted in iconic, symbolic events created with acute awareness of visual imagery and newsworthy impact.
15. Whence the Revolution, Stephen Franklin, The American Prospect, April 2011
Stephen Franklin offers a firsthand account of the role and actions of workers, journalists, and bloggers in laying groundwork for political revolution in Egypt. The article includes perspectives on feedforward, censorhip, and government-controlled media.
16. North Korea's Digital Underground, Robert S. Boynton, The Atlantic, April 2011
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a holdout nation in a world of open information. Media remain broadly under government control and there is little Internet access. This article describes illegal, dangerous, and largely low-tech efforts of reporters to bypass censorship and tell alternative stories.
Unit 3: Players and Guides
17. What's a Fair Share in the Age of Google?: How to Think about News in the Link Economy, Peter Osnos, Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 2009
Peter Osnos provides perspective on the Google economy, which developed under the premise "information wants to be free." There is a tension, however, between free distribution and fair use—both ethically and as determined under copyright law.
18. Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality, Tim Berners-Lee, Scientific American, November 22, 2010
Tim Berners-Lee describes threats to principles of universality, decentralization, and open, royalty-free access upon which World Wide Web Consortium members individually and collectively built the Web. Berners-Lee is critical of "walled gardens," such as Apples' iTunes system and magazine smartphone apps, and a proponent of regulation that protects separation of design of the Web from that of the Internet.
19. A Vaster Wasteland, Newton N. Minow, The Atlantic, April 2011
Newton N. Minow proposes six national policy priorities that should guide mass media regulatory decisions. These touch on areas of open Internet access, broadcasting spectrum allocation, availability of free television time for political candidates, and financial support for telemedicine, public radio and television, and emergency networks.
20. Frenemies of Free Speech, Sam Schulman, The Weekly Standard, March 21, 2011
Sam Schulman dissects the concept of free speech as it is defined in the United States and in other parts of the world. This article explores differing perspectives regarding limitations on expression in the interest of civility and tolerance.
21. The End of Secrecy, Micah L. Sifry, The Nation, March 21, 2011
Political leaders including President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have defended free speech rights and free flow of information on the Internet—but not including Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. This article explores the concept of secrecy as a form of media regulation.
22. The Quality-Control Quandary, Carl Sessions Stepp, American Journalism Review, April/May 2009
Carl Sessions Stepp asks, "How far can you cut editing without crippling credibility? How do you balance immediacy and accuracy? How much does fine-tuning matter to the work-in-progress online ethos?" Careful proofreading is a victim of newsroom staff cutbacks and is also compromised by priority for speed in posting Internet copy.
23. The Fact-Checking Explosion, Cary Spivak, American Journalism Review, Winter 2010
The fact-checking explosion referenced in this article's title is not fact-checking within media but rather media's serving as watchdogs over political discourse: "Teams of reporters are scouring the airwaves, speeches, brochures, Web sites and legislative sessions weighing the accuracy of virtually every word uttered by politicians and TV talking heads."
24. Too Graphic?, Arielle Emmett, American Journalism Review, Spring 2010
In covering the January 2010 Haitian earthquake, images of death were overwhelming and widely available. American news organizations chose to use strong images. This article addresses varied reasons for doing so and responses of news consumers.
25. A Porous Wall, Natalie Pompilio, American Journalism Review, June/July 2009
Traditionalists shudder at front-page newspaper ads as unprofessional and unseemly, compromising the wall between news and ads. Natalie Pompilio describes why these and other "new" ad formats that mix news space and ad space evoke strong responses and how newspapers come to terms with their subtext.
26. What Would You Do?: The Journalism That Tweaks Reality, Then Reports What Happens, Daniel Weiss, Columbia Journalism Review, January/February 2008
Daniel Weiss ponders the ethics of investigative "experimenters," who "step out of their customary role as observers and play with reality to see what will happen." The practice dates back a century, but has new prominence in television newsmagazines.
27. The Lives of Others: What Does It Mean to `Tell Someone's Story'?, Julia Dahl, Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 2008
Julia Dahl relates her experience of writing "drama" pieces that personalize victims of tragedy. The essay discusses the options of choosing and discarding in the process of how stories are packaged for reality shows such as America's Most Wanted.
Unit 4: Paying the Bills
28. Your Data, Yourself, Joel Stein, Time, March 21, 2011
Joel Stein looks into the extent and accuracy of information collected by data-mining companies that monitor Internet and consumer behavior. Each piece of information is worth about two-fifths of a cent when sold to advertisers, who use it for targeted marketing. The article lends insight into the marketing model that supports Google.
29. Multitasking Youth, Andrew J. Rohm, Fareena Sultan, and Fleura Bardhi, Marketing Management, November/December 2009
Media multitasking is defined as "the practice of participating in multiple exposures to two or more commercial media at a single point in time." It is of interest to folks such as Nielsen Media, who influence advertising rates based on projected efficacy of the advertising message.
30. Unkind Unwind, The Economist, March 19, 2011
This article is about paying the bills in the movie industry. Topics include the importance of the home entertainment market, implications of evolution in post-theatrical release distribution (DVD sales, downloads, rentals), and market-driven tensions among studios, movie theaters, and small-screen distributors that affect not just how money flows but what kind of movies are made.
31. A Television Deal for the Digital Age, John Dunbar, Columbia Journalism Review, January/February 2011
This article is about Comcast's acquisition of a majority stake of NBC Universal, a plan scrutinized closely by the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice. At issue is breadth of control, specifically Comcast's ability to control of both content and distribution, shaping the future of Internet television access.
32. Tomorrow's Interactive Television, John M. Smart, The Futurist, November/December 2010
John M. Smart offers a prescription for democratizing film and television media through Internet television, enabling all who wish to do so to eliminate unpersonalized advertising. In an iTV future, consumers will pay "micropayments" directly to content providers or content aggregators, somewhat like eBay, and have the option to "dislike" and ban advertisement content in which they aren't interested.
33. Open for Business, Michael Shapiro, Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 2009
Michael Shapiro suggests that consumers will pay for niche-specific specialized content online and herein lies a future for print journalists. A model combining free and paid news content is proposed, 80 percent free and 20 percent paid. Comparisons to Netflix, cable television, and iTunes provide context. Orangebloods.com, a membership site for University of Texas football fans, provides an example.
34. Pay to Play, Cary Spivak, American Journalism Review, Spring 2011
Newspapers debate how best to realize revenue from content consumers access on computers and other electronic devices. What are readers willing to pay? For what kind of content? To what degree do readers accept that it costs money to produce the news? How will the product change when advertising no longer pays 80 percent of production costs?