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COMM002: Media and Society

Unit 3: Advertising and the Market Society   In Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication, the author places advertising toward the end of the book and spends fewer words on it than he does on many other chapters. But advertising is in many respects the most important and pervasive of the cultural industries we call “mass media.” All media organizations need money to survive, even nonprofit media outlets such as National Public Radio. Most of that money comes from either traditional advertising or corporate “support.” Subscriptions and newsstand sales account for a small percent of income for magazines and newspapers. The ticket-driven medium of motion pictures relies on advertising as an important source of revenue, through in-theater ads and product placement. Television and radio are paid for almost exclusively through advertisement. In 2011, expenditures for advertising totaled $144 billion, according to Kantar Media.[ii] Advertising agencies draw on the top creative talent to produce sophisticated and, yes, entertaining commercial messages. To understand mass communication organizations, the first step is to understand advertising. This unit also will cover public relations, once seen as separate from advertising. Many advertising firms today offer integrated marketing communications, in which advertising and public relations functions “work closely together to deliver a single seamless solution − a cohesive message − an integrated message.”[iii]


[ii]“Kantar Media Reports US Advertising Expenditures Increased 0.8 Percent in 2011,” The Wall Street Journal Market Watch, March 12, 2012. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/kantar-media-reports-us-advertising-expenditures-increased-08-percent-in-2011-2012-03-12

[iii]“What is IMC?” MMC Learning, accessed May 13, 2012. http://www.multimediamarketing.com/mkc/marketingcommunications/

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 17.25 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 3 hours
☐    Subunit 3.2: 2.75 hours
☐    Subunit 3.3: 1.25 hours
☐    Subunit 3.4: 1 hour
☐    Subunit 3.5: 3 hours
☐    Subunit 3.6: 4.25 hours
☐    Unit 3 Assignments: 1 hour
☐    Unit 3 Assessments: 1 hour

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - describe the rise of the advertising industry and its shift from providing information to creating desire; - discuss in general terms the economics of advertising; - compare and critique advertising campaigns and commercial messages; - analyze events and subsequent news reports from a public relations standpoint; - identify and discuss economic models for mass media; and - define globalization and its implications for the media.

3.1 The History of Advertising: From Utility to Desire   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 12: Introduction” and “Section 1: Advertising” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 12: Introduction” and “Section 1: Advertising” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Chapter 12, Section 1 on pages 545-570 will provide you with a thorough grounding in the history of advertising. It also provides a summary of types of ads, the legal environment for advertising, and the relationship between advertising and culture. Keep what you read in mind as you work through the subunits below.
 
Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 45 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.
 
Note: This reading also covers the material for subunits 3.2 and 3.4.

3.1.1 Advertising Literacy   - Lecture: YouTube: University of Nebraska: Professor Terry’s The Influence of Media on Culture: “Module 6, Part 1a: Advertising Literacy” and “Part 1b” Link: YouTube: University of Nebraska: Professor Terry Dugas’s series The Influence of Media on Culture: “Module 6, Part 1a: Advertising Literacy”(YouTube) and “Part 1b” (YouTube)
 
Also available in:
iTunes U
 
Instructions: Watch the video lectures to learn some terminology of the traditional advertising campaign. Professor Dugas’s lecture notes will provide a structure as you continue in this subunit and learn about one of the signature advertising campaigns of the 20th Century.
 
Watching these lectures and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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3.1.2 DeBeers and A Diamond Is Forever   - Reading: The Atlantic: Edward J. Epstein’s “Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?” Link: The Atlantic: Edward J. Epstein’s “Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This article, one of the most-read ever published in The Atlantic, describes the “A Diamond Is Forever” advertising campaign and subsequent campaigns for DeBeers, the diamond cartel. It is a fascinating look at how advertising shapes culture, to the benefit of businesses that serve our culture. The assignment is to read about half of the article, down to the paragraph that begins, “A serious threat to the stability of the diamond invention came in the late 1970s from the sale of ‘investment’ diamonds to speculators in the United States.” You might find the article so interesting that you’ll read the whole of it. What does the article illustrate about how advertising is constructed, the goals of an advertising campaign and the effects of advertising on culture?
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 45 minutes.  
 
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3.1.3 1984 and the Rise of the High Concept Ad   3.1.3.1 The Commercial That Started It All   - Web Media: YouTube: “Apple 1984 Super Bowl Commercial Introducing Macintosh Computer” and “Making of Apple’s ‘1984’ Commercial − with Ridley Scott” Link: YouTube: “Apple 1984 Super Bowl Commercial Introducing Macintosh Computer” (YouTube) and “Making of Apple’s ‘1984’ Commercial − with Ridley Scott” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: This famous commercial aired only once to a general audience, during the 1984 Super Bowl. It started two trends: the “high concept” advertising campaign that sells through emotion, identification, or loyalty building rather than through any claims about a product’s quality or value; and the Super Bowl halftime as a showcase for the advertising arts. In the second video, director Ridley Scott explains how he approached the commercial as he would a feature film, another trend that has continued.
 
Watching these videos and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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3.1.3.2 The Super Bowl Tradition   - Reading: Washington and Lee University: Amanda Bower’s “The Other Big Game” Link: Washington and Lee University: Amanda Bower’s “The Other Big Game (HTML)
 
Instructions: This short piece discusses the more recent state of Super Bowl advertising. Amanda Bower’s comments are instructive about the new landscape of advertising that includes a mix of social media and online “webisodes” that we’ll read about later. She also notes that the Super Bowl provides a “common experience” such as we used to get from all of us watching the same shows on the same three networks. Keep this in mind as you read about the changing landscape of media in units to come.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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3.1.4 Playing on Our Emotions   - Web Media: PBS Frontline: The Persuaders: “Chapter 1: A High Concept Campaign” and “Chapter 2: Emotional Branding”  Link: PBS Frontline: The Persuaders: “Chapter 1: A High Concept Campaign” and “Chapter 2: Emotional Branding” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Click “Watch the Full Program Online,” and then watch the first two chapters from PBS’ series Frontline on advertising and the art of persuasion. How does the Song Airlines campaign compare and contrast with the DeBeers “A Diamond Is Forever” campaign?
 
Watching these videos and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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3.2 Advertising and the End of the World   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading from subunit 3.1. Review Understanding Media and Culture, Chapter 12, section 1 under the heading “Advertising’s Influence on Culture” on pages 560-565. Reading this selection and studying your notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

3.2.1 Advertising as an Essential Part of Capitalism   - Lecture: University of Massachusetts-Amherst: Sut Jhally’s “Advertising and the End of the World” Link: University of Massachusetts-Amherst: Sut Jhally’s “Advertising and the End of the World” (MP3)
 
Instructions: When you open Professor Jhally’s webpage of audio and video, scroll down about halfway to the link “Advertising and the End of the World.” As you listen, recall what Professor Terry Dugas said, that some people consider advertising to be a great social evil. Jhally, one of the leading critics of modern media, states that a society based on consumption cannot sustain itself, and that advertising is the engine that drives consumption. Pay special attention to what he says about how advertising links goods to our personal happiness.
 
Listening to this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour.
 
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3.2.2 The Debate: Advertising as Social Evil or Social Good   - Reading: Stay Free!: Carrie McLaren’s “On Advertising: Sut Jhally v. James Twitchell” Link: Stay Free!: Carrie McLaren’s “On Advertising: Sut Jhally v. James Twitchell (HTML)
 
Instructions: Sut Jhally and James Twitchell of the University of Florida stand at opposite sides of the debate about advertising as a social good or social evil. Jhally says advertising is destroying society; Twitchell says advertising is holding it together. Read this debate, and then try to find your place among these conflicting views.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 45 minutes.
 
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3.2.3 “Good-Guy” Advertising, “Greenwashing,” and the Environment   3.2.3.1 The Human Element   - Web Media: YouTube: The Dow Chemical Company’s “The Human Element” and “Sustainability” Link: YouTube: The Dow Chemical Company’s “The Human Element” (YouTube) and “Sustainability (YouTube)
 
Instructions: “The Human Element” was an advertising and public relations campaign begun by The Dow Chemical Company in 2007-2008. It is an example of many things discussed in your video lectures and textbook, such as positioning and soft sell. The campaign also represented an attempt at “greenwashing,” the practice of portraying a company as environmentally conscious and active through advertising and public relations, when the opposite might be true. Watch a long version of the ad, then turn to Dow’s YouTube channel to see how the company is using the Internet and social media to reach the public.
 
Watching these videos and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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3.2.3.2 No Bad News Allowed   - Reading: CSRwire: Anna Lappé’s “What Dow Chemical Doesn’t Want You to Know About Your Water” Link: CSRwire: Anna Lappé’s “What Dow Chemical Doesn’t Want You to Know About Your Water (HTML)
 
Note: The video in Anna Lappé’s article also is available on YouTube as “Anna Lappé on Water Sustainability” (YouTube).
 
Instructions: The Dow Chemical Company asked Anna Lappé, an advocate for clean water and sustainability, to contribute a video for a conference on water sustainability sponsored by Dow. But when her article was critical of Dow, the company refused to run it at the conference. Read this article and watch the video she submitted for an “exposé” of Dow’s greenwashing.
 
Reading this article, watching the video, and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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3.3 The Economics of Advertising   3.3.1 What the Top Advertisers Spend (It’s Billions)   - Reading: Marketing Charts’s “US Ad Spend Reported Up in ‘11, Forecast to Grow 2.2% in ‘12” and “Top Advertisers of 2010” Link: Marketing Charts’s “US Ad Spend Reported Up in ‘11, Forecast to Grow 2.2% in ‘12 (HTML) and “Top Advertisers of 2010 (HTML)
 
Instructions: Your textbook, Understanding Media and Culture, discusses advertising as a medium, but what is advertising in economic terms? These two website pages lay out the dollar amounts, and they are astounding. Read the first page, “US Ad Spend Reported Up in ‘11,” for a summary of what was spent in 2011 by medium. As you read, you might notice the continuing migration of advertising dollars from print and other “legacy” media to online. The second page, “Top Advertisers of 2010,” provides a list of the top 10 advertisers. Topping the list is Proctor & Gamble at $3.1 billion for the year.
 
Reading these articles and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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3.3.2 Changing Media, Changing Times   3.3.2.1 Old Models Break Down   - Web Media: PBS Frontline: The Persuaders: “Chapter 3: The Times They Are A-Changin’ “ Link: PBS Frontline: The Persuaders: “Chapter 3: The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Do you TiVo? If you subscribe to digital cable or satellite television, chances are you have a digital video recorder similar to TiVo that allows you to record as you watch and fast-forward through the commercials. The result has been that advertisers are searching for new ways to reach you, ways you cannot escape. This chapter of The Persuaders, the PBS Frontline report on advertising, discusses the changing landscape of advertising. Click on “Watch the Full Program Online,” then select Chapter 3.
 
Watching this video and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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3.3.2.2 Advertising and the Internet   - Web Media: Cisco Systems’ “Entertainment: CSI: NY” Link: Cisco Systems’ “Entertainment: CSI: NY” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Watch the short clip from CSI: New York. Do you think the NYPD crime lab really has to elaborate on Cisco TelePresence setups that would cost a real-world user tens of thousands of dollars? Why then does this technology enjoy a prominent role on CSI: New York? Think product placement.
 
Watching this video and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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3.3.2.3 Aiming at the Heart of the Niche   - Web Media: PBS Frontline: The Persuaders: “Chapter 6: The ‘Narrowcasting’ Future” Link: PBS Frontline: The Persuaders: “Chapter 6: The ‘Narrowcasting’ Future” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: The PBS Frontline series continues with a discussion of “narrowcasting,” the practice of pointing ads at smaller and smaller market segments through the Internet and social media. Part of the strategy includes placing ads directly into shows such as CSI: New York. Click on “Watch the Full Program Online,” and select Chapter 6.
 
Watching this video and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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3.4 Advertising and the Law   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading from subunit 3.1. Review the selection from Understanding Media and Culture, chapter 12, section 1 that’s titled “Government Regulation of Advertising” (pages 558-560). Reviewing this selection and studying your notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

3.4.1 The Complexity of Advertising Regulation   - Reading: US Small Business Administration’s “Advertising Law” Link: US Small Business Administration’s “Advertising Law” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Pretend that you are starting a small business that makes health supplements. Now go to the SBA’s website and get acquainted with the regulations you must follow in your advertising. Don’t read all of the information, just the summaries of the various types of regulations: truth in advertising, product labeling, and advertising specific products. Which of these might be most important to you, given the nature of your product?
 
Reading this website and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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3.4.2 Self-regulation of Advertising   - Reading: Responsible Advertising and Children: “Some Facts about Advertising Self-regulation” Link: Responsible Advertising and Children: “Some Facts about Advertising Self-regulation (HTML)
 
Instructions: “Self-regulation” sounds like the wolf guarding the hen house, but self-regulation can be effective in promoting good advertising practices, as this reading contends. Self-regulation has worked well in other areas of the media, such as the Motion Picture Association of America’s film ratings, the “PG,” “R,” and “NC-17” ratings you see on movie trailers. The idea is one of transparency rather than censorship.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should approximately 15 minutes.
 
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3.5 Public Relations   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 12, Section 2: Public Relations” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 12, Section 2: Public Relations” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read Chapter 2, Section 2 on pages 570-583 for a thorough grounding in how the art of public relations works. Then use the information as you go through the two following subunits.
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

3.5.1 Public Relations and Marketing No Longer Distinct   - Reading: Northern Kentucky University: Michael Turnley’s “Advertising and Publicity,” “Public Relations and Marketing Were Initially Distinct,” “Boundaries Blurred, Then Functions Blended,” and “On the Way to Integrated Marketing Communication?” Link: Northern Kentucky University: Michael Turnley’s “Advertising and Publicity (HTML),“Public Relations and Marketing Were Initially Distinct (HTML),“Boundaries Blurred, Then Functions Blended (HTML),and “On the Way to Integrated Marketing Communication? (HTML)
 
Instructions: After reading Understanding Media and Culture, Chapter 12, Section 2, read Michael Turnley’s explanation of how advertising, marketing, and public relations are becoming one thing: integrated marketing communication. A driving force in this movement has been economic; major advertising agencies have been buying up public relations firms, as well as other smaller ad agencies. Recall that in The Persuaders, advertising people talked about the importance of branding and other ways of promoting a product beyond the traditional advertising “buys.” Many of these activities come from the PR world.
 
Reading these articles and taking notes should take approximately 45 minutes.
 
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3.5.2 Politics and Public Relations   3.5.2.1 The Pseudo Event and Photo Op   - Reading: Northern Kentucky University: Michael Turnley’s “Perceptions Can Be Direct or Mediated,” “TV Mediates Viewers’ Perceptions,” and “Are Special Events Inherently Deceptive?” Link: Northern Kentucky University: Michael Turnley’s “Perceptions Can Be Direct or Mediated” (HTML),“TV Mediates Viewers’ Perceptions” (HTML), and “Are Special Events Inherently Deceptive?” (HTML)
 
Instructions: The historian Daniel Boorstin defined a “pseudo event” as an event held for the sole purpose of attracting the media and getting across a public relations message. Read Michael Turnley’s lessons on perception, television, and the “pseudo event.”
 
Reading these articles and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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3.5.2.2 Mission Accomplished   - Web Media: YouTube: Associated Press’s “Five Years Since ‘Mission Accomplished’ Speech” Link: YouTube: Associated Press’s “Five Years Since ‘Mission Accomplished’ Speech” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: On May 1, 2003, a jet plane landed on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln with the president of the United States aboard. Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times called it “one of the most audacious moments of presidential theater in American history.” President Bush’s carrier landing seemed brilliant at the time, but he later admitted that it was a mistake in that it created false expectations. This video revisits the “Mission Accomplished” speech five years later.
 
Watching this video and taking notes should take less than 15 minutes.
 
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3.5.2.3 Nobody Does It Better When It Comes to Photo Ops   - Reading: The New York Times: Elisabeth Bumiller’s “Keepers of Bush Image Lift Stagecraft to New Heights” Link: The New York Times: Elisabeth Bumiller’s “Keepers of Bush Image Lift Stagecraft to New Heights” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Elisabeth Bumiller analyzes how the Bush strategists were masters of creating the scenes that resulted in beautiful, forceful images of the president. As you read her article, think back to what Professor Michael Turnley wrote about the “pseudo-event.”
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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3.5.2.4 Branding President Obama   - Web Media: YouTube: “The Barack Obama YouTube Channel” Link: YouTube: “The Barack Obama YouTube Channel” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Look at the Obama YouTube channel, remembering what was said in The Persuaders about advertising moving to YouTube in the form of short videos and “webisodes.” Spend 10 minutes or more seeing the types of video and other things on the site that encourage interactivity.
 
Watching these videos and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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  • Reading: The New York Times: Claire Cain Miller’s “How Obama’s Internet Campaign Changed Politics” Link: The New York Times: Claire Cain Miller’s “How Obama’s Internet Campaign Changed Politics” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: The 2008 presidential campaign has been called the first “Internet” campaign, and much has been written analyzing the branding and websites of the two candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama. Claire Cane Miller, among others, wrote that Obama’s “use of a new medium…will forever change politics,” just as John F. Kennedy’s use of television did in 1960. It started with a brilliant logo and branding campaign and continued with a website that took advantage of “web 2.0” and the tools of social media.
     
    Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
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3.5.2.5 A Whimsical Look at the 2012 Campaign Logos   - Web Media: The New York Times: Ward Sutton’s “Reading Tea Leaves and Campaign Logos” Link: The New York Times: Ward Sutton’s “Reading Tea Leaves and Campaign Logos” (HTML)
 
Instructions: You’ll enjoy Sutton’s humorous yet instructive take on campaign logos, but pay attention to his analysis of the visual cues he sees. People at ad agencies who “brand” products agonize over such details as choice of typeface, knowing that these details contribute to the overall message in subtle but important ways.
 
Viewing these images and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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3.6 The Economics of Mass Media   3.6.1 Characteristics of Media Industries   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 13, Introduction: Media Conglomerate or Monopoly?” and “Section 13.1: Characteristics of Media Industries” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 13, Introduction: Media Conglomerate or Monopoly?” and “Section 13.1: Characteristics of Media Industries” (PDF)
 
Instructions: As government regulations on media ownership have been relaxed, media companies have merged and remerged into giant conglomerates that control market segments vertically, owning companies that produce content, those that distribute content and the channels that show content. Some see a danger in so much control over what we see in so few hands. As you read these Sections on pages 587-596, ask yourself: what could be the harm in having such control over various segments of the industry?
 
Reading these sections and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

3.6.2 Who Owns What?   - Web Media: Columbia Journalism Review: “Resources: Who Owns What” Link: Columbia Journalism Review: “Resources: Who Owns What” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Newspapers, magazines, television, radio channels, and websites are being concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer companies. Today, six huge corporations own a massive stake in US media: CBS, Comcast, News Corp., Time Warner, Viacom, and Walt Disney. Some executives of these companies, such as Rupert Murdoch of News Corp., aren’t afraid to use their ownership as a tool of political and economic power. On the Columbia Journalism Review page, click the button labeled, “Select a media company...” then look over the holdings of these six corporations.
 
Reading these entries should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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3.6.3 The Internet’s Effects on Media Economies   3.6.3.1 The Changing Media Landscape   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 13, Section 2: The Internet’s Effects on Media Economies” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 13, Section 2: The Internet’s Effects on Media Economies” (PDF)
 
Instructions: This short section of the textbook, on pages 596-600, describes how the Internet is changing media economics as well as culture: how we find, buy, and consume media.
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

3.6.3.2 Case in Point: Bookstores Battle the Amazon Challenge   - Reading: The New York Times: David Streitfeld’s “Daring to Cut Off Amazon” Link: The New York Times: David Streitfeld’s “Daring to Cut Off Amazon” (HTML)
 
Instructions: In the recent past, going to a bookstore was a cultural experience in and of itself. The people running small bookstores did it for the love of books, and although their selection might be limited by modern standards, the stores were homey places where you might sit in an old armchair and preview a new release. The big-box bookstores tried to capture some of that ambience but with a massive inventory; you could sit in that armchair and command thousands of titles. David Streitfeld describes how the Barnes & Nobles store, too, might soon be a thing of the past.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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3.6.4 Globalization and the Media   3.6.4.1 The Digital Divide   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 13, Section 3: The Digital Divide in a Global Economy” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 13, Section 3: The Digital Divide in a Global Economy” (PDF)
 
Instructions: When technological change sweeps any aspect of life, some will benefit and others will be left behind. This section on pages 601-606 discusses the digital divide between the wealthy nations of the world and those less fortunate.
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

3.6.4.2 Bridging the Divide   - Web Media: TED Talks: Nicholas Negroponte’s “One Laptop per Child” Link: TED Talks: Nicholas Negroponte’s “One Laptop per Child” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Watch the video in which Nicholas Negroponte discusses his efforts to put laptop computers in the hands of children in developing countries. Negroponte sees the digital divide between developed and underdeveloped nations as something that will widen the other divides such as economic and educational inequities. How might his initiative help?
 
Watching this video and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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3.6.4.3 The Information Economy   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 13, Section 4: Information Economy” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 13, Section 4: Information Economy” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Is the Internet like the Wild West? Some economists think so, with rustling of intellectual property the crime of choice. This section on pages 654-662 provides a good overview of some of the issues we face in the information economy, including how a few huge media companies have come to dominate the marketplace. While you might find it difficult to feel sorry for a media conglomerate, keep this chapter in mind as you move on to the next subunit on piracy.
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

3.6.4.4 The Threat Is Real   - Web Media: George Mason University: Stan Liebowitz’s “Sometimes It Is a Wolf: Piracy, Fairy Tale Business Models & Intellectual Property on the Internet” Link: George Mason University: Stan Liebowitz’s “Sometimes It Is a Wolf: Piracy, Fairy Tale Business Models & Intellectual Property on the Internet” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Stan Liebowitz, Ashbel Smith Professor of Economics of the University of Texas at Dallas, is an expert on property rights. Scroll down to watch the video of the lecture and slides. You can also download the slides as a PDF. Is he able to generate some sympathy for media corporations as they deal with information piracy?
 
Watching this lecture, viewing the slides, and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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3.6.4.5 Globalization and the Media   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 13, Section 5: Globalization and the Media” and “Section 6: “Cultural Imperialism” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 13, Section 5: Globalization and the Media” and “Section 6: Cultural Imperialism” (PDF)
 
Instructions: The author discusses at length the ideas of globalization in Section 5 on pages 614-618, and cultural imperialism in Section 6 on pages 618-623. Certainly globalization has led to the spread of culture across national boundaries, but does one culture really “colonize” another, or is the process more complicated? For example, the textbook discusses the “McDonaldization” of the media in countries across the globe. In the end, the author states that the flow of information and its effects on culture are too complex for one simple explanation.
 
Reading these sections and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

3.6.4.6 Hybrid Culture or Multiple Cultures?   - Reading: Nordicom Review: Joseph D. Straubhaar’s “Global, Hybrid or Multiple? Cultural Identities in the Age of Satellite TV and the Internet” Link: Nordicom Review: Joseph D. Straubhaar’s “Global, Hybrid or Multiple? Cultural Identities in the Age of Satellite TV and the Internet” (PDF)
 
Instructions: The concept of hybrid culture provides a more nuanced analysis of the flow of culture across national boundaries. Consider for example the counter-flow of culture to the US – think Pokémon or manga. Straubhaar presents a more detailed look at what happens when our cultures all become one big culture.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour.
 
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