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COMM103: Introduction to Mass Media

Unit 7: Radio   This unit reviews the history of radio, but you might want to consider that history as more of a bridge between what had been the role of media in the lives of its consumers and what that role would become.  Radio is, in many ways, the dividing line between elite forms of media, products whose dissemination and use were limited by literacy or cost, and popular forms of media, products that were easier and cheaper to obtain and thus presented fewer restrictions on access.  The impact of radio on the dissemination of news and information heralded significant changes in society, too, although it would take time for different cultures to exert equal influence.  Radio was also significant because it used a limited public resource, the electromagnetic spectrum, which required government intervention and regulation like no previous media industry had.  However, while radio was the first, it was not the last, and so you should keep in mind as you work through this unit that the growing pains of radio as part of our culture continue to be reflected in the evolution of other popular media formats that rely on limited (and thus regulated) resources: television and the Internet.

Unit 7 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 4.75 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 7.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 7.2: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 7.3: 0.75 hours

☐    Subunit 7.4: 0.5 hours

Unit7 Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Define, break into categories (when possible), and provide examples of the following with respect to the radio industry: network, conglomerate, prime time, format, demographics, satellite radio, HD radio, Internet radio, and podcasting. - Identify significant social, political, economic, and technological milestones in the history of radio and describe their impact on the industry. - Describe cultural traits that influenced the development of the radio industry and also when, why, and how radio played a role in cultural developments. - Critique the effects of radio and/or radio formats on programming, music distribution and popularity, and politics. - Discuss both sides of some of the controversial issues currently being debated in radio. - Predict how recent trends will influence or change the nature of radio and/or the radio industry.

  • Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 7, Section 1: Evolution of Radio Broadcasting” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 7, Section 1: Evolution of Radio Broadcasting” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition, keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 7.1.1–7.1.7.

    Reading these sections should take approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises associated with these sections may require an additional 45 minutes to complete.

    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.

  • Lecture: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication: “Episode 10 – Radio, Part 1, and Episode 11 – Radio, Part 2” Link: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication“Episode 10 – Radio, Part 1, and Episode 11 – Radio, Part 2” (MP4)
     
    Instructions: Please watch both of these episodes by focusing on how the explanations and examples the program hosts and student guests provide supplement the textbook readings.  In particular, listen for content which relates to the unit outcomes and take notes accordingly, especially when someone uses a specific example to illustrate a point.  Moreover, if you are not as familiar with American media as the textbook assumes you are, you might benefit from listening carefully to the discussions and then writing down the names of media, media personalities, or media products with which you are unfamiliar.  When you’ve finished watching, use the Internet to research any unfamiliar references so that you will be prepared if those references appear in the final exam.
     
    Watching these lectures should take approximately 2 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.1.1 The Invention of Radio – Broadcasting Arrives   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

7.1.2 Radio’s Commercial Potential   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (7.1.2.1–7.1.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 7.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 7.1 of the textbook.

7.1.2.1 The Rise of Radio Networks   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

7.1.2.2 The Radio Act of 1927   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

7.1.3 The Golden Age of Radio   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (7.1.3.1–7.1.3.5) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 7.1.

7.1.3.1 Daytime Radio Finds Its Market   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

7.1.3.2 The Origins of Prime Time   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

7.1.3.3 Instant News   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

7.1.3.4 The Birth of the Federal Communications Commission   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

7.1.3.5 Radio on the Margins   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

7.1.4 Television Steals the Show   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

7.1.5 Transition to Top 40   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

7.1.6 FM: The High-Fidelity Counterculture   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

7.1.7 The Rise of Public Radio   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.1.

7.2 Radio Station Formats   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 7, Section 2: Radio Station Formats” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 7, Section 2: Radio Station Formats” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the
readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition,
keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are
not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and
theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter
in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will
also cover the material you need to know for subunits 7.2.1–7.2.8.  

 Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises associated with this section may require an
additional 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

7.2.1 Country   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.  It is introduced by a minor subheading in section 7.2 of the textbook.  To expand your appreciation of this material, consider the characteristics of the audience that might prefer this format and why or when audience preferences for formats may overlap.  If you do not reside in the United States, you may be unfamiliar with this format; however, if you are curious about the characteristics and differences in U.S. radio formats, you can search for them online.  You’ll find many radio stations broadcast through the Internet as well as over the air, enabling you to experience how these formats actually sound.

7.2.2 News/Talk/Information   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

7.2.3 Adult Contemporary   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

7.2.4 Pop Contemporary Hit Radio   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

7.2.5 Classic Rock   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

7.2.6 Urban Contemporary   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

7.2.7 Mexican Regional   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

7.2.8 Other Popular Formats   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.2.

7.3 Radio’s Impact on Culture   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 7, Section 3: Radio’s Impact on Culture” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 7, Section 3: Radio’s Impact on Culture” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the
readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition,
keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are
not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and
theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter
in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will
also cover the material you need to know for subunits 7.3.1–7.3.4.  

 Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises associated with this section may require an
additional 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

7.3.1 A New Kind of Mass Media   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.  Make sure you can discuss the new qualities of media, which originated with radio, and why radio permanently changed mass media as a result.

7.3.2 Radio and the Development of Popular Music   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (7.3.2.1–7.3.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 7.3.  Focus on the cultural influences covered in this material.  Were the influences permanent or have they changed or been replaced by others?

7.3.2.1 Regional Sounds Take Hold   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.

7.3.2.2 Radio’s Lasting Influences   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.

7.3.3 Radio and Politics   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (7.3.3.1–7.3.3.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 7.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 7.3 of the textbook.  The key points to note in this subsection should be those which reflect the role radio plays in the lives of its audience.  How does that role influence the kinds of political behavior radio’s audience exhibits?

7.3.3.1 The Importance of Talk Radio   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.

7.3.3.2 The Repeal of the Fairness Doctrine   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.

7.3.3.3 The Revitalization of AM   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.

7.3.3.4 On-Air Political Influence   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.

7.3.4 Freedom of Speech and Radio Controversies – Making (and Unmaking) a Career out of Controversy   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.3.  This material focuses on a few, nationally recognized radio personalities, but there are many local or community radio stations which support individuals with unique or distinct styles, too.  What do such personalities reflect about the locales or communities which favor them, even on a national scale?

7.4 Radio’s New Future   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 7, Section 4: Radio’s New Future” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 7, Section 4: Radio’s New Future” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition, keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 7.4.1–7.4.3.
 
Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises, end-of-chapter assessment, critical thinking questions, and career connection associated with these readings may require an additional 15 minutes to complete.
 
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.

7.4.1 Satellite Radio   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.4.  Use the readings here as a springboard for your own reflections about the future of the technology behind radio and how it may impact or converge with other technologies.  What developments would you like to see occur?  Can you foresee any negative developments that would impact your personal use of this media?

7.4.2 HD Radio   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.4.

7.4.3 Internet Radio and Podcasting   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (7.4.3.1–7.4.3.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 7.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 7.4 of the textbook.  As you read this material, connect it to your own use, desired use, or potential use of radio’s newer delivery methods.  Are they relevant in your life?  What is it about your lifestyle that encourages you to include or exclude them?

7.4.3.1 Internet Radio   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.4.

7.4.3.2 Problems of Internet Broadcasting   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.4.

7.4.3.3 Podcasting   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.4.

Unit 7 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM103 Assessment 4: Legislation and Regulation, Part 2” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM103 Assessment 4: Legislation and Regulation, Part 2” (PDF)

 Instructions: Complete this assessment.  When you have finished,
you may check your answers against the Saylor Foundation’s [“COMM103
Assessment 4 – Answer Key, Part
2”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/COMM103-Assessment-4-2-Answer-Key-FINAL.pdf) (PDF).