Loading...

COMM103: Introduction to Mass Media

Unit 9: Television   Television, and its many programming formats, can be considered to represent an accumulation of several media industries into a single product.  Almost from its inception, it included music, news, advertising, literature, and other kinds of information and entertainment that consumers had previously obtained through books, newspapers, magazines, records, movies, and radio.  Of course, television is much more than just a compilation of other media, and its history and technological developments in many ways represent the beginning of the modern era in general, especially as it evolved after World War II.  Perhaps one of the best examples of how television technology and cultural advances ran on parallel tracks was the Civil Rights era, when people “of color” increasingly demanded more respect and more influence.  Color television became mainstream technology during this era as well, bringing with it a more vivid realism than audiences had encountered previously – except in movie theaters and, perhaps, in people’s imaginations.  However, movies were not an important source of news and information, while television rapidly evolved into a critical source, wielding an influence of such power that it has been argued to have altered the national psyche of the time, a chief instigator of far-reaching changes in society and politics.  As you work through this unit, compare the historical influence of television to what you may have experienced yourself with the Internet.  See if you can recognize some similarities between television and the Internet in terms of the impact their technical and content innovations have had on the way people work, play, interact, and even think.

Unit 9 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 9.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 9.2: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 9.3: 0.75 hours

☐    Subunit 9.4: 0.75 hours

Unit9 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 television industry: domestic comedy, specialization, broadband, HDTV, corporate sponsorship, networks, netlets, and narrowcasting. - Identify significant social, political, economic, and technological milestones in the history of television and describe their impact on the industry. - Describe cultural traits that influenced the development of television and also when, why, and how television played a role in cultural developments. - Explain the influence of sponsors on program content. - Contrast programming and current trends in satellite and cable television. - Compare and contrast the content delivery and viewing patterns of contemporary television with those traits as they existed prior to widespread access to the Internet.

9.1 The Evolution of Television – The Origins of Television   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 9, Section 1: The Evolution of Television” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 9, Section 1: The Evolution of Television” (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 9.1.1–9.1.7.
 
Reading these sections should take approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises associated with these sections may require an additional 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.

  • Lecture: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication: “Episode 13 – Television, Part 1, Episode 14 – Television, Part 2, and Episode 15—Television, Part 3” (MP4) Link: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication“Episode 13 – Television, Part 1, Episode 14 – Television, Part 2, and Episode 15—Television, Part 3” (MP4)
     
    Instructions: Please watch all three 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 3 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

9.1.1 Mechanical Television versus Electronic Television   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.  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.

9.1.2 Early Broadcasting   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.

9.1.3 Color Technology   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.

9.1.4 The Golden Age of Television   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.

9.1.5 The Rise of Cable Television   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.

9.1.6 The Emergence of Digital Television   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.

9.1.7 The Era of High-Definition Television   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1.

9.2 The Relationship between Television and Culture   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 9, Section 2: The Relationship Between Television and Culture” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 9, Section 2: The Relationship Between Television and 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 9.2.1–9.2.2.  

 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.

9.2.1 Cultural Influences on Television   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (9.2.1.1–9.2.1.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 9.2 of the textbook.  As you read this material, keep in mind that television viewing was not widespread until well into the 1980s, and so, early television was affected by a relatively small and somewhat homogenous population.  As a result, a more important question you should consider about this material is whether and/or when television adapted to multiple cultures as its reach grew or did the influence of its original, relatively homogenous audience persist for a longer period of time than you would have predicted and why?

9.2.1.1 Violence and Escapism in the 1960s   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.

9.2.1.2 Diversity and Politics in the 1970s   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.

9.2.1.3 The Influence of Cable Television in the 1980s   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.

9.2.1.4 Specialization in the 1990s and 2000s   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.

9.2.2 Television’s Influence on Culture   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (9.2.2.1–9.2.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 9.2 of the textbook.  As you read this material, keep in mind that television viewing was not widespread until well into the 1980s, leaving early television to influence a relatively small population.  The question is how did its influence grow as the number of viewers increased and did that influence differ based on the nature of its audience.  For example, as a larger and larger population adopted the technology, did the shared experience produce shared cultural traits, too, or was the experience filtered by those cultural traits?

9.2.2.1 Social Controversy   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.

9.2.2.2 Creating Stars via Reality Television   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.2.

9.3 Issues and Trends in the Television Industry   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 9, Section 3: Issues and Trends in the Television Industry” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 9, Section 3: Issues and Trends in the Television Industry” (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 9.3.1–9.3.2.  

 Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises associated with this section may require an
additional 30 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](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

9.3.1 The Influence of Corporate Sponsorship – Public Television and Corporate Sponsorship   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.3.  As you read this material, reflect back on the nature of corporate sponsorship in earlier eras of television and see if you can identify the cultural factors which have changed not only television but also its relationship to companies which sponsor programming.

9.3.2 The Rise and Fall of the Network   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (9.3.2.1–9.3.2.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 9.3 of the textbook.  As you read this material, make sure you are recognizing why network television evolved as it did and keep in mind the changes which took place in other media during similar periods in their history.  Look for similarities which might help you predict future changes in the media.

9.3.2.1 Cable Challenges the Networks   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.3.

9.3.2.2 Narrowcasting   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.3.

9.3.2.3 Impact on Networks   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.3.

9.4 Influence of New Technologies   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 9, Section 4: Influence of New Technologies” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 9, Section 4: Influence of New Technologies” (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 9.4.1–9.4.2.  

 Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises, end-of-chapter assessment, critical
thinking questions, and career connection 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.

9.4.1 The War between Satellite and Cable Television – The Current Satellite Market: DirecTV versus Dish Network   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.4.  The long heading for this subunit reflects the way this material uses the two satellite networks as proxies for combatants in the “war” mentioned.  As a result, concentrate your attention on the way the two satellite companies are similar and how those similarities enable them to challenge the supremacy of cable television as a paid service.

9.4.2 The Impact of DVRs and the Internet: Changing Content Delivery   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (9.4.2.1–9.4.2.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 9.4 of the textbook.  When reading this material, don’t forget that the Internet offers both paid and free television programs.  Make sure you can provide examples of each type, online and also in other formats, such as Netflix (by mail) and Redbox booths.

9.4.2.1 New Viewing Outlets: YouTube and Hulu   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.4.

9.4.2.2 Video-on-Demand   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.4.

9.4.2.3 Interactive Television   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 9.4.

Unit 9 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM103 Assessment 5: Technology, Part 2” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM103 Assessment 5: Technology, Part 2” (PDF)

 Instructions: Complete this assessment.  When you have finished,
you may check your answers against the Saylor Foundation’s [“COMM103
Assessment 5 – Answer Key, Part
2”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/COMM103-Assessment-5-2-Answer-Key-FINAL.pdf) (PDF).