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COMM103: Introduction to Mass Media

Unit 14: Media and Government   To truly understand the media and its role in society, it is necessary to look beyond its history and development and into the other factors that shape its actions and contents.  Throughout this course, culture has had a central role in identifying why the media is as it is, but in this and the two preceding units, the course has focused on other influential factors.  Recognize, however, that those three factors – economics, ethics, and government – vary in their influence based on when in history and also where in the cultural mix of a country they exist.  In the United States, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are traditions that have played a significant role in the media’s relationship with government, for example.  In other countries, that relationship can differ widely.  As this course approaches its conclusion, you should consider continuing to expand your understanding of what the media is and can be by pursuing a comparative analysis of other media systems.  This unit is a good springboard for that exploration because it reviews the major agencies, legislative actions, and political behavior that determine or are determined by the media in this country, characteristics that can vary widely in other cultures and political systems.

Unit 14 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 6 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 14.1: 2.75 hours

☐    Subunit 14.2: 0.75 hours

☐    Subunit 14.3: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 14.4: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 14.5: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 14.6: 1 hour

Unit14 Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Defend or criticize the influences of the FTC and FCC on deregulation and the effect of deregulation on the content and economics of the mass media. - Provide specific examples that illustrate how historically significant legislation has had an impact on media and media audiences. - Identify the law, code, group or agency that plays a role in classifying material as indecent, obscene, or profane; influences ethical and legal compliance in online interactions; protects copyright owners in cyberspace; and leads antipiracy efforts. - Explain how the Internet has changed citizens’ roles in the political process. - Contrast traditional political campaigning with digital campaigning. - Describe the historical influences of radio and television on the political process.

14.1 Government Regulation of Media   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 15, Section 1: Government Regulation of Media” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 15, Section 1: Government Regulation of Media” (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
14.1.1–14.1.4.  

 Reading these sections should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises associated with these sections 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.
  • Lecture: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication: “Episode 28 – The Law, Part 1, and Episode 29 – The Law, Part 2” Link: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication“Episode 28 – The Law, Part 1, and Episode 29 – The Law, 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.

14.1.1 Major Regulatory Agencies   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (14.1.1.1–14.1.1.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 15.1 of the textbook.  Please focus your attention in these readings on the functions each commission plays in the regulatory environment and the major issues which they have had to deal with.

14.1.1.1 Federal Trade Commission   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.

14.1.1.2 Federal Radio Commission   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.

14.1.1.3 Federal Communications Commission   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.

14.1.2 Regulation Today   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (14.1.2.1–14.1.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 15.1 of the textbook.  Please focus your attention in these readings on the functions each commission plays in the regulatory environment and the major issues which they have had to deal with.

14.1.2.1 The Structure and Purposes of the FCC   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.

14.1.2.2 The Structure and Purposes of the FTC   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.1.

14.1.3 Role of Antitrust Legislation   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.1.  Pay attention to the explanation for why antitrust legislation is as important today as it was in the past and see if you can compare antitrust issues involving the media with those of other industries.

14.1.4 Move toward Deregulation   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.1.  Pull from this material both the advantages and the disadvantages of deregulation with respect to media industries.

14.2 The Law and Mass Media Messages   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 15, Section 2: The Law and Mass Media Messages” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 15, Section 2: The Law and Mass Media Messages” (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
14.2.1–14.2.6.  

 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.

14.2.1 Libel and Slander   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (14.2.1–14.2.6) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.2.  As you read this material, please focus on the definitions of terms that are associated with the laws and on the examples which illustrate how the laws are applied.

14.2.2 Copyright and Intellectual Property   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.2.

14.2.3 Freedom of Information Act   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.2.

14.2.4 The Equal Time Rule   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.2.

14.2.5 The Fairness Doctrine   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.2.

14.2.6 The Digital Millennium Copyright Act   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.2.

14.3 Censorship and Freedom of Speech   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 15, Section 3: Censorship and Freedom of Speech” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 15, Section 3: Censorship and Freedom of Speech” (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
14.3.1–14.3.2.  

 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.

14.3.1 Classifying Material as Indecent, Obscene, or Profane   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.3.  Please pay attention to the legal definitions of the terms used in this reading and make sure you can distinguish between a legal definition and a personal one.

14.3.2 Violence and Sex: Taboos in Entertainment   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (14.3.2.1–14.3.2.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 15.3 of the textbook.  The best way to absorb this material is by focusing on the examples which help to explain the issues that are covered.

14.3.2.1 Hays Code   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.3.

14.3.2.2 Ratings Systems   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.3.

14.3.2.3 Film Ratings   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.3.

14.3.2.4 Television and Video Game Ratings   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.3.

14.4 Intellectual Property Issues in the Mass Media   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 15, Section 4: Intellectual Property Issues in the Mass Media” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 15, Section 4: Intellectual Property Issues in the Mass Media” (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
14.4.1–14.4.2.  

 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.

14.4.1 Online Creativity and Intellectual Property Rights   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (14.4.1.1–14.4.1.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 15.4 of the textbook.  As you read this material, please focus on the general nature of regulations which protect property rights online such that you could distinguish between those in place and those that have been proposed or rejected.

14.4.1.1 Copyright Protection in Cyberspace   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

14.4.1.2 The RIAA versus Piracy   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

14.4.2 The Law and Online Interactions   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

14.4.2.1 TOS Agreements   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

14.4.2.2 The Case of Megan Meier   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

14.4.2.3 Crimes on the Internet   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

14.4.2.4 Online Hate Crimes and Anonymity   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.4.

14.5 Digital Democracy and Its Possible Effects   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 15, Section 5: Digital Democracy and Its Possible Effects” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 15, Section 5: Digital Democracy and Its Possible Effects” (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
14.5.1–14.5.2.  

 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.

14.5.1 President Obama’s Digital Campaign   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (14.5.1.1–14.5.1.5) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.5.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 15.5 of the textbook.  As you read this material, pay particular attention to the reasoning behind the Obama Administration’s plans and what it is hoped they will accomplish.  Do you think they go too far or fall short?  How do you think they might affect your own online experiences?

14.5.1.1 Traditional Websites   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.5.

14.5.1.2 Social Networking   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.5.

14.5.1.3 E-mail Outreach   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.5.

14.5.1.4 Text Messaging   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.5.

14.5.1.5 E-Democracy   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 14.5.

14.5.2 Digital Democracy and the Digital Divide   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.5.  This is another instance when what you read is best absorbed by comparing or connecting it to what you do, so as you read this material, consider your own engagement in the political process.  How are your impressions of candidates shaped by your online experiences?  Do you seek out information or try to avoid it?  Do you feel that you succeed in obtaining or avoiding politics online, or are you finding that political messages and advertisements are becoming increasingly ubiquitous?  Is this good or bad?  Why?

14.6 Media Influence on Laws and Government   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 15, Section 6: Media Influence on Laws and Government” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 15, Section 6: Media Influence on Laws and Government” (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
14.6.1–14.6.6.  

 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 45 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.

14.6.1 Radio   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.6.  As you read this material, please focus on identifying specific changes that arose because of the media’s influence on politics in two areas: campaigning and participation.  Make sure you can provide examples from each area.

14.6.2 Television   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.6.

14.6.3 Nixon–Kennedy Debates of 1960   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.6.

14.6.4 War and Television   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.6.

14.6.5 Political News Programming   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.6.

14.6.6 Online News and Politics   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 14.6.