Media Final Exam

I.              Short Answers

1.    Sensationalism

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– The terms sensationalism refers to the extent to which journalists feel obliged to use a melodramatic style of presentation in the construction of news stories. The primary characteristics present in sensationalist view is the high value on emotionalism rather than reason, on entertainment rather information. The four major criteria emphasized in this concept are immediacy, drama, simplicity and ethnocentrism.

2.    Modern Racism

– The concept of modern racism entails a theory of modern prejudice that emphasizes the campaign of anti-Black prejudice, which emerged after the Civil Rights era. Racial prejudice in this concept entails denial and disapproval of equal access to opportunities and rights among black community despite non-racial reasons, such as stereotypes of blacks as full of negative characteristics or the indirect perception that blacks are the major component of social problems.

3.    Individualism

– Individualism is an ideology that considers the moral, political and social components emphasizing the need for human independence and individuality as well as liberty as an individual person. The concept of individualism simply emphasizes personal qualities of an individual that brings forth value in media.

4.    Defamation

– Defamation is a process of providing a negatively inclined, false, implied to be factual statement to the public, which results to the negative imagery of an individual or a group.

5.    Hollywood Ten

– The Hollywood Ten originated from the incident of McCarthysm and Hollywood Blacklisting during the 1950s, which comprised the forceful arrest of ten Hollywood celebrities, namely Alvah Bessie, Herbert J. Biberman, Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner Jr., John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott and Dalton Trumbod, during the time of great communist stigma in United States.

6.    Gnarls Barkley

– The American duet musical group formed by Brian Burton and Thomas Callaway originated in Atlanta. One of their hit singles, Crazy (2006), is from their first album St. Elsewhere released in the same year as well.

7.    Penny Press

– From the word itself, Penny Press offers cheap tabloid newspapers that started way back in middle 19th century. The first penny press newspaper was the published in 1833 by Benjamin Day through The New York Sun.

8.    Ron Galella

– Ron Gallela (1931), also known as the pioneer paparazzo, has become widely regarded American photographer due to his catching celebrity photographs and innovative techniques in photography.

9.    The Yellow Kid

– The character of Yellow Kid originated from the imaginations of Richard F. Outcault in his Hogan’s Allery. This became the first known Sunday supplement comic strips that depicted political messages in the American newspaper’s entertainment cartoons.

10. Joseph Pulitzer

– The American Hungarian publisher named Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) was the one responsible for the establishment of the high-valued Pulitzer Price with origins from yellow journalism, which exposes scandals, sensationalism and/or non-professional activities of news media firms.

II.            Mid-length Essays

1.    Discuss racial and ethnic stereotyping, counter-stereotyping and modern racism in the following works:

                                          i.    The Cosby Show

The most successful contribution of Cosby Show is that it permitted America in viewing black individuals as human beings as signified by the dismantling of Cosby’s racial mythology and racial stereotyping. The Cosby show has illustrated the concerned issues of human beings racial variations and developments, such as issues of parenting, family relations, work, play and love. The Cosby Show deals with the racial issues not only specific to African Blacks but most significantly the issues as human beings. The counter-stereotyping in Cosby show is illustrated in one of its examples wherein a black family whose members are high academics and social achievers, in contrast to the common stereotypes that black people are less intelligent and capacitated than whites. The counter-stereotyping of Cosby Show endeavors means in order to change the governing stereotypes among race and ethnic communities, such as blacks in American white society. Lastly, the critiques of the show conclude that the popularity of the show among white audiences tends to militate toward a complex and insidious form of modern racism that rejects the majority of blacks who are not like the Huxtables, which, by implication, connotes not normal.

                                        ii.    Birth of a Nation

The stereotype presented in Birth of a Nation coincide in the promotion of the ideal white supremacism, or the idea of glorying the great characteristics of American whites, and the recognition of secret organization in the United States for advocating white supremacy, the KKK or Ku Klux Klan. The film has implied negative stereotypes over the black ethnics and opposes the provision of equal place to blacks within the American society. Hence, the KKK resorts to violence in order to annihilate the existence of black positions within the society, which demonstrate the counter stereotyping of blacks as the violent groups and whites as the peaceful race. The modern racism is very much evident to KKK movement in their strong opposition towards the black society and their placement within the society.

2.    Trace the tension between commercialism vs. democratic values in journalism as evidenced in the following:

                                          i.    Partisan Press

The partisan press has widely flourished at various times in different countries and the more usual to this is the partisan model in democracies. Partisan Press asserts that a healthy political culture needs a politicized media that would sensitize and engage citizens. Hence, the partisan press has tried to lessen its partisanship by accommodating the market forces, leading to a clear convergence between the partisan press and the further commercialism impact to the society. However, the marketing force employed by partisan press moves in anti-democratic and anti-journalistic tendencies. In a group perspective, the general apolitical and sensational mass press has been increasing their commercial market to enclose further publicity, which sacrifices the democratic values of journalism while directly pursues commercialism.

                                        ii.    Penny Press

Penny press has provided significant contribution in changing the face of American journalism based on partisan politics and interests of the commercial marketplace. Similar to the conditions of Partisan Press, penny press has combined the concept of commercialism and the political function of journalism in order to increase further publicity. The commercialization of penny press is expected to transform the traditional settings of penny journalism to a more professionalized and modernized forms of journalism. The commercialization of penny press is entirely to enhance the modes of publicity and applicability of the political issues in their newspapers by gathering of funds, hence, the issues should be marketable that could somehow impair the democratic freedom of speech of journalism.

3.    Howard Stern is portrayed — by himself and in the media — as a rebel who opposes authoritarianism and supports sexual liberation — in all, a model of free thinking and free speech. Unlike the rest of us, hemmed in by politeness and political correctness, “he says what’s on his mind.” In this course, you have been exposed to an alternative view, in which Stern is critiqued as a contemporary version of Big Brother. What ideas are offered to support this claim?

The character of Big Brother offers an authoritative approach to the in-mates of this television series, which is somehow similar to the characteristics of Howerd Stern’s media strategy. Big brother focuses on subjective reality by giving the voice to an ordinary individual in the streets. Meanwhile, Howard Stern, also known as the “shock Jock” creates an atmosphere where explicit program content. Stern violates the rules and regulations implicated by the radio company in order to further express his thoughts and his subjective concerns with reality, which similar to the reality-oriented show of big brother; hence, creating the notion of Stern being the contemporary big brother. Stern’s way of radio hosting imbues the illustrations of reality and not just what people wants to hear or see.

III.           Major Essays

Theme of Commercialism vs. Democratic Values

            In the past, the state-supported media ensured that the poor and those in remote villages had access to newspapers and broadcasting services. With the aid of media restructuring of distribution networks, low-density and low-consumption rural populations have become non-profitable markets. Meanwhile, commercialization of media and the compromise it causes to democratic values of journalism, such as the freedom of expression, are the pointed issues of the modern journalism. Different forms of media, such as youtube, wikipedia, and other open source programming have all revolutionized the context of media; however, the limitations of expressions under democratization has compromised both content and values of the current media. Media commercialization has involved highly-manipulative relations between political powers, economic interests, and pay journalism through media economics, which is in sharp contrast to a romanticized view of a democratic market-place of ideas and values.

            The economic goals of global corporate media ultimately conflict with the social and cultural needs of the communities and social sectors. With the expansion of the local media and its commercialization, the media covers more the laws of market and the needs of financing sectors (e.g. advertisements, media economics, etc.) than the needs of the community. In fact, the perspectives of global capitalism cannot advance either democratic institutions or cultural changes in response to this commercialization. The global media commercialization harvests the local cultures and form their media economics, capitalist-oriented media schemes and advertisements for further financial constructs, which in turn sacrifice the need for democratic-based statements for the community.



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