Speech 2050 Study Guide
What is "Public Relations"?
∙ The textbook says...
o The total communication strategy conducted by a person, a government, or an organization attempting to reach and persuade an audience to adopt a point of view ∙ The Public Relations Society of America says...
o Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other ∙ While both might be true, the PRSA definition is an example of the textbook definition. ∙ Public Relations differs from advertising
o Advertising uses simple and fixed messages
o These messages are usually transmitted directly through the purchase of ads ▪ PR doesn't necessarily involve ad purchases.
o PR involves more complex messages that may evolve over time Don't forget about the age old question of Do campaigns matter?
o Instead, it may involve indirect persuasion often through the news media
▪ In this way, PR can be much more powerful than ads.
Public Relations History
∙ The first "PR" practitioners were press agents in the 1800's, who used stunts to increase media exposure of their clients.
∙ Eventually, this evolved into publicity: using media to spread information about a person or issue.
∙ In the early industrial revolution, businesses like railroads used PR very successfully to attract large government subsidies.
o They pioneered the use of lobbyists:
If you want to learn more check out What is an early sign of alzheimer’s?
▪ PR specialists who attempt to influence lawmakers to support and vote for an organization's or industry's best interests.
∙ These tactics were so successful that some companies were even able to achieve monopoly status.
∙ The combination of corporate misdeeds, investigative journalism, and more popular newspapers made corporations aware of a need to improve their public image. We also discuss several other topics like What is usually the first sign of glaucoma?
∙ A new group of PR professionals took advantage of this crisis to rise to prominence.
∙ He worked in one of the first PR firms in the US, then became an influential consultant on his own.
o He advised more openness with the press
o He advised emphasizing good stories during bad circumstances Don't forget about the age old question of What is the formula for payback period?
o He advised putting executives in the public eye
o He advised "truth" in advertising
∙ The nephew of Sigmund Freud, he was the first person to apply psychology to PR. ∙ He was a key part of the US propaganda effort in WWI
∙ He wrote the first PR textbook
∙ He believed that the masses were irrational and needed to be controlled for their own good and for corporate profit
o He termed the shaping of public opinion the "engineering of consent"
∙ Pseudo- events
o Any circumstance created with the sole purpose of gaining coverage in the media ∙ Astroturf lobbying
o Phony grassroots public affairs campaigns engineered by public relations firms The Other Stuff I Told You to Study
o Giving reporters free rail passes with the tactic understanding that they would write growing reports about rail traveling
∙ Doris Fleischman
o Edward Bernays’s wife and business partner
o Worked with her husband on many of his campaigns as a researcher and coauthor o One of the first women to work in public relations and introduced PR to America’s most powerful leaders through a pamphlet she edited called Contact We also discuss several other topics like How to calculate mass and center of gravity?
Some Basic Economic Terms
∙ monopoly: a single firm dominates production and distribution
∙ oligopoly: just a few firms dominate an industry
∙ limited competition: many producers and sellers, but only a few different products ∙ economies of sale: as production levels increase, cost per unit goes down
Regulation and Deregulation
∙ The industrial revolution of the late 1880's produced many anticompetitive business practices ∙ In 1890, Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act, which outlawed monopolies and other anticompetitive practices
∙ In 1914, Congress passed the Clayton Antitrust Act, which stopped businesses from selling only to those who rejected competitors' products.
∙ Starting with the Carter administration in the 1970's however, the federal government began a trend of deregulation that continues today
∙ This has led to mixed results in the media sector, which include: If you want to learn more check out What is the equation for gdp?
o Much higher prices for some products
o Consolidation of ownership (merges, etc.)
o Large companies tend to diversify across an entire industry to avoid antitrust laws o An increase in the availability of low-wage jobs at the expense of higher paying middle range jobs
o An increase in compensation for top- level employees
∙ The media economy was always global
∙ What makes today's global media economy different is "the extension of synergy to international levels."
∙ Synergy is when the interaction of multiple elements is greater than the sum of its parts. o In media economics, this means the way corporations buy multiple products or companies to take advantage of their interaction
∙ For example, companies that produce the hardware to play video content also buy companies that produce th content for that hardware.
∙ There are downsides to international synergy, however.
∙ Cultural imperialism: American culture dominates the media, crowding out local alternatives ∙ Because many American media products (like TV shows) make a profit domestically, thy can be sold internationally at a cheap price
∙ This makes it hard for locally produced media products to compete
∙ People in other countries react negatively when our culture is overrepresented in their media, or when their children begin adopting our cultural values
The Other Stuff I Told You to Study
o The acceptance of the dominant values in a culture by those who subordinate to those who hold economic and political power
∙ Celler- Kefauver Act of 1950
o In 1950, it further strengthened antitrust rules by limiting any corporate mergers and joint ventures that reduced competition
∙ No one invented the Internet.
Definition of the Internet
∙ The global information system that:
1. is linked together by a globally unique address space
2. supports global communications using TCP/IP
▪ Specifies how data should be formatted, addressed, transmitted, routed and received
▪ Involves packet switching: breaking data down into small pieces for easier routing
3. provides both public and private services via the communications infrastructure ∙ The Internet is an open system
An Internet Timeline
∙ The basic idea of the Internet was conceived around 1962: social interactions that could be enabled through computer networking
o This "galactic network" was envisioned by J.C.R. Licklider of MIT
∙ Early work on packet switching was conducted both in the US and the UK
o It was the British version that ended up inspiring US researchers to propose and then build their first packet- switching computer network
∙ Early Internet technology (but not the actual Internet) was developed by the military (DARPA) around 1969.
o This was not technically an Internet because it was only one network, not a connection of networks.
∙ Email was invented in 1971
∙ Microprocessors were also introduced in 1971, allowing the development of personal computers
o Miniature circuits that process and store electronic signals
∙ The basic Internet was well established by 1985
∙ The early Internet did NOT include the Web
The World Wide Web
∙ The Web was invented in the early 1990's largely by one man: a scientist named Tim Berners Lee
∙ He was working in a physics lab in Switzerland
∙ The heart of the Web is a simple language called "html" that allows computers to translate packets of digital data into various kinds of media (not just text)
Why the Internet is Open
∙ The Internet was built on the concept of open architecture:
o The standards and protocols of the system are public, and are designed to make it easy for different computers and networks to interconnect
▪ A key requirement is that networks don't have to change to be connected to the Internet.
o A related concept you will often hear is open source, but that's different.
▪ Open source is when someone owns the copyright to something (like computer software), but releases that right and the software's source code so everyone
can study, change, or distribute it for their own use.
∙ Media effects is the field of research that attempts to understand, predict, and explain the effects of mass media on individuals and society
o scientific method: understand, predict, and explain
o individuals and society: media does not only effect the individual but society as well ∙ Not all media researchers are studying "effects" or aiming for prediction
o Cultural studies researchers try to understand how media constructs and is constructed by questions of gender, race, social class, nationality, etc.
o Rhetorical studies researchers try to understand how media functions in terms of persuasion, meaning, political contestation, ideology, identity, etc.
Media Effects Theories
∙ The Hypodermic Needle Model
o An early model for television effects on audiences
o The idea that powerful media shoot their messages directly into vulnerable audiences' brains
o Also known as the "magic bullet" or "direct effects" model
o Fails to account for the fact that people are critical and skeptical of media messages o Widely discredited by subsequent research
∙ The Minimal Effects Model
o Media effects are less powerful, and are mostly indirect.
o Also known as the "limited model"
o People engage in selective exposure:
▪ We tend to expose ourselves only to messages that we are already comfortable with
o People engage in selective retention:
▪ We tend to retain messages that confirm the values and ideas that we already hold
o This model still assumes that audiences are passive in their consumption of media ∙ Uses and Gratifications
o Studies how and why media are used, rather than what their effects are
o The surveillance function suggests that people use the media to monitor the world around them
o Similarly, the socialization function suggests that people use the media to help fit in with others
o While the textbook says this model was never widely adopted, it has been incorporated into rhetorical and cultural studies research.
What Effect Does the Media Have?
∙ The most significant demonstrated effect of media is agenda- setting:
o Not telling people what to think, but telling them what to think about
∙ Many of the other effects listed in the textbook are less well proven but still worth discussing
∙ The cultivation effect is the idea that heavy TV viewing causes is to believe that TVis giving us an accurate portrayal of the real world
o One common version of this is the mean world syndrome: we believe the world is more dangerous than it really is because TV shows so much crime
∙ The spiral of silence theory is the idea that the media silences controversial opinions by making those who have them fear social invasion
o This can even be true of opinions that are not really controversial, since the media edits out very widely held opinions
o Some studies indicate that we are even willing to go along with wrong answers if "everyone else" is giving those answers too
The Other Stuff I Told You to Study
∙ Pseudo- pols
o Typically call-in, online, or person-in-the-street nonscientific polls that the news media use to address a “question of the day”
∙ Third person effect
o The theory that people believe others are more affected by media messages than they are themselves
∙ Textual analysis
o In media research, a method for closely and critically examining and interpreting the meanings of culture, including architecture, fashion, books, movies, and TV programs
∙ Jürgen Habermas
o German philosopher who first advanced the idea of the public sphere in 1962 Are Video Games Good & Bad
Blazing Angels or Resident Evil?
∙ Christopher Ferguson
∙ Violent video games cause kids to be violent?
∙ "Concerns about the harmful...nature of media on consumers...have been recorded since at least the time if the Greeks and Romans."
∙ The hypothesis that video games directly cause violence has been presented not as one side of a reasonable debate but as a fact and a public health crisis on par with smoking and lung cancer. ∙ The news cycle about video games tends to focuses on three main phenomena:
1. The release of controversial games
2. Unsupported statements by non-scientists
3. Efforts to toe individual real life violent crimes to violent games
∙ Ferguson thinks that the connection between video games and violence is a moral panic: o A quest by some members of society to impose their moral beliefs on the greater society through the tactic of fear.
∙ The moral panic causes people to believe in a link whether there is one or not, and to demand research supporting the link.
∙ One of the outcomes of a moral panic is publication bias:
o A bias among academic journals on favor of publishing studies that show positive results over studies that disprove hypothesis.
∙ Ferguson thinks the research on the link between video games and violence demonstrates a publication bias.
∙ Ferguson thinks the video game violence research is inconsistent, contradictory, and overstated by its own authors
∙ He points out that some studies show video games have positive effects
∙ He thinks the research that shows a link is often flawed. Why?
1. Many studies aren't measuring actual aggression, and measures are inconsistent from study to study
2. The "link" in many studies can be explained by other factors
3. The absence of a recognized threshold level for acceptable violence.
▪ In other words, we don't know how much you have to increase violence in a person to make that person "too" violent
∙ Those the author is critiquing would say:
1. Their methods are statistically sound
2. It's foolish to think all this violence has no impact at all
o There is some effects of exposure to violence but we don't know what those effects are 3. The crime rate is going up
o actually crime rate is going down and has been since 1989-90
∙ "Video games" are not one coherent thing
Is the Digital Age Improving Us?
Why Youth are Failing (Bauerlein)
∙ This article is an interview with an Emory professor who wrote a book called The Dumbest Generations to
∙ He blames the digital age for the dumbing down of the younger generation o Time spent on digital technology trades off with book reading
o Digital technology means more social contact which means less focus on anything else o He says young people aren't used to working hard and assume they should get flexible time to work when they want to, so they have trouble succeeding in work environments o He claims there is now strong social pressure against reading and intelligence o He blames digital culture for making people more self-absorbed because social networking causes them to focus only on their own lives
The Dumbest Generation? Don't Be Dumb. (Begley)
∙ She points out that the older generation has been panicking at the ignorance of the young for thousands of years
∙ She also contends that if young people don't know important information it might be the fault of schools that are run by older people
∙ She contends that there is a difference between knowing facts and being intelligent, and IQ scores are rising.
∙ She points out that some empirical evidence suggests that digital technology can improve brain function
∙ Her conclusion is that it's too early to say anything definitive about the current young generation
The Kids are Alright (Howe)
∙ Howe uses statistical analysis to identify the group he says is the real dumbest generation: "early X-ers," or people who were born from the late 1950's to the mid 1960's
o This group performed the worst in tests got the fewetst degrees, and has the fewest professional jobs
o Interestingly for this debate, Howe agrees that this generation's lack of success came from things like divorce rates, parental neglect, and lack of supervision, not technology o Howe concludes that being "the dumbest" generation hasn't meant failure for the early X-ers
o Instead, the says they have learned to be practical and resilient, and they handle risk well.
∙ There are many problems with Bauerlein's arguments
o They are elitist. Why are some facts, some texts, and some formats more important than others?
o They assume memorization is important
o They assume politics and business will remain stable, so past strategies are still valid ∙ But we are too ignorant and we don't use digital technology to teach ourselves Media & Race
∙ “Good Guys Are Still Always in White?” by Travis Dixon
∙ This article is a piece of research analyzing TV news programs in Los Angeles Existing Research on Race
∙ The author notes that a substantial amount of research on race in TV news exists o That research tends to show that:
1. Whites are overrepresented as police officers and crime victims
2. Blacks are overrepresented as perpetrators
3. Latinos are underrepresented in every category
∙ However, much of that research is old
o And it mostly ignored Spanish language stations
Who Cares About the News?
∙ Why should we study what's going on in the news regarding race?
∙ The existing research comes to three conclusions that answer this question: 1. The news may help create stereotypes or reinforce stereotypical views of African American as criminal perpetrators and Whites as victims or officers.
2. Distorted news content might create support for punitive crime policies.
3. Distorted news content might lead to stereotypical thinking about Blacks. (makes racism worst)
∙ Like much of the existing research, he's using "inter-reality" measures
o He's statistically comparing what the news report to overall crime statistics in the area ∙ He samples a lot of TV news programs in LA including Spanish language channels ∙ One of the difficult things about this method is identifying the race of individuals on the news
o Like most researchers, Dixon used multiple human coders to watch the news shows o However, this demonstrates that we don't have good research on TV news coverage of multiracial people
o Dixon's study lumped multiracial folks in with people of Asian descent, for example ∙ His study confirmed that TV news still contains numerous crime stories
o 30% of the stories in his news programs were about crime
o Of that number, half were about murder
∙ His research found:
1. Blacks were more accurately depicted in these news stories in all categories: officers, victims, and perpetrators
2. Latinos are now which more visible in crime news, but not as victims or officers 3. Whites are still overrepresented as victims and officers.
∙ Dixon asks why the news is so unrealistic in its depictions of race and crime 1. Ethnic blame discourse. The TV news audience is majority white, and is attracted to stories that position whites as victims and heroes
2. Incognizant racism. The news media, like other parts of society, is unconsciously influenced by its own racist beliefs and assumptions
3. Economic interest. News programs are trying to increase ratings by appealing to white audiences
Media & Gender
“Seen to be Heard” by Pedelty & Kuecker
∙ The Voiceover
o This article is an analysis of the representations of gender in television commercial voiceovers.
o Men perform 80% of ad voiceovers
▪ This is only down 10% from 1975.
▪ Male voices dominate almost all vocal role categories
▪ However, male dominance is cute in half (65%) for role categories featuring the speaker's her body is also on display.
▪ In other words, the chances of a woman's voice being heard are greatly
increased if her body is also on display.
o The authors refer to this as scopocentric sexism:
▪ The tendency for visual role presence to influence inordinately when and how a woman's voice will be heard
Why so Sexist?
∙ If we understand the contexts and causes of gender inequity in advertising and other media... o We might be able to redress sexism more effectively and...
o Challenge gender biases that otherwise remain unclear and naturalized
∙ Advertisers seem to have strong biases in favor of male voiceovers
o They believe male voices are perceived as more authoritative.
o However, existing research is inconclusive on this point
▪ Many studies show no difference based on gender
▪ When there IS a difference in perception, it's not all negative
▪ For example, female voices are often seen as more soothing when a bias exists ▪ Advertisers "hedge their bets" on the assumption that the audience likes male voices better
∙ Even if audiences prefer male to female voices, we have to ask why that's true o The lack of female voiceovers in commercials might be a cause of that bias o This is especially true because children are raised in a media environment that excludes female voices
o Advertisers make this phenomenon worse than executives give advice that reinforces stereotypes
▪ Some execs believe that men should be seen as acting, whereas women should only appear and be seen
From Damsels in Distress to Sexy Superheros
∙ Video Game Characters
o early video games featured roles for females that were mostly restricted to "damsels in distress"
▪ in other words, women in video games existed to be rescued by male
o The authors note that especially younger video game players risk seeing gender roles in games as models for their own lives
▪ Regardless of age, studies indicate that video game representations may affect our perceptions of real people when it comes to gender
o In video games, existing research suggests that female characters are sexualized ▪ This includes depictions of women as sex objects
▪ But it also includes depictions of women as sexual aggressors
∙ The authors are testing whether depictions of women in video games have changed over time in two categories:
1. Benevolent sexism - endorses more traditional attitudes toward women, particularly paternalistic, protective attitudes toward women
2. Hostile sexism - endorses attitudes and behaviors that exploit women as sexual objects through the expression of derogatory characteristics of women
∙ Their conclusions:
o Women are much less likely to be depicted as needing rescue
o Women are now often the heroes of games
o However, when that occurs, they are highly sexualized and portrayed as sexual objects o There are still a lot of problematic elements in video games when in comes to gender Stuff From First 2 Tests
High vs. Low Culture
∙ One perspective on media sees it as a cultural continuum.
o High culture is associated with higher levels of taste, education, complexity, wealth, and cultural durability.
o Low culture is associated with mass popularity, throwaway culture, and simplistic appeals.
∙ Some see high and low culture as being in competition.
o They see culture as a zero- sum game.
▪ When one player wins the other person loses.
▪ Ex: If one basketball team gets a point, the other loses a point.
o They argue that low culture makes us incapable of appreciating high culture. ∙ Others argue that low culture is increasingly coming to resemble high culture. ∙ Still others argue that the whole idea of high culture and low culture is wrong. ∙ "Communication is complicated"
∙ Book challenge
o A formal complaint to have a book removed from a public or school library’s collection ∙ Reasons for challenges against American libraries (fig. 10.3)
o In order from most reason to least reason
▪ Sexually explicit material
▪ Offensive language
▪ Unsuited to age group
▪ Religious viewpoints
▪ Anti- family
o #1 banned classic – The Great Gastby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Why are we studying this?
∙ Ubiquity - the state of being everywhere all the time
o total "media time" - more than 2/3 of our waking life
∙ Information - virtually everything you know about the world is delivered to you by media ∙ Culture - modern media both influences culture and is deeply influenced by it o To operate as citizens and consumers, we need to develop "visual literacy" -- the ability to decipher meaning from common images
∙ Ignorance - students get decades of classes on reading and math, but virtually none on media literacy
The SPJ Code of Ethics
∙ Code of Ethics
o Seek Truth and Report It
o Minimize Harm
o Act Independently
o Be Accountable
Near v. Minnesota
∙ The court's "first great press case"
∙ It ruled that newspapers could not be stopped from publishing even "scandalous and defamatory" material
∙ However, it left open the possibility that prior restraint might be acceptable in extreme circumstances.
Burstyn v. Wilson
∙ In 1952, Miracle Case
o Named after Roberto Rossellini’s film II Miracolo (The Miracle)
∙ Movie’s distributer sued the head of the New York Film Licensing Board for banning the film ∙ Considered the 1948 film sacrilegious
∙ Supreme Court agreed that the censoring of the film constituted illegal prior restraint under 1st Amendment and declared movies “a significant medium for the communication of ideas” Mutual v. Ohio
∙ The Mutual Film Company of Detroit sued the state of Ohio, whose review board had censored a number of the distributor’s films.
∙ Supreme Court ruled that motion pictures were not a form of speech
The Pentagon Papers
∙ The actual court case was New York Times Co. v. United States
∙ The court ruled the government could not stop newspapers from publishing classified material in their possession.
∙ It left open the possibility of justifiable prior restraint, but said the government was not justified in this case.
FCC v. Pacifica Foundation
∙ 1978: Supreme Court ruled to require broadcasting to air adult programming at times when children are not likely to be listening
The Progressive magazine case
∙ United States v. Progressive, Inc.
∙ The government sought to stop the publication of an article containing classified information about how nuclear bombs work.
∙ A federal judge initially ruled that the government was justified in restraining publication. ∙ The government later dropped the suit because the information had been published already in other papers based on non-classified information
∙ Prosecutors in court are granted absolute privilege, which means they can't be sued for making false accusations in the courtroom
∙ Reporters are granted qualified privilege which means they can't be sued for repeating false statements made in court or in legislative sessions
∙ Gag orders are issued by judges to prevent anyone involved in a trial from speaking to the press and potentially influencing a jury.
Who Invented Radio
∙ Marconi (an Italian) sent the first radio message in 1895.
o There is some question whether he invented the first radio device - both Loomis and Tesla have also been credited.
What TV programs cost to make
∙ Like movies, most American TV shows cost a lot to make
o Around $3 million per episode for the average network TV drama