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UW / Communications / COM 201 / Who and what structures influence one's opinions about politics?

Who and what structures influence one's opinions about politics?

Who and what structures influence one's opinions about politics?


School: University of Washington
Department: Communications
Course: Intro to Comm 1
Professor: Ekin yasin
Term: Fall 2015
Cost: 50
Name: COM 201 Midterm study guide
Description: My study guide includes all of our past in-class conversations and debates as well as clicker questions, polls, and answers. I've included a few Friday section activities as well with key terms and def
Uploaded: 11/05/2015
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COM201 Midterm Study guide  

Who/what structures or influences your opinions about politics?

Critical questions  

From lecture 2 

In-class Conversation 1

1 How many hours per day do you spend with your smartphone?  2 How many hours per day do you spend watching TV?

3 How many hours per day do you spend reading?  

In class conversation 2

1 Describe a time you experienced culture shock

2 What elements of culture shock did you experience

From lecture 3 

In class conversation 1

1 Have you ever created content online? If so describe it?

EX: Making a poll, posting a video on youtube, soundcloud mix, writing an op ed We also discuss several other topics like Define lumens.

1 Have you ever commented on something provided by another? If so  describe how and when.

Do you think there should be strict copyright laws?

EX: We are more prone to commenting positively even if we think differently  because we are afraid of unpopular opinions

From lecture 4  

In class conversation 1

1 What are your monthly media spending's?  

∙ Professor: $300-$400

∙ Student majority: $100-$200

∙ These change also when we think more about the tiny things we buy and  they add up

∙ These also change with families and sharing data plans  

1 List the media items that you spend money on like movie tickets, phone  bills, wifi, etc.  

∙ Movie tickets, phone bills, wifi, cable, app purchases, kindle or ipad books, netflix, hulu, hbo, new devices

Who does the extension of copyright laws benefit?

1 How much do you know about the companies you have a relationship to?  (structure, agency, intentions, history, people)

∙ Less than 5 people in a 400+ person class raised their hands  

In class conversation 2  

1 What kind of programming do you consider a "guilty pleasure"? 2 Name a few shows that are your guilty pleasures We also discuss several other topics like What is an administrative agency?

3 List some reasons why you like these shows

4 List some words and adjectives of why you feel guilty about watching  them

EX: professor- Dash Dolls because it was hypnotizing and she felt guilty  because she spend 5 hours doing nothing  

EX: Student- Friends because it was character driven and funny and she felt  guilty because she watched it too much and it gets integrated into life EX: student- South Park because the satire relates to real issues "funny  because its true" and he felt guilty because it was so politically incorrect and  offensive but funny. Sometimes entertainment allows this behavior that we  would otherwise consider unacceptable  

Our reasons for watching these shows are not well thought out  So why do we allow guilty pleasures?  

From lecture 5 

In-class conversation 1  

1 How much content do you see on TV and films that you would qualify as  violent?

2 List the types of content that depict violence (films, shows, games, etc.) 3 Discuss the impact violent media has on your life. How does it make you  feel? How does it influence your acts?  

In-class conversation 2

1 Who/what structures or influences your opinions about politics?  ∙ Family/ location/ community/ culture

∙ Political campaigns If you want to learn more check out What are the patterns of stars on a celestial sphere?
If you want to learn more check out What is osmolarity?

∙ Professors/ TA's/ classes

∙ Figures/ celebrities

∙ Internet information/ social media

1 Highlight the sources, people, and institutions that play a key role in how  we shape political opinions  

From lecture 6 

In-class conversation 1

1 What kind of qualities in a president influences you? What makes them  presidential?

2 List some adjectives of outstanding qualities of a president.  ∙ Charisma  

∙ Authentic

∙ Engaged  

∙ Down to earth

∙ Well rounded

∙ Family oriented

∙ Experienced

∙ Relatable

∙ Humble

∙ Assertive

∙ Passionate

EX: Justin Trudeau wins Canadian election

∙ Good looking, appears presidential, his father was one of the most popular prime ministers in Canada, familiarity with the system Don't forget about the age old question of An equilibrium price in a market without government-imposed price controls is what?

∙ shows an ideological shift in Canada from more experienced politicians to  being open to new policies  

From lecture 7 If you want to learn more check out What are the three types of resources in economics?

In-class conversation 1  

1 Do you think there should be strict copyright laws?

2 Who does the extension of copyright laws benefit?

∙ Creators

∙ Large companies

∙ Popular franchises  

In-class debate 1

The FCC argues that there are few radio waves to be distributed- allowing and  going after pirate radio broadcasters (who broadcast without a license). Pirate  radio advocates argue that FCC's worry about signals is a simple ploy by the  media conglomerates to overtake the airwaves.  

1 Should pirate radio stations be allowed to broadcast without a license? 2 What are the pros and cons for allowing pirate radio stations to broadcast  without a license?


∙ Diversity of content

∙ Freedom of speech for those who can't afford to compete with big  companies  


∙ Big companies may lose audience and advertising customers  ∙ Little control of content- there may be offensive stations  

In-class debate 2

The trade association said in its petition that if charter's deals are approved,  then the top four pay-TV operators would control 79% of the nation's  subscribers, making it harder for broadcasters to sell advertising and  threatening the "lifeblood of over-the-air, free-to-all TV services."  

1 Should the FCC approve or disapprove the merger between Comcast and  Charter?

∙ Most of the class agreed that it should disapprove the merger 1 What are the pros and cons for the merger?


∙ Larger local internet monopolies

∙ Homogenization- less diverse content

∙ Losing workforce- lots of people laid off

∙ Lose our agency

From lecture 8 

In-class debate 1- Should file sharing websites like Pirate Bay be legal or  illegal?

Pirate Bay is a file sharing website. Large media companies have taken Pirate  Bay to court for copyright infringement. They argued that the website  generated income via ads place throughout the interface. Pirate Bay founders  defended that they were not involved in an illegal exchange as they were just  providing the platform for the exchange.  

1 Do you think file sharing websites should be illegal?  

2 What are the pros and cons for file sharing?

∙ Pros

∙ Availability and accessibility of content

∙ Content not available in our country or not available in regular media sites ∙ Most content is from big conglomerates already making enough money

∙ Cons

∙ May be discouraging creative people to create content because they won't be paid as much

∙ Creative people may not have the means to make their next thing without  being paid enough

In-class debate 2: Is fairness doctrine still relevant?  

1 Should the FCC regulate fair coverage of news allowing for opposite side  of the debate to present their views?

2 What are the advantages and disadvantages for the fairness doctrine? ∙ Disadvantages

∙ Always assumes both sides are equally right

∙ Partisan view in which we identify issues by their opposing structure ∙ Advantages  

∙ Forces news to recognize the other side  

1 How else can news organizations ensure that they offer diversity of  opinions?

From lecture 9  

In-class discussion: Will newspapers become obsolete?

1 Do you think newspapers will become obsolete? Is such a change  inevitable?  

2 What are the for/against arguments for paper form newspapers'  disappearance?  


∙ Front page articles in print set tone, agenda and give a good idea of what  is most important for the local community, you don’t get this to the same  degree in online news

∙ No pop ups and distractions  

∙ Print makes you read more stories you wouldn’t regularly choose to read  online

∙ Fake sources or bad sources are found online in some sites ∙ Less or no print doesn’t have the same format and would lessen  appreciation toward journalists' work


∙ New generation of viewers want news readily available- changing habits

∙ If given the choice, people tend to choose the things that give them  pleasure rather than learning more about the world

In-class discussion

Dr. Powers just introduced us some key facts. As seen as a public good, a lot of  countries have systems to preserve public media. Germany spends $134.70  per capita (second only to Norway). U.S spends $3.32 per capita, about $30 in  Canada, $40 in Australia, and $176 in Norway.  

1 Should we reconsider our approach toward public media in the U.S? What  are the arguments for preserving and dedicating resources for public  media channels?  

∙ Types of things you can do with the media are proliferating  ∙ Not commercially driven content  

∙ More objective political structures- self-censorship would be less ∙ PBS vs BBC in their structures and formats

1 Are you willing to pay more taxes for public media to move beyond the  commercial model of for-profit media business?  

∙ Fair portion of the class says yes but less than half

From lecture 10 

In class discussion: Ideology in our everyday lives  

We watched a video clip example of ideology formation in our everyday lives advertising and the claims it makes about body image. It also has  consequences; it influences the way in which we understand ourselves.  

1 What other moments of ideological formation in media representation can  you think of? (examples in your lives)  

∙ Celebrities as entities themselves  

∙ Self representation of best moments  

∙ Television

∙ You Tube videos  

∙ Movies  

∙ Social media

∙ Music/ music videos

∙ Books

∙ Video games

1 Please make a quick list of what types of claims such representation make about your identity  

∙ Hip hop music objectification of women and brands-claims of unobtainable lifestyle

∙ Tells what or how we ought to be based on only one model  ∙ Ideal family in TV shows

In-class discussion: Ideology and real world  

Think about the shows you watch regularly, pick one of these shows and  compare their depiction of everyday world

1 How is it different than your everyday life?

2 What aspects are realistic and what aspects are unrealistic?

From Friday activity 2 

1 Role of Advertising: What is the relationship between advertising and media  production? What are new types of advertising? Does advertising benefit media production or hurt it?

∙ The role of advertising is to help offset the costs of production ∙ New types of advertising include product placement, native ads, social media ads, cookies and celebrity endoursements

1 Concentration of Ownership: What is media concentration and  conglomeration? How are they similar or different from each other?  ∙ Conglomeration is a company buying out or merging with smaller companies  to create one big company

∙ Concentration is the result of conglomeration

a What is the relationship between competition and diversity? What variables  affect this relationship?  

∙ Competition between big companies is virtually non-existent because  everybody wins in media and they tend to work together toward a common  goal. This is concentration and this also reduces diversity.  

a What is the political impact of commercial corporate ownership of news and  other forms of media?  

∙ Much of our politics then are filtered through one or very few views  

1 Television 2.0: Are you happy with the diversity of television content that is  offered to you? Relate you discussion to the "logic of safety" principle for the  kinds of programs that appear on prime-time television? Why do television  executives pursue this "logic of safety"? How does it impact your cultural lives?

∙ Logic of safety is when producers make things that follow a successful format  that pretty much are bound to succeed and also cost effective to produce.  ∙ Opinion: Much of the public is still unsatisfied because we want something  new and not following the same pattern

1 Do you agree with either of the criticisms that McChesney received from Tyler  Cowen and Benjamin M Compaine? Discuss both critics.

∙ Cowen- power lies with the consumers because we vote with our dollar  ∙ McChesney- power lies with the producers because we are only choosing from a, b, or c  

∙ Compaine- big companies have the ability to fail because they can afford it  without it affecting them too much

1 According to Robert Reich's article 'Big Tech has become way to powerful' what  role is Antitrust laws play in the free market? Do you feel that we need fewer or more Antitrust laws today?  

∙ Antitrust laws were made to protect against monopolies and cartels  ∙ Cartels are big groups of conglomerates that decide they will give the public  one thing and nothing else and run anyone else out if they try to stop them ∙ Opinion: we should have less antitrust laws because they actually encourage  companies to work together and make monopolies and competition would  increase diversity

Clicker questions  

From lecture 3 

1 In Sociology the term agency generally refers to:

A Intentional and undetermined human action 

B Any social organization or institution

C Public communication process

D Larger infrastructures

1 Sherry Turkle argues that having tech around us allows us to have better and  deeper conversations with each other  



1 According to the article you read by Tim Wu, As technology gets better, will  society get worse?, technology resulted in a positive change for the Oji-Cree  people.  



1 When talking about convergence, Henry Jenkins is talking about converging:

A People

B Nations

C Governments  

D Technologies 

And companies  

1 What is technological determinism?

An approach that identifies technology as the prime cause of social change

From lecture 4 

1 Who won the Nobel Peace Prize this year (2015)?

A Pope Francis

B Angela Merkel

C Tunisian National Dialogue Quintet 

D Kalash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai

1 What is the 1 percent rule?

Even though new technologies allow everyone to create content, only a small  percentage actually do so

1 Advertiser's strategy to build products into the storyline of the move, TV series, or video game by including them in a seemingly natural and unnoticeable way  is  

 Product Placement  

1 A company seeking to be vertically integrated in the book industry want to  purchase a  

Paper Mill

1 The homogenization hypothesis about media ownership and diversity states  that media consolidation  

Produces media content that lack diversity  

From lecture 5 

1 Which media effects theory assumes the strongest media impact on  individuals?

∙ Homogenization theory  

1 What percentage of media products and content you own/consume is not  controlled by a large media conglomerate?

∙ Majority of the class voted 0-20%

1 If a media company integrates a talent agency, a film studio, and a movie  theater, this is called  

∙ Vertical integration

1 The two-step flow model asserts that mass media messages flow from  ______to ______

∙ Opinion leaders to general public

1 Which country is having elections today?

∙ Canada  

From lecture 6

1 The hypodermic needle model proposes that audience members have agency  True  


1 George Gerbner's core argument is that long term exposure to violent content  will lead viewers to

A The assumption that the world is more dangerous than it actually is

1 The Turkish prime minister Erdogon is a dictator



1 Which one is not correct about Azerbaijan?

Activists have no access to social media tools in the country  

1 Entertainment programs can be used to manufacture consent True 


From lecture 7 

1 Agenda setting refers to the ability of politicians to influence the media's  agenda

True/ False 

1 Which one of the following world leaders would not qualify as a democratator A Vladimir Putin

B Angela Merkel 

C Tayyip Erdogan

D Hugo Chavez

What do you think is the ranking of the U.S. in the World Press Freedom Index? A 14

B 22

C 8

D 49

Class results  

A 24%

B 48%

C 13%

D 15%

The U.S. ranked 49 on the index

1 Compared to most other industrialized nations, U.S has had more regulation of  media industry

True/ False 

1 So called radio pirates have faced legal troubles because they

Operate without federal licenses

From lecture 8 

1 After the attacks last year in which nearly a dozen journalists were killed at  Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper in France, were killed, the readership of  the publication has declined



1 Sesame Street's new Muppet Julia presents an accurate representation of  autism for the viewers



You can never really have an accurate representation of anything fully

1 The fairness doctrine is still in place ensuring balanced representation of news  and inclusion of all opposing opinions



1 Using the term climate change as opposed to global warming has no impact on how audiences perceive the issue



From lecture 9 

Do you think newspapers are likely to become obsolete?

A Yes- 58%

B No- 42%

1 The chief media and communication regulatory body in the United States is the A FCC (Federal Communication Commission) 

B MRB (Media Regulatory Board)

C FTC (Fair Trade Commission)  

D Department of Justice  

1 The government regulations forcing networks to buy programming from  independent producers is called  

A Creative Common License  

B Fin-Syn Rules 

C Fairness Doctrine

D Diversity Doctrine  

1 Which one according to Starr, is not a danger of reduced coverage We would just read news about technology and celebrities

1 According to Powers and Benson, which one of the following countries spend  the most government aid per capita on public media?

A Canada


C Germany 

D Australia  

From lecture 10 

1 The NPR story you listened to was about the new privacy laws protecting digital properties such as text messages in the state of Washington.  



It was California

1 According to the Seattle Times article, why was there a "love circle" in the  Beacon Hill neighborhood  

As a response to the venomous graffiti sprayed at Seattle's Amor Spiritual  Center

1 TV representations and mass media include a wide range of behaviors and  lifestyles



Newspaper Articles 

For each article:  

1 Overall subject matter- names and places

2 Tone of the article- does the author have a particular view?  Week one  

Traveling in Europe's River of Migrants by Anemona Hartocollis (Syrian Family  Overcomes Hardships of War, but Finds Path Blocked in Denmark)  



TV Transformed: How We Watch by Emily Steel  



From Wasteland to Wonderland: TV's Altered Landscape by Jeff Greenfield 1.


Week 2 

Nobel Peace Prize Is Awarded to National Dialogue Quartet in Tunisia 1.


Ankara explosions leave almost 100 dead- officials  



Week 3 

Last bid for votes in Canadian election



German mayoral candidate Reker stabbed over refugee support 1.


Migrant crisis: Slovenia army to help police  



Week 4 

Why Sesame Street's new character isn't representative of most kids with  autism  



Charlie Hebdo's recovery from attacks opens new wounds for staff 1.


Week 5  

NPR audio clip- California protects online privacy  1.


Hands on Beacon Hill form 'love circle' to push hate out of view  1.


Connecting the movements for Dalit and Black lives  1.


Key terms and concepts  

Social construction of reality- When the world around us heavily influences how we live our lives. The media and our community and culture influence the way  we see the world and how we make choices. Reality becomes what we make of it as a culture.  

Agency- Human capacity for action

Structure- Things like school, work, and media which place limits on our agency

Information super highway- Mostly used to describe the internet boom in the  90's when it became most accessible to more people

The medium is the message- All of our information we get through certain  media that filter that information so nothing becomes objective. The medium  through which we obtain our knowledge becomes the content of what we view

Technological determinism- The view that technology is the prime cause of  social change and everything else is secondary. Technology influences us and  we don't influence technology

Transmission view of communication- "Imparting" "sending" "transmitting"  "giving information" - the way we spread information and media messages

Ritualistic view of communication- "sharing" "participation" "association"  "fellowship" "possession of common faith"- directed toward maintain societal  values and community  

Network society- The social, economical, and political changes that came with  the rise of the internet and networking

Mass media- Media that is from a known source that reaches a very broad and  anonymous audience

Socialization- The way we are integrated into society and how we are involved  in our culture- socializing agents: media, school, work, gender norms, etc.

Culture shock- When we experience socialization that is different from our own  like when we visit other countries for example  

Powerful media effects- Mostly influential in the 1890s- 1940s 1 Hypodermic needle model- Media has all the power and the audience is  passive and highly suggestable  

EX: Cause panic when something big is reported on like the invasion from mars when people believed it was a real newscast or more recently the panic when  people heard about the swine flu  

Minimal media effects- mostly influential in the 1940s- 1960s 1 Two step flow model- Mass media goes through opinion leaders first before it then goes to the public

EX: Celebrities, Professors, Pastors, Art Critics, people we listen to tell us what  to think about mass media messages

Limited or mixed media effects- mostly influential in the 1960s to present 1 Gate Keeping- Filtering of the news and deciding what content gets  produced  

EX: Fox news produces heavily conservative news  

1 Agenda setting- Frequency of content- repetition and emphasis EX: ABC news pushing Star Wars produced by their parent company commercialization, King 5 news is heavily liberal

1 Framing- How we get our information

EX: tone of the news as in sarcasm or sincerity, the delivery mechanism of  news  

1 Priming- Trigger- training viewers to react in a certain way EX: If news wants to trigger it can make a logo and theme music for the story  so you react whenever you see that logo or hear that music

1 Cultivation theory- Certain aspects of life like violence are displayed more  often

EX: Gerbner- heavy watchers tend to believe the world is a more violent and  dangerous place

1 Cultural imperialism- One country's culture dominates another and  diminishes the other country's culture

EX: American has a heavy influence on media culture in other countries -  McDonalds in the forbidden city  

1 Spiral of Cynicism- Understanding of hyper reality- when things are  depicted badly people stop caring about the news and leads to civil  inaction  

A few more terms

Homogenization- If everyone watches the same things we start forming the  same ideas and opinions about things

Heterogeneous- When people watch different things and different depictions of  things so not everyone gets the same ideas  

Examples of Gate keeping, Agenda setting and Framing as if they were related  to a restaurant  

Gate keeping is what's on the menu, Agenda setting is what gets most  prominently displayed in main dishes as opposed to side dishes, and Framing is how the food is presented- on a silver platter or on a paper plate.  

Fairness doctrine: Reporting on both viewpoints of a topics so the public can  get every side of the story. This doctrine was revoked because it collided with  free speech and with the expansion of television channels and more news  broadcasts because the public could now get any side of a story with other  channels  

Timeline: Introduced in 1949 and revoked in 1987

Fin-Syn Rules: Financial Interest and Syndication

Prevented ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox from merging to avoid a monopoly of big  television companies

Prevent a conflict of interest around syndication

Syndication: When a show allows other networks to air it

Timeline: Imposed by FCC in 1970

The 1996 Telecommunications act: Imposed to allow smaller media companies  to enter the media world easier but it also made it easier for big conglomerates to buy out smaller companies. A company's control over 25% of American  audiences and since has experienced further deregulation

Timeline: Started in 1996, in 2001 companies could control 30% of American  audiences  

Copyright Term Extension Act: Nicknamed the Mickey Mouse Act because Walt  Disney corporation lobbied for the extension- from 50 years after the creator's  death to 70 years after the creator's death

120 years after creation or 95 years after publication whichever is shorter  Timeline: Started in 1998 extends the Copyright Act of 1976

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