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Week 3

by: Jack Bethke
Jack Bethke

Intro to Communications
Randal Beam

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Notes for Week 3 lectures
Intro to Communications
Randal Beam
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jack Bethke on Friday January 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Comm 201 at University of Washington taught by Randal Beam in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 125 views. For similar materials see Intro to Communications in Communication at University of Washington.


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Date Created: 01/23/15
Comm 201 Week 3 12015 Free Expression Indecent Broadcast and Media Economics 0 Precedents are set for what can and can39t be shown 0 The 2004 Super Bowl halftime show had a wardrobe malfunction where JanetJackson39s breast was exposed uncensored to the entire Super Bowl audience It was being shown on CBS the rights to the Super Bowl have been negotiated to change which network it is on each year CBS is owned by Viacom who also owns MTV MTV decided that JanetJackson and Justin Timberlake would be the halftime performers At the end of the performance JT ripped off a nipple shield that was covering up Ms Jacksons body Over 500000 complaints were made to the FCC following the incident mostly due to the fact that lots of children watch the event The complaints went to the Supreme Court after a 9 year legal battle The Court had to decide how much authority the FCC could have over what is broadcasted on TV and radio 0 Federal Communication Commission FCC o A federal agency that has a lot of authority Regulates interstate communication by radio TV internet and satellite Decides how much broadband goes to cell phones vs radios what parts of the airways that Verizon vs ATampT get to use 0 3 of the commissioners come from the president39s party and 2 from the opposition Currently there are 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans o The authority on telecommunication in the US but it mostly sets standards has little ability to regulate expression except for 2 exceonns Regulates broadcast TV and radio content but not on cable Regulates what is shown on children39s shows 0 Because JanetJackson39s breast was shown on broadcast television the FCC got involved 0 Regulation of indecent content 0 FCC allows TV to broadcast indecent content at certain times of the day lE later at night from 10 pm to 5 am you are allowed to show indecent content Goal is to protect children who won t understand what they are seeing and children aren39t usually up late at night Comedy Central for instance can show Girls Gone Wild commercials late at night but not during the day 0 Basically anyone who nds something indecent can le a complaint with the FCC through nongovernmental groups such as the Parents Television Council or on the FCC39s own website as John Oliver has shown 0 FCC39s major weapon is that they can ne stations that get a complaint 350000 per incident 0 What is indecent 0 Language or material that in context depicts or describes in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium sexual or excretory organs or activities 0 The FCC was ruled to be inconsistent with what they were and were not declaring indecent and so the nes that the FCC was trying to impose on CBS for the indecent exposure ofJanet Jackson The Supreme Court upheld this ruling Shows how dif cult it is to de ne these issues because what is patently offensive to one person might not be to another 0 Obscene content is never ne it is unprotected speech 0 Should Government Regulate 0 Regulation supporters Say it needs to be done to protect children from inappropriate material The PTC was trying to expand regulation for a while but now they want to force cable providers to allow peoples to purchase channels individually rather than in bundles Other people just say we don39t need that level of vulgarity in our society 0 Regulation opponents The rules are not precise they don39t know what to do Outdated in the era of cable HBO isn39t regulated at all but CBS has to be Say it39s strange that some channels are regulated and some aren39t Parents can use the veto they can block content on cable services Gov shouldn39t be telling us what we can and can39t watch 0 Study Guide Questions 8 and 10 0 Copyright protects individual rights to a patented material intellectual or physical Exists because inventors don39t want people to make money off or their ideas without their permission or at least a cut of the new pro ts Textbooks are copyrighted which is why you have to cite them in bibliographies and also why you are not allowed to post large portions of the book online or distribute it 0 China we call it censorship they say that it is preserving stability through less freedom of expression 12315 0 Concentration of ownership 0 Smaller number of corporate owners are increasingly controlling more and more shares of the mass media lnternationalin uence o This is a major gov policy in America because all of the major companies except Sony and Newsworld are US owned 0 2 basic functions of media rms 0 Make content Own their own facilities where they are able to produce their own movies TV shows publish books radio etc o Distribute content Control the channels or means to get that content to the audience 0 Worksheet from 12015 0 What do you need in order to make an album Artistcomposer content making Studiorecording software content making Producer distribute content Editorscontent making Distributerssellers distribute content Writer content making Label distribute content o Is Viacom vertically or horizontally integrated A company that owns all of these things regardless of the medium is vertically integrated it goes down the chain of production A horizontally integrated co owns the music producer a book publisher and a lm studio Viacom Viacom is vertically and horizontally integrated because it39s huge o If Viacom bought a hip hop channel then that would be horizontal integration because its buying another business similar to others it already owns 0 Example of synergy o Comcast NBCUniversal o Comcast39s original role was providing cable service by providing channels that they purchased in order to broadcast to the viewer they were not the primary owner of most of the channels Content was brought to by but not created or owned by Comcast This is all that Comcast did until about 3 years ago Before 3 years ago Viacom or NBC or whomever would make content and list it as materials that a viewer could access through Comcast39s services If you wanted ESPN Comcast would agree to pay Disney in order to broadcast ESPN to the viewers who paid for that Comcast cable bundle The cost that Comcast had to pay would be made up for by the more expensive cable bundle that the viewer had purchased 0 Eventually Comcast participated in the largest merger in media history when they merged with NBCUniversal Had to get permission from the FCC and Justice Department to make sure it was ok 0 Why merge At the time of the merger NBCUniversal made movies as well as tv Universal owned the movie production NBC the TV They also owned distribution methods Comcast only distributed content By merging Comcast could make more money while using its resources more ef ciently and gaining more political clout By merging and becoming bigger Comcast fended off people who could potentially buy Comcast from the original owners and it would also assure access to more of the content that they are distributing o Concerns about this merger If this were allowed it would be anticompetitive putting others in the cable business less competitive potentially putting other cable providers out of business 0 Comcast could make their own channels more accessible while making the traditional channels less accessible Diversity of media voices could shrink 0 Fear of conglomeration the diversity of views given by the media could decline which could be harmful to democracy


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