1. Explain the shift from professionalism in US News Media to the more populist and entertainment-oriented news of today. Make sure to define ‘populism’ as you understand it. What cultural, political or economic factors caused this shift? How would you characterize each style? What are the benefits and drawbacks of these different styles? What type of public do both speak to? What forms of knowledge do they appeal to?
2. In your own words, what is Cultural and Media Imperialism? What are some of the debates surrounding it? What are some of the critiques? How does this relate to the lessons of the Frankfurt School of thought (think of “Active Audience” here)? How does contra-flow of media challenge the notion of cultural/media imperialism, and how does it support it?
3. What is copyright, and how has it strayed from its original intention? How do the Mickey Mouse Protection Act (1998) and the Digital Rights Millennium Act (1998) relate to the public/private debates in Communication research that we have reviewed? How does the Treaty on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) relate to our discussion of globalization? What is Creative Commons and how does it relate to both the public/private debates and to globalization?
Part II (longer essay) – Respond to one of the following (20 pts): 1. Since as early as 1819, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized “Corporations are People” under the Fourteenth Amendment. This has had a profound impact on the growth of the media industry, and the way that is has been regulated. Explain the correlation between the idea of ‘corporate personhood’ and the regulation of the media industry. Drawing from our in-class discussion, explain the New Deal and the Neoliberal visions of corporations and the respective role of regulation. Make sure you address the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as well as arguments for and against Net Neutrality. You may also want to incorporate what you have learned about Google.
2. In many ways, the techno-utopian vision that accompanied the rise of the Internet subscribed to the same blind optimism that promised globalization would produce a freer and more equitable world. However, a closer look at the structural aspects of the Internet, and the economic and cultural flows of globalization reveal a more complex story. In this essay, offer a critical analysis of the techno-utopian vision of the Internet and of the utopian discourses (vision) of globalization. Acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of both visions. In your opinion, which arguments work, and which ones do not. Justify your opinion.
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