Media & Culture Mid-term exam

Questions on the “study guide” posted are the exact questions on the exam. Would like to be done by 10:30 eastern time. (1.5 hours from now)

COMM 305 Midterm Exam Study Guide

The exam will be administered on Blackboard: Due date is by Monday Feb.



The exam will be divided into four sections:

1. Matching (list of terms to match with a list of definitions)

2. Short Answer

3. Multiple Choice

4. Short Essay

Here is the pool of terms, concepts, theories, names of people from which I will select questions for the exam. Make sure you look both in the readings and ppt presentations for answers. The point of this exam is not to make you memorize new terms, dates, and names. I would like you to show an informed understanding of the functions and responsibilities the mass media (those sequences we’ve covered so far- until the music industry and radio) and how they affect the notion of democratic society.


Socratic method Henry Luce

Gannett Bertelsmann

Life Gloria Steinem

Oral Communication SMCR model

Convergence Selective exposure

Levine’s approach to culture postmodernism

Analysis Gatekeeper

Jeff Bezos Manuscript culture

Book clubs Acta Diurna

William Hearst Interpretive journalism

Inverted Pyramid Nellie Bly

Yellow Press Muckraking journalism

Seditious libel Saturday Evening Post

Demassification Joseph Pulitzer

Consolidation Penny Press

E-zines Photojournalism

Gutenberg Demographic editions

Desktop publishing Adolph Ochs

Payola Cover Music

Format Radio Sirius


Pacifica Foundation ClearChannel


1) Explain how culture, mass communication, and mass media are related and how they affect each other.

2) Is there any value in looking at culture using the ‘skyscraper’ metaphor? Why or why not?

3) What kind of cultural and social changes did each of the communications eras bring about?

4) Why is it important to analyze the mass media within a cultural context?

5) What is the difference between the linear and alternative model of communication?

6) Why is the map approach to culture better and more conclusive than the vertical approach? Define the steps of the critical process Campbell is suggesting in applying the map approach.

7) Describe some of the factors that led to an increased popularity of books and bookstores in the U.S. between 1880 and 1920?

8) How did the elite react to the first paperback books in late 19th century?

9) Discuss some of the concerns resulting from the increasing consolidation of ownership in the book publishing industry.

10) Why did objective journalism develop, and what are its characteristics? Make sure you remember the people who created this type of reporting and explain how that has defined the journalism of today. Also, what kind of journalism/writing followed objective journalism and why?

11) What is yellow journalism, and what kind of journalistic practices did it affect? Explain the role of Pulitzer and Hearst in defining newspapers history.

12) Why has newspaper circulation declined over the years? How has the industry been reacting in the digital era of communication?

13) Who started the trend of consolidation of ownership in newspapers’ history and how is that affecting the industry today and the role of newspapering in democratic society?

14) How was the social and cultural impact of magazines different from that of newspapers in the history of the two industries?

15) What factors contributed to the rise and then decline of general-interest magazines?

16) How did muckraking in magazine writing lead to the need for a general audience?

17) Describe some of the factors that triggered the move toward magazine specialization?

18) Discuss how the term cultural minority changed from the 1960s to the 1980s and 1990s thanks to magazines.

19) If magazines through heavy corporate advertising identify readers as consumers first and citizens second, what kind of impact this might have on democracy?

20) Why did cover music become so prominent in the development of rock and roll and consequently the record industry in the 1950s?

21) What do we mean by the British invasion in U.S. music history and what impact did it have on the recording industry?

22) Why do many forms of alternative music become commercially successful?

23) Why did the government encourage monopoly of radio ownership and what changes did the 1934 Communications Act bring?

Essay questions:

24) How does the Internet and satellite technology present alternative avenues for the success of radio?

Why were some early philosophers like Plato and Socrates so attached to the oral tradition of communication? Can you think of any examples from today’s mass media to support your answer?


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