COMM 345 - TAMU - Rold - Exam 3

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What do media industries do?

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What do media industries do?

Create content

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What is intellectual property (IP)?

the content created

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What’s the difference between “mass” media and “niche” media?

mass: info designed for large, undifferentiated audiences

niche: targets narrow, specific audiences

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Be able to explain the different levels of the “industrialization of culture framework”? | Culture

Refers to the content that the media industries produces, such as films and newspapers. It also refers to specific social practices, values, morals, and hierarchies associated with a particular group of people.

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Be able to explain the different levels of the “industrialization of culture framework”? | Social trends

  1. Culture as the content of media

  2. Culture as a whole way of life, including beliefs, values, traditions, and everyday practices

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Be able to explain the different levels of the “industrialization of culture framework”? | Mandates

primary goal or reason for being in the media industry

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Be able to explain the different levels of the “industrialization of culture framework”? | Conditions

day to day practices of organizations and indivduals

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Be able to explain the different levels of the “industrialization of culture framework”? | Practices

various conditions under which media operates (creative & non-creative practices

(different practices for each media sector)

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What are the differences between commercial and non-commercial mandates?

commercial: the goal with these mandates is to make money

non-commercial: usually to inform or educate the public, and are funded by taxes in addition to grants.

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What’s the difference between “conglomerations” and “consolidations”?

• Conglomerations (a media company that owns many other media companies)

  • MAREKT Consolidations (small group of companies owning much of the world’s media)

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What is the difference between vertical and horizontal integration?

HORIZONTAL: Industries buying companies at the same value level—those that do the same thing

VERTICAL: Industries purchasing companies responsible for a product’s manufacture and distribution

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What is formatting? How do the media industries use “known talent”, “known products”, and “known formats” to minimize risks?

Known brands are more about spin-offs of successful TV shows or sequels to popular movies

When companies emphasize media features that have succeeded in the past.

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What is the digital divide? What are some of the debates about “narrowing” this divide or “bridging the gap”?

The gap between those who have access to high-speed broadband internet and those who don't

allocate tax money for public internet or continue with commercial ISPs?

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Be able to differentiate between some of the other types of noncommercial mandates: DIY

• Serve neighborhoods or smaller groups • Mostly survive on donations (might be some government help) • Local access cable channels, low-fi radio stations • Fanzines, Blogs...Even YouTube in its early days.

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Be able to differentiate between some of the other types of noncommercial mandates: Mixed

• Taxes, but also could be supported by ads • Oftentimes target their message to those underserved by community • Perhaps small, ethnic communities in large cities • Harder to define success, at least quantitatively

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Be able to differentiate between some of the other types of noncommercial mandates: Government

• Created to serve the needs of the government in power • Not necessarily to serve the people • Often authoritarian governments • Financed by taxes, government surpluses, perhaps even money seized from public.

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What are dual-product markets?

What two “products” are being sold in a dual product market?

two items are being sold in this market

  1. The media product (TV show, newspaper, magazine, etc)

  2. And the buyer (You, the viewer, are being sold to advertisers)

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What is the “sponsorship model”, including “hard-selling”?

(companies advertise in the media giving revenue to media outlets)

Early days, one company sponsored the show in a subtle fashion

Eventually, lead to more "hard selling" (Host discussing the product in-depth via TV & visuals) (podcaster before podcast starts does sponsorship message)

Scandals eventually forced shows to have more than one sponsor

Radio and TV rely on product placement now

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Be able to define what “regulations” are.

Laws, guidelines, and policies that govern how media industries produce, distribute, and exhibit products

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Why are broadcast radio and TV regulated more harshly than cable, satellite, or streaming services?

because radio is free to the public and easily accessible

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What do the FCC and FTC (Federal Trade Commission) regulate?***************

FCC: interstate and international communications through cable, radio, television, satellite and wire (TV)

FTC: Regulates advertising and certain aspects of the internet (truth in advertising)

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What type of content is regulated?

TV & Radio Broadcasting

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What is considered “obscene”?

(1) Whether the average person applying contemporary community standards would find the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest; (2) Whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (3) Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. (SLAP)

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Know Miller v. California

  1. Miller found guilty in Cali based on "community standards"

  2. Miller appealed under previous S.C. ruling that obscene material had to be "utterly without redeeming social value"

  3. Miller's case went all the way to S.C. where they decided against Miller's argument

  4. But established a new legal 3-pronged definition of obscenity

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What is considered “indecent”?

• Language or material... • That depicts or describes... • In a patently offensive way... • As measured by contemporary community standards... • Sexual or excretory activities or organs

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What are “safe harbor” hours?

10 pm-6 am

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Know FCC v. Pacifica

  1. Pacifica-owned radio station in New York (WBAI)

  • Station aired (unedited) Carlin's "Filthy Words" routine during afternoon programming

  1. A listener complained to FCC (claimed his son was with him and heard Carlin's routine)

  2. FCC censured Pacifica

  3. Pacifica sued. Supreme Court upeld the FCC's ruling

  4. Supreme Court said FCC has broad power to regulate media, because media is "uniquely pervasive"

  5. Broadcasting also "uniquely accessible to children"

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What does copyright law protect? For how long?

intangibles, original property (music, poetry, books, video)

(does NOT cover logo and slogan)

Life of author + 70 years

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What’s the difference between a single media good and a continuous media good?

Individual goods, marketed based on merit of each good

EX: A movie, a album, a single, a book

Make money: individual transactions

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Be able to describe in greater detail the 4 costs associated with single media goods: developmental

  • Buy a script/book rights

  • Buy a game prototype

  • Buy rights to make a book a movie

  • Rent a studio

  • Paying Actors in Advance

  • Pilot episode

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Be able to describe in greater detail the 4 costs associated with single media goods: production

  • Salaries

  • Sets

  • insurance

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Be able to describe in greater detail the 4 costs associated with single media goods: marketing/distribution

  • printed items, DVDs, Games, etc shipped to stores

  • promoting media (TV ads, magazine ads, etc.)

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Be able to describe in greater detail the 4 costs associated with single media goods: overhead

costs to keep the business running (rent, salaries, furniture, lots, etc.)

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How do “secondary markets” help a studio make up for the money it loses in the production of a TV show?

Studios sell the license to the TV show to cecondary markets (international TV, amazon, netflix, hulu, merchandise, etc.) ****(syndication or reruns) ****

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What is the difference between cultural determinism and technological determinism?

Culture: society uses tech & is in control

Tech: tech uses society & is in control

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Be able to discuss in detail the 5 processes in the Circuit of Cultural Production: Representation

The attributes and characteristics of a product a company focuses on when trying to sell it.

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Be able to discuss in detail the 5 processes in the Circuit of Cultural Production: Identity

Attributes, characteristics, purposes associated with a product

(google glass's were associated with being ugly)

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Be able to discuss in detail the 5 processes in the Circuit of Cultural Production: Production

The cultural impact of a product can be influenced by... • Where it’s made • How it’s made (labor laws)

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Be able to discuss in detail the 5 processes in the Circuit of Cultural Production: Consumption

How do consumers use the technology?

how we decide to consume it based on whats important with us

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Be able to discuss in detail the 5 processes in the Circuit of Cultural Production: Regulations

Those enforced by the government and the self-regulations enforced by the company. (laws and standards)

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What are practices?

Particular roles of individual workers in media industries and the day-to-day routines in which they participate

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What are some examples of both “creative” and “craft or noncreative” practices?

Creative: above the line, pay them up front (actors, directors)

Non-Creative: below the line, pay them by the job; construction, caterers

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What are the “standards and practices” people responsible for?

evaluate creative products and provide assessments before they are finalized


  • maintain network policies about content

  • make sure content being produced will not result in legal action

  • will let entertainer know what can and cannot be shown on the air*****

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Be able to explain Wolff’s argument that Netflix is bringing elements of TV to digital media, not destroying TV.

  • it created another outlet for licensing of TV shows

  • gave TV data because it was digital (easier to track and more in-depth)

  • it relied on the traditional media channels (TV) to stay alive

  • it did not possess the same characteristics as media


  • passive program watching****

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Who are the distributors? What is their primary role?

Lionsgate, etc

distribute media - sell it to/make deals with aggregators

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Who are the aggregators? What is their primary role?

Best Buy, Walmart, Netflix, Disney + (or online platform) apple, spotify

-- to push and place the content they believe the consumers want to see and how the customers want to see it

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What is “selection”?

organizing products in a way to make it easier for the consumer to find and consume

  • better experience, more time spent consuming because it's enjoyable

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How is limiting a consumer’s options good for the aggregators?

So people can make a choice easier, and then stroll around pleased of their experience, more likely to buy other items

  • better experience, more time spent consuming because it's enjoyable

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Know the wholesale model of economics.

  1. Publisher sets a recommended retail price for a product

  2. publisher sells at wholesale price (50%)

  3. Retailer charges what they choose

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According to Wolff, how did YouTube evolve into television through the failures of professionally-produced YouTube channels, and the successes of the advertising model and “home-grown” YouTube stars?

the professionally produced content was not doing as well as the self-made content

This created the focus and monetization of youtube stars, everyday people.

each person had their own channel and produced their own content

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Define “digitization”. How is it different from “analog” media?*

the digitalization of sound and imagery, and transportation of it digitally (into code) ones and zeros*

Analog - needs a storage device (casette) and a decoding machine (cassette player)

(takes up a lot of space physically - quality degrades quickly - cassette tape easily messed up)

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How has digitization affected the music industry?

  • artists create their own music (cheaper & more available)

  • Artists are now being discovered on their own websites

  • a song is more popular than an album

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How did digitization affect the print industry?

consumers expected to not have to pay for online print

advertisers pay less because you can skip looking at the advertisement online

online versions of newspapers could now keep up with urgent news releases like radio and TV

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What is a “citizen journalist”? What are the pros and cons to “average” people reporting on serious news stories?

anyone with a phone and social media

no background on the reporting, no interviews, no witness statments

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How has digitization affected the practice of vertical integration, especially in the music industry?

A company owns most if not all aspects of media product creation: • This is becoming much more difficult in the music industry because artists can do pretty much everything on thier own (except advertise with similar return)

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What can musical artists do now in their creative process that they no longer need major music companies and record labels for?

Musicians can record and produce without much help from big-name record companies

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How has digitization affected the video industry, especially video games?

• “Televisuality”—television producers concerned with the aesthetic quality of television • More graphics, images - Often trying to imitate film

• TV shows relying on worlds created by computers •

- Digital effects on video games—much more realistic environments

Video Games: (moving towards not using discs and more downloadable content)**

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What has been digitization’s effect on aggregation and distribution? What has become of “brick and mortar” stores?

no more physical copies, only digital copies & products

  • less need for brick-and-mortar stores

  • Movies can premier in limited runs

  • fewer stores that just sell music (FYE)

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How has digitization made movies less expensive to produce and distribute?

  • Making physical, analog prints of films ran in the millions of dollars • Putting a film on DVD = approximately 1/20th of the cost of analog • Even less expensive now if movie is not in physical form

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Since digitization, media content creators and distributors have focused more on the “long tail”. What does this mean?

“niche” products

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How are online newspapers capturing a “dual revenue” stream?

• Subscriptions and advertising

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Explain digitization in terms of the following: Choice of media

• More cable channels available (what you want)

• On-demand content as well (when you want)

• The recommended algorithms of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc (how you want)

• More opinion-based news to choose from (leads to fragmentation)- less data privacy (more choice of media and fragmentation - niche media)

(How opinionated you want it)

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Explain digitization in terms of the following: Fragmentation

• Niche media separating media consumers into “specific audience segments” • Difference between: • Society-making media: “...potential to get different cross-sections of the population talking to each other” (Turow) • Segment-making media: “...encourage small slices of society to talk to themselves” (Turow)

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Explain digitization in terms of the following: Convenience

• Portability and storage of music

• Larger selection

• Movie studios releasing a movie on streaming services before theaters

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What was unique about the way the rock band Radiohead distributed their 2007 album (CD) In Rainbows?

download on their website for any donation amount, super successful publicity stunt

Successful because most people and fans payed a decent price* People also who wouldn't regularly listen to them took a shot at it*

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Do Havens & Lotz believe the digital era will bring about more or less fragmentation? Why or why not?

• More fragmentation

• More of the “Netflix” model where entire seasons of a show are released at once (“Artificial scarcity” replaced by “day and date release”)

• Distribution windows becoming smaller

• The cost of production will fall

• More surveillance...not less

• Advertisers still want our data

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How will “day and date” release replace “artificial scarcity”?

• Distribution windows becoming smaller

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What are the “new economics of content producers”?

Media had to be: • Cheaper • More plentiful • Appeal to a wider audience

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Why does Michael Wolff refer to digital media as the “new wasteland”?

• “Repurposing” the same content across different platforms • Bulk content created by amateurs

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Why does Wolff call current TV a “cultural event”?

• TV was evolved differently from Digital Media and now consumers became more interested in narratives

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Explain TV’s “bifurcation” as described by Wolff? (the division of something into two branches or parts.)

• Split into “reality” and “scripted” • Change in demographics • Scripted TV—more segmented, better-educated audience • Reality —oriented more toward teenagers (once considered high-brow)

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What characteristics does Wolff say differentiates today’s TV audience from today’s Internet audience?

Internet: • Black and white values • Simplified messages and morals • No ambiguity

TV: • Complex and valuable • Because they’re demanding • Of writers, actors, and narratives • Want a different picture of the world

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How do these differences factor into Wolff saying that TV and Digital Media (internet media) are the “juxtapositions of two cultures”?*

Digital: a “system” WITH value Television: a system that creates individual works OF value

(in the 2000s TV got better - better and more in-depth plots)

Digital (internet media) becomes the standard; TV becomes the unique (a reversal)

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What percentage of American movies from the 1950s and 1920s are lost forever

50s: 50%

20s: 90%

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Why did Discovery+, in its 2022 purchase of Warner Bros., delete or cancel so many of WB’s projects

○ Started cancelling projects to use as tax-write offs

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What are some possible outcomes for media consumers in this new age and business model when many of their favorite media texts might not be available on streaming platforms?

more piarating and resurgence of physical media (DVDs, records, etc)

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What is “media globalization”?

sharing of media, production, distribution, and aggregation across the world.

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What is “localization”?

• The change of a media text from its natural cultural surroundings • And placing/securing that media text in a different culture • Changes in language, setting, narrative technique, etc.

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How has the “nobody knows how this will perform internationally” principle changed because of globalization?

  • Producing material for distribution in different countries used to help manage risk of media creation • Now if a product is translated incorrectly or culturally offensive, then targeting a global audience can backfire on a media industry

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Why are reruns and remakes of TV shows more popular thanks to globalization?

They are designed to be popular in specific locations but flexible enough in their design that they can be remade in almost any other culture.

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How has the film industry responded to globalization?

• The film industry HAD to take advantage of global markets • Hollywood studios own many theaters abroad • Will often release movies at same time around the world to cut down on piracy • Movie theaters rely much more on overseas box office numbers • Can’t rely on DVD sales anymore

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How has TV used predictable “formats” to respond to globalization?

predictable formats can be remade in multiple countries with local talent. can be replicated across cultures (who wants to be a millionaire, big brother)

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How have multinational teams helped the video game industry ease into globalization?

multinational teams to cut down on cultural errors

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How has “outsourcing” affected local newspapers?

  • the foreign writers earn substantially less than American writers.

  • the loval newspaper still sends a "reporter" to collect facts for articles, but those raw facts are then submitted to the foreign journalist who writes the story.

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Be able to discuss some barriers to globalization: Language barriers

• Movies—Action movies with cool special effects tend to “travel” better across cultures than • RomComs (romantic comedies) with more reliance on verbal communication • Instrumental music tends to travel well across culture • So, do most pop music (as audiences tend to be more interested in the music than the lyrics)

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Be able to discuss some barriers to globalization: Audience expectations

• Bollywood (Indian movie industry) vs. Hollywood (Bollywood is second-largest movie Industry behind Hollywood) • Many Bollywood movies end with an extended song-and-dance routine • Ammount of sex, violence, etc.

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Be able to discuss some barriers to globalization: Geocultural markets

making something fit into a culture as well, not making something offensive

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Be able to discuss some barriers to globalization: Technological and Regulatory barriers

some countries do not have great internet access

some countries are very strict on what you can say/show

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Be able to discuss some barriers to globalization: Government Regulations (like CanCon in Canada)

• Some countries want a majority of their media content to be “home-grown” • CanCon laws in Canada • 35% to 40% of all music on commercial Canadian radio stations must be by Canadian artists

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Be able to discuss some barriers to globalization: Intellectual Property

Rights, these days, are controlled more by corporations than individuals.

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Know some of the ways media industries are overcoming these barriers to globalization: International co-production

Production and creative staff from more than one country work on the same media project

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Know some of the ways media industries are overcoming these barriers to globalization: Dubbing/Subtitles

(a type of localization) • More of an art than a skill • “Come alive with the Pepsi generation” • In China, this became... • “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”


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What is the “Global South”?

the global south refers those nations and cultures that lag behind the developed nations in terms of wealth, life expectancy, and the availability of utilities and technology

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How do media operate in these less developed parts of the world

They are typically consumers rather than producers of modern media but there are signs that the tides may be changing

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What is “alternative globalization”?

alternative globalization: takes place across all media industires, typically through informal and sometimes illegal chhannels.

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How has piracy helped media industries in the Global South?

Media is not controlled by global media conglomerates.

helps with global publicity*

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What are Bollywood and Nollywood?

Bollywood: india

Nollywood: Nigeria

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How has digitization affected American the US used to export much more media than it imported, but this is changing due to digitization. of TV shows?

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Be able to discuss some possible downsides to globalization: Cultural Imperialism

concerns that the values of wealthy countries, like the US, might come to dominate the value systems of less developed countries that consume American media. We don't just export media we export values

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What about some possible upsides of cultural imperialism: Hybridity Theory

different cultures interacting and changing over time, according to this theory all current cultures are a result of prior mixing od cultures. exporting media actually helps bring cultures together -- less xenophobia, more cultural understanding

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