Chapter 7 — Movies

Posted: March 13, 2011 in Chapter 7: Movies


In his May 19, 2005, review of Star Wars: Episode III, The Revenge of the Sith, movie critic Roger Ebert wrote that this episode “is a return to the classic space opera style that launched the series.” He added that this sixth installment of Star Wars may not be the final one produced. “This is not necessarily the last of the Star Wars movies. Although [producer George] Lucas has absolutely said he is finished with the series, it is inconceivable to me that 20th Century-Fox will willingly abandon the franchise, especially as Lucas has hinted that parts VII, VIII, and IX exist at least in his mind. There will be enormous pressure for them to be made, if not by him, then by his deputies,” Ebert wrote.

VIDEO: Yoda vs. Sidious

  • Star Wars: Episode III, The Revenge of the Sith earned more than $850 million worldwide.
  • In 2007, Lucasfilm released a number of Star Wars scenes to Eyespot—a new Web-based video editor—enabling fans to remix existing Star Wars scenes into new, creative pieces, which can then be shared online. Eyespot carries 250 sixty-second Star Wars clips, which people can edit and add their own material to, then post their mashups on the Eyespot Web site. While Eyespot typically allows those who create work on the site to own their pieces, this is not the case with the Star Wars mashups. Lucasfilm has forced an agreement with Eyespot whereby Lucasfilm owns the exclusive rights to any completed works that contain Star Wars footage. What’s more, it will even own the commercial rights to the creator’s extra footage. Indeed, George Lucas has become known for vigorously guarding his intellectual property, so this arrangement has not come as a surprise to those who follow copyright issues in Hollywood.
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Study Guide Questions

Posted: March 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Below are questions to help get you started reviewing for your midterm. We will go over all of these on Monday to help you prepare for the test on Wednesday, and we’ll also discuss some of the questions on the test that are not listed below.

1. In the 18th century, who were newspapers subsidized by?
2. Which two presidents did we talk about who ran papers where they attacked each other?
3. In 19th century press starts to created detached and moderate tone in its reports. Why is this?
4. So if it was profitable, why are we back to having a more opinionated media?
5. We know that in early societies, information and knowledge was circulated slowly through oral tradition. Name one positive and one negative for sharing information this way.
6. Gutenberg invents the movable printing press in the 1400s and it helped the media in three ways. Tell me one of them.
7. The Electronic Age started in the 1840s with the development of the telegraph, which changed society in four ways. Tell me one.
8. Essay: Talk about the five steps of the media critique process, and describe each one.
9. Essay: Think back to the blog you reported on in class. Using the first two steps of the media critique process, describe it.
10. We talked about two people who developed sound recording. Name one of them and describe what they did.
11. What year was Napster founded, and what year did the US Supreme Court rule in favor of the music industry and against Napster?
12. In the late 19th century, the sale of sheet music for piano and other instruments sprang from a section of Broadway in Manhattan. What was this known as?
13. Essay: Think to your record label and your five-step analysis of their business. Summarize that information and tell me what advice you could give them as a media analyst moving forward. (Have at least three ideas for them.)
14. Essay: Remembering our in-class project, create your own radio station, including the following elements:
a. What are your call letters?
b. Tell me what type of music will play throughout the day? (Have at least four different programs and time slots.)
c. Will you include talk radio? News? What will it be, how much will you have, and when will it play?
d. How will your radio show be funded?
e. What type of audience will you hope to reach, and how do you think you’ll reach them? (Will you promote local bands, do events, etc?)
15. We talked about two people who discovered radio waves. Name one.
16. Who invented wireless telegraphy?
17. We talked about two people who invented wireless telephony — name one.
18. The Radio Act of 1927 helped introduce call letters. Which letters are used in the US, and which is used east of the Mississippi, and which is used west of the Mississippi?
19. During the golden age of radio actors would use household items to create sounds that illustrated the story. We talked about 10 different ways they did this — tell me two.
20. We talked about early television’s black-and-white tubes were so primitive that to create the proper contrast
under studio lights, actors had to wear two unusual forms of makeup. What were they?
21. In early television, we talked about the role of corporations like Camel cigarettes. Tell me one example about how Camel sponsoring a newscast differed from today’s television advertisers.
22. We talked about the pros and cons of the business of reality television. Tell me one pro and one con to reality TV.
23. In 2000, Nielsen Media Research released an extensive report on American TV habits. Name two of its findings.

Reflect on Wednesday’s project in class. Tell me what questions you asked that worked, and what you would do differently if you had a second chance.

Next, introduce us to the person you interviewed by telling us a few things you learned about them and at least one great quote they gave you during your interview.

Finally, share your lead and second paragraph.

Chapter 8: Newspapers

Posted: February 28, 2011 in Chapter 8: Newspapers

The Age of Yellow Journalism: Sensationalism and Investigation

Yellow Journalism: Doesn’t present well-researched information — instead, relies on eye-catching headlines and may exaggerate facts.

VIDEO: Yellow Journalism

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Watch your favorite television show. What are you consuming? Why? If you don’t have a television, go to and pick something. Use this to help you write your analysis.

Question: If television is our main storytelling medium, what story is it telling?

  • Look for ads, cultural messages, product placement, and other indicators of what theshow might actually be doing.
  • What messages does this show reinforce?
  • Analyze IT. Not the plot, but HOW the show works.
  • What is the thesis of this particular episode? Why did the author choose this to focus on?
  • How does this show appeal to its audience?
  • Note the commercials that are aired. What audience do they appeal to? Why?
  • How do the characters/etc behave? Whodoes this appeal to? Why?
  • Lastly, what shows DON’T you like? Why?

Chapter 5: Television

Posted: February 18, 2011 in Chapter 5: Television

Controlling Content: TV Grows Up

  • Early television’s black-and-white tubes were so primitive that to create the proper contrast under studio lights, actors had to wear green face makeup and purple lipstick.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

Tune in to Colorado Public Radio, either on 90.1 or online at Click “Listen to Colorado News” at the top of the page to listen.

Listen to two hours of broadcasts — specifically, tune in once to Colorado Matters (which airs Tuesday through Friday at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. or listen to a recent broadcast), and once to a national/international show, like BBC World Service, Morning Edition, Fresh Air, Talk of the Nation, The World, or All Things Considered.

For each of the programs you listen to, weave your opinion and analysis into the Five Steps of Media Critique. This post is due on Monday, 2/21, at 8 a.m.