Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Case Study Chapter 13: Violence in Media

On January 31st, I will case study on media research concerning violence in the media, specifically the tragedy that occurred at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Through examples of experimental research and survey research, I will explain how children are impressionable to violence, which can ultimately lead to horrible consequences. Experimental research is performed in carefully controlled situations to better evaluate the effects that media can cause on an individual. One of the more well-known media effects studies, which is in Media Now, was conducted by albert Bandura at Stanford University. Bandura measures how children will react to observing hostile behavior toward a Bobo the Clown doll, and would they duplicate what they just saw when given the opportunity. Survey research is quite simple because they are more common to everyday life. Survey research takes random samplings of populations to gather information about a specific topic, in our case, the topic of violence in the media. Hopefully my presentation will make us more aware of what images we see on television and the ultimate repercussions that might occur from them.

Case Study Chapter 13: Media Research and the Nielsen Company

Tomorrow, January 31 I will present an example of the far-reaching effects of media research. The Nielsen Company has been the leader in research statistics on television usage nearly since its invention. I will give a brief synopsis of media statistics in general and then move on to more concrete examples of the different ways Nielsen gathers, analyzes, and distributes data and, in turn, its effects on television media. Nielsen gathers data from a random sampling of homes all across the United States. A random sample helps remove bias from the data, keeping it more representative of viewers across the nation. The raw data is processed and categorized as either overall or audiences broken down by geographic area, race, age, etc. This processed information is then sent to networks who use it to alter schedules, set ad prices, and market new programs. Advertisers also purchase this data in order to reach their target market via commercials and/or product placement. This will hopefully give insight into the importance of media research and its impact on what viewers see, hear, and expect on television.

Chapter 13 Case Study: Computer Media Communications

On January 31, I will examine the effects of internet usage as a form of computer media communication. I will specifically review the findings of the CMU HomeNet Study which was designed to evaluate the correlation between increased internet usage and decreased social involvement. I will also link the computer disorders addressed in chapter thirteen of Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture and Technology, to the stated findings from the HomeNet Study, including disorders such as antisocial behavior and addiction. Next, I will discuss the shortcomings of the methodology of the study, as well as the opposing views. While many agree with the HomeNet findings, there are several who view this type of technology as a positive rather than negative tool, useful in everyday society. Finally, I will examine the ways in which the internet has changed society, as well as the trends that have occurred since the study was conducted in 1995. My goal in this presentation is to clearly present the conclusions of the HomeNet study, as well as the critiques of others, in order to provide a well rounded view; thus, allowing the students to draw their own conclusions about the impact of computer related media and the internet.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chapter 2 Case Study: The Microsoft Monopoly

On January 24th, I will be presenting a case study over monopolies in the media, specifically the Microsoft Corporation. Through much research, I will be able to accurately explain how a media monopoly functions and rises to supreme power. I will shed light on how a company such as Microsoft is able to grow and multiply into a media powerhouse, and how it accurately complies with this week’s theme of “Convergence and Media Markets”. Through use of the text in Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture, and Technology, I will directly apply the terms we have learned, such as economies of scale and barriers to entry, to the Microsoft Corporation monopoly. Not only will I explain how Microsoft is a monopoly, but how it affects our society today and all of its competitors in the media market. Microsoft successfully extinguishes competitors with ease and reaps major profit. However, with extreme power and success comes extreme responsibilities and damage control. Since Microsoft is the supreme ruler in its market, the corporation is constantly fighting off lawsuits and problems with the government. I hope my presentation will raise questions or concerns about the effects of a media monopoly in our world today.

Case Study: Technological Determinism

I will be making a presentation on January 24th about Google and hypertext (or hyperlinks). The topic that my material relates to is the Technological Determinism section at the end of chapter 2 in the textbook. Technological determinism is the idea that the message broadcasted through technology is the medium itself rather than the actual data transmitted. This is the opposite of cultural determinism which states that culture determines how technology develops and how affects us. My main focus is on hypertext. Hypertext is the text on a web page that links you to another source, either within that page or another. Hypertext has revolutionized the exchange of information in that within a document, an author can simply place links to background or supporting information, rather than attempt to provide all of that information to the reader. This combined with the speed and vast resources of Google have made us into a generation that can consume information at rates unimaginable ten years ago. This means that we can choose which media to consume or not consume at greater flexibility. Where this topic relates to technological determinism, is that the medium of hypertext and Google give us the ability to tune out or avoid dissenting opinions or facts, or topics we are simply apathetic to. While the concept itself is not new, I think the speed and asynchronous nature of hypertext has translated into the physical world as well. We jump from information to information constantly skipping that which we do not feel like partaking of, because so much is at our fingertips.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sample Case Study: Disney Company as a Global Media Force

On December 1 I will be presenting on the Disney Company as one of the most powerful global media organizations. By sharing my researching the Disney company and how they maintain their power, I was able to explain how Disney has achieved their success and continues to grow in a global market. My presentation relates to this week's theme of globalization and media by offering insight into the philosophy and practices of one of the top global media organizations. My presentation will focused in on what forms of media they utilize as well as how Disney narrowcasts and personalizes their media products to the market they are presenting in. I will draw on the Media Now on Globalization of Communications Media which discussed the effect that global media has on the world as well as individual countries. Specifically I will highlight how the Disney Company and brand have been used as a great tool to connect the world, but at the same time has had force many traditions and folk stories to be lost behind a tapestry of flashy computer animation. Disney has worked to become a top player in the global media race, and therefore they are a prime example of global media and the topic of chapter sixteen in Media Now.

Company background, loss of tradition, consumerism, and the Disney Parks will serve as the information topics that allowed me to discuss the Disney Company as a global media force. Not only does Disney have television, radio, and movie power, but they use this power to push their media in other avenues. These avenues are toys, shops, books, rides, restaurants, and parks. Disney uses such companies as McDonald's to run a promotion for their upcoming feature film or hip new show on the Disney Channel. The parks; such as Disneyland, Disney World, Tokyo Disney, and Disneyland Paris; have served has a very successful tool for the Disney Company to encourage the globalization of their media. I hope my presentation will raise questions about what impact Disney Company is making within our global media world.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Welcome to COMM 330

Welcome to the COMM 330 class blog. This blog provides an opportunity to explore the intersection of communication technology, media industry and social use of media. This blog will be highlight issues raised in COMM 330: Communication and Technology being taught by Dr. Heidi Campbell at Texas A&M University this fall semester. Students will have an opportunity to use this blog to share their thought about the course material and more specifically post information related to their class case study presentations. I am looking forward to a great semester of interaction both online and offline! -Dr Heidi Campbell