Beginning with newspapers, like we
talked about in class, advertising has played a central role in financing mass
communication content in the U.S. Ads have become so embedded in our media that
ads have become a medium/content themselves, especially during the Super Bowl.
What are the main benefits of ads in our media? What are some of the critiques? What
are the alternatives for news, like the BBC in U.K or NPR in U.S. or even innovative
news web sites like ProPublica or MinnPost that use taxes or foundation money to exist.
HOW . . .
Different angles you can take on the topic include:
– history of ads and evolution
– what’s the future of ads
– how are ads influencing the web and social media, making ordinary people rich, etc.
– product placement, do corporations have too much power over media content
– what are alternatives to traditional media advertising and do they work (pay, non profit)
– psychology of ads and consumerism
– banning advertising to children (sweden does it)
– controversial ad campaigns (race, gender, violence, cigs, health, etc)
Word count is 1,000-1,250 words. This is a short paper, so avoid using long quotes from
research material. Paraphrase and interpret using your own words. PRINTED paper is
due 11/7 at class time or 11/8 by 4p, under my door in Bret Harte, room 103.
Again, use in-text citations and cited works at the end. This time I want you to identify
the (book) and (journal) article.
There is no re-do this time, so follow the guidelines.
Required sources . . .
– one BOOK
– one scholarly JOURNAL ARTICLE
– newspaper or magazine articles (reported/researched) and various relevant websites.
remember, no wikipedia source. use it as a research guide, but not a source.
WHY . . .
This assignment is designed to push you to take a critical look at a key business aspect
of mass media. One of the main critiques of advertising is it pushes media producers to
create watered down content to appeal the largest audience possible. A mantra of
media studies is: The ultimate role of mass media is to generate audiences for
advertisers. But proponents argue that without advertising the U.S. would not be able to
fund its media and the producers of media content. Either way, the role is clear.
Advertising is a necessary nuisance in mass media in the U.S. Why this is so is
complicated, but your initial research into the subject should shed some light on
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