Attention: There Are Three Assignments Total:
The 1996 Telecommunications Act opened the door for various media outlets especially the larger ones (it initially began with radio). This is said because after the act was put into place, buyouts began to occur immediately (if you do not recognize the 1996 Telecommunications Act, then you probably have not read the chapter or the chapter summary—go back and read those items if you have not already done so). Consequently, the larger media outlets were able to purchase smaller media companies (making the industry vulnerable to monopolies). When a larger firm buys out or acquires several other media companies, the larger firm is then considered to be a media conglomerate. The following picture is a look at some of the media conglomerate control that exists (keep scrolling down after you take a look at the following representation for the actual assignment instructions):
We all have encountered a media conglomerate in some way, form, or fashion. These conglomerates can own anything from radio stations to television stations to advertising firms to public relational firms to sports teams to book publishing companies (and this list could go on and on). I would like each of you to do some research and come up with your three favorite media productions (i.e. your favorite show such as Sports Center, your favorite radio morning show such as the Rod Ryan Show, your favorite advertisement such as the e-Trade Baby commercials, your favorite football team such as the Houston Texans, etc.). Take your three favorites and find out if a larger parent company and/or a media conglomerate actually that has some kind of tie of ownership to your favorite media productions. If you have not learned the concept of media conglomerates by now, take a look at the following:
• Give the “biggest” media conglomerate possible (for example, Walt Disney owns ABC who owns ESPN who produces Sports Center—so, in this case, your “biggest” conglomerate would be Walt Disney).
• For those of you who’d like to include a book as a possible favorite, find out the publisher and see if that publisher is owned by a media conglomerate.
• If you have a favorite sports team, find out if they are owned by a media conglomerate (hint-the major leagues are sometimes considered major media conglomerates [i.e., the NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.]; but there are times when you might see a conglomerate owning at least a portion of the team [for example, Time Warner used to own a portion of the Atlanta Braves—-so, find out to see if perhaps your favorite team is at least partially owned by a media conglomerate]).
• If you have a favorite commercial, see if you can find out the advertising agency responsible for creating the commercial. Find out if that agency is individually owned or owned by a media conglomerate.
• Most of you might be surprised by media conglomerate having some type of ownership tie with your favorite media production, but there are some cases where a media production might be individually owned and not owned by a larger parent company. If this is the case for one of your favorite media productions, please indicate that it is individually owned (major sports teams are not completely owned as they have rights within their respective leagues [i.e., the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, etc.]).
You are required to give at least three (3) of your favorite media productions, products, services, etc. and give that production’s “biggest” owner (see Helpful Hints for clarification). You will not be penalized if you do not find the actual owner, but you more than likely will be able to find an owner. Here’s an example answer for one of your productions:
• · Disney is the media conglomerate over ESPN’s Sports Center.
Newspaper Story Assignment 2
Newspaper stories are the backbone of how the media have delivered news for a long time. Sometimes, how the story is told is often the true measure of how successful that story will or will not be. Unfortunately, the newspaper industry has several guidelines news-writers/reporters are supposed to follow. For the most part, those guidelines are dictated by what is known as the AP Stylebook. This stylebook and its guidelines are sometimes difficult to learn; but, over time, these guidelines can be mastered with practice. You are going to write a news-story with one of the more popular styles of news-writing that is recommended by this AP Stylebook. This particular style (and the style you will be required to write in) is called the inverted-pyramid style of writing/reporting (the inverted-pyramid style of writing/reporting is described in more detail within the “Helpful Hints” section of this page).
We probably all have read a newspaper at some point in time. Maybe at some point you have wanted to be a journalist; well, here’s your chance. You will write a print journalism news-story for this assignment with some information that will be given to you below. You are to write this story as if you have done investigation (as if you were the investigative reporter); and, remember, the information below is what you have found out through your investigation. You are required to utilize the following information to write a news-story (that is, take the following information and create your story):
• This is some of what you found during your investigation..The following information is from a police officer by the name of John Stanton (all of this information is from his filed report):
o Michael Jenson was arrested for drunk driving and for running into an elementary school’s playground.
o The accident happened in a school zone during school hours.
o The school was Diane Winborn Elementary School.
o The vehicle was traveling east on Prince George Lane when the driver literally drove off the road and into the school yard.
o The silver vehicle was a Chevy Silverado.
o The accident happened this morning at 9:30 a.m.
o The truck has been impounded.
o The truck was traveling approximately 55 mph in a 20 mph school speed zone.
o Michael has been charged with a DUI (received citation).
o Michael has been charged with speeding in a school zone (received citation).
o Michael has been charged with reckless driving in a school zone (received citation).
• Other information you found in your investigation:
o Nobody was hurt from the accident.
o The vehicle struck a swing set.
o Stanton said: “We were very fortunate to not have anyone hurt during this freak accident.”
o Jenson’s bail has been set at $3,000.
o If convicted, Jenson could face up to five years imprisonment or up to a $75,000 fine.
o A teacher form the school witnessed the accident.
o The teacher’s name is Michelle Fogerty (the witness).
o Fogerty said: “If it wasn’t for that swing set, he probably would have driven right into a classroom. I guess the swing set literally saved some kids’ lives today.”
o Fogerty called 911.
o A school official, Bob Mitchel (Assistant Principal), mentioned with a smile: “We’re gonna’ have to rebuild that swing in the exact same place.”
• When we write a news-story, we try to tell the story in present tense.
• Most stories are written in the inverted-pyramid style of reporting (see the diagram for clarification/help). Try to write your story in this style (you will not be penalized if you are unable to successfully write your news-story in this style).
• You will have to decide what the “more important information” is and what the “not so important information” is. Consequently, you probably would want to write this news-story by keeping the “main information you found in your investigation” (which is listed above) as the top element of the inverted-pyramid style of reporting (that is, the “most important, newsworthy, or dramatic information”). See the diagram for more information.
• Be as accurate as possible.
• Be objective, and do not be opinionated.
• You will want to check out the following sites before you start writing to get an idea how journalists have to virtually write an everyday basis (the links include tips on lead writing, writing in AP Style, and writing in inverted pyramid format):
o The following is an overall model breakdown of the inverted-pyramid (your story should definitely include this format.
:Use the inverted-pyramid style of reporting:
Try and incorporate the aforementioned ideas in mind when writing your story as best you can (this is a virtual crash-course in writing; so, I do not expect everyone to have perfect writing as a journalist for this assignment). You are required to write a news-story about the information listed above. There is no required maximum or minimum length limit for this story (just make sure you tell the story and include the important details of the story keeping writing tips in mind). You are writing this story as if you are the investigative journalist who has been assigned to it.
We often look through our magazines without really paying attention to some detail that is inevitably inside those magazines. With this in mind, find three (3) magazines of your choice (Sports Illustrated, Field and Stream, Cosmopolitan, Better Homes and Gardens, etc.). Look through your three chosen magazines and answer the following questions about each magazine you have chosen (please state the name and issue or volume of the magazine you in which you are describing or have chosen—after signifying the magazine and issue, please answer all of the questions or respond to the statements below about the magazines you select):
• What is the name of the magazine?
• What is the volume/issue of the magazine (be specific with date)?
• Briefly describe your magazine.
• What type of magazine is this (i.e. a sports magazine, a fashion magazine, a fishing magazine, a general interest , magazine, etc.)?
• Who is the target audience of this magazine?
• Does this magazine utilize the ideology of “sex sells” or “violence sells” to sell?
• Are ads placed in proximity (or not) to editorial content of a related topic (e.g., suntan lotion or sunglasses ads next to an article about beach vacations)? If so, give examples (give at least two (2) examples). If not, give examples (give at least two (2) examples).
• How aesthetically similar (or not) are the ads and editorial content (e.g., the style of a magazine’s photo shoot and its fashion ads, the color of the ad and the editorial content—in other words, are the ads similar in color, font style, etc. to the editorial content)? Give examples (give at least two (2) examples).
• Are there ads that seem to be at odds with the editorial content (e.g., cigarette ads in youth oriented magazine)? If so, give examples. If not, please state “ads seeming to be at odds with the editorial content is not applicable.”
• Do ad pages and/or ad space outnumber editorial content pages? Count the ratio (approximately). In other words, how many ads are there compared to actual stories or editorial content.
• Do ad pages make it hard to find the magazines table of contents and the actual article(s)? If so, give examples (give at least two (2) examples). If not, please state “the editorial content, actual stories, and table of contents were easy to find.”
You are required to give at least three (3) magazines
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