Midterm exam study guide
The exam will cover the readings from the
textbook, other readings, video material, and
information presented in class. The exam will include short answer questions (approximately 20 questions).
You will have the entire class session to take the exam.
Below are some key concepts to review.
prepared to apply the concepts (not just define them).
It is recommended that you re-read the material and
study your class notes.
M/S text, Chapter 1: Media and the Social World
• What is the traditional definition of mass communication?
The process by which an organization, with the aid of technology, produces and transmits public
messages aimed at large, heterogeneous, and scattered audiences.
• How have new technologies/new media led to some changes in how we see the process of mass
communication (i.e., what elements of the process/definition are changing)?
New technologies have improved the communication means. Technology has increased the
audiences and thus has given media more social responsibilities.
• Be familiar with the general patterns of media availability and usage statistics in U.S. households with
various media (which media are nearly universally available; which are not?).
Homes with media:
What are the principal factors that account for the differences in the percentage of households with
different media? How much time are people spending with media?
Cost, place in life cycle (age?), race and ethnicity, beliefs, access, and availability.
• What is media multi-tasking and how common is it?
• What were the main similarities/differences between the class’s media usage and other American
• Describe the significance of the
as milestones in shaping the mass
Telegraph 1800s – Made communications faster, achieved longer distances, delivered news
incredibly quicker, informed people more effectively.
Broadcasting 1900s – More instantaneous messages, news in the privacy of home, privatization of
information, less collective discussions about info (no longer newspaper gatherings on the
For the following, be able to define/provide examples of:
Change in media has resulted in a move away from the mass broadcast audience toward smaller,
more specialized niche population. Ex – MTV shows designed for people of specific ages and