Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Advent of the Media: Discussion Questions.

Coda: The Advent of the Media-- Week 3 Discussion Questions:

At the beginning of this chapter, author Paul Starr states how as communication processes became more efficient (as in with the radio) there became a "continual taste for novelty". Do you agree with this statement? If so, do you believe the quality of the information published deteriorated because of this? Why or why not?

Starr argues that modern media came about as a result of three key junctures: "The primacy of the nation-state, the emergence of liberal constitutionalism, and the expansion of the reading public and other cultural markets." While all three had major impacts on shaping the current structure of the media, which do you feel had the greatest impact?  Why?

Early in the text, Starr explains how the need for a profit (noting that profit comes from increased circulation resulting from popularity) occasionally overshadowed the need to tell the truth. This he shares, led to manipulation of the news. Later Starr shares an opposing view, reiterating Lazarsfeld's opinion that only people can change the opinions of other people. Do you think that the media can and regularly does manipulate their consumers, or do you believe that interpersonal relationships shape our opinions the most? Why?

Starr ends this chapter by sharing recent changes in the media including the focus now being on international media. He shares a quote from Archimedes and relates that to the media, explaining that a number of different moves on our parts now can lead to different futures for the industry. Where do you believe mass media is to head next and as a result of what actions?

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