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COSC7312: Mass Communication

Test Revision
Learning Unit 1: Understanding the nature of Mass Media
1. Why have the media played such an important role on the social,
political, cultural and economic life of society (p.16)?
2. Critically discuss the statement the power of the radio can be
compared only with the power of the atomic bomb (pp.20-21)
and use an example to justify your discussion.
3. What are the 3 social functions of the mass media that Lazarsfeld
and Merton refers to (pp.23-26)? Provide an example for each
4. What does social conformism (pp.26-27) refer to?
5. How would you say the mass media has impacted on popular
taste (p.27-30)? When answering your question be sure to refer to
the theory as well as your own experiences.
6. There are 3 organically related elements of our great concern with
the mass media (p.20). What are they?
7. According to Lazarsfeld and Merton in order for propaganda to be
effective one or more of 3 conditions must be satisfied (p.30).
What are they? In answering your question provide an example of
8. Because of the above 3 conditions what can we expect of the
present role of the media (p.33)?
9. What is the definition of media literacy (p.42)?
10. What are the 2 main characteristics of media literacy (p.4344)?
11. What are the 3 building blocks of media literacy (pp.36-40)?
12. Discuss the 4 dimensions of media literacy (pp.36-39) and
provide an example of each?
13. Explain the 7 skills most relevant to media literacy. In
answering your question refer to South African examples (pp.3942)
14. What are the advantages of developing your media literacy
Learning Unit 2: Mass Communication Theory
1. Provide an in-depth overview of the limited-effects theory (MG, p.
2. Critically discuss the challenges to the limited-effects theory (MG,
pp. 25-26)?

3. Explain the reasons for the revival of the Uses-and-Gratifications

Approach (MG, pp. 28-30)
4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Uses-andGratifications approach (MG, p.30)
5. Explain the Social Cognitive Theory (MG, pp.31-33)
6. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the social cognitive
theory (MG, p.33)

Learning Unit 3: Print Media

1. Differentiate between hard and soft news and use examples to
illustrate (p.130 )
2. What is the difference between non-scheduled, prescheduled and
unscheduled events as hard and soft news (pp.132-136)
3. What is the difference between spot news, developing news and
continuing news using examples to illustrate (Text book, p.131)
4. What are Klinenbergs 8 major developments that have affected
the news media during the past 30 years (pp.146-147)
5. Discuss the evolution of major media companies through 4 key
development strategies? Use Metro News in your discussion
6. What is the new newsroom and how have journalists had to
adopt in terms of their role and responsibilities as well as in terms
of time and space constraints (pp.149-155)
7. Define synergy and provide an example in your discussion?
8. Evaluate how synergy and digital systems have changed media
9. Determine how convergence of the new media market has
affected the target marketing process by media companies
10. What are the time-challenges that magazines are faced with
11. What are the benefits and challenges associated with moving
the content from a traditional medium to the Web (pp.163-164)?
12. Which 3 of Steinem's anecdotes surprised you the most
13. Do you believe marketing was the reason for Harry Potter's
success, the books themselves (pp.180-186)
14. Critically discuss why it can be said that Harry Potter has
become a symptom of a legal system designed to benefit
capitalism more than artistic values (pp.182-190)

Learning Unit 4: Electronic Media

1. Define news according to Postman and Powers (pp.205-206)?
2. Why would Postman and Powers argue that news is more often
made rather than gathered (pp.206-207)
3. Define the following 3 concepts central to understanding the
impact of reality TV series: (1) Cultural consumption; (2) Social
issues being addressed; and (3) Social unity (Text book, pp.212226)
4. Critically discuss the market-place of ideas metaphor (pp.232233)
5. Critically discuss (1) source diversity and its sub-categories as
well as how it is analysed, (2) content diversity and its subcategories and how it is analysed, and (3) exposure diversity and
its sub-categories and how it is analysed (pp.233-250)?
6. What is the difference between diversity and variety (p.233)?
7. Why should we not assume that an increase in the number of
media outlets will lead to an increase in content diversity (pp.242243)
8. Why does Hendy refer to the radio as a communicative capacity
9. Discuss the elements of time and space with respect to radio
using examples to illustrate your answer (pp.256-257 and 262265 and 267)?
10. What are the 3 conclusions that Ian draws regarding the music
industry (pp.280-281)?
11. Ian refers to 3 additional protocols that can be taken into
consideration regarding the downloading of music (p.284)?
Critically evaluate Ian's view that illegal downloading is not
harming the music industry, considering her argument was made
in 2002 (pp.278-286)