Exam 1 study guide

Overview of content for exam

  •   Lecture material through week 6
  •   Material from “Required” readings through week 6
  •   Professor Graves’ guest lecture
  •   Professor Palmer’s guest lecture
  •   Professor Wagner’s guest lecture
  •   Yamiche Alcindor’s guest lecture
  • Format of exam: The exam will take place on Monday, February 27, in lecture. Arrive a few minutes early to be ready to start at 9:55. The exam will include a combination of multiple choice, fill in the blank, and short answer. Please bring a pen or two.
  • Key concepts and areas for study: This list does not include every detail you may be asked for. It is an outline of key areas and concepts. In your studying, it may be helpful to consult with peers about the details of each concept. (It also does not include all concepts from readings and guest lectures. Some concepts from readings and guest lectures are noted below; but this does not mean that others will not appear on the exam.) You are most responsible for understanding key concepts and arguments, and being able to explain them and apply them to various contexts. You will not be tested on minute details of the topics.
  •   The definition of mass media (what is a “medium”? what is “mass”?)
  •   The ‘problem’ of democracy
  •   Differences between ‘subjects’ and ‘citizens’
  •   The hybrid model of citizenship in American democracy
  •   Four fundamental functions an information system must provide in a democracy
  •   The purposes of journalism in democratic society
  •   Why the printing press was revolutionary for the distribution of information, and how it was used by Martin Luther
  •   Aeropagitica and its key arguments
  •   Printing as a business in the 1700s
  •   “Private journals,” printers and “coffeehouse culture” in the 1700s
  •   The role of the press in American independence
  •   How newspapers and the press were supported by the government after independence
  •   The partisan press: relationship between newspapers and parties; the role of both in political participation
  •   The penny press, or mass circulation press
  •   Yellow journalism
  •   The Progressive era in the United States; its concerns, emphases and consequences for journalism
  •   The muckrakers, especially Nellie Bly, Ida B. Wells, and Upton Sinclair
  •   Roles of key individuals in news organizations (publisher, reporter, etc.)
  •   Wall of separation between editorial and advertising functions
  •   Major forms of news (“straight” news, news analysis, etc.)
  •   How a printed newspaper is put together
  •   Bylines and datelines and what they tell the reader
  •   Wire services: what they are and what they do
  •   The discipline of verification
  •   The “pseudo-environment”
  •   Objectivity of the person vs. objectivity of method
  •   The principles and pitfalls of balance, false equivalency, fairness, “he said, she said” reporting, transparency
  •   Origins of false equivalence (why do journalists do it?) and implications for climate change coverage
  •   Independence from advertisers, government and politics, personal financial concerns, and sources
  •   Importance of providing context
  •   Newspapers’ role in community engagement
  •   Journalism’s “watchdog” role
  •   “press pool”
  •   White House press corps & press briefings
  •   Information subsidies
  •   Agenda setting
  •   The press’ challenge: how to allocate attention, especially in a presidential primary?

o How the press normally does this; how they did so with Trump

  •   Horserace coverage
  •   3 reasons the press covered Trump so extensively during the primaries
  •   The logic of political lying
  •   The Cold War consensus
  •   Origins of recent distrust of press (post-1960s)
  •   Nixon’s relationship with the press
  •   The political strategy of attacking the press
  •   Fragmentation and the rise of talk radio and cable news
  •   The manufacture of doubt—and its purpose
  •  Outcomes of fragmented media, distrust of press, political polarization—and consequences for democracy