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History of Media – Short Paper 1 Communications & Media Essay (Essay Sample)


THE DUE DATE IS: Feb 25 before midnight (11:59pm) (GMT-5)
I will post the file of this short paper.


MDSA02 History of Media – Short PAPER 1 TOPICS and Guidelines —Due: Feb 25 before midnight (11:59pm) uploaded to Quercus —Length: 1250 Words (min) —MLA or APA format: quotes and paraphrasing need page numbers (Smith, 2000, p. 235). Quotes are best. Avoid footnotes in any form, or the Chicago style of citation. —Reference 3+ outside academic sources (non-academic blogs, wikis, pop websites are permitted, but do not count for these 3 scholarly sources) —State your thesis at the end of Paragraph 1 -- what will you claim? --Include a copy of small image as an Appendix after your Works Cited, if you analyze an ad or other visual item Writing Tips: Introduce/integrate quotes. As Smith suggests, “Ads are a system...” that can “educate us...” (Smith, 2005, p. 5) Quotes cannot stand alone. “Ads are platforms for action” (Smith, 2005, p.5) The topic sentence tells readers what the topic is. “Historically, ads were outdoors...” OR you can use a question “How did we move from a needs society to a wants society?...” Use transitions between paragraphs. “But Farnsworth was not only the creator of TV, he also…” Block quotes (more than 3 full lines) should only be used in rare cases when you cannot summarize the gist, and almost never in short papers. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence and address that topic. TOPICS Topic 1 The History of Media (Eras)
In Chapter 1, Campbell et al. outline the major Periods in the History of Media that we examined in the first 3 weeks of class: The Spoken Era (theories of language among early people), The Written Era (Sumerian and Egyptian writing), The Rise of Print (Gutenberg), the Electronic Era (radio, film, television), and the Digital Era (Social Media, downloading, our time). Choose one period of Transition between Eras in Media (for example, how Writing was generated to help record keeping in Sumeria, or how the Printing Press ended centuries of Writing by hand). Once you have chosen your Era, examine 3 ways the new medium (for example, printed books) changed media use in society. Topics could include: • How early Writing in Sumer allowed for accounting and record keeping (any 3 social changes of your choice); • How the new Printing Press in the 1450s enabled political campaigning, rising literacy, more common understanding (any 3 social changes of your choice); YOU MAY ALSO CHOOSE A TRANSITION WITHIN AN ERA AS WELL (for example, when TV took over from Radio as a dominant medium) • How the invention of home Radios in the 1920s affected concert attendance, since people listened from home. Or, examine President Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats” which informed US citizens about their nation (any 3 social changes of your choice); • How the TV in the late 1940s frightened the movie industry, worried parents about violence, or worried religious groups about morality, or teachers about the decline of reading (any 3 social changes of your choice); THE DIGITAL MEDIA ERA IS NOT SUGGESTED HERE SINCE WE DEAL WITH IT LATER IN THE CLASS. Topic 2 Postmodernism Option One (Strinati) In our reading on “Postmodern Culture,” Strinati outlines 5 Elements of the Postmodern Era. He claims that in our Postmodern Media Culture: 1. There is no distinction between culture and society. 2. There is an emphasis on style more than substance. 3. There is no longer a distinction between high culture (art) and low/popular culture. 4. Time and space are treated as “fluid” or uncertain concepts. 5. The “metanarratives” or over-arching stories of a society (religions, myths, ethical systems) are in decline. Do you think we live in a Postmodern Media Culture? As examples of this culture, the textbook lists these media: “music videos, remote controls, Nike ads, shopping malls, fax machines, e-mail, video games, blogs, USA Today, YouTube, iPads, hip-hop, and reality TV.” Select a Medium (for example, TV or Cinema) and a Media Text (for example, a Show like “Game of Thrones” or a movie like The Great Gatsby). Outline in your paper how your example illustrates 3 of the Elements of Postmodernism listed above. (For example, “Game of Thrones” confuses time since it appears historical due to the castles, costumes, medieval customs, etc. but is pure fantasy. The Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio examines style and “appearances” over substance and reality. Select a Medium and Media Text from the Postmodern Era (1950s-present). Topic 3 Postmodernism Option Two (Paradoxes) As Campbell notes, an aspect of our Postmodern era is our acceptance of Paradoxes, which are contradictions between two opposing ideas. His opening example is that “Film stars, like Angelina Jolie and Ben Affleck, often champion oppressed groups while appearing in movies that make the actors wealthy global icons of consumer culture” (Campbell 29-30). That is an example of a paradox. Campbell writes: “Postmodern culture stresses integrating—or converging—retro [old] beliefs and contemporary [new] culture. So at the same time that we seem nostalgic for the past: we embrace new technologies. For example, fundamentalist religious movements that promote seemingly outdated traditions (e.g., rejecting women’s rights to own property or seek higher education) still embrace the Internet and modern technology as recruiting tools or as channels for spreading messages…. Although new technologies can isolate people or encourage them to chase their personal agendas (e.g., a student perusing individual interests online), new technologies can also draw people together to advance causes or to solve community problems or to discuss politics on radio talk shows, on Facebook, or on smartphones (Campbell 29-30). Select 2 of the above Paradoxes, or another 2 Paradoxes you notice in our own Era. Write a Compare and Contrast Essay. For example: Introduction 1. Our Nostalgia for the Past 2. Our Excitement for the Future (Science Fiction movies etc) 3. Celebrities working for Poor 4. Celebrities gaining increasing Wealth Conclusion Topic 4 Television as a Menace We have spent lots of time discussing fears of TV, some of these articulated by Marshall McLuhan (TV makes our attention spans shorter, TV distracts us from important things). In the Hollywood movie Poltergeist (1982), which we viewed parts of in class, the TV is the portal for angry spirits to enter a family’s home. The little girl Carol Anne is also obsessed with the TV, it seems, and in the 1980s, many parents were worried about children spending too much time with the TV. TVs were also portals for massive amounts of Advertising, which celebrated the US middleclass dream of a single family home achieved under capitalism, a quiet street, and friendly neighbours who would visit, often to watch TV or sports. 1. View the movie Poltergeist (1982) (ignore the remade version and sequels) 2. Select Key Scenes where the TV is important (the Father watches it, his friends watch football, the son and daughter are both affected by it) 3. Write about 3 key scenes where the TV matters centrally Introduction Scene 1 Scene 2 Scene 3 Conclusion What does the film say overall about the role of TV in family life? Topic 5 Disney and Childhood Media Campbell et al. in our textbook call Walt Disney Company “a postmodern media conglomerate.” The company’s success is attributed to its mastery of Childhood Culture, beginning in the 1920s and cemented in 1937 with the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Since then, Disney has become the modern storyteller, and purveyor of Fairy Tales for generations. Critics have noted many elements of Disney’s films, such as the man often saves the woman; women and girls often await a Prince; characters voiced by Black and Latino characters (the hyenas in the original The Lion King) often do things they are not supposed to, lie, or commit crimes; locations such as the Middle East in Aladdin are depicted as threatening. View the Gender and Race sections of the Educational Film Mickey Mouse Monopoly The commentators in MMM point out criticisms of Disney stories that you may or may not agree with. Select a Disney movie (or show) that is NOT addressed in the film (maximum 2 to compare), which can include live action productions. Have the new productions improved representations of various people and places? Select 3.5 Key Scenes you think are important, and assess how the story depicts Gender and Race, in separate paragraphs. You should argue your point, and do not have to agree entirely with what is said in Mickey Mouse Monopoly. You may find that in post-2000 Disney movies, gender and race are better represented. As you outline your 3 Body Paragraphs, be sure to describe the Scenes quickly: “The scene begins with Belle running from the Beast, and we see...”


History of Media
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
History of Media (Eras)
Around 40 decades ago, people used to paint on cave walls, and left their hands stencils and other markings. Cave painting has been dated to a thousand years and experts do not know the exact purpose, which the artwork had (Wahrman, 2018, p. 153). However, some experts suggest that it is the first example of the use of medium for communication, although the “audience” for such paintings was small. Media has continually developed and currently, people have been able to use social media platforms (Kortti, 2016, p. 116). That said, it is essential to discuss the major eras in the history of media such as the spoken era, the written era, the rise of the print, the electronic era, and the digital era.
The spoken language era was identified in 1500 B.C when phonetic alphabet started appearing. The three systems of writing emerged independently in China, MesoAmerica, and Near East. They all shared remarkable stability, and preserved more than 10 decades’ features of their new prototypes. For instance, the cuneiform script of Mesopotamia, which consisted of using multiple shapes of clay tokens existed in the 8th millennium BC (Wahrman, 2018, p. 155). The transition from using tokens to scripts denotes that writing developed from accounting and counting. Writing was purposely used for accounting until 300 BC, when Sumerian new writing techniques emerged. The transition from tokens to the use of scripts revealed a continuous development in the abstraction of data from three-dimensional tokens to two-dimensional pictures. It also denoted the progression to the use of phonetic signs and abstract numbers. Furthermore, it led to phonemes representation and sound abstraction by alphabet letters.

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