Web exercises direct both instructors and students to useful and current web sites, along with creative activities to extend and reinforce learning or allow for further research on important chapter topics.
Visit http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart/main and explore the media holdings of the biggest media companies. Pick one of the companies that have many holdings listed, and decide upon one media product that might be created by the company. Decide how you might be able to horizontally and/or vertically integrate this product using your other holdings in order to make your product as successful as possible. What advantages do you have as a media conglomerate?
Explore the news website of a major city paper or a major news corporation, such as the Boston Globe, the New York Times, CNN or MSNBC. Document some of the ways you can see the effects of the pressure to attract audiences, gain advertisers and adapt to new media, as mentioned in Chapter 2 of Media/Society. How many ads are there? Does the content seem like serious and objective news coverage, or is there a lot of light, lifestyle coverage? How do you think newspapers have adapted to the internet?
Look at the top-grossing movies for 2013 (or the most recent year) here: http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2013&p=.htm. How does the “profit-driven logic of safety” described by Croteau & Hoynes around production decisions explain many of the titles on this list? How many successful movies seem to follow this logic? What are the patterns? Are there successful movies that don’t follow the logic? Are there “safe” movies that don’t seem as successful? How does the logic of safety include the risk of failure?