Various questions from students in Cmu. 200.

1. When is the deadline to apply for Communications major?

Applications will be available during finals week; completed applications are due April 10.

2. How can I find out more about the School of Communications?

What is required of a communications major?

Visit the School's web site. at

or the School's advising office in Room 118 Communications. The advising office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 to 12 and 1 to 5.


3. I have problems pulling information from the readings.

Look at the study questions posted each week on the web. We think these will be helpful as you do the readings. An alternative would be to briefly outline each article when you read it -- noting key points.

4. What would be a good follow up class to this one?

For spring quarter, I'd recommend Cmu. 341 (on government and press). This class focuses primarily on news.

5. How hard will the third exam be?

I think its hardness will be about halfway between Midterm #1 and Midterm #2.

6. I know that three of the communications tracks have been dropped. What does this mean as far as people trying to major in communications?

The three sub-areas within the media studies major have not been dropped. The courses are as they have always been. There is no impact on you as a student. You can still major in communications. You are not required to specialize in a track (such as new media, institutions and effects, international), but we encourage you to do so, so that you develop a coherent set of courses.

7. Are we able to drop an exam? Are there opportunities for more extra credit?

No, on dropping an exam.

No, on more extra credit. There have been two opportunities; that's all.

8. Is this class full of liberal propaganda?

No, I don't think so. In fact, the emphasis on the class is not on politics but on media and how the media operate. You'll notice that we've tried to explain how the media operate and the consequences of that. I don't think that is propaganda, liberal or conservative.

9. Can we have more discussion in lecture?
It's hard to have discussion in lectures, as students have trouble hearing. We will do some more, but not a lot. Plus we're about out of time.

10. Does your dog eat food? Do you have a pet?

No, no pet.

11. What class do you have to take to get into advertising.

The University of Washington does not offer a major in advertising. Your best bet, if you are interested in advertising, would be to take marketing courses in Business Administration.

12. Will you marry me?

No, sorry!

13. I'm from San Francisco and Oprah and Rosie are both on the same channel there (Ch. 7, ABC). As I understand it, they are on NBC here. How can that be?

Good question. These are not network shows; rather they are syndicated shows which are sold to the highest bidder in each market. In SF, the ABC affiliate got them; in Seattle, the NBC affiliate.

14. Which TV channel do you prefer?

No preference at all; I watch shows on all networks.

15. How much TV do you watch per week?

It varies; I watch more during the sweeps months or if I get interested a particular series. I'm not following anything in particular right now. I probably watch an hour to two hours of TV a day.

16. Is Steven Spielberg really making a movie on "Memoirs of a Geisha"?

Apparently, he is thinking about it. According to an article in the New York Times (2/28/00) ,it is a project he is considering (among others). Supposedly he will announce fairly soon which project he'll pursue next.

17. Could you discuss how grades will be weighted?

We'll figure out the class average based on the exams (which is now running around 3.0- 3.2) and then figure out the average for the papers (which should be in the same range or perhaps even higher) and then set that as the average. People above will get higher grades; people below will get lower grades. There is no required number of points for a 4.0; usually 10 per cent or so fall into the A range (3.7 to 4.0) although it may be higher in this class, given the high quality of work throughout the quarter.

18. What are some fields related to new media technologies at UW?

Dept. of Technical Communication

Computer Science

Plus many programs are looking at new media issues (from CHID to the Graduate School of Public Affairs).

19. Are you a republican or democrat? Which candidate do you favor?

I'm an independent and am not thrilled with any of the current crop of candidates.

20. Is it possible to get a representative from a special interest group to guest lecture?

That's a very good idea and I will try it the next time I teach this class. There's not enough time left this quarter.

21. How long have you been teaching?
Since I started graduate school in 1973; full time since 1978.

22. What do you think is the most trust worthy/unbiased source of news.

I don't think any source is completely unbiased. The trick is to use more than one source and over time you develop a sense of the patterns of bias or source-dependence in the news. For myself, I prefer the New York Times, but it has some biases. But I recognize them and so can read things clearly.

23. Is the final cumulative?
No. it will cover readings and classes since the 2nd exam. It will also cover some earlier readings IF they are mentioned in lecture.

24. What was the title of the Ally McBeal song that you played in lecture a while back.

"Tell Him."

25. Can you retake the exam.

No, sorry.