CMU 200 Winter 2000
Questions to consider while going over Week 3 readings on contemporary television environment and who is "in charge." No papers are due on readings, but points will be discussed in section next week. These questions also help you prepare for exams.
All Week 3 readings are found in packet.
Newspaper ad: "TV is Leading Children Down a Moral Sewer."
- How does ad propose to end the "moral sewer" of TV?
- Look at language of ad. It discusses "steamy unmarried sex situations," and filthy jokes, etc. What is the implied belief system behind use of these terms?
- What evidence or statistics does ad offer to back its contentions?
- The ad implicates which group as the culprit of the moral degeneration – TV executives or ad agencies? Does this group truly possess the "power" the ad claims?
Peter Nichols: "How a Film Indie Goes Shopping for a Backer."
- How hard is it to "get a deal?" What type of films does the industry support?
- What is the relationship between the subject of a proposed movie – "content" – and the ability to fund a motion picture – "production?"
- How would you describe the tone of the article – was it hopeful, or less sanguine about the filmmaker’s chances of getting financial backing?
- What does the article imply about independent voices in the expensive film production environment?
- Did the fact that the filmmaker’s movie deal with a "gay-theme" improve or worsen her chances of getting funding?
Julie D’Acci: "Defining Women: The Case of Cagney and Lacey."
- What kind of TV audience (make, size, etc.) did Cagney and Lacey attract?
- Why did the show cause such heavy "debates over various definitions of femininity?"
- What factors went in favor and against the production and continued showing of Cagney and Lacey?
- Is TV a good place to test new, challenging ideas? What is the "culture industry?"
- What is "exploitation advertising" and how does it perpetuate the status-quo on TV
- Describe the debates over "femininity" and "masculinity" on Cagney andLacey?
Howard Kurtz: "ABC Kills Story Critical of Owner Disney."
- Do you think the story on Disney should have aired?
- How does conglomerate ownership of the news media’s influence what stories get told? Would a government-funded system be better?