History of Radio, Television and New Media Syllabus (Fall 20xx)

Film ####: History of Radio, Television, and New Media                                                                                                                                                                      Fall 20xx

CRN: 12345

Tuesday/Thursday 2:30-3:45

Professor Neal Hinnant

email nhinnantgsu@gmail.com

Office: 734 One Park Place

OFFICE HOURS: Tuesday and Thursday: 12-2 or by appointment.

Course Objectives: The history of radio, television, and new media is a story of three interconnected and ever-evolving mediums shaped by technological, industrial, cultural, and regulatory forces. Rather than a list of names and dates, this course is designed to shed light on the web of sociocultural and economic influences that have steered the course of radio, television, and new media history.

Course Texts:

  1. Michele Hilmes, Only Connect: a Cultural History of Broadcasting in the United States
  2. Some readings will be taken from sources other than Hilmes. In these circumstances, either internet links will be provided to the readings or they will be placed in the Ulearn folder labeled “Additional Readings.”


Exam 1: 20% of final grade

Exam2: 25% of final grade

Exam 3/Final Exam: 30% of final grade

Writing Assignment: 15% of final grade

Participation and Attendance: 10% of final grade

96-100: A+

93-95: A

89-92: A-

86-88: B+

83-85: B

79-82: B-

76-78: C+

73-75: C

69-72: C-

66-68: D+

63-65: D

59-62: D-

58-: F


1. TWO (2) tests will be administered over the duration of the course. Scheduled during the fifth and tenth weeks of class, these exams will evaluate student knowledge of material discussed prior to the exam period.

2. A written assignment due the final class period will ask students to apply the knowledge gained in this course to a real-world situation. Students will choose a radio/television program or new media, example, or an event related to radio, television, or new media history and write a 3-5 page paper placing the text or event in its cultural or industrial context. This will be discussed in more detail later in the course.

3. Participation and Attendance are an important part of any learning experience. Students are allowed two unexcused absences, any additional absences will detract from this portion of the course grade.

4. A comprehensive final exam will evaluate the students’ knowledge of course material. It will be administered on Sometime in December at a time that I don’t know.

NOTE: Lecture Notes are only available during lecture; I do not put them on Ulearn or send them to students who miss class. If you miss the lecture notes, ask to copy them from a classmate. I WILL bring lecture notes back to class before each test. Detailed Study Guides will be available before tests; they will be posted on Ulearn.

Make up tests/exams WILL NOT be given, with the exception of cases of extreme hardship. Your grade will be a Zero (0) if you do not take the test. You must present an official written document if you potentially wish to excuse your absence from the test. If approved by the instructor and your TA, you will be allowed to take a make-up test on the day of the final exam.

Students with Special Needs: Students who wish to request accommodation for a disability may do so by registering with the Office of Disability Services. Students may only be accommodated upon issuance by the Office of Disability Services of a signed Accommodation Plan and are responsible for providing a copy of that plan to instructors of all classes in which accommodations are sought. You must contact and make an appointment with me during the first week of class for us to arrange testing conditions and/or other concerns with the Disabiltity Services Office.

Dropping, Withdrawals, Incompletes: It is your responsibility to drop the class if you deem it necessary. Withdrawals must occur before the midpoint of the semester, or it will be recorded as a grade of WF. Incompletes may be given to a student for nonacademic reasons beyond her or his control is unable to complete the requirements for this course. An incomplete may be assigned for this course only if a student has completed most of the major assignments of the course with a pasting grade.

Policy on Academic Honesty, in GSU Faculty Handbook ,Section 409 available at http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwfhb/fhb.html. We follow this policy completely. Also available in complete Film 2700 syllabus posted on our ULearn site.

Course Schedule: The course syllabus provides a general plan for the class; deviations may be necessary. Revisions will be announced in class.



Week 1

Tuesday: Introduction to class

Thursday: The Before Time (Reading: When Old Technologies Were New Chapter 2)

Week 2

Tuesday: Amateur Hour (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 2 Selection)

Thursday: Early Broadcasting (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 3)

Week 3

Tuesday: Across the Pond: Britain and the BBC

Thursday: Radio’s Golden Age and the Great Depression (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 4)

Week 4

Tuesday: The mediascape of the Golden Age of Radio (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 5)

Thursday: Golden Age programming (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 5)

Week 5

Tuesday: Radio Goes to War (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 6)

Thursday: EXAM 1

Week 6

Tuesday: Here comes Television! (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 7)

Thursday: I Love Lucy and the “Golden Age” of television (Reading: “Desilu, I love Lucy, and the Rise of Network TV”)

Week 7

Tuesday: Radio in the T.V. Era (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 8 Neal Hinnant Radio TV and New Media Syllabus)

Thursday: Across the Pond II: The BBC and television

Week 8

Tuesday: T.V. Genres in the Network Era (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 8 )

Thursday: Scandal and Regulation in the Network Era (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 8 )

Week 9

Tuesday: Broadcasting in the Vietnam Era (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 9)

Thursday: Fin/Syn and the network crackdown (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 9)

Week 10

Tuesday: The end of the Network Era and the rise of cable (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 10)

Thursday: EXAM 2

Week 11

Tuesday: Deregulation and the repeal of Fin-Syn (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 11)

Thursday: The expansion of cable and programming in the 1990s (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 11)

Week 12

Tuesday: The birth of the Internet

Thursday: Bringing all together: approaching convergence (Reading: “The Long Tail” http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html )

Week 13

Tuesday: Regulation and industry in the Convergence Era (Reading: Hilmes Chapter 12)

Thursday: Convergence culture and globalization (Reading: “Wake Up, Geek Culture. Time to Die.” http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/12/ff_angrynerd_geekculture/all/1)

Week 14

Tuesday: A brief history of video games (Reading: “A Natural History of Video Games” from Joystick Nation. [Note: this book was published in 1997, and thus omits the last decade or so of gaming history from this chapter.])

Thursday: Gaming and convergence culture

Week 15

Tuesday: Radio in the Convergence Era

Thursday:Coursesummaryandconclusions(Reading:HilmesChapter14)  Papersdueatthebeginningofclass



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