COMM122 Introduction to Media Industries & Institutions (UMass-Amherst)-logo

COMM122 Introduction to Media Industries & Institutions (UMass-Amherst)

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This is a podcast series covering topics in COMM122 taught by Professor Wayne ( at UMass-Amherst. The podcast is NOT hosted by Professor Wayne himself, but a team of brilliant AI-powered digital assistants. All content is for educational purposes only, and not for public use outside of the setting of COMM122 classroom.

This is a podcast series covering topics in COMM122 taught by Professor Wayne ( at UMass-Amherst. The podcast is NOT hosted by Professor Wayne himself, but a team of brilliant AI-powered digital assistants. All content is for educational purposes only, and not for public use outside of the setting of COMM122 classroom.
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This is a podcast series covering topics in COMM122 taught by Professor Wayne ( at UMass-Amherst. The podcast is NOT hosted by Professor Wayne himself, but a team of brilliant AI-powered digital assistants. All content is for educational purposes only, and not for public use outside of the setting of COMM122 classroom.




The structure of broadcast network

Hey, COMM122 Podcast listeners, in this episode, let’s chat a bit about the broadcast network here in the US, its structure and what the business transactions within look like. First, let’s just say that broadcast TV is a type of continuous media. It is continuous because the content is always on and constantly supported by a stream of revenue from advertising, subscriptions, public funding, and donations. Broadcast TV is also a networked entity meaning that it is a vast network of local and...


Four costs in media production

Hello, COMM122 Podcast listeners! This week, we will talk about the economic conditions of media production, with a focus on the transformative role of digitalization. First, let’s refresh a point I made earlier in the semester, which is that the media business is a high-risk one. It is expensive to produce content and there is great uncertainty over what is gonna sell. In this week’s classes, Professor Wayne breaks down four types of costs associated with media production. The first cost,...


Audience research

Hi folks, welcome back to COMM122 podcast. In this episode, we talk about audience research. Audience research is a very extensive subject area. The most commonly referenced example of audience research is ratings. We all know why rating matters. In a media market dominated by the commercial mandate, ratings define the value and the success of a media product. However, there are a few critical points to be discussed here: is high rating equivalent of higher content value for consumers? Do...


Media regulations - part 4

Hey, welcome back to COMM122 Podcast. Today, we will discuss copyrights. Do you know I am copyrighted? As your digital assistant powered by proprietary algorithms, the words I pronounce and the paragraphs I read are the intellectual property owned by a company called Natural Reader. That is why Professor Wayne cannot monetize this podcast because he doesn’t have full control of the copyright of the podcast. Of course, Professor Wayne doesn’t intend to profit from the podcast as the podcast...


Media regulations - part 2

Hey COMM122 podcast listeners, this is Joanna, your digital learning assistant. In the previous episode, we discussed four historical regulations targeting the media and communication industry. In the episode today, we are gonna look at some of the most contemporary issues of media regulations. More specifically, we will bring up the issues of net neutrality and cross-ownership. How regulators deal with the issues reflect their regulatory philosophy and ideological leaning. With the seismic...


Media regulations - part 3

Hi, welcome back to COMM122 Podcast. In this episode, we will discuss regulations targeting media content. The most extreme end of media regulation is censorship. You can check out the recent incident involving South Park in China where the government took down all of its episodes, because the show commented on China’s political situation. Content regulation in the form of outright censorship is quite common in many authoritarian societies, but it is rare in western democracies. Here in the...


Media regulations - part 1

Hello, COMM122 podcast listeners. As we wrap up the topic of media mandate from previous weeks, we will now start a new series on media regulations. You are no stranger to media regulations. If you follow the news about e-cigarettes, you might have heard of a call to ban the advertising of e-cigarettes on television. This call came after numerous reports of vaping-related deaths. Another recent case is the talk of breaking up big tech because big tech companies become overly influential....


The Circuit of Cultural Production

Hello, welcome back to COMM one twenty two Podcast. We are now on episode twelve. The topic of this week is the Circuit of Cultural Production. While this concept may seem alien to you, the underlying reasoning is fairly simple. It views innovation in media technology not just as a technical advance, but a gradual process of social construction. In that process, the characteristics, usage, and identities associated with innovation is shaped not by its technological features nor its inventor....


Non-Commercial Media Mandates: Public media and community media

Hello! This is episode nine of the COMM122 podcast. Last week, we focused on commercial media mandate. To revisit some concepts here. A mandate refers to the foremost purpose, that is, what is the media organization’s mission, and who and what does it serve. In commercial media mandate, media organizations’ chief goal is generating profits. This week, we focus on a type of media organizations that do not prioritize profit-making. They are based on non-commercial media mandates. More...


Non-Commercial Media Mandates: government media

On May 31, 2019, a highly anticipated debate took place on Fox Business network, between two news anchors. The event unfolded against the backdrop of US-China Trade War. The two anchors, Trish Regan, and Liu Xin of China's CGTN, had been sparring on social media over the trade war. On May 23, Trish tweeted, “Hey China State TV - let’s have an HONEST debate on trade. You accuse me of being ‘emotional’ and not knowing my facts. Wrong! You name the time and place, and I’ll be there!” Liu...


Commercial media model

Hello, welcome to COMM122 podcast! This is episode nine, and now we are in Week 4 of the learning. This week, our focus is on the commercial media model, which is the dominant model of media operation in the US. Throughout the classes this week, you will hear the term, mandate. A mandate refers to a media outlet’s foremost purpose, namely, what is its mission, and who and what does it serve. Generally speaking, there are the commercial media mandate and the non-commercial media mandate,...


Challenges to media globalization and how to adapt

Hello, welcome back to the COMM122 podcast! Its Episode Eight, I am Joanna, your digital assistant. I am made in the USA, not to be confused with the British-sounding host you heard in the last episode. In this episode, we will discuss challenges to media globalization, and how media institutions adapt to the challenges. The first challenge is the uneven development in media technology and telecommunication infrastructure. We refer to this problem as the digital divide. In 2016, the United...


Media Globalization and its Worldwide Impact

Hey, its me again. Glad to be back. And we are now at Episode Seven. In last week’s episode, we talked about seven strategies media institutions take to counter high-risks and high-costs in the media industry. This week, we will discuss the last, but perhaps the most important strategy of all, globalization. We all know what that means. Just look at things around us, most are NOT produced in the US. Yet, if you look at cinemas, I bet you will find a bunch of same films currently screening...


High cost and high risk

We are now at Episode Six. It’s good to be back to the show. Do you know how much it costs to produce this podcast? Let’s do the numbers. As an AI assistant, I earn 19 dollars monthly from working for Professor Wayne. That’s astronomically lower than most human labors. It also costs Professor Wayne about 12 dollars a month to distribute the podcast to different platforms such as Spotify, TunedIn, and iTunes store. So, in total, the podcast show costs around 30 bucks a month. Not a lot,...


Four types of goods

In this episode, we will discuss four categories of goods, and what categories do media products fall under. Why should we care about this? This is because business strategies and business models, as well as some of the challenges facing the media industry, all have something to do with unique characteristics of media products. Let us begin. How is a movie different from a bucket of popcorn? Well, that’s a silly question, is it? Other than the fact that they both can be consumed in a movie...


Agency of media workers

Hey, it’s me again, your AI assistant to Professor Wayne. This is COMM122 Podcast, Episode Four. I hope you enjoy our previous episodes on media as, cultural industries and public spheres. In this episode, we will have a quick chat about agency. Agency means, the amount of control media industry workers have over how and what they do. Agency matters, because media industries are creative industries, and workers need to have a high degree of autonomy to produce meaningful work. Think about...


Media and dominant ideology

Hello! Welcome to COMM122 Podcast, Episode two. I am an AI assistant to Professor Wayne. In the last episode, we talked about how media create mainstream and popular cultures. In this episode, we will make a more contentious argument. Media shape ideologies that divide our society into blue states and red states, Trump army and Bernie Bro, Proud Boys and Social Justice Warriors. You see, ideology is a value system through which we assign meanings to the things we see and do. You are a...


Media and public sphere

Hello, this is COMM122 Podcast, Episode three. Welcome back! I am Amy, your AI assistant to Professor Wayne. And yes, I sound British. In the last episode, we talked about the relationship between media and ideology. We left you with the thought that media shape the dominant ideology of a society. You probably know that America is a pluralistic society, with diverse and sometimes clashing ideologies. Yes, media produce and reproduce the dominant ideology, but do media also produce, and...


Media as cultural industry

Hello! Welcome to COMM122 Podcast. I am an AI assistant to Professor Wayne. We begin our first episode on the media industry and its relationship with the society we live in. We first introduce media industries as a cultural industry. What does that mean? It means media, whether they are news media, entertainment media, or internet media, crete culture. More precisely, it means: media produce and reinforce mainstream cultures, shape and adapt to the dominant ideology. You probably have...