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RTV 3007

INTRODUCTION TO TELECOMMUNICATION
SPRING 2008 ● SEC 5634
MWF PERIOD 8 ● GANNETT AUDITORIUM (1064 WEIMER)

Instructor: Justin Brown, Ph.D.
Office: 3051 Weimer
Telephone: 846-1428
Email: jbrown@jou.ufl.edu
Office Hours: WF noon-2:00 p.m. & by appointment
Course Website: http://www.jou.ufl.edu/faculty/jbrown/rtv3007/

COURSE DESCRIPTION & OBJECTIVES
The primary goal of this course is to help you learn the structure, institutions and practices
involved in the U.S. telecommunication industry. Such knowledge will provide you with the
necessary background to be successful as you develop and pursue your own
telecommunication major and career — whether in news, production or operations. For those
pursuing other educational endeavors and professional aspirations, this course will enhance
your understanding of the telecommunication industry and its role in society. With a survey
course, it is impossible to explore in-depth examinations of specialized topics. In fact, for those
of who you are pursuing telecommunication careers, you will likely revisit many of the concepts
discussed this semester in further coursework as you progress toward achieving your degree.
For those who have taken advanced telecommunication courses, this course will broaden your
current understanding of the telecommunications field.

This course embarks on providing a general roadmap of the telecommunication industry, with
an emphasis on learning specifically about broadcasting and cable. Upon completion of the
course, you will be expected to know:

• Historical underpinnings involved in the development of broadcasting and cable
television
• Technologies involved in electronic media and how they affect the structure, economics
and regulation of particular outlets
• Structure and organization of electronic media industries, in particular the various facets
of broadcasting and cable and their relationships to networks and programming
• Economic considerations of electronic media, including programming and ratings
• Regulation that governs the manner in which electronic media operate
• Lexicon and jargon that’s involved within various subsets of the telecommunication
industry

While this course will focus heavily on broadcasting and cable television, developments and
changes in new media, business practices, converging markets and regulatory philosophy are
leading to dramatic changes in the telecommunication industry, including the rise of the Internet
and deployment of broadband services. This course will attempt to incorporate and discuss
recent trends and developments as much as possible.
REQUIRED COURSE MATERIALS
9 Text: Davies & Upshaw, Principles of Electronic Media, 2nd ed., 2005.
9 Required Notes Slides & Video Study Questions available through UF libraries e-
reserve, available at: https://ares.uflib.ufl.edu/. These are organized by topic areas
(e.g. Part I) that correspond to how we cover material in the course. Please bring these
items to class with you to assist note-taking.

LIST SERVE & SUPPLEMENTAL READINGS
During the semester, you’ll be expected to regularly check the course list serve by accessing
your Gatorlink email account to obtain announcements and helpful reminders updating you on
the progress of the course. I will also post useful reading links to the list serve and website that
serve to supplement your understanding of the telecommunications industry and
comprehension of course material. All registered students will automatically have their
Gatorlink email address added to the course list serve and you must use your Gatorlink ID and
password to access your exam scores online. To access your grades, please click on the
“Grades” section of the menu bar within the course website.

The telecommunication industry changes rapidly, and reading newspapers and periodicals is
often the only way to keep up. If you don’t already do so, you’re advised to read national daily
newspapers (e.g., New York Times, Wall St. Journal) as well as weekly trade publications (e.g.,
Broadcasting & Cable) to monitor changes. You may also wish to review and or subscribe to
Communications-Related Headlines, a news-clipping service delivered via email by the Benton
Foundation. You may learn more about this free service at http://www.benton.org/News/. In
addition, you may also register with TVinsite for their free email clipping service at
http://www.tvinsite.com/.

Texts that were previously used for this class may be consulted as supplementary resources
and are available on reserve in the Journalism library, located on the first floor of Weimer:
Broadcasting, Cable, the Internet & Beyond (5th Edition, 2004), Broadcasting in America: A
Survey of Electronic Media (9th Edition, 2001) & Perspectives on Radio and Television (4th
Edition, 1998). Another useful, job-related text entitled Careers in Media (2007) is also on
reserve.

ATTENDANCE & CLASS MEETINGS

Countless studies demonstrate that students who attend regularly perform better and learn
more than those who don't attend class. Such research holds true even in introductory survey
courses. Despite the large number of peers, this course works best when there is a discussion
of ideas and sharing of questions and answers to discern difficult concepts. Your input and
active participation are encouraged to help you and others learn more effectively. Although
class meetings serve to enhance and enlighten the comprehension of material that is presented
in the assigned readings, you will also be responsible for details presented in class that are not
directly evident in the text, including any class handouts, video material or guest speakers. Be
forewarned that material presented during class will also reflect recent developments in the
telecommunication industry, effectively updating the text and other reading materials. Because
the telecommunication industry is so complex, this course will cover a lot of material and
proceed at a brisk pace. As a result, regular attendance is necessary to succeed in this
course.
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ASSESSMENT

Item Semester Grade Scale

Exam I (Feb 8) 300 points A 1000-900 points
Exam II (March 7) 300 points B+ 899-870 points
Exam III (May 1) 400 points B 869-800 points
C+ 799-770 points
---------------- C 769-700 points
Total 1000 points D+ 699-670 points
D 669-600 points
E 599-0 points

EXAMS
Your class grade is based entirely on three exams that make-up your overall semester grade
(see above chart). The exams will contain multiple choice, true/false and/or matching “objective”
questions that measure your understanding of key concepts. Exam material will be drawn from
class discussions and readings. Based upon class performance, exams may be curved to
reflect their difficulty.

Study guides will be issued roughly one week ahead of time to review for exams. You are
advised to use the PowerPoint slides and notes taken during class to review the study guide
and prepare for each exam. Part of the class prior to an exam will be used to entertain any
questions that you may have regarding course material. Generally speaking, nearly all of the
material will be drawn from what we’ve covered during class.

You must have a Gatorlink ID to access your exam grades online. All registered students will
be able to access their grades via the Internet by following the instructions online at:
http://vista.courses.ufl.edu. If you do not have a Gatorlink ID or can’t remember your login
information, please visit http://gatorlink.ufl.edu or call the CIRCA help desk at 392-HELP.

Absolutely NO make-up exams will be given without prior notification AND subsequent
documentation of a medical excuse or other personal emergency. Arrangements for any
make-up exams must be made within 72 hours of the original exam date. This policy will
be strictly enforced — no exceptions!

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ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
You are expected to abide by the University’s Honor Code and Academic Honesty Guidelines.
Cheating will result in an automatic zero for the exam and an “F” for the overall course.
Because of the large number of students in the course, you must bring your Gator 1 ID to all
exams. All University Policies regarding academic honesty (Rule 6C1-4.017) will be strictly
enforced.

STUDENTS WITH CHALLENGES
I will make reasonable accommodations for persons who have special challenges in
comprehending subject matter while abiding by the standard code of confidentiality. Please
notify me at the beginning of the semester if you have any type of special academic needs and I
will work with you to make any necessary arrangements. Students with such challenges must
first register with the Dean of Students Office and then provide me with an official statement
from the Dean of Students Office detailing his or her situation.

ADDENDUMS & CHANGES
Based upon our progress, I reserve the right to amend and change the syllabus, reading
schedules and exam dates in this course.

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COURSE CALENDAR & READING ASSIGNMENTS

9 Assigned book chapters are from Principles of Electronic Media (2nd ed., 2005)

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES: JAN 7-FEB 6

READ CHS. 1, 2, & 3
OPTIONAL COURSE WEBSITE: REVIEW “HISTORY” LINKS — SUPPLEMENTAL RESOURCES

‰ General principles involved with understanding electronic media

‰ How broadcasting evolved from radio to digital television

‰ Early pioneers in broadcasting

‰ The rise of cable television, satellites and the Internet.

‰ Historical conditions which contribute to the current structure and operation of the
electronic media industries

9 Exam I – Friday, Feb 8
TECHNOLOGICAL ELEMENTS OF ELECTRONIC MEDIA: FEB 11-MAR 5

READ CHS. 4, 5 & 3 (PP 53-55, 61-65)
OPTIONAL COURSE WEBSITE: REVIEW “TECHNOLOGY” LINKS — SUPPLEMENTAL
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RESOURCES

‰ Overview of digital technologies, including the Internet, broadband, satellites and
wireless applications related to the mass media.

‰ A review of how broadcast radio and television works, including the different
properties of frequencies, waves and electromagnetic spectrum

‰ The main differences between analog and digital television

‰ The technological, programming and service considerations of both digital
television and satellite radio

‰ How the technical characteristics of radio and television affect the structure,
regulation and economics of electronic media systems

‰ How satellites, cable and other distribution systems operate

9 Exam II – Friday, March 7

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STRUCTURE OF BROADCAST & CABLE: MARCH 17- MARCH 31
READ CHS. 3 (PP 49-65) & 6
OPTIONAL COURSE WEBSITE: REVIEW “INDUSTRY STRUCTURE” LINKS — SUPPLEMENTAL
RESOURCES

‰ Commercial station organization and operations

‰ Overview of the network system, including the differences between broadcast
and cable networks

‰ Relationships between broadcast networks and their affiliates

‰ Cable television organization and operations, including their relationships with
broadcasting

‰ Ownership regulations that affect competition, diversity & localism

TELECOMMUNICATION LAW & REGULATION: APRIL 2-7
READ CH. 11
OPTIONAL COURSE WEBSITE: REVIEW “LAW & REGULATION” LINKS — SUPPLEMENTAL
RESOURCES

‰ “Public interest” justifications for the regulation of electronic media, including
diversity and localism

‰ Institutions involved in electronic media regulation and policy

‰ The structure of the FCC and the regulatory process

‰ Indecency and other content regulation pertaining to broadcast and cable

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PROGRAMMING & RATINGS: APRIL 9-APRIL 23

READ CHS. 7 & 9
OPTIONAL COURSE WEBSITE: REVIEW “RATINGS” LINKS — SUPPLEMENTAL RESOURCES

‰ Program origination and strategies

‰ The differences between network programming and syndication

‰ Review of radio and television ratings services and operations

‰ The use of ratings information for programming and advertising purposes
‰ The statistical calculation of different types of ratings

9 Exam III – Thursday, May 1 (12:30-2:30)
This exam takes place during our regularly scheduled final exam time.
The exam is not cumulative and will only cover material on industry
structure, regulation, programming and ratings.

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