INTRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATIONS
The purpose of the Final Project is to give you experience in researching media convergence in one of the broad topics covered in this course. You will also investigate how media convergence is applied to a common form of mass communication and how this affects you and others. You will explore how production, distribution, and exhibition of one of the media are changing due to some definable aspect of digitization. After choosing a broad topic and narrowing that topic, you will: 1. Research your topic. 2. Produce an outline for a report (paper) in which you will present your findings. 3. Building on your outline, produce a report from an industry perspective. In your Final Project you will assess some of the ramifications for this industry and speculate about the functions and effects for them and others. This is a written research paper project that also includes an outline and works cited page along with the final paper. Length of final paper: 5–7 pages (including works cited page). Guidelines and Requirements 1. Review the information in your text about media convergence (the blending of communication technologies, operations, or businesses). Then go to Google or any search engine and type in the words media convergence. Read at least three articles that discuss media convergence and the concentration of media ownership. 2. When you have a good idea of what media convergence is, choose from the following list a form of mass communication that you use most often or that interests you most: a. newspapers b. magazines c. books d. radio e. sound recording f. motion pictures 3. Once you have chosen one of these broad topics, you’ll need to narrow down that topic to a particular product, service, or phenomenon within this industry. For example, if you are an avid reader, you might investigate how the printed book industry is changing due to digital distribution. To narrow this broad topic, you might look at the role that computers have in the book publishing industry (for example, how ordering books on Amazon may have replaced an actual trip to the bookstore). Or you might explore how retail bookstores (like Barnes & Noble) have changed (coffee, sofas, music, etc.) the face of bookstores in general. You could also explore e-books or digital books for Kindles. These topics are all included in digital distribution, so you need to choose one to research. For functions and effects, you might note the many retail Websites on the Internet for book sales. How is this affecting your visit to the bookstore and how you might socialize there? The point is to analyze how you and others are affected by digital book sales. When choosing your own topic, be sure to choose a topic that interests you. 4. You are required to submit an outline draft of your intended paper and a sample works cited page (consult the Course Calendar for the due date). The outline may be topical, but you’ll need to show that you have a pattern for organizing your paper and that you have researched the topic. 5. You will need to use at least eight sources in your final paper (you may have more but not less). You may use books, newspaper articles, journals, and general circulation magazine articles, either in print or online. Keep in mind that you are writing an academic research paper, so use appropriate and credible sources. You MUST use APA or MLA style for referencing your sources both in the text and in the works cited page. Try to use at least one source from a broadcast or cable program, and, if possible, try to use an interview (for example, someone connected to that industry). 6. Part of your paper must include an assessment of how you gained information about your topic. For example, you need to assess the importance of your sources in terms of actual information that contributed to your learning about your topic. Also, assess how accessible each of your sources was—what did you have to do to actually get the material? You will probably want to discuss the Internet and its role as a new mass medium, especially if you used the Internet for your research. 7. You must use Times New Roman or Arial font, 12 point, for your final paper, and it must be double-spaced. Be sure to include page numbers and a title (title page is not necessary).