Final Christine Acham explores this divide in narrative

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How did television impact the Civil Rights Movement?

            The Civil Rights
Movement took place from 1958 to 1968, and fought against US laws that
perpetuated unequal civil rights in regards to minorities across the nation. When
the Civil Rights Movement first began to take shape America was also beginning
to see televisions enter homes. The new accessibility of television provided a
platform for the movement to convey their message to America.

            In
1952 television was first used as a political platform by Eisenhower, and both
the positive reception of his “hero” speech and it’s far-reaching impact incontrovertibly
displayed the opportunities now available in communicating via television. Television
was further politicized when the first presidential debate was televised in
1960 with Kennedy and Nixon. Throughout the 1960s racial injustices across
America were laid bare on television, and exposure of the inequality pervading the
nation began to take hold. In 1963 the broadcasting of The Children’s March on
Birmingham the brutality of excessive police force on protestors shocked the
nation, and was shortly followed by the reporting of Alabama Governor Wallace’s
obstructing black students from enrolling at the University of Alabama.

            CNN
estimates 250,000 participants in the 1963 March of Washington, and the
broadcasted peaceful protest both empowered and legitimized the need for
drastic changes in America. Aniko Bodroghkoz, writer of Equal Time: Television and The Civil Rights Movement, stated in an
interview with UVA Today: “Just as social media didn’t cause the Arab Spring or
the Occupy Wall Street movement, television didn’t cause the Civil Rights
Movement. But in both cases, the new media helped spread the movement’s demands
and arguments farther and faster.” What Bodroghkoz means is that television
provided a necessary pathway of communication that was immediate and effective.

This helped the movement progress faster, and enabled it to grow in both size
and understanding so that the need for a resolution became more and more imperative.

            The
attention placed on The Civil Rights Movement made television the most
effective tool to vocalize the changes the movement was working toward. The documentation
of the realities of life as an African American or minority in America was
starkly contrasted by the fictive portrayal presented by television shows and
sitcoms at the time. Christine Acham explores this divide in narrative television
presented in the 60s and the emotions surrounding it, “Yet many within the
black community criticize these programs as perpetuating demeaning stereotypes
and hampering the political progress made by African Americans.” Acham explores
in Revolution Televised the way that
African stars compliance in acting out these “demeaning stereotypes” on the big
screen was also an act of protest that accentuated the movement and it’s goals.

The false presentation of Africans in these television shows played against the
violence and brutality that was the reality of life as an African in America illustrated
further to audiences the divide between racial classes in the nation. It
displayed to the world the misconceptions and falsities at work as the fiction
collided with reality, and forced the nation to reconsider their stance or
perceptions on the issues at hand.

            Television
worked to expose the realities of racial relations and inequality throughout
the US during The Civil Rights Movement. The documentation of police brutality,
the sheer number of discontent minorities, and the divide between minority
stereotypes and reality for Africans was put on display for the nation. It
enabled the movement to move forward and acted as an effective means of communicating
the truth of the matter: inequality saturated American society and it was time
for change.

 

 

 

Performance Rights Organizations: What, Why & Who

 

Performance rights
organizations play an important role in the licensing and use of copyrighted material.

According to the Justice Department “PROs provide licenses to users such as bar
owners, television and radio stations, and internet music distributors that
allow them to publicly perform the musical works of the PROs’ thousands of song
writer and music publisher members.” Essentially, PROs supply usage rights for
copyrighted material, and they act as the middle man between those who wish to
use copyrighted goods and those who own them.

The Justice
Department goes on to explain their use of “blanket licenses” which basically
allows clients to “immediately obtain access to millions of songs without
resorting to individualized licensing determinations or negotiations.” In the
context of this article, the issue with blanket licenses is the decreasing
competition and potential for monopolization that comes with such practices. (Justice
Department, 2016)

This is not a new
industry. It actually began around the same time as television in the US. The
first performance rights organization in the US was The American Society of
Composers, Authors and Publishers, also known as ASCAP. ASCAP was founded in
1914 by Victor Herbert, Gustave Kerker, Raymond Hubbell, Harry Tierney, Louis
A. Hirsch, Rudolf Friml, Robert Hood Bowers, Silvio Hein, Alfred Baldwin Sloane
and Irving Berlin. George Maxwell served as the ASCAP president.  (ASCAP, 2014) Today, the board is elected
every two years and members are all either composers, authors, or publishers of
notoriety.

Today, they are
one of the largest performance rights organizations in the US and abroad. Their
members total over 650,000 and $5 billion dollars in royalties was paid out to
members from 2008-2014. In 2008 they also published Music Copyright in the Digital Age which they describe as a “Bill
of Rights for Songwriters & Composers.” ASCAP has been a pioneer of the
performance rights industry since its formation in 1914, and their work ensures
that artists receive their due payment for use of their material.

            Another
large player in the PRO industry is Broadcast Music Inc. Like ASCAP, BMI was
among the earliest performance rights organizations though it was founded in
1939-25 years later. BMI explains their “Heritage” on the about section on
their website as follows: “Since its founding in 1939, BMI’s goal has been to
respect, nurture and represent songwriters so that their music can be heard.”
Also like ASCAP, BMI operates in the US and internationally.  They service over 800,000 clients, and work on
their behalf to ensure proper royalties are paid for their material. They have
also expanded their work into technologies that “manage their owners music
and their music use.” Both ASCAP and BMI are the leading PROs today.

            Performance
Rights Organizations play an important role in ensuring copyright adherence by
the public. Copyright law protects creators and their intellectual property
from unlawful use. PROs provide a necessary medium between artists and those
who wish to use their material for profit. They ensure royalties are paid when
material is used outside of the realm of Fair Use, and offer the music consumer
a one stop shop where they can access usage rights to multitudes of copyrighted
work.

Describe the characteristics of probability
sampling and straw polling?

Which is more accurate, and why?

            There
are many different ways to survey a population, and it’s an effective tool in
gaining insight into a population. Probability sampling is the preferred method
of media research companies. They “draw(s) polling subjects randomly from the
population…. and adjust(s) random sample so that it is demographically
representative.” (Ratings, 2017) This method of sampling results in valid and
authoritative answers, and is the most accurate way to conduct a survey.

Probability sampling consists of four main ideas: sample selection, sample
size, margin of error and confidence level.

            Straw
polls are where “participants are invited to call in and register their
opinions…. straw polls are not accurate.” (Ratings 2017) The reason straw polls
are inaccurate is because they are not representative of any population or
demographic since those who participate elect to do so themselves. Often times
there is a motive behind their participation which will influence the results
of the study. The fact that many times straw polls can be answered multiple
times by the same person also delegitimizes the results. An example of a straw
poll would be American Idol votes where viewers call in their vote on the best
performance in the latest episode.

            Of the two, probability
sampling is by far the better choice when surveying a population. This is
because probability sampling works for equal participation from all members of
the survey group, evaluates a large enough group whose diversity represents the
population as a whole, and finally accounts for margin of error in order to ascertain
an accurate level of confidence in the survey’s results representation of the
overall population. Probability sampling works for results that reveal the
feelings of different demographics within a population, while straw polling is
usually representative of a certain segment within a population. It is in part
due to the extent of effort in population sampling to produce responses that
reflect the diversity of the population that makes this survey method the most
reliable and credible source of insight for researchers.

            According
to UC Davis there are two types of probability sampling, otherwise known as “Representative
samples”- random samples and stratified samples. The first, random sampling,
provides a survey group where “each individual in the population of interest
has an equal likelihood of selection.” (UC Davis) The key with this model of
sampling is that it eliminates all chances of bias, or slanted responses
inserting themselves in the results.

            Stratified
samples are gathered in a different way. It is a “mini-reproduction of the
population.” (UC Davis) Before the survey, researchers categorize the
population in relation to the context of their question. Researchers then
sample each of these sub-groups at random to conclude how to construct the
overall sample as representative of the population at large. While probability
sampling is the most accurate survey methodology it can take different shapes
or approaches. As far as which probability sampling approach is best… they’re
all actually pretty even. Stratified samples have the potential to be the most
accurate, though this survey format needs a lot of information before
establishing a sample population for survey.

 

What are the pros and cons of net neutrality?

 

Net neutrality was
a major focus of 2017, and there has been a lot of confusion as to what exactly
it is, what is good about it and what is bad. There has been a lot of
commentary and opinions in mainstream media but many of the facts have fallen
by the wayside. Oxford Dictionary defines net neutrality as, “the principle
that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and
applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking
particular products or websites.” The need for regulation of the Internet to
ensure zero prejudice or advantages given by Internet suppliers was introduced
by Tim Wu in his renowned article Network
Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination.  In this 2003 article Wu predicts, “Communications
regulators over the next decade will spend increasing time on conflicts between
the private interests of broadband providers and the public’s interest in a
competitive innovation environment centered on the Internet.” (Wu 2003) And, he
was right- a contentious debate has dominated this topic in the time since the
article’s publication.

While the ideal
behind net neutrality is honorable in nature, some argue its executed has
strangled innovation. Net neutrality has tried to keep the Internet as an
open-playing field, but has too much regulation stifled progress? The pros and
cons of net neutrality must be weighed against one another to understand
whether it should be supported, restructured, or thrown away.

The benefits of
net neutrality are in its nonpartisanship requirement for Internet providers in
their supply of Internet goods. Whether it be a blog or a streaming service or
a large news network’s website, all are treated equally in both accessibility
and exposure to users. This is intended to mirror capitalism to some degree,
where all businesses and their products either succeed or fail based solely off
of their reception by consumers, or in this case users. However, the other side
of the coin is that regulation often times does more harm to competition, and consequentially
innovation. While net neutrality supporters argue for a “free” internet and
outlawing unfair broadband prioritization for certain businesses, others argue
against overregulation and the expensive, inefficient standards net neutrality
has brought to the market.

According to Net Neutrality: A User’s Guide, the
argument for net neutrality is can be boiled down to the following, “….access
tiering threatens the core values and social utility of the Internet and that
governments must intervene to prevent access tiering from occurring.” (2006) What
they mean by “access tiering” is the ability of providers to only supply
certain programs or tech goods or speed with certain Internet packages. This
means that your Internet supplier controls what content you can access on the
Internet based on their costs versus your Internet package price. Basically,
the Internet bill you pay could rise with the end of net neutrality.

The debate
surrounding net neutrality is hard to formulate because just as the technology
that it intends to structure, this issue is made even more complex because of
the subjectivity of the word neutrality.

Net Neutrality: A User’s Guide also
examines the other side of the debate surrounding net neutrality: “…. operators
argue that the increasing demands placed on the modern Internet require a level
of investment that can and will only occur if the Internet is efficiently
commercialized. They say that this commercialization must involve the ability
to implement a “user pays” model for the use of their networks and, hence, the
Internet.” (2006) It is an impossible debate. Either way it goes one side will
lose. It is a choice between an equally accessible Internet that treats each
user without bias, or more expensive Internet with higher innovation and
efficiency.

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