The Effect of Government Regulation in the Mass Media

The Effect of Government Regulation in the Mass Media
To understand the effects of government regulation on the mass media, one must first understand the difference between regulation and censorship. Whereas censorship and prior restraint are attempts by a government to suppress the free exchange of ideas, government regulation of media is typically employed in order to promote a more free and open exchange of ideas. Sometimes, this regulation is designed to standardize broadcast signals in order to ensure consumers’ ability to receive these signals free of interference. Sometimes, the interference comes in the form of corporate monopolies—government regulation being employed in these cases to try to ensure all players in a market have access to customers. In still other instances, government regulation has come in an attempt to ensure quality programming for children, programming that, if not educational, is at the very least free of sex, violence, and negative influences. Some feel this is not an appropriate role for government; others believe that without government regulation, large companies will limit access to information and the exchange of ideas.
Step One: Employ your knowledge of the mass media covered in this class in order to single out cases in which government regulation played a positive or negative part in the development of these media. Ask yourself whether, on balance, this regulation has proven a net benefit to the development of these media or an impediment to development.
Consider what evidence you have to support your assertion: one way or the other.
Step Two: Single out two media for examination, and do some research on the impact of regulation as these media have developed within the United States. You needn’t worry about whether or not you have one example of negative influence and one example of positive influence; having both analyses positive or both negative will not negatively affect the essay. In fact, this might prove to be beneficial as you craft the thesis and the essay that develops from it.
Step Three: Begin drafting your essay. Posit a thesis about how government regulation affects the development of the media in question, and be specific. Don’t just say whether or not you think it’s a net good or net bad regarding development; explain how the mechanism of government regulation affects these media in practical terms. Use specific examples to develop your thesis.
Step Four: Research online and at the SFCC Library/Spokane Public Libraries to help you back up the points you propose in your essay. The research requirements are as follows:
A minimum of three sources are required for this essay, at least one of which is a book obtained from the SFCC Library or a public library of your choosing. Each source must be cited within the essay using proper MLA in-line citation standards.
Use only college-appropriate print and online sources for this essay. No Encyclopedias, dictionaries, Wikipedia,,, et cetera. Primary sources are always preferred over secondary sources.
You will attribute all information using MLA conventions and include a Works Cited page with your essay. Each Works Cited entry must have an corresponding in-line citation.
Step Five: Submit your finished essay online via Canvas according to the deadline posted. You will not be allowed to submit your essay after this time. Seriously.
Format: Double-spaced copy using Times New Roman in 12 pt. font and 1-inch margins. The final paper will be between 1,000 and 1,200 words, not including the Works Cited page. Include the word count at the end of the essay.
Third-person point of view, academic tone.


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