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Final Exam Review Materials

Sample Questions

These are just examples of the types of questions to expect. The actual questions could be drawn partly from this list, or not.

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  1. Why was the telephone company initially reluctant to encourage customers to use the telephone for social communication? Discuss the mix of reasons that led to this position.
  2. How have patents affected the development of communication networks? Briefly discuss how two communication technologies were affected by battles over patents.
  3. The FCC originally regulated cable TV to protect broadcasters from competition. Why and what kinds of regulations hindered cable TV’s development as a new medium?
  4. Why did networks become so powerful in radio and television?
  5. In class we talked about several reasons why law often restrains new communication technologies. Pick one reason and illustrate how it worked by discussing one technology we’ve covered since the midterm.
  6. The current communication revolution grew from technical developments and legal changes that occurred between the 1940s and 1980s. Discuss one key technological development and one key legal development that led to new uses for telecommunication networks after 1985.
  7. How have policymakers and the courts justified treating broadcasting differently than print for legal purposes?
  8. Compare and contrast the effects of the telephone and radio broadcasting on rural America. In what ways did the telephone and radio have similar impacts on rural America (list two)? In what ways were the effects of these two media different (list two)?
  9. Short essay. One of the “Ironies of Communication Technology” discussed by David Nord is that new technologies are often so new that people can’t imagine their far-reaching consequences. What does he mean? Explain his assertion and illustrate it by talking about the early days of at least two technologies that we discussed this quarter. (You can answer by talking about technologies we covered just since the midterm, but you’re welcome to include printing and the telegraph, if you choose.)

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