Assignment 1 - Film Analysis of "Network" (1976)

This page is for students to post questions about the assignment and for either Professor Jones or other students to respond to these questions. This page can also be used as a general discussion of the assignment where students can post comments, discuss the assignment, and introduce ideas.

The assignment is based on the analysis of the film "Network" (1976) shown in Class 2, which portrayed the issues of media form and the economic structures of television news in the 1970s. Students should apply and relate the lessons of the film to the events and trends of modern television news. (For more information, refer to the Course Syllabus.)

Discussion Board

Q: When is the assignment due?
Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Q: What is the length of the essay?
Approximately 4-5 pages, but no less than 4 (certainly it would be hard to do it in 3...double-space preferred...)

Q: Since the assignment for the movie Network is broad, my interpretations of a way to answer and write a paper about is: What type of message is the movie Network trying to showcase and how does it apply to current television?
(Prof. note: That's the question in a nutshell. The answer is the point of the assignment - feel free to talk about it here, but I can't easily just answer this one in paragraph. - mlwjones mlwjones May 29, 2006)

Q: What are some other things that are specifically being looked at for this assignment? What kind of structure should this essay be? How is this being evaluated?

Identification of movie themes, comparing this analysis to contemporary events and drawing logical, insightful and well-argued conclusions is the main goal here.

Referencing external events or analyses is stronger than ungrounded opinions as a rule.

Q: Apart from the film itself, what sort of sources are appropriate, and how many should be used?

Generally speaking, unsubstantiated opinion isn't all that effective in academic analysis.

If you're comparing a concept from the film to some specific event, research on that event is in your best interest. If you're comparing a concept to a general principle you're familiar from other course work or in independent research, cite the appropriate sources.

I'm not sure if there' s ever any "right" number of citations - it really depends what you're saying.

Feel free to use MLA, APA or whatever other style of citation you're best familiar with. Be consistent in its application, however - don't switch halfway through, and review how to cite sources if required (many online style guides are available...)