Category Archives: Assignment

Responding to “The Agency”

The Agency

By the time you read this, you would have realized that we’re watching the premier episode of “The Agency” in class. Here’s the plug for this new reality TV series:

Infiltrating the modeling industry like no other television series has, “The Agency” takes a stark look at the men and women who search for, mold, scold and comfort raw, young beauties — all in an effort to groom the world’s most marketable people. The series is not just about glamour. It’s about the harsh realities of a business in which millions of dollars are at stake daily, and the competition for landing high-end models and campaigns can lead to both euphoric victories and bitter defeats.

Taking a rare look at client meetings, casting calls, and backstage at fashion shows, “The Agency” casts an unblinking eye on the super-high-stress jobs of the people who are completely hooked on the business of brokering beauty. It explores the complex, up-and-down relationships between the agents and their models–who are sometimes na├»ve, insecure, vulnerable women and men who must be parented and then delivered on time and looking fabulous to demanding clients.

Imagine that MITA (Ministry of Information and the Arts) has assigned you to determine the possible media effects of this show on our Singaporean youths. Using what you’ve learned in the past chapters, drop a professional response in the comments. Just as our ministers have no time for rhetorical reports, keep it short and sharp by pushing a primary theoretical concept which best represents the show.

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Week 4: Brief History of Media Effects

Your fourth week’s mission is now available:

  1. Having attended the first panel presentation, perused the handouts and read Chapter 3 of our Media Effects textbook, argue whether a social phenomena similar to the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast could happen today. Take into account our present media environment (e.g. Internet) and contrast it with events back in 1938. Post this as a comment, while referring to the textbook, readings and/or personal experience.

Deadline: 6th Feb, Tuesday, 10pm

Besides the textbook and the handouts, here are some related materials:

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Week 3: Scientific Methods in Media Effects Research

Your third week’s mission is now available:

  1. Having watched the in-class video, perused the handouts and read Chapter 2 of our Media Effects textbook, pick one of the four scientific methods (content analysis, survey, experiment, epidemiological approach) and briefly discuss an example of how you would use it. Post this as a comment in a 200 words or less, while using the textbook, readings and/or personal experience.

Deadline: 30st Jan, Tuesday, 11pm

Besides the textbook and the handouts, here are some related materials:

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Week 2: The scientific approach to today’s media…

Your second week’s mission is now available:

  1. Having watched the in-class videos and read Chapter 1 of our Media Effects textbook (as you were supposed to), explain why the scientific approach presented in the text is especially vital in today’s media landscape. Post this as a comment in a 200 words or more, referencing the textbook, readings and personal experience with the media (e.g. advertising, TV talk shows, blogging, etc).

Deadline: 23rd Jan, Tuesday, 11pm

Besides the textbook, here are related materials for this week’s class:

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Week 1: Update Info & Share Reactions

Your first week’s mission has been updated:

Part 1: Email your photo
Part 1: Update your Student Information Sheets
(Deadline: Next Week)

Some your submitted photos ended up in my enormous Gmail spam bin. Please assist me by taking your Student Information Sheet and doing the following :

  1. Glue a passport-size photo of yourself to the sheet’s top right corner.
  2. Indicate the classes you’re in with me (i.e. COM125a, COM125b, and/or COM242).
  3. Add your new COM125 blog address (if any).

Part 2: Share your reaction to the videos shown in class
(Deadline: 19th Jan, Friday, 5pm)

  1. Share what you’ve learnt from the in-class videos (shown in-class on 17th Jan) via the comments here (in about 100 words). Use your full student name so for now until I learn who you are.

Part 3: Facebook.com (Optional)

  1. Set up your profile on facebook.com (if you haven’t done so)
  2. Join the COM242 facebook group which I’ve setup.

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