RTV 4700 Final Exam Study Guide

Class Syllabus | Class Schedule

On Exam day, you’ll need only a pencil (no pens by request from the computer scoring center) and Scantron sheet.  The test will consist of 50 multiple choice, true/false and matching questions addressing topics only since our last exam; the final will not be cumulative.  This study guide is exclusively for the reading assigned since the last exam.    Best of luck.



  • Vocabulary


  • Define Pluralism vs. Monism Pluralism s. Monism
  • What’s the difference between diversity and pluralism?
  • Know what William James said about pluralism.
  • How have we attempted to reify pluralism in our (U.S. society)?
  • How have we attempted to reify pluralism in U.S. broadcasting?
  • What is the dilemma of diversity in broadcasting as we discussed it?
  • What did the Sanders Bro.’s Case (1940) address in terms of broadcast ownership, diversity and the public interest?
  • Know how the following fit into the picture of pluralism in broadcasting: Auctions; Distress sales; Fairness doctrine; Ascertainment
  • Where does pluralism stand now in terms of contemporary broadcasting?
  • What is a combo? (Hint: think of this in terms of duopolies and crossownership.)
  • What is an LMA?
  • What are LPTV and LPFM?
  • What are the post-1996 Local and National caps for TV, radio and cable?


  • According to the FCC definition, how many hours of prime time programming must you air per week and what percent of television households nationwide must you reach to qualify as a network?
  • What are the dual roles of networks?
  • How may they be regulated in the folowing contexts:  affiliates  O&O’s; antitrust laws
  • Understand the history of network development in the U.S. in the following:  AT&T; GE/RCA/NBC (NBC Red/Blue/Pacific); CBS; ABC (consider here the Chainbroadcasting Rules); Telemundo; Univision; FOX; WB/UPN; The CW; PAXNET/ION
  • Know the critical case regarding networks-NBC v. U.S. (1943)-and the principle outcomes that affected networks related to: 1. owning more than one network;  2. affiliate rights in terms of programming, time sales
  • How did PBS begin and how does it operate differently from the Big 4 networks?
  • What are cable networks, and how are they regulated?
  • What are Network Non-Duplication Rules?
  • What is must-carry and retransmission consent?
  • What is vertical integration as it relates to cable systems?
  • What is reverse compensation in network/affiliate relations?
  • How does it differ from how networks historically related in economic terms to affiliates?
  • What is the purpose of the Prime Time Access Rule? Its present status as a broadcast regulation?
  • What are Fin/Syn Rules? Present status?
  • What are Syndex Rules? Present status?


  • Be able to explain the essential conflict we discussed in matters of privacy.
  • What tensions exist between your personal privacy vs. public’s right to know?
  • Which of these wins out in a conflict between the two?
  • Why did the framers of the U.S. Constitution not see fit to include a constitutional guarantee for privacy?
  • What critical U.S. Supreme Court ruling established an expectation to privacy, or certain zones of privacy that are guaranteed?
  • In general, be able to discuss how the difference between public/privates spaces plays out in journalistic newsgathering.
  • What are some exceptions to blanket protections when shooting on/in a public space?
  • How does the notion of implied consent factor into the question of private spaces?
  • What’s the difference between publication of private matters and putting someone ina false light?
  • How do journalistic endeavors qualify in the context of appropriation?
  • Why was Zachinni successful in his case against Scripps Howard Broadcasting Co (1975) when he charged them for violating his right to publicity?

Programming Restrictions

  • What is the conflict in broadcasting as we described it in class between speech freedoms and the public interest?
  • Why is an exception made for broadcasting that allows the FCC to regulate content unlike other forms of media?
  • Know the definition of the following: profanity; obscenity
  • Know the background and provisions of the various cases in the evolution of the definition of what constitutes obscenity including:  1. Hicklin Rule; 2. Comstock Laws; 3. Ulysses Decision; 4. Roth Test; 5. Miller v. California
  • What are the standards that must be met to declare something obscene?
  • What are payola and plugola?
  • In what medium do they apply?
  • When could each be legal?
  • Where (in what statute) is indecency first disallowed in broadcasting?
  • Where and why was the indecency ban placed into U.S. criminal code?
  • Know the background and provisions of the Pacifica Case, including implications regarding time, place and manner restrictions.
  • What the common law ruling (case) was used to “channel” indecent speech to specific times of day?
  • What is Safe Harbor?
  • What is Scienter?
  • What are fleeting profanity and fleeting nudity?
  • What cases prompted the FCC to fine for each?
  • What is the current status of each?
  • What did the Cable Act of 1984 say about the authority to regulate cable content?
  • What did the Cable Act of 1992 attempt to impose on cable with regard to indecent content?What was the Communications Indecency Act of 1996?
  • What would it have done to cable indecency?
  • What did the court say about it in Reno v. ACLU (1997)?
  • What are the provisions of the Child Online Protection Act? (1998)
  • What is its present status as a law?
  • What are the provisions of the Child Internet Protection Act? (2000)


  • Know that there are both Federal & State FOIA’s, Sunshine Laws, Court Access
  • Federal FOIA origins: 1946 – Administrative Procedure Act; 1967 – Freedom of Information Act; 1986 – (current version)
  • What is the basic assumption that identifies a need for a FOIA?
  • How long does the federal government have to respond to a FOIA request?
  • What are the relative costs to journalists and consumers?
  • What is the 1996 Electronic FOIA?
  • How/what did it change to the 1986 Act?
  • Be able to identify the 9 basic exemptions to the Federal FOIA I gave you in class.
  • With respect to Confidential Business Information, know the Chrysler Corp. v. Brown case (1979).
  • Where/when did Florida’s information access law first appear?
  • What state provision currently ensures freedom of information in Florida?
  • What is redacting?
  • Where/when did Florida’s sunshine law first appear?
  • What state provision currently ensures government meeting access in Florida?
  • What are some of its key provisions? (e.g. notification, meetings that are/aren’t covered under the statute, penalty for violation, etc.)
  • What is the current federal provision governing open meetings?
  • How does that law define a “meeting?”
  • What does it say about notification?
  • What are the two Constitutional Amendments I mentioned in class governing the individual’s right respecting trials?
  • What different bodies govern court process, procedures and behavior at both federal and state levels?
  • Can cameras be used in federal courts? State courts?
  • Know the facts and outcomes of the following: Canon 35 (1935); Estes v. Texas (1965); Chandler v. Florida (1981)
  • What is pre-trial publicity and what are the remedies a judge has at his/disposal to deal with it?
  • What can a judge do to avert excessive publicity during a trial?

Good Luck!