RTV 4700 Exam #1 Study Guide

Class Syllabus | Class Schedule


While I valiantly work to construct an exam that is fair and straight-forward, you still have to do the readings, take good notes, study hard and use some of the study strategies we’ve talked about in class like those I suggest below.  What follows are some of the topics that will be covered on this first exam.  These are not exhaustive, rather they imply the directions you should study.  Do more than just define terms.  Understand concepts, connections practices and differences, for example, to adequately formulate your understanding.  Feel free to email me or grab me after class with any questions you may have after you look this all over.  Here are a few more things to help you prepare:

Avoid memorizing words on a page or from 3X5 cards.  This is the least effective way to learn material, and I do expect you to learn rather than memorize.  I recommend taking information from your notes and from the material you highlight in your text and then transcribing that onto other sheets of paper, though instead of as words consider transcribing as a diagram, or at least some kind of outline.  Transcribing helps further commit the information to you knowledge, but representing it in diagram or pictorial form really seals that knowledge for most of us.

Use mnemonic memorization devices.  There are tricks others have written about extensively (for example, The Memory Book) that are easy to use and can really help you recall information.

On exam day you’ll need only a pencil (no pens) and a Scantron sheet.  All other items must be either left outside or on the floor by your desk, covered and closed.  The test will consist of 50 multiple choice and matching questions.  

As always, with exams like this in a pure lecture kind of class I recommend you get into some kind of study group with your fellow students in this class.

Good luck!

Broadcast Regulation Framework

  • Understand historical events/philosophies leading up to our current understanding of such things as speech, government, human reason, etc.  For example:

            – the Enlightenment
            – key voices such as Milton, Locke, Rousseau, Hobbes, Paine, Hegel
            – monarchical versus republican forms of government
            – the dilaectics of personal freedom within a society (recall the Social Contract)

  • What is the only reliable kind of knowledge?
  • What role does broadcasting play in the ideal republican society?
  • Can you define and describe the broadcasting paradox?
  • In what way(s) does U.S. broadcasting differ from systems in other countries?
  • What are the five sources of law that exert their influence on broadcasting?
  • What is the lowest level of federal court?  Where does one pursue judicial action thereafter in the federal judicial system?

Sample Question
He promulgated the idea that all knowledge should be synthetic, a blend between the best points of a given thesis and the best points of its antithesis:

  1. Milton
  2. Paine
  3. Locke
  4. Hegel
  5. Hamilton

Broadcasting Chronology

  • How does broadcasting begin?  Who were the key players?

                – Hertz
                – Marconi
                – Sarnoff
                – Conrad
                – Popov
                – Fessenden

  • Key dates:

                – first radiowave experimentations
                – first radiowave across the English Channel
                – first transatlantic message
                – station 8XK
                – KDKA’s first broadcast

  • Why did the U.S. Navy lobby for complete control over wireless communications during WWI? 
  • What critically happened to American Marconi directly following WWI?
  • How was WWI critical to teh development of terrestrial radio broadcasting in the U.S.?
  • What was the Music Box Memo?
  • What was the original basis for profit in maritime mobile radiowave communication?  In early terrestrial radio?
  • What was the relation between Dr. Frank Conrad and Horne’s Department Store?
  • Why did Westinghouse establish radio station KDKA?
  • Be able to identify and distinguish between toll broadcasting and the notion of sponsorship in early radio commercialism.
  • What were the social conditions that I indentified in class that made a favorable condition for the development of commercialism in U.S. broadcasting ?

Sample Question
He developed the Radio Music Box Memo forecasting the future commercial path of broadcast development in the U.S.:

  1. Hertz
  2. Marconi
  3. Conrad
  4. Sarnoff
  5. Fessenden

Radiowave Spectrum

  • Can you define the nature of radiowaves?  How they behave, are measured, how we manipulate them to make intelligible pictures and sound?
  • Can you distinguish between the various forms of propagation?

            – sky waves
            – ground waves
            – direct waves

  • What are some limiting conditions to radiowave propagation?  (Consider such things as refraction, absorption, etc.)
  • How are radiowave signals modulated?
  • Understand the following terms:

            – VHF/UHF
            – SAP
            – SCS
            – DBS
            – HD Radio
            – multicasting

  • What is the brief chronological and technological history of AM/FM/TV/DBS/Cable development?  (Some dates will be critical here.)
  • Be able to identify the conflicts FM radio posed to AM radio and what technological and regulatory measures were employed to try to sustain AM?
  • What is a Telco and how do they factor into television delivery?
  • What is cable ala carte? 

Sample Question
It’s the area surrounding an AM or FM broadcaster’s center frequency whose purpose is to protect from interference from adjacent broadcasting signals:

  1. bandwidth
  2. sideband
  3. carrier wave
  4. separation band
  5. bluegrass band


  • In which coommunications act were speech privileges first formally applied to broadcasting?

        Understand how critical cases fit into a discussion of speech privileges:
            – Zenger
            – Schenk v. U.S.
            – Brandenburg v. Ohio (“clear and present danger”)
            – Texas v. Johnson

  • Understand other speech limits such as obscenity.
  • What was the Star Chamber?  Licensing Acts?  How did these serve as indirect censorship of speech and publication?

Sample Question
What was the Zenger defense that changed the way speech questions were defended in the colonies:

  1. libel
  2. slander
  3. truth
  4. no writ of habeas corpus
  5. improper actions by a political figure

That should be enough to get you going…at least started in the right direction.