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New Media, Communication, and Society

A Fast, Straightforward Examination of Key Topics

Mary Ann Allison and Cheryl A. Casey

New Media, Communication, and Society is a fast, straightforward examination of key topics which will be useful and engaging for both students and professors. It connects students to wide-ranging resources and challenges them to develop their own opinions. Moreover, it encourages students to develop media literacy so they can speak up and  make a difference in the world. Short chapters with lots of illustrations encourage reading and provide a springboard for conversation inside and outside of the classroom. Wide-ranging topics spark interest. Chapters include suggestions for additional exploration, a media literacy exercise, and a point that is just for fun. Every chapter includes thought leaders, ranging from leading researchers to business leaders to entrepreneurs, from Socrates to Doug Rushkoff and Lance Strate to Bill Gates.

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6 Big News Power (Cheryl A. Casey)

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CHAPTER 6

Big News Power

Cheryl A. Casey

One of these things is not like the others

One thing that doesn’t seem to have changed much since my own college days is the centrality of cereal to the student diet. Students frequently show up to class with a cup full of cereal, sometimes with milk, sometimes not, no matter the time of day. The New York Times has noted that in the 21st century, students are “consuming breakfast cereal as if their grade-point averages depended on it” (Foderaro, 2004, para. 2).

The beauty of cereal is that there are so many possibilities from which to choose. In the grocery store, the cereal aisle stands as the very paragon of choice. Choice is part of the very bedrock of American life. Imagine, then, that you arrive at the grocery store only to find that one side of the aisle offers an unspecified Kellogg cereal, and the other side an unspecified Post breakfast product. A choice between only two? Choice, my foot, you scoff.

In reality, we really are choosing from only a handful of major cereal manufacturers. It may not seem so offensive to us, however, that our choices in the realm of cereal—or just about any other consumer product—are limited to the output of a few companies, because of how vast and diverse that output can be. We can still choose from among...

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