Write a persuasive essay about explaining reasons why you support Facebook or Apple or neither company by considering following conditions.

Make sure to take at least two of the concepts from the PowerPoint and used them in the writing. The other file is where you will find everything you need to do 

Profit Maximization
Goal: You can explain about the four strategies of big media corporations.

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◦ Synergy
◦ The Logic of Safety
◦ Planned Obsolescence
◦ Celebrity and Spectacle

◦ Pop Quiz: Go to the Blackboard and click the folder of “Pop Quizzes” under the

“Readings” (10 min)
◦ Lecture about the profit maximization strategies of media corporations (40 min)
◦ Group & Class discussion about the consequences of the media system (25 min)

Recap: Political Economy Analysis
In understanding media,
this approach pays attention to
the industrialized system of production & distribution
as the foundation that has an impact on the features of media contents
based on Marxist theory.

Marxist Theory: a social theory that explain societies based on the
movement of capital (money making more money) as the
source of social change and power.

Recap: Four Patterns of Media Ownership
1) Concentration:

The phenomenon in which the media are owned & controlled by a small group of

powerful companies.
2) Conglomeration:

The hierarchical structure in which a parent company owns and controls

a host of subsidiary companies.

3) Integration:
The pattern where the subsidiary companies or branches within a corporation are
strategically interrelated.

4) Multinationalism:
The phenomenon where a media corporation is presented in multiple countries,

allowing for the production and distribution of media products on a global scale.

1st Strategy of Profit Maximization: Synergy

◦ Refers to the involvement of multiple subsidiary companies in the cross-
development, production, and distribution of a media brand for the purpose of
exploiting it for all the profits possible.

◦ Synergy is made possible by horizontal integration.
i.e., Summer blockbusters are at the heart of cross-promotional efforts.

◦ Synergy also happens between media industry and non-media industry like food.
i.e., Mega-budget blockbuster gets made only when it can appeal to a wide audience,

and can be marketed to children through toy lines, and the fast-food industry.

McDonald’s Global ‘Shrek’ Movie Promotion (2007)


2nd Strategy of Profit Maximization: Logic of Safety
◦ Financial risk avoidance is primary principle.
à Exploiting proven formulas (i.e., “Sex sells.” “Violence sells.” etc.), demanding of a

guarantee of success à Reluctant to produce highly original, innovative, or creative content.
◦ Sequels, Remakes, & Spin offs
In Movie Industry: Sequel of The Hangover (2009): cost ($35 million), gross profit ($467)

à The Hangover Part II (2011) à The Hangover Part III (2013)

In music industry: Remakes or “Covers”

In TV industry, Spin-offs focus on a popular or even secondary character from the original.


3rd Strategy of Profit Maximization:
Planned Obsolescence

◦ A business strategy or practice in which the obsolescence (the process of
becoming obsolete – that is, unfashionable or no longer usable) of a product is
planned and built into it from its conception.

à To have consumers feel a need to purchase new products and services and
consume media continuously

à Especially when the content endlessly being churned out is formulaic rather

than creative.

(1) Technological Obsolescence
◦ It occurs when a development in technology causes the previous generation of that

technology to become obsolete.

Cassette Tapes < CD (Compact Disc) < Digital Device

Cell Phone


Old New

Old New
Old New

Old New
Old New
Old New
Old New
Old New
Old New
Old New

7 &
7 plus

8 plus

XS Mas

11 Pro
11 Max

12 Pro

Example of the Video Game Industry

◦ New game consoles released every couple of years are specifically designed to
prevent backwards compatibility.

◦ Preventing backwards compatibility means that the newer systems will NOT play
older games.

Q: Any experience of frustration in relation to No compatibility in a video game?

(2) Psychological Obsolescence
◦ A business strategy or practice which creates a “Newness” to make consumer feel a constant

need to re-consume.

◦ Structure to pump a constant wave of ‘newness’
e.g., Up-to-the minute news on 24-hour cable news network

Billboard chart in music

Continuous birth of a ‘new star’ from Audition-based TV program

such as American Idol and The Voice etc.

Q: How do you feel about social media which are also run 24-hour?

: Do you feel urge to check out ‘new updates’ of your people in social media?

Or any pressure to provide ‘what’s new’ about yourself ?

4th Strategy of Profit Maximization:
Celebrity and Spectacle

1. Discuss about what celebrity and spectacle are based on the textbook (pp. 42-43)
in a group.

2. Find one example about how celebrity or spectacle is related to a profit
maximization practice of the media industry.

Q: What would be the consequences of
the ownership patterns and profit maximization strategies of media?

1) Cost for promotion

2) Entry of a small or new media company

3) Journalism

4) Voice or influence of different individuals on media

Q: What would be the consequences of
the ownership patterns and profit maximization strategies of media?

1) An increase in media cross-promotion and a decrease in media products that are not
suitable for cross-promotion.

2) A difficult environment in which a small or new media company competes with
mega-scale media corporations like Big 6.

3) “The Holliwoodization/Tabloidization of the news,” weakened role of journalism
due to its incorporation of sensationalism (i.e., focus on crime reporting, celebrity
gossips etc.)

4) Media can be easily swayed by few super-rich owners as their political asset (i.e.,
Silvio Berlusconi, a media magnate and Italian prime minister elected three times,
Michael Bloomberg, New York City mayor in 2001)

1) How well do media industries represent Americans or American life/culture?
2) Any implication in terms of intercultural communication

(e.g., stereotypes about Americans etc.)?

What about the environmental impact
of such profit maximization strategies of big media corporations?


Is there any alternative or emerging new possibility

against the profit maximization strategies of

big media corporations

both as an audience member and

a small-scale media producers?



The Exam on Foundation on February 22 (Mon)
(20%, 200 points)

• Length: 1,000-1,200 word-essay (References are not counted.)
• Due Date: Upload your essay (Word or PDF format) to the Blackboard by 11:15am on 2/22.
• Paper Format: Typed in black, 12-point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one-inch

margins, & APA citation style (see only in-text citation & reference; Refer to the
online source at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/)


The purpose of this exam is for you to have a chance to respond to a media-related public debate.

Essay-writing Procedure:

1. Read the below two news articles of The New York Times, one announcement of Apple,
and one announcement of Facebook very carefully.

[The New York Times] Facebook Takes the Gloves Off in Feud with Apple

[The New York Times] Facebook Said to Consider Suing Apple Over App Store Practices

[Apple] Data Privacy Day at Apple: Improving transparency and empowering users

[Facebook] Speaking Up for Small Businesses

You can also check below Ad campaign of Facebook over Apple’s new iPhone privacy policy.



2. Take your position to support Apple or Facebook or neither company after carefully
evaluating the above four sources and considering what you have learned in this course
so far.

3. Write a persuasive essay about explaining reasons why you support Facebook or Apple
or neither company by considering following conditions.

(1) Incorporate at least two concepts or ideas you have learned in the course to your

essay directly and in detail.

(2) Feel free to cite the above four and other credible sources in writing your


(3) Treat your opinion basically as your argument. To make your argument persuasive,

clearly elaborate your reasons to support Apple or Facebook or neither.

(4) You can use or modify the following outline if helpful.

(5) Read the following grading rubric carefully and confirm that you essay satisfies all




Introduction (one paragraph)

• Present the issue at stake and who you support

Body (four or five paragraphs)

• In each paragraph, discuss each reason and elaborate your thoughts along with proper
examples to persuade your audience effectively.

• Your argument should be clearly grounded in what you learned during the classes. Also, feel
free to add any other materials as long as they are credible public sources.

Conclusion (one paragraph)

• In your conclusion, emphasize your points again in relation to your argument.

Grading Rubric for Essay (200 pts)

Exemplary Accomplished Developing Beginning


(10 pts)

(9-10 pts)
Intriguing title that

captures your


and attracts your reader


(8 pts)
Clear title that
represents your


(6-7 pts)
Title made

(0 pts)
No title



(27-30 pts)
Your position is formed

and presented clearly and

(24-26 pts)
Your position is

clear and

(21-23 pts)
Your position is

vague, which
needs to be

clarified further.

(0-20 pts)
Your position is
not developed at

all or



(50 pts)

(45-50 pts)

Reasons to support
the chosen position

are articulated clearly
and thoroughly

throughout the essay

(40-44 pts)

Reasons are
expressed clearly in


(35-39 pts)

Reasons are
addressed, but


(0-34 pts)

Reason is rarely
addressed or


details to

back up each

(40 pts)

(36-40 pts)
Interesting, original,
or relevant details are
organized to support

a chosen position
well. Presented

details are accurate,

(32-35 pts)
Most of presented

details are

relevant, and

(28 -31 pts)
Presented details
are less accurate,
unclear, or less
developed in
supporting a

(0-27 pts)
Scarce details

are presented to
back up a




specific, and
persuasive to

understand the

Some details are
less connected to

supporting a
chosen position.

chosen position in

Presented detail is
very difficult to
understand or


Concepts or


(30 pts)

(27-30 pts)
Two or more concepts
or ideas learned from
class are accurate and
they are incorporated

into the flow and
content of the essay

very well.

(24-26 pts)
Two or more

concepts or ideas
learned from class are
correct and they are
incorporated into the


(21-23 pts)
Concepts or ideas
learned from class
appear, but they’re
less informative or
correct or vaguely
connected to the

content of the essay.

Concepts or
ideas are not

incorporated or
incorrect or



(30 pts)

(30 pts)
No issue in spelling,

punctuation, grammar,
and in-text


(25 pts)
Minor issue in

spelling, punctuation,
grammar, and in-text


(20 pts)
Some issues in


grammar, and in-text

(15 pts)
Constant issues in


grammar, and in-
text citation


(10 pts)

All of used sources are listed in an APA citation style.
Pass: 10 pts Fail: 0 pts

Total: ________ out of 200 points

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