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Athabasca University

CMNS 423: The Television Age

The most corrosive piece of technology that I've ever seen is called television - but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent. (Steve Jobs, quoted in Goodell, J. 02 Dec 2003. Steve Jobs: The Rolling Stone interview. Rolling Stone,

Both corrosive and magnificent? Do you agree, or do you watch television at all? Do you watch television programs on your iPad, on Netflix or on DVDs rather than network broadcasting? Is television a cultural tool or a detriment to civilized life? Is it in its infancy, ascendancy or decline?

However you answer these questions, the television industry permeates not only our leisure time but our daily lives and understandings of the world. Communication Studies 423: The Television Age, now available in an extensive new revision with new textbook and readings, helps students to develop a critical understanding of the medium as a technology, an industry, an educator, a medium for propaganda, and an art form. Topics include the history of television, sponsorship and art, genres and formats, news and reality programs, controversial content and global television.

For more information about course content, assignments and format, please see the syllabus at

Updated September 30 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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