Unit 15 The Media - Методические материалы к учебнику america

^ Unit 15 The Media

Part A (pp.261-265)
Exercise 1. Suggest English equivalents of the following expressions and reproduce the situations in which they are used.

to convey information


to tune in


readership levels


to suffer a decline in circulation


suburban readers


dramatic decline in competition


a wire copy


to take a lead from smb


to impose a more rigorous separation of fact from opinion


to disclose classified information


to pursue investigative reporting


adversary stance towards government


wide diversification in programming


to win high audience ratings


explicit language


^ Exercise 2. Suggest Russian equivalents of the following expressions and reproduce the situations in which they are used.

дом, семья


отвечать читательским запросам


считать телевидение источником новостей


конкурирующие газеты


вытеснять из бизнеса


издательская сеть


прекратить, приостановить публикацию


требовать полного признания права


выходить за рамки журналистской деятельности


иметь полное право


отставка президента


ассигнования, выделяемые Конгрессом


присоединяться к ч-л


установить, подключить кабельное телевидение


спутниковая тарелка


^ Exercise 3. Guess the concept of the following definitions.

1) newspapers and magazines (p.261);

2) newspapers published weekly, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly… (p.261);

3) a newspaper published every morning (p.262);

4) to publish a story in a newspaper (p.263);

5) big, serious, important (organization) (p.263);

6) an organization giving permission to smb to become a radio or TV broadcaster (p.264);

7) a limited group of viewers for whom some special programs are broadcast (p.264);

8) the type of television that was first invented and has been known to people for more than 70 years (p.265).

^ Exercise 4. Give definitions of the following words and word combinations.

to tune in




to rank


to comprise




editorial (pages)




to be intent on doing smth


Exercise 5. Translate the following sentences from English into Russian.

  1. The United States have become what social observers sometimes call a media state, a society in which access to power is through media.

  2. The print and broadcasting media not only convey information to the public, but also influence public opinion.

  3. The broadcasting media, capable of mass-producing messages and images instantaneously, have been largely responsible for homogenizing cultural and regional diversities across the country.

  4. Newspapers have suffered a decline in circulation from peak years around the turn of the century largely because of the trend of urban populations moving to the suburbs.

  5. Some established metropolitan newspapers are now published in “zoned” editions for different regional audiences.

  6. Both the New York Times and the Washington Post syndicate their staff-written stories to

regional newspapers all over the country.

  1. Newspapers around the country and, significantly, television news programs take lead from the Times in deciding what is and is not a big story.

  2. The American press, especially in recent decades, has insisted on objectivity and detachment in news reports, usually imposing a more rigorous separation of fact from opinion than do newspapers in other countries.

  3. When, in 1971, the Washington Post and New York Times published the “Pentagon Papers”, a classified U.S. Defence document about the origins of the U.S. involvement in the

Vietnam conflict, the Supreme Court ruled that the newspapers were within their rights to publish the material.

  1. Viewers whose tastes are not satisfied by the many offerings of network and local programs are now increasing their options by subscribing to cable televisions.

Exercise 6. Fill in the gaps with words and phrases from the list. Change the form if required.

wide diversification of programming

subscribe to cable television

suburban readers

disclose classified information

encourage consumption of products and services

readership levels

rank TV program

resignation of the president

satellite dish

within one’s rights

pursue investigative reporting

be responsible to the audience demands

drive out of business

decline in competition

win high audience ratings

cease publication

  1. The new program helped the channel … .

  2. The policy pursued by all TV stations always … .

  3. A lot of people do not want … because they are not sure they can find interesting programs there.

  4. Everyone in America is … to either watch television day and night or pretend he does not.

  5. This radio broadcasting station cannot provide for … because grants from foundations have been dramatically reduced in size.

  6. It is almost impossible to make a newspaper … .

  7. A … is now an attribute of every tenth family in the city.

  8. … can lead to a political crisis.

  9. Due to competition from radio, TV and Internet … have gone down for the last dozens of years.

  10. There is a trend of … smaller companies by larger competitors.

  11. … is an event that very seldom takes place today.

  12. I don’t think we can … this … as one of the most reliable sources of information.

  13. Dramatic loss of interest to the project has led to … among participants.

  14. … look through newspapers only for crime reports, sports and fashions.

  15. Journalists … often come to unexpected and sometimes even unbelievable conclusions.

  16. Advertising companies use the media ….

Exercise 7. Paraphrase the following sentences.

  1. Publishing secret data can lead to a court procedure.

  2. Our department always follows the instructions of our Head office.

  3. I will pass the news to my boss first time tomorrow.

  4. Strange as it might seem my father has never been the master of the family.

  5. Our readers are people living in the suburbs.

  6. Let’s fix cable television – they say you can watch lovely films every day.

  7. The Trade Union leaders insisted on observing all the rights of the employees.

  8. The show became very popular among most viewers because a lot of famous actors took part in it.

  9. The decision of the Prime Minister to leave his post was quite unexpected for the members of the Cabinet.

  10. Both radio and TV broadcasting provide for a big choice of different programs for any audience.

Exercise 8. Translate the following sentences from Russian into English.

  1. Телевидение, имеющее доступ в каждую американскую семью, где оно работает обычно до шести часов в день, обладает мощным влиянием на умы людей.

  2. Долгое время газеты и журналы являлись основным источником информации и имели тысячи читателей.

  3. На сегодняшний день в США существует менее 40 городов (по сравнению с 500 в 1962г.), где издаются несколько конкурирующих между собой газет, и число таких городов неуклонно уменьшается.

  4. Многие центральные ежедневные газеты потеряли своего читателя, т.к. он предпочитает теперь еженедельные местные издания, по формату напоминающие журналы.

  5. Большинство телевещательных компаний являются коммерческими предприятиями, зависящими от рекламы, поэтому они ведут между собой борьбу за зрителя и выбирают те программы, которые могут повысить рейтинги.

  6. До сих пор не утихающие споры о возможности существования прямой связи между количеством насилия на экране и в жизни общества привели к введению специального «времени семейного просмотра» с 7 до 9 часов вечера.

  7. Спутниковое телевидение первоначально создавалось для того, чтобы предоставить больший выбор программ жителям сельских районов, не имевших возможности подключиться к кабельному телевидению.

Exercise 9. Answer the following questions using the key words in brackets.

  1. Why is the USA called a media state? (access to power; channel of information)

  2. How does the media influence public opinion? (the print and broadcasting media; to convey information; every American household; to tune in; mass-producing messages)

  3. Why must most newspapers, radio and TV networks be responsible to their audience’s demands? (cultural significance; to influence voters; to encourage consumption of products)

  4. Why are readership levels in the USA not as high as they once were? (to cope with competition; the trend of urban populations of moving to the suburbs)

  5. What makes most suburban readers prefer to get “serious” news from TV but not newspapers? (to rank television as the most believable source of news; to be a restless TV prisoner)

  6. Why is television ranked as the most believable news source in the USA? (buying programs from independent TV companies; wide diversification of programming)

  7. What is the meaning of the words “the journalism of sight and sound”? (a new form of journalism; a universal medium; a one-way street)

  8. Why are “life-style” and “home-living” sections often added to many suburban newspapers? (to meet the public demand; to make newspapers more like magazines)

  9. What is the result of concentrating media operations in the hands of just a few publishers and corporations? (a dramatic decline in competition; to drive out of business; to be under chain or group control)

  10. Why are some cities called “one-owner towns”? (competing newspapers; to have a single publisher)

  11. How can “news monopoly” increase the chance that the public may be misinformed? (conglomeration; to counterbalance errors; questions of objectivity)

  12. Who do we call chain publishers? (to own newspapers all over the country; to comprise daily newspaper circulation)

  13. Why is “opinion” excluded from news columns and where is it presented? (a rigorous separation of fact from opinion; to be presented on separate editorial pages)

  14. How is objectivity tried to be preserved by monopoly newspapers? (objectivity and detachment; example with the Washington Post in 1976)

  15. What does the First Amendment to the American Constitution state? Give examples of court battles provoked by the controversy over the role of the media. (to abridge the freedom of the press; to disclose classified information; to pursue investigative reporting; to transgress the bounds of journalism)

  16. Whose money is the American broadcasting system supported by? (congressional appropriations; grants from foundations; contributions from viewers; advertising)

  17. What helps the three major networks, ABC, CBS and NBC win high audience ratings? (to be affiliated with; to sell programs to distribution companies all over the country)

  18. What are the advantages of cable television? (to increase the number of programs; specialized programs; to program 40 different channels)

  19. Why was “family viewing time” from 7 to 9 o’clock in the evening introduced in the USA? (to debate over a link between violence on TV and in society; to protest against sexual suggestiveness on TV; religious right)

  20. What may different groups of TV viewers lobby? (a better standard of children’s TV; to object to explicit language and immorality on the TV screen)

  21. Which format of TV entertainment is the most popular in America? Why? (an entertainment-oriented medium; to be opposed to news, information, education, instruction; to prefer situation comedies, movies, sports programs, police dramas, shows)

  22. What is the future of print and electronic media? (TV as the third parent; to affect the times; TV is destroying everything – conversation, the habit of reading, etc.)

Exercise 10. Fill in the gaps with appropriate prepositions.

  1. Television which typically tunes … about six hours a day powerfully influences … public opinion.

  2. Newspapers have to cope … competition from radio and television.

  3. Some established metropolitan newspapers have lost their readership … new weekly suburban newspapers.

  4. A lot of local newspaper publishers are driven … … business by larger competitors.

  5. Most newspapers rely heavily … wire copies from the two major news services, the Associated Press (AP) and the United Press International (UPI).

  6. Newspapers around the country and, significantly, television news programs take a lead … the Times.

  7. The American press, especially in recent decades, has insisted … objectivity and detachment in news reports.

  8. Some programs, often educational or cultural, appeal … a highly selective audience.

  9. More and more radio and television broadcasting stations provide … wide diversification in programming.

  10. Most commercial television stations are affiliated … one of the three major networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC.

  11. Programs that aim … mass entertainment are preferred over educational and news programs.

  12. Critics charge that networks often emphasize the personalities of newscasters … the expense of issues of public importance.

  13. A lot of viewers have a chance to increase their program potions … subscribing … cable television.

  14. Conventional television has to struggle to retain its audience as people switch … to cable viewing, satellite TV or renting video cassettes.

  15. During hours of “family viewing time” adult programs containing violence and sexual suggestiveness are kept … a minimum.

Exercise 11. Topics for general discussion.

  1. TV programming policy in our country and in the USA.

  2. Values propagated on TV.

  3. The future of print and electronic media.

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