From this point onward we will be studying all these TOPICS:

  • the culture of consumption
  • the advertising values of individualism and commercialism
  • the social effects of advertising as it relates to food
  • the ideology of consumption
  • and the powerful work of corporate public relations, which play an invisible role in determining much of what we see, hear, and think about in our society

From this broad list of topics, you will hopefully be inspired during class, or during your reading (for class), to go deeper and think more about one aspect of one topic we cover. In fact, from today onward you need to be looking for this point of intrigue, where you ask yourself--I HAVE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS! Your final project will ultimately be a VIDEO (approximately 1-5 minutes) that visually critiques something about the media that is fantastically interesting to you (related to this class, of course!) that takes what we discuss about advertising, consumption, or public relations to a new--and more visual--level.

ROD LIBRARY (investigate Articles/Subjects/Communication; investigate books and search using "Keyword")
Times Topics (NYTimes)
PR Watch (PR watchdog organization)
Center for Science in the Public Interest (consumer watchdog organization)
On The Media (best radio program EVER on all things critical media...transcripts, radio archives....)
Commercial Alert (Advertising watchdog organization)
Advertising Age (Ad Industry trade publication)
Google Scholar

You will be downloading clips from YouTube.

For your convenience here are some downloading tools. Also, rips audio from YouTube videos and then gives you a download link of the audio.  ALWAYS SAVE YOUR FILES TO A PORTABLE HARD DRIVE (8 gb should be enough) or, if you prefer working on an on-campus PC, to your "R" drive.

You may want to videotape some original footage as well (if you need them we have 10 Flip video cameras in the office for you to check out). You will be editing your footage in whatever editing sytem you feel is most comfortable for you (media maker, iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut). Every computer on campus has some form of video editing capability. And there will be plenty of support through The Production House and Lynda Tutorials (see below). Using the MEDIA to critique the MEDIA , remixing copyrighted footage to make a visual arguement about the media; uploading your work to Youtube for the world to great is that?

Since this project will call for the remixing of copyrighted footage, we will be claiming FAIR USE for this project: as a noncommercial critique, you have fair use to download and incorporate existing copyrighted media content in your critique.


Length: approx. 1-5 minutes (this is negotiable)

Research: Your video needs to be grounded in media studies research (such as an article that you read for this class). You need to supply a bibliography along with this video, and your research needs to be carefully documented in the "Descriptions" part of your YouTube uplink. It's an excellent idea to check your research with your instructor before you proceed with your argument.

Working with Copyright Footage: the fine line between critique and plagiarism: You will fail in this project if you find a string of video clips that have people (in person or in Voice Over) critiquing the media for you (for example, George Karlin talking about advertising) YOUR JOB is to comment on the video clips you find, not to find clips that already are filled with commentary. You need to use sound research, that you then PUT IN YOUR OWN WORDS, to critique the visuals you download. Anything else is plagiarism. If you're not sure, double check with me.

Music: I will again repeat that you should not use ANY MUSIC THAT IS COPYRIGHTED. This would be stealing: taking someone else's hard work and using it as a sound bed to your video. You can create your own music soundbed, find copyright free music, or have no music. You will lose points if you use copyrighted music, which is not in the spirit of FAIR USE.

Complete Your Video: Your video needs to be a stand alone piece that exists "complete" outside of your presentation. If you are planning a narration, it must be recorded and inserted into the video. Use text screens if you don't use a narration. The video needs to stand alone.

Partnerships: You are allowed to do this project with up to two other people. You are certainly allowed to go solo as well.

Equipment: you will need a USB drive with at LEAST 8GB of space. I would recommend always using this drive for EVERY ASPECT OF THE PROJECT.

Presentation: You will present your video and your "What I Have Learned" Statement during the last 2 weeks of class. Your peers will grade your presentations. Presentations should be 10 minutes long (these 10 minutes should INCLUDE the playing of your video). Be very mindful of time b/c we have 4 groups to fit in each 50 minute class period. I will cut you off if you go over 10 minutes. PRACTICE your presentation. If you are in a group, each member should present equally.  Here is a list of things you may want to cover*):

  • How you settled on this topic
  • Why this topic interested you so much
  • Why this topic is relevant to the class and everything else we've studied
  • What books, articles, etc. informed your critique/video
  • Any stories of technical difficulties ;)
  • Any elements in your video that we should be paying particular attention to; what parts of the video you're particularly proud of
  • How you set about writing the script
  • What you learned from this experience
  • If you partnerned up with someone, what responsibilities you took on in the project
  • Any further reading people may want to do related to the topic
  • You may want to play your video 2X if it makes sense to do so
  • You also may want to make your presentation interactive, where you ask questions of students and get them to think critically about your topic.

* you don't have to cover everything on this list, and you may want to talk about ideas beyond this keep in mind this is just to prompt your thinking

Hand In (on the day of your presentation):

  • The final project (plus bibliography) must be successfully uploaded to YouTube--so you need to supply your instructor with the link. Photocopies of the articles/book chapters that influenced your visualization.
  • "What I Have Learned" Statement. Expect to write 3/4 of a page to document what you have gained from the experience of visualizing media critique. Hand in printed, paper document. Single space, 12 pt Times Roman please. If you have a project partner, you should still write this statement individually, NOT as a team. This is your personal "what I have learned" statement.
  • Team Evaluation: If you DO decide to partner up with someone, you will need to hand in an evaluation of your team member(s) in printed out, paper form.



1. DIGITAL MEDIA HUB, in Rod Library. We will be meeting here regularly during class.

The Production House is a multimedia production facility that is open to faculty, staff, and students.

3. LANG 212 and LANG 213. Fully equipped digital media labs. Both are open every night except Saturday. Click on the links for their precise open lab times.

4. LYNDA.UNI.EDU, for any tutorial having to do with production:iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, Garageband (to make original music and to edit sound), Photoshop (image manipulation) AfterEffects (3D animation).
In October 2010, UNI began to offer free access to the design software industry’s most valuable software tutorial website.  To access Lynda tutorials (which are essential to succeeding in this course), GO HERE,, and enter your CatID. Another way to access is to go to the UNI homepage and enter “My Universe” (sign in with your CatID Username and password) then go to “Life@UNI,” and go to “Computer Resources”, under which rests the Lynda logo.  Click on the Lynda link; access may require signing in a second time with your student CatID.  This course will depend upon for reviewing software application tools and strategies gone over in class; learning advanced skills, and for completing certain homework assignments.