PLAN: COMPARING THE SATELLITE AND BROADCAST RADIO LANDSCAPES
Michael Piccorossi, a teacher of history and new media
time of completion: one to two class periods
In astronomy, a natural satellite is defined as an object that orbits a larger
planet, asteroid or star. For example, the moon, which makes a single orbit of
the earth once every 27.3 days is a satellite of the earth. Artificial communications
satellites are wireless devices launched into space that orbit the earth and transmit
signals back to base stations on the earth's surface.
the launch of the first artificial satellite by the Soviet Union in 1957, satellite
technology has expanded beyond its original military uses to affect many facets
of daily life. Far beyond the surveillance function that satellites provided the
U.S. and Soviet Union during the Cold War, they now play a vital role in a wide-range
of communication systems from cell phones to television transmission.
XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio have built networks that use satellite
technology to offer subscribers nationwide reception and more than a hundred channels
of commercial free music, news, sports and talk programming. The diverse programming
options offered by satellite radio come at a time when the programming offered
by "over-the-air" broadcast radio outlets is becoming increasingly less diverse
and more tightly formatted as a result of a 1996 federal law known as the Telecommunications
Gain a broad understanding of the development of satellite technology over the
last 50 years, and how it evolved from a technology with primarily military applications
into a broader communications tool that impacts the economy and everyday life.
the role of a diverse, free media in a democratic society.
3. Explain how
the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 changed the rules for corporate
ownership of multiple media outlets.
make these lesson plans better Correlation
to National Standards
Access to the
Procedures (in printer-friendly
Print out the PROCEDURES and have
students perform the three outlined activities.
Choose a city in the U.S., and assume the role of a Program Director for a radio
station in that city. Develop a music format for the radio station, and state
the reasons you chose that particular format. What type of music will you play?
What age-group are you targeting? What income group are you targeting? Are you
targeting males, females or both? Name some advertisers that you think would be
willing to advertise on the radio station that you are programming?
National Standards based on McREL standards and benchmarks:
Standard 19. Understands what is meant by "the public agenda," how it is set,
and how it is influenced by public opinion and the media-- Understands the ways
in which television, radio, the press, newsletters, and emerging means of communication
influence American politics; and understands the extent to which various traditional
forms of political persuasion have been replaced by electronic media
Standard 27. Understands how the Cold War and conflicts in
Korean and Vietnam influenced domestic and international politics Author Michael
Piccorossi is Director of Information Technology Services at U.S. News & World
Report, and an affiliate faculty member at the Center for History and New Media
at George Mason University. He has taught in Arlington County public schools in
Virginia, and works as a freelance Web developer and instructional designer.
the Author Michael Piccorossi is Director of Information Technology Services
at U.S. News & World Report, and an affiliate faculty member at the Center for
History and New Media at George Mason University. He has taught in Arlington County
public schools in Virginia, and works as a freelance Web developer and instructional
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