LENGTH34pages, doublespacedPLUStitle page & bibliography

In week 2, we explored both broad and narrow understandings of political economy. This
assignment asks you to apply the narrow definition, “the study of the social relations, particularly the
power relations, that mutually constitute the production, distribution, and consumption of resources,
including communication resources” (Mosco, pg.2), to write a short descriptive paper of a given
media or communications industry. You may, and in fact are encouraged to, use this assignment as
an opportunity to do some background research on the media industry you will be examining in
depth in your final research paper.

To structure your investigation, this assignment asks you to address five specific questions regarding
how your chosen media/communication industry:

1) Who are the main players in the industry today?
2) How is the industry organized in terms of different aspects of production, distribution and
3) What role do governments play in regulating or promoting this industry?
4) What sort of changes has the industry gone through over the last 10 to 25 years?
5) What are the most pressing challenges facing the industry today?

Be sure to clearly define the media/communication industry you are investigating and be aware that
the linkages between the answers to the above five questions are as important as the answers
themselves. As well, the answers to some of these questions might be more important in light of
current conditions (for e.g., the Chinese government’s recently imposed regulations for the country’s
video game industry). Feel free to focus more attention on questions that are topical (i.e., question
#5 listed above).

Your assignment requires a minimum (i.e. you can use more) of FIVE sources, TWO of which must
be scholarly in nature (i.e. from academic books or articles from scholarly journals). For the other
sources, I suggest looking at business or financial journalism (e.g. The Economist, The Financial
Times, The Wall St. Journal) or industry trade journals (e.g. Advertising Age for the ad industry,
Variety for the film & TV industries).

Some Examples Of Appropriate Media/Communication Industries
Please note that for many industries you SHOULD choose a specific national or geographical focus.
This will, in many cases, help you focus your inquiry. Please note that what is listed below are only
examples. Please feel free to check with me about your if you’re unsure about your chosen industry
or regional focus.
the American, Indian, Nigerian, or other national film industry
the Canadian, American, Chinese or European wireless telecommunication industry
the Mexican (or Brazilian, or Canadian, or… etc.) television production (or distribution, or
broadcasting) industry

the North American(orCanadian) or Chinesevideo game industry

the global ecommerce industry
global semiconductor manufacturing
global web search
the global music streaming industry

And many more… basically, if it’s a media industry it’s appropriate. However, please note that non
media industries are NOT appropriate, and reports on such industries will be graded with a
significant penalty. Please email me if you’re curious as to whether your chosen industry is
appropriate or not.