Media Analysis: For this assignment, you are to investigate and compare media coverage of one issue from both mainstream and alternative sources. Since you will be comparing reporting across sources, it is probably easiest to address an issue that is currently hot such as the current war on terrorism, the conflict in the Middle East, Corporate corruption, gay marriage, abortion, or immigration issues.
- Read at least one mainstream print article from a newspaper or magazine. You may use online sources such as the Washington Post, USA Today, nytimes.com, newsweek.com, time.com, and so on. Provide a link to the sources you use in your paper. I prefer that you use online sources. Why? When watching TV news, the images and language go by quickly. Thus, it is difficult to fully reflect on what you are viewing. However, if you can record and playback the news or get the transcripts from the program, I would be willing to allow you to use TV news sources. Please first talk to me before using television sources.
- Next, investigate the same topic in at least two alternative print sources, ideally one on each side of the political spectrum. For example, you might choose articles from Mother Jones, The Nation, National Review, The American Conservative, or Z Magazine (in print or online). Please provide the link for these sources. A final tip an internet search can provide you with access to alternative news beyond those listed above.
- Analysis: address these questions in your paper. 1. What are the key themes in the coverage? 2. What are the different arguments that you have heard? 3. What are the recurring patterns in media coverage of this subject? 4. How have the producers/writers/editors shaped the message(s) through words, images, or other means? 5. What is omitted from their message(s)? 6. In your view, do the messages accurately represent the totality of the subject? Why or why not? 7. In what ways does format matter and why? 8. Does anything else strike you about the coverage that you read?
- Once you have addressed these questions, link your analysis with our readings and class lecture and discussion.
- Your final paper should be about Six to Eight double-spaced pages if you are writing concisely! (MUST BE IN 12 POINT TIMES NEW ROMAN FONT WITH ONE-INCH MARGINS ALL AROUND). Good luck. If you feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath, talk to a friend or your classmates, or reach out to me for help. You are all smart. You can succeed! Take yourself seriously. We do. Try to enjoy yourself and learn from this assignment.
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