Media Analysis Research Paper

The paper must be 5 (full) – 8 pages, typed, double-spaced, 1″ margins, 12pt Times New Roman typeface, using ASA Style or APA Style. See the Module General Paper Requirements for complete information. You MUST quote from the readings in your paper.

For this final paper, you are to investigate and compare coverage of one social issue from both mainstream and alternative sources. Since you’ll 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 scandals, the war in Iraq, or immigration issues. Read “The News Media, the Problem Frame, and the Production of FearPreview the documentView in a new window” to help you get started on this paper. (Note: you must include citations from this article to support your analysis of the social issue you select!)

Read at least one mainstream print article from a newspaper or magazine. You may use online sources such as the latimes.com, nytimes.com, newsweek.com, time.com, and so on. Make sure to provide the URL of the article(s) in your Bibliography.

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, BITCH magazine, or Z Magazine (in print or online).
Please provide the bibliographic information for your sources.

A final tip: An Internet search can provide you with access to alternative news beyond those listed above.

Questions to Answer for Your Analysis

What are the key themes in the coverage?
What are the differing arguments that you have heard?
What are the recurring patterns in media coverage of this subject?
How have the producers/writers/editors shaped the message(s) through words, images, or other means? What is omitted from their message(s)?
In your view, do the messages accurately represent the totality of subject? Why or why not?
In what ways does format matter and why?
Does anything else strike you about the coverage that you read?
Once you have addressed these questions, link your analysis of the media coverage with our readings, especially “The News Media, the Problem Frame, and the Production of Fear.”

Also, these sites might be helpful if you are not sure whether a news source is conservative or liberal.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Conservative_news_outlets (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Liberal_news_outlets (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Media Analysis Paper Rubric

+10 Appropriate selection of topic for paper requirements with article from mainstream media source-newspaper or news magazine as the basis for paper (10 points possible)
+20 At least two alternative print sources (20 points possible -10 each), one on each side of the political spectrum
Analysis of coverage, responding to questions in paper directions using quotes from the “The News Media, the Problem Frame, and the Production of Fear” reading (10 points possible each question)
+10 What are the key themes in the coverage?
+10 What are the differing arguments that you have heard?
+10 What are the recurring patterns in media coverage of this subject?
+10 How have the producers/writers/editors shaped the message(s) through words, images, or other means? What is omitted from their message(s)?
+30 Thoughtful response to your findings (30 points possible)

Point will be deducted based on the following criteria:
-10 points for a paper less than five FULL pages (12 pt Times New Roman, 1″ margins, double spaced)
-5 point for no title page
-5 points for no Bibliography/Works Cited page
-5+ points for sloppy work (misspellings, grammar errors, etc.)
-5 points for not using proper citations in ASA/APA style for all quoted material

Last Updated on February 14, 2019 by