large percentage of the public” believes that media representations are biased

According to several studies conducted by scholars of journalism and communication, a “large percentage of the public” believes that media representations are biased.[1] The goal of this assignment is to explore how media representations shape our perceptions of various issues and/or events. For this writing exercise, please select one woman-related “current event” (something that has occurred within the last year or so) and analyze how it is represented by two different newspapers, chronicles, or journals. You may compare two U.S.-based media outlets or a U.S.-based media outlet and an international media outlet. Please provide a brief background of the event or issue you selected, as well as an analysis of how the issue/event is portrayed in each media outlet you select. The following questions should guide your analysis:

 

  • How does the media frame or represent the issue/event you selected? Which “facts” or details are excluded or emphasized? Which images, if any, does the story include?
  • What type of sources (academics, scholars, policymakers, bystanders, etc.) does the story draw on or quote?
  • What type of language, terminology, or “buzzwords” does the story use or draw on?
  • How prominent is the story you selected? For example, is it front-page news? Is it hidden in the back of the newspaper? (Online sources often include the page number of the printed story.)
  • Who may benefit from framing an issue/event in a specific way? What power dynamics are at work?
  • Who is the target audience of the story? Does the story appeal to some groups of people more than others?
  • Does the story mention gender? In other words, does gender play a prominent role in how the story is told?
  • What did you learn from this assignment?

 

Your paper should be 2-3 pages in length, be written in 12 point font, be double-spaced, and include proper citations.

[1]Eveland, William P., and Dhavan V. Shah. “The Impact of Individual and Interpersonal Factors of Perceived News Media Bias.” Political Psychology 24.1 (2003): 101-117.

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