Imagine that you are employed in an agency that depends on sources of news to set policy. In your job, you are called upon to evaluate news sources for bias. For this assignment, you will analyze news content for evidence of subjective language, sensationalism, authenticity, and advertising influence.
The grading criteria for this assignment are stated explicitly below. However, you may also want to read the scoring guide for the assignment to better understand the performance levels that relate to each criterion.
By successfully completing this assignment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assignment criteria:
Competency 1: Analyze communication processes.
Criterion: Analyze news media for objective and subjective content.
Competency 2: Analyze the influence of broadcast media on individuals and society.
Criterion: Analyze how revenue sources may influence news content.
Criterion: Identify possible instances of media bias or sensationalism.
Competency 5: Communicate effectively to diverse audiences in a variety of formats.
Criterion: Write clearly, with correct spelling, grammar, syntax, and good organization, following APA guidelines.
For this assignment, refer to Chapter 3 of the Biagi text. Obtain a printed copy of your local newspaper or access one of the online electronic versions of The New York Times or The Washington Post newspapers. Carefully analyze the newspaper and its contents. Look at the headlines, photos, and advertisements. Then, address the following:
Analyze the use of photos and diagrams, and the language used in the headlines, captions, and body of the articles.
Provide examples of more neutral (objective) or subjective content. Explain your examples.
Is the language attempting to be neutral?
Does the paper exhibit any clear bias?
Assess the effects the objective or subjective content would have on a reader.
Identify instances of subjective language or visuals that may create bias or sensationalism in the news articles.
Identify similarities and differences between the examples you choose and yellow journalism and/or fake news.
Identify funding sources, such as ads, subscriptions, donations, etcetera on the Web site or in the printed paper.
Explain any instances where financial support may have the potential to influence news content, such as articles that align with the interests of a specific advertiser.
It is very important that you cite all sources of the information you collect per APA guidelines. If your source cites a secondary source, be sure to cite it correctly. You can use non-academic sources for this assignment, but be sure to note if a source itself may be speculative or biased.
The New York Times. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com
The Washington Post. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/?hpid=hp_no-name_no-name%3Ahomepage%2Fmasthead
Written communication: Must be well-organized and clear, with correct spelling, grammar, and syntax, to support orderly exposition of content.
APA formatting: Must be formatted according to current APA style and formatting guidelines and include a title page and reference list.
Length: 3–5 typed and double-spaced pages of content, not including the title page and reference page, in Times New Roman, 12-point font.
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