Compare the social construction of reality in TWO news stories on a current issue. This assignment will help you prepare for writing your literature review, your proposal for your final research paper, and for your paper itself. The two articles you select for this assignment should be on one of the topics you are considering for your final research paper, ideally for the topic you choose.
The stories must be from TWO different types of news sources; choose ONE of the following options for your comparison:
(1) Alternative news (such as DemocracyNow.org) versus U.S. mainstream news article.
(2) Non-US global/regional news versus U.S. mainstream news article.
(3) Non-U.S. national news versus U.S. mainstream news article.
Examples: MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Choose one article from any of the following (use “search”)
(1) 24-Hour News: CNN, FOX, MSNBC; (2) TV networks: NBC, CBS, ABC; (3) major newspapers: The New York Times, Washington Post
Examples: ALTERNATIVE MEDIA sources: Choose one article from any of the following:
(1) Alternative Media Portals: Alternet.org; GlobalResearch.ca, ProjectCensored.org;
(2) Alternative News Media: DemocracyNow.org, www.TheNation.com; MotherJones.com
(3) Radical party websites: wsws.org (WorldWideSoc.Website); www.plp.org (Prog. Labor Party)
Example: NON-U.S. NATIONA, GLOBAL, AND REGIONAL MEDIA: See MEDIA RESOURCES handout)
Global/regional, non-U.S. national, U.S. mainstream, alternative news available in English
Links to country profiles. Scroll to “Media” section with links to media sources in country.
STEP ONE:?Select 2 articles; review the “Social Construction of Reality” (Surrette) handout.
STEP TWO:?Complete WORKSHEETS for each article (To turn in with Paper).(On Luminis)
STEP THREE:?Write a 6-8-page, answering questions based on your WORKSHEET data.
a. PART I: BRIEFLY SUMMARIZE the highlights of your findings for each article.
?Be selective, give a couple of specific examples to support your answers to the following: What are the most significant claims/claims-makers for each article, what are any major conflicting claims/claims-makers within each article, and what significant claims (social issues, policies) and claims-makers (people/sources) “win out” or seem most legitimized within each article.
b. PART II: COMPARE AND CONTRAST the two articles, citing or referring to specific examples, facts, or quotes from worksheets where needed to support your position:
?(1)?Which article, based on the SOURCES in each, most favored “claims that are sponsored by powerful groups”? and related to established cultural themes” (Surette)?
?(2)?Which article, based on the CLAIMS made, most legitimized people, issues, and policies “related to established cultural themes” (Surette)?
c. PART III: WRITE A CONCLUSION based on your research/analysis, addressing the following:
?(1)?Based on this analysis, do you agree or disagree with Ray Surette that mainstream is more likely to legitimize people, issues, and policies of the groups in society wielding the greatest economic and political power (i.e., dominant ideology)?
?(2)?To what extent does your research suggest that it is difficult for those outside the mainstream to gain mass media attention?
?(3)?What are the most important insights or questions has this exercise stimulated regarding your own use of media outlets as sources of information/news on current issues? In what ways, if any, might this change your own use of media?
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